Entries in the Category "politics"

Academics for Ron Paul

There's a nice list of faculty supporting Ron Paul here. I'd join, but I don't see any librarians, and maybe they want "real" academics. There's a nice selection of Ohio profs, but from Case only Dr. Peirce. Anyone else want to sign up?

Missing women

It began with Lady Liberty, whose normally-active webpage went into suspended animation in May. I'd met Liberty through a Usenet flirtation, and had met her in person several times, the last with my wife. We weren't particularly close, and I hadn't viewed her site for awhile, so it was a surprise when I noticed it several months ago. I wasn't particularly alarmed, because she said she'd been on vacation, and I knew she was trying to get escape velocity to go out West. Maybe she'd established something there, came back to wrap things up, and then went back. Or...maybe "chucklehead", her ex, decided to do something not-nice. Certainly it wasn't like her to just let things dangle.

Then there was the retirement of Claire Wolfe. That was not left to dangle; she explained very clearly what she was doing, and why, on her blog and on theclairefiles.com (now thementalmilitia.com). We'd never met; I'd given her a few tips on playing recorder, and she had some kind words for my music. But for all her legendary stature (is it Claire Wolfe Time yet?), she always seemed like family. I was in denial about this a bit, and went to her blog, hoping to find another post...but she's let her web-hosting account expire. (The content is mirrored here.)

Now, in a time when governments claim the right to disappear people, it should be more than obvious that people have the right to disappear themselves. I have no rights to anyone's time, or to demand that they never change. And at least (unlike The Artist Formerly Known As Lady Liberty) I know that The Artist Formerly Known As Claire Wolfe is doing fine. But damnit, I miss them. And a world where semipublic figures just drop out of sight is a scary place, even if they drop out for the best of reasons. But I echo Wendy McElroy's blessings (Mac, don't YOU drop out now!)

The radical atheist left cleans up Venezuela

Tax 'em to death: alcohol, tobacco, luxury cars, artwork. Make sure a poor man can't buy a beer on the street.

The president has a long list of other "New Man" recommendations: don't douse foods with too much hot sauce, exercise regularly, eat low-cholesterol foods, respect speed limits. He also wants parents to stop buying Barbie dolls — and breast jobs — for their daughters.

The question on every Alabaman's mind: can the New Socialist Man buy sex toys?

The personal, the political

"The personal is political."

There's a good old slogan from the '60s. I'm not sure just what it was originally intended to signify...probably that one's personal whims and desires are grist for the political mill, worthy of having laws made over them. But if true, it follows (because of the "is of identity" - and don't go Clintonian on me here) that the political is personal, that any political act that affects me negatively is a personal wrong committed by the legislators who voted for the law. They don't get to hide behind "the will of the people" because "the people" don't exist, only individuals who benefit or are harmed by any particular legislative act.

Continue reading "The personal, the political"

How Che became a fashion statement

"Che Guevara has become a brand. And the brand's logo is the image, which represents change. It has becomes the icon of the outside thinker, at whatever level - whether it is anti-war, pro-green or anti-globalisation," she says.

Outside thinker?! The man who fought to establish the ultimate Establishment, which is well on its way to being established?

As time went on, the meaning and the man represented by the image became separated in the western context, Ms Ziff explains.

It began to be used as a decoration for products from tissues to underwear. Unilever even brought out a Che version of the Magnum ice cream in Australia - flavoured with cherry and guava.

And people are out there worrying about Indian blankets with swastikas on them?

Actually, this is a fascinating story, naming all the people who were responsible for creating the Che Brand: Alberto Korda (the original photographer), Jim Fitzpatrick (who turned it into a graphic), and even Jean-Paul Sartre (who may have given the photo to Dutch anarchists.) But what's missing...perhaps too hot for the Beeb...is a real examination of how the face of a political terrorist became acceptable causal wear, and what that means for us as a society.

UPDATE 10/10 - Capitalist exploitation of Che might be acceptable, but the Guevara family draws the line at Islamist exploitation.

UPDATE 10/16 - And Humberto Fontova (the one-man anti-Che lobby) tells the story about the guy who should have been on all those Che shirts.

One way to get a politician's attention

Said Ward last month, “If this (zone change) doesn’t go through, I lose my home, I lose my shop, I lose everything I got.”

After Thursday’s 5-7 vote was cast, Ward stood and walked steadily toward the council.

“Johnny (Piper), I know I can’t speak,” Ward said over the mayor, who was telling Ward the public comment period had ended.

“Y’all have put me under,” Ward said, pulling out a small silver handgun. “I’m out of here.”

A gunshot punctuated his sentence, and Ward fell at the feet of those sitting in the first row.

My take on this is a little different from Beck's. In one sense, Ward was seeking an unearned value, by having his house declared more valuable so that he could secure the loan he needed. Yet his house was worth less solely because of the artificial market distortion of zoning. It would be interesting to know just what reasons the council majority had to refuse his request, besides that they could, or to know if zoning had been imposed before or after he got the house. Yet Billy's main point stands:

A nation of people bred now to everything but freedom will generally find it unimaginable that a man might simply have enough of the mortal indignity of so-called "public servants" arbitrarily deciding on the terms and conditions of his life, as if it is theirs, and not his.

And if it's not your life, but somebody else's, and there is no way to get it back, it's not totally unreasonable to take your life, so they can't have it. Not my choice or yours, maybe, but not the choice of a madman either.

Mr. Atkins, do not mingle with other passengers

We flew to Oakland Airport, were ready for a beer,
The airport man 'e up an' sez, "there's no deplaning here.
Behind the baggage trailers, that's where you'll leave the plane."
I gets into the plane again an' mutters, half-insane:

O it's GI this, an' GI that, an' "GI, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Joseph,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Joseph,'' when the band begins to play.

(with thanks to Rudyard Kipling)

This test will not be graded

I know better than to take a stand on this one. But I have to ask questions. Do the blind have a right to force people to drive cars that make noise? Do people have a right to breathe clean air? Does one right override another? Do people have a right to streets free of unnecessary noise, even if it inconveniences the blind? If the blind have a right to noisy cars, do the deaf have a right to cars with flashing lights?

Justify your answers using any cogent theory of rights.

Knock 'em all down, let God sort 'em out

Cleveland tore down an empty century home on the city's East Side last month after a bank spent more than $19,000 to fix it up.

On the near West Side, a crew last May knocked down an empty two-family house after Councilman Brian Cummins e-mailed the Building Department asking that it be taken off the wrecking list. A prospective buyer had already fixed the garage and rewired the house.

In June, a crew demolished a Revere Avenue house that the Union Miles Development Corp. and another nonprofit development group, Neighborhood Progress Inc. wanted to renovate.

Frank Ford of Neighborhood Progress said the nonprofit persuaded the lender that owned the property to drop the price from $49,000 to less than $10,000.

Before the deal could go through, the house vanished.


Yep, gotta destroy blight. That's the ticket.

Who would move into a city with such a cavalier disregard for property rights?

It used to be enough to kiss babies...

...now you have to offer them each $5K in order to be elected:

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.

OK, Hillary, you go first. You can afford to gift a few more children than I can. Oh wait...you want to take the money from the children in order to give it to them. I see...

And from her adoring audience, our local embarrassment:

"I think it's a wonderful idea," said Rep. Stephanie Stubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who attended the event and has already endorsed Clinton. "Every child born in the United States today owes $27,000 on the national debt, why not let them come get $5,000 to grow until their 18?"

Uh, because then they'd owe $32K on the national debt? Really I don't know who is a bigger idiot, Tubbs Jones or Devlin Barrett, who couldn't get her name right or find the contraction for they are.

UPDATE: Taranto presents the same answer to the Tubbs-Jones question as I did, minus the insults descriptors constantly and casually used on George W. Bush. Boortz has a good description of the likely devolution of the Hillary 5K.

UPDATE 2: Apparently the American people don't like this idea much more than I do.

The Tanja Nijmeijer comedy hour

The Columbian army caught her with her pants down...literally...and captured her diary. So how does a nice middle-class Dutch girl join a Marxist terror organization?

Now 23, she visited Colombia in 2000 as part of a Danish tour aimed at exploring Marxist experiments in South America. Her diary says she returned in 2002 and joined FARC.

Yep, send some impressionable kid out there. Sweet 16 and just been FARCed. As soon as she was of legal age, back she went...for life in a live-action pornographic sitcom:
"The chief has fallen for a girl with big tits," Nijmeijer reports in a Nov. 2, 2006, entry. "But it appears she brought some venereal disease with her. The chief says the government sent her in order to infect and weaken the rebel leaders."

It's got to suck to be her right now.

Alan Keyes again?!

Oh, puh-LEAZE! After two crash-and-burn candidacies, he wants to try again? Who does he think he is, the black Harold Stassen?

"lowlife" to demand resignation over a DUI

Let's see...when a senator gets caught looking for anonymous gay sex, he should resign. But if a drunken state representative evades police at speeds of up to 100 mph, (an act that could endanger far more people) that's a different matter.

Naifeh said he was aware of “naysayers” who were attempting to turn Briley’s situation to partisan advantage.

“I think that’s pretty lowlife. I have absolutely no use for those people,” said Naifeh.

I guess it depends on which party you're a member of.

Larry Craig digs deeper

Let me start by saying that Sen. Craig should not have resigned over his PeeWee Big Adventure in Minneapolis. That case should have been decided by Republican primary voters. Idaho is not Massachusetts, but voters there seem perfectly comfortable in returning Barney Frank to office, so who knows what they'd do in Brokeback Country? And if it was wrong to impeach Bill Clinton over sexually harassing his employees, it should be equally wrong to evict a senator for sexually harassing a plainclothes officer. If, as the Democrats claimed, it's "all about the BJ", then Craig is home free, since he didn't even get one. (Yes, I know, it was about lying under oath about a BJ, but let me accept the liberal argument here.) And if (per my gay friends) "a mouth is a mouth", then certainly he deserves the same legal protections.

Resigning over pusillanimity, on the other hand, sounds like a better idea every day. Now we have hints that Craig might not resign after all, because his lawyers say that his arrest was unconstitutional, as he was on his way to the Senate:

"The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place."

OK, so Article I/6 isn't the sexiest part of the Constitution, but Larry swore to uphold it. If he forgot that passage was in there, what other contents is he in ignorance of? And surely he either forgot or was ignorant, or he would have made that argument to Sgt. Karsnia. Moreover, since the Senate is ever mindful and protective of its prerogatives, it should be standing solidly behind him. The problem is that "Sen. Craig" wasn't arrested. Some pervert was arrested, who turned out to be Sen. Craig. The purpose of that bit of the Constitution was to keep the several states from mucking with the legislative process by arresting legislators who would vote contrary to its interests. There's no evidence that Karsnia had any intent to influence legislation. Now, it may be well to adopt an absolutist interpretation of I/6, given the number of trivial laws on the books that could be used to detain a legislator. But I don't think it would fly with the American people to let Craig off scot-free on I/6 grounds.

But the most pathetic statement is the claim from Craig's people that they are going to "clear his good name." This shows a real confusion between morals and law. It is now impossible to clear Craig's name. The only way to do that would to have been to prevail on the facts in a trial by jury. If he convinced a jury that he wasn't out for some cheap stress relief, his name would be cleared. Instead, he pled guilty, either because his name was unclearable or because he couldn't be bothered at that moment to clear it. This caused a change in venue to The Court of Public Opinion, which has so far greeted Craig's testimony with howls of derision. Even if acquitted on the Constitutional technicality, he would stand convicted of being a pervert and a coward, and somebody incapable of making a decision. OK, Larry, you resigned...so resign already, for the good of your party, the republic, and to save the last white crumb in the burnt toast of your career.

You got the T-shirt, now buy the hair

MIAMI — A former CIA operative and Cuban exile plans to auction what he says is a lock of Che Guevara's hair, snipped before the Argentinean revolutionary and friend of Fidel Castro was buried in 1967.

It's the next best thing to filling your backyard pool with formaldehyde and floating Lenin in there. Build yourself a reliquary from the gold teeth of dead capitalists, and keep it safe.

Too bad the families of some of Che's victims didn't get to collect similar mementos of their loved ones.

The right to vote

Sen. Bill Nelson has a fine whine going about the Democrats refusing to count the votes in Florida's moved-up primary. Of course, he blames the Republican Florida legislature. And he has a point, to the extent that the Republicans have not come forward to disqualify Republican votes.

But there's this "right to vote" nonsense:

Four decades ago, our nation belatedly enacted a law to guarantee every U.S. citizen an equal right to vote.

First of all, there's no general right to vote for President. It's not Constitutionally mandated that presidential electors be chosen by popular vote. In fact, given how much they've mucked up the process in the past, I'm surprised that Florida hasn't decided to choose its electors via the legislature, as many states did originally.

There's even less a right to vote in a party primary. 'Scuse me, but to vote for MY party's candidate, I have to pay my dues, get named as a delegate, and go to the national convention, which is not cheap. Have MY voting rights been violated? Or how's this: the state of Ohio says I'm a Republican, because that's the primary I vote in (I can cause more trouble that way.) So are my voting rights violated because I can't also vote in the Democratic primary, given that I'm not either party, and might well vote for either party's candidates in the general election? Political parties are private organizations, and the government has no business holding elections for a private organization, and still less business writing those private organizations into the ballot access laws. And if the Democratic Party has so violated principle, why doesn't Nelson quit the Democratic Party?

It's good to see that the commentors are no more sympathetic than I am.

A Paw full of money for Hillary

The Paws are working-class Chinese-Americans who live in a single-story lime-green refinanced house near the San Francisco airport. Paw Paw is a postman, Maw Paw is a homemaker..evidently taking care of their 4 adult children who live there. They're mostly registered nonpartisan, and are sporadic voters. But in 2004, they saw the light! They gave big to John Kerry, and now even bigger to Hillary Clinton. Isn't it great when children of immigrants finally throw themselves body and soul into the American political process, and give until it hurts?

Some racists have wondered whether a certain Norman Hsu who allegedy used to live there has given the Paws money to give to, well, the same candidates that Hsu has been contributing to. It's totally unfair to think that the Paws would do such a thing. They probably just think that Hsu knows something...something the Paws would rather that anyone else not know. Chinese money has always been important to the Clintons, and the Clintons have responded in kind. And anybody who finds fault with that is a racist. Of course.

I agree with Black on Black Crime on something??

They're rallying to show support for Michael Vick, who they say should get probation as a first-time offender.

Now, I think dogfighting is sleazy and disgusting. I wouldn't participate, and for the Falcons to give him the heave-ho is perfectly appropriate. But...why should it be criminal? If we give the state the right to legislate against people fighting their dogs, we've given them the right to prescribe how people will care for their livestock...or whether they will even HAVE livestock. Joel Salatin hammers this connection (particularly about raw milk vs. the drug laws) in his new book, Everything I want to do is illegal (which I'll be reviewing here when I'm done). But notice that BOBC can't make the principled connection: they're arguing that the punishment is too severe, rather than that it's not a legitimate government function. I suspect they really don't want to go there, given how many of the probably benefit from illegitimate use of government.

"A more fair distribution of the sunrise"

Cindy Sheehan's buddy Mr. Chavez has moved Venezuela's time back by half an hour, joining such renowned and trendy places as Newfoundland...all "for the children", who won't have to go to school in the dark. He couldn't just change school time, could he?

John Edwards, pick up the clue phone

"I'm going to be honest with you -- I don't know a lot about Cuba's healthcare system," Edwards, D-N.C., said at an event in Oskaloosa, Iowa. "Is it a government-run system?"

This was 3 days after he said he'd watched Michael Moore's Sicko.

I guess the important question for Edwards is: can you sue the Cuban system for malpractice?

Your neighbor can figure out how you voted

Thanks to Ohio's open records law, you can get a list of poll sign-ins (in order) and a time-stamped record of who voted.As James Moyer of Columbus (if it's the one I know, a great guy)figured out, you can merge the two lists, and figure out how individuals voted.

This shouldn't be hard to fix. All we need is for Preacher Man to issue an Executive Order voiding that part of Ohio law, and preventing voting records from being made public. I mean, they're going to steal the elections anyway, so why do we need to check?

Preacher Man don't need no steenkin' bill.

I guess that Gov. Strickland decided that he didn't need a bill to ban those evil gambling machines, that he could do it all with an executive order. Hey, aren't those the things that get Democrats all in a lather when W. uses them?

Well, Ohio, that's what you get when you vote in a clergyman.

Ron Jeremy: making a list and checking it twice.

You know, it's just possible that some newspaper might hire somebody who is under legal working age. Not likely, but some hot homeschool kid, hey, ya never know. So why shouldn't the Federal government have a comprehensive database of journalists? For the children, you know?

My wife asks, "How do I get on the list?" She thinks that every woman in the country should get herself registered as a porn actress, just to gum up the works.

Thank you, Mr. Beck.

British and American rights: un mot.

From email:

An Englishman wrote:
I have no knowledge of the US rights,

They're the ones the British used to have, but forgot to write down. We Americans wrote them down, but forgot how to read. So we're very much in the same boat.

"Rigid formalism"

That's what San Fran supervisor Gerardo Sandoval called it when 3rd-generation Chinese-American Ed Jew voted against a hate speech resolution against Michael Savage, on First Amendment grounds. And it is a First Amendment issue. The Board of Supervisors members can say anything they want individually. When they act as a Board, if they're condemning somebody's speech, they're suppressing it, even if they don't have a law to beat the speaker with...because, don't worry, they'll find one. Which would be kind of ironic, given that Savage's "hate speech" seems to be "I want the government to enforce the law." I'm appalled that only one out of ten supervisors broke ranks on this. I've got to wonder if Jew's "rigid formalism" extends to the rest of the Constitution...the 2nd Amendment, for instance.

Rove: who cares?

OK, I haven't said anything about Karl Rove, because he really doesn't matter. Nobody has seen the President wandering around with a Celsius-room-temperature IQ because "his brain" has left him. Reactions here have been muted, but then our favorite adjunct-professor-of-moonbattery hasn't been in. I really don't see anything changing.

Richard Viguerie thinks that Rove mattered, but not the way they do at the Kos. He blames Rove for everything leftish that Bush did, for playing the conservative base like a cheap violin. If he's right, then the DUmmies should be sad that he's going, as he did so much to elect Clinton femme.

The unmentionable candidate

I finally found out who #5 in the Iowa straw poll was, with 9.1% of the vote. I knew all Sunday that Ron Paul didn't make the Big 3 (at least, after Diebold got done with him), but I had to wait to read Vox Day's blog to know who # 4 and 5 were.

There's an entertaining eyewitness account from "farmer Tom" in the comments, including this:

On the other hand, if you have big bucks, Romany had them, then all you had to do to win was get the bodies, warm breathing but unthinking bodies to vote. Romany had buses from every one of the 99 counties in Iowa and large counties had more than one. He had also rented over a hundred golf carts. His strategy was very simple, get as many old geezers as you can, give them a free ride to Ames, don't make them walk from the parking to the event, feed them the best food in town, Hickory Park Barbecue, then carry their stuffed, portly ass over to the voting machine. Along with this plan, never mention change in any other than rhetorical fashion, so mr and mrs geezer think the SS and medicare checks will keep coming, and ta da you gots yourself a winner.

This sounds so much like the Republican I'm closest to (who voted Bush in the primaries). It's a bit unfair to call them "unthinking" -- they've thought through exactly what's best for them. The barbecue is just a foretaste of the Big Gravy Train to come. the Eucharist of Socialist Salvation.

Sure, I'm disappointed that Paul didn't do better. But he's still in the game, to the extent that the media allow him to be.

Hillary's poster child for the housing bubble

Here is the sad tale of Kristi Schofield, who just lost her home.

Both Jim Geraghty and Billy Beck focus on these folks not appearing to have a clue as to what an adjustable rate mortgage is. Ok, granted, that's inexcusable. But let's look at the beginning. The initial payment on the ARM was $2400. Assuming half of income (not half of take-home) went to housing (a pretty damn lean budget), service on this loan would require an annual family income of $58,000. How many $58K jobs are out there? I've never made that much. Our first year of marriage, when Rusty was still at WCI, we made more than that. But if something had happened to either of us, we wouldn't have been able to keep up payments. So at their lowest payment, they were buying a rich man's house. Now, under the same givens, they need to be making $144K. But from the beginning, they were living beyond their means. It wasn't some accident of the housing market. And these are the people Hillary wants to bail out: gamblers. Why doesn't she just go to Vegas and hand out taxpayer money?

Kristi wrote in to Geraghty, but hasn't yet given permission to publish, so maybe we'll get the other side of the story. But the numbers don't lie.

NYC Council bitched off

The New York City Council, which drew national headlines when it passed a symbolic citywide ban earlier this year on the use of the so-called n-word, has turned its linguistic (and legislative) lance toward a different slur: bitch.

The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women.

Reactions have not been universally positive:

They may not have been the kinds of reaction that Ms. Mealy, a Detroit-born former transit worker serving her first term, was expecting. “They buried the n-word, but what about the other words that really affect women, such as ‘b,’ and ‘ho’? That’s a vile attack on our womanhood,” Ms. Mealy said in a telephone interview. “In listening to my other colleagues, that they say that to their wives or their friends, we have gotten really complacent with it.”

Having grown up in Michigan, I can tell you that Detroit is an unsung nexus of insanity. Just what does this bitch lady think she's doing in passing an unenforceable law? I'd like to see the NYC cops go to a rap concert and start making arrests. Does she think she will change attitudes towards women by symbolic or even effective acts? If people can't use the b-word, they'll use the c-word (which of course is "chienne"). This is clearly an attempt at establishing thoughtcrime.

Scott Jordan of Individual-Sovereignty@yahoogroups.com, who alerted me to this, says "It's just in time for Hillary". But we don't need to protect the junior senator from New York from such aspersions. Since Bill is such a notorious horndog, it therefore follows that Hillary must be a bitch. Do you really want to contemplate the alternative?

God love the Italians

Can you imagine a Republican saying this?:

So politicians in the UDC do not make love? Of course, I recognize Christian values. But what has that got to do with going with a prostitute? It is a personal matter. This affair has nothing to do with family values. I cannot be branded a bad father and a bad husband simply because after five or six days away from home, an occasion presented itself.

That was Cosimo Mele, 50, (now former) Christian Democrat UDC MP, caught with 2 hos and a bag of blow.

I can't praise what he did. But a wise woman once said to me, "If you ain't proud, don't be it." I don't see a lot of shame there.

EEEvul Branson and Rutan

Here's a prime moonbat screed for you. Apparently, private space travel is a bad thing because, when the feces hits the rotary air mover, they'll be up there, and the poor folks will be down here. Forget for a moment that any survival is better for mankind than no survival, or that space travel in currently dependent on earth support. It's bad because poor people can't afford it. By which standard we all ought to be walking.

And this is the kind of thinking that gets you a doctorate in history from Yale?

And speaking of PETA,

Why don't they say something about China's mistreatment of Tibetan animal lovers?

At the edge of the parade ground a friend helped Zhouma to put on her many layers of heavy ceremonial robes, including a chuba decorated with otter skin. “We have to wear this because we are dancing. But people who aren’t performing don’t do so.” By way of explanation, and in an oblique reference to the Dalai Lama, she added: “He said we shouldn’t.” Any government official or state employee who does not don his fur at the five-day festival would be sacked, Tibetan sources said.

Dancers and performers taking part in the opening ceremonies faced stiff fines if they appeared without a skin trim. Mostly students and nomads, they have been paid 50 yuan a day to take part in training and will lose it if they leave their furs at home.

PETA bitches about Cleveland Zoo

...because too many animals have died there.

PETA is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to levy "harsh penalties" against the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo after a 1-year-old kangaroo was struck by a zoo train Tuesday....

In May, a female wolf was killed by other members of her pack. In 2005, three wallabies died after eating a corpse flower, a toxic plant that was placed in their enclosure by a zoo employee; a Grant's zebra died from a ruptured aorta after being kicked by another zebra; and a gorilla died after he was anesthetized for an examination. In 2003, a lion died after being attacked by another lion.

Let's see, of 6 incidents, half were animal-on-animal attacks. Just how responsible are zoo employees for these? Since animals are people too, maybe we should be administering the same punishment to the wolves, lion, and zebra that we do to humans who murder: put 'em down. And if that's not acceptable, it's because people are animals too, in which case it's perfectly appropriate for me to rip Debbie Leahy's throat out with my teeth. As for the rest: do gorillas generally die under anesthesia? Should we quit administering it and just chain 'em down and cut 'em open? Do you know what a corpse flower is, or that it's toxic to wallabies? Should everyone know that? That leaves us the train incident..and the driver has been fired and the train shut down until a fence can be built. So tell me, just how was Cleveland Zoo negligent?

Wisconsin Democrats Commies to pass single-payer health care?

I missed this debate on my visit to DDR-West. I must have been too busy making music or otherwise having a productive life. But apparently the Republican House is the only thing keeping Wisconsin from providing quality health care to every citizen committing economic suicide:

Democrats who run the Wisconsin Senate have dropped the Washington pretense of incremental health-care reform and moved directly to passing a plan to insure every resident under the age of 65 in the state. And, wow, is "free" health care expensive. The plan would cost an estimated $15.2 billion, or $3 billion more than the state currently collects in all income, sales and corporate income taxes. It represents an average of $510 a month in higher taxes for every Wisconsin worker.

Employees and businesses would pay for the plan by sharing the cost of a new 14.5% employment tax on wages. Wisconsin businesses would have to compete with out-of-state businesses and foreign rivals while shouldering a 29.8% combined federal-state payroll tax, nearly double the 15.3% payroll tax paid by non-Wisconsin firms for Social Security and Medicare combined.

This employment tax is on top of the $1 billion grab bag of other levies that Democratic Governor Jim Doyle proposed and the tax-happy Senate has also approved, including a $1.25 a pack increase in the cigarette tax, a 10% hike in the corporate tax, and new fees on cars, trucks, hospitals, real estate transactions, oil companies and dry cleaners. In all, the tax burden in the Badger State could rise to 20% of family income, which is slightly more than the average federal tax burden...As if that's not enough, the health plan includes a tax escalator clause allowing an additional 1.5 percentage point payroll tax to finance higher outlays in the future. This could bring the payroll tax to 16%. One reason to expect costs to soar is that the state may become a mecca for the unemployed, uninsured and sick from all over North America. The legislation doesn't require that you have a job in Wisconsin to qualify, merely that you live in the state for at least 12 months. Cheesehead nation could expect to attract health-care free-riders while losing productive workers who leave for less-taxing climes.

Wasn't John Galt's last known employer in Wisconsin, or somewhere near there?

I suppose Mano Singham is shopping for his cheesehead hat even as I type this.

UPDATE 8/9: John Stossel encourages Wisconsin to go for it, so we can see socialism in practice, and adds this data point:

Does it never occur to the progressives that the legislature's intrusion into private contracts is one reason health care and health insurance are expensive now? The average annual health-insurance premium for a family in Wisconsin is $4,462 partly because Wisconsin imposes 29 mandates on health insurers: Every policy must cover chiropractors, dentists, genetic testing, etc. Think chiropractors are quacks? Too bad. You still must pay them to treat people in your state.

Want to buy insurance from another state, like nearby Michigan, where an average policy costs less? Too bad. It's against the law to buy across state lines. Your state's Big Brother knows best.

Sheehan vs. the income tax.

The Democrats are the party of slavery and were the party that started every war in the 20th century, except the other Bush debacle. The Federal Reserve, permanent federal income taxes, not one but two World Wars, Japanese concentration camps, and not one but two atom bombs dropped on the innocent citizens of Japan – all brought to us via the Democrats.

Yep, that's Crazy Aunt Cindy.It's really refreshing to hear her come out against the Fed and the income tax...maybe she's been listening to old Ron Paul speeches. But for the woman who snuggled with Hugo Chavez, the woman who was the former darling of the Left to renounce their favorite tool of income redistribution beggars belief. Is she coming to her senses, or has she just found a new brand of nuts?

LBJ, radio, and corruption

Here's a nice tale on how the late Lady Bird Johnson, with help from hubby,used the power of the FCC to become a broadcasting tycoon. And at the time, the FCC was close to being abolished...a move LBJ prevented .. which to my mind was a worse sin than Vietnam.

"Dry 'til 21" not saving lives.

Hmmm...apparently, forcing the states to raise the minimum drinking age to 21 really didn't save lives.

Housing policy: pot, kettle, black

This Commie slags Bush for allowing high-risk mortgages in order to create more Republicans, and not doing enough to help borrowers, then turns around and supports all kinds of neo-New Deal intervention in the housing market...in order to create more Democrats.

It's not that he can't conceive of a government which doesn't take on the job of housing its citizens, because he cites the bad old days of half down and 10 years. But it doesn't occur to him that the last time we had a free market in mortgages, the country was on the gold standard, and that in today's inflationary environment, there'd be a lot more mortgage money competing for a home. And gods forbid that in today's instant-gratification world, people actually save for a house, that people buy a house that fits their income, or that "the rich" be allowed to pass on houses without estate tax.

A better idea in Wisconsin

Heard on the local radio: a Republican legislator wants to cut funding to the University of Wisconsin Law School, because there are enough lawyers in WI. It's actually about the middle of the pack in lawyers per capita. The governor thinks its a ridiculous idea. I dunno; if there are enough, why should the state subsidize more? Or subsidize even if there aren't?

Back to our usual topic?

I suppose there are readers who miss the pungent political commentary here. Well, tough. I haven't had time for surfing, or TV, and if I don't see it in the top of the paper sticking out of the coin box, I don't know about it.

I did have an interesting breakfast conversation though, with a Canadian freelance violinist who credits Canadian healthcare with making her freelance career possible. I never thought of that as a surreptitious arts subsidy. But then, her mother is on a waiting list for a nursing home. But oh gosh, the American system is so horrible... I wasn't argumentative, but I'm sure I rolled my eyes a few many times. Had another guy last night raving over Fats Moore's latest movie. But I'd had enough Belgian ale to not be argumentative (I'm a mellow drunk, not a mean one.)

Off to try to get some practice in before tonight's concert.

Lovely! Another private law!

From a Repugnican yet, proposed on the courthouse steps with little Emily's grieving parents in tow.

The screwup pharmacist has already been punished. Suddenly we need excessive training for technicians just to cover a pharmacist's butt?

"If it saves one child's life..." Humbug!

Poor felons are more equal than others

“Nonviolent offenders should not be serving hard time in our prisons. They need to be diverted from our prison system.!” --Hillary Clinton.

Unless their name is Scooter Libby, of course.

Hat tip to Taranto.

Oh, and by the way, Mme. Clinton... if Libby should do time for lying under oath to a federal grand jury, when's your hubby going to report for his?

PETA vs. Michael Moore

This is too good...PETA busting Michael Moore for being a pig-eating pig. It's so much fun when the Left forms a circular firing squad. Now Moore needs to make a movie about animal rights, full of his usual truthfulness.

Peter Mehlman, psychic

You could argue that even the world's worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc. Only the Saudi royal family is driven by the same motives as Bush, but they were already entrenched. Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of "I'm so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends' good?"

How can anyone not see it? It's not that their policies have been misguided or haven't played out right. They. Don't. Even. Mean. Well.

Wow! Mehlman can not only look into Bush's mind and examine his motives, but into the minds of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, the Emperor Boukassa and the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.

This isn't even moral equivalence. It's a statement that the above worthies are the moral superiors of Bush.

There are a lot of countries now being run by well-meaning tyrants. If Bush is that horrible, why doesn't Mehlman emigrate to one?

Jodi Rell, go to Hell

Connecticut’s governor, a cancer survivor, vetoed a bill that would have allowed people with certain serious illnesses to use marijuana, saying it was fraught with problems and sent a mixed message to children.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Tuesday that she struggled with the decision.


Of course, you could have let doctors and patients struggle with the decision...after all it's their struggle.

What's wrong with California?

Back in 1909, California progressives enacted a eugenics program which resulted in the forced sterilization of 19,000 people. Oliver Wendell Holmes, reviewing the case of the “socially inadequate” Carrie Bell, in the landmark Buck v Bell, concluded that “her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization.” That makes the California eugenics statute a “nanny law.” In light of that misstep alone, you would think that Californians would be eager to enact legislation which severely curtailed the powers of their own government, and meted out harsh penalties to overbearing moralists. But the opposite is true.

And here's a summary of how they're still "fixing" things.

Thanks to rightwingprof.

Race over the top

So what's more appalling: to say (if he said it) that a particular AIDS victim "deserved what he got", or to say that the politician who said that should be "removed from office" and "not be allowed to serve on any committee with appropriations"? (By what power or under what law?)

You know, Mr. Rajner, that's why we have elections. If the voters think Rep. Hays is a big enough jerk, they'll remove him. Keep your powder dry until the campaign.

200 years for a FOIA request

ONDCP assistant general counsel Daniel Petersen, in a marginally literate letter, told Tom Angell of Students for Sensible Drug Policy that he could expect an answer to his FOIA denial appeal "by June 22, 2207".

It was a typo, of course, but aren't we paying these people to be accurate? Worse, when Angell went public with the letter, Petersen made a threatening phone call. Rather abusive behavior from the holder of a job for which there is no constitutional warrant, wouldn't you say?

Border bars are hurting

It didn't take a graduate degree in economics to predict that bars along the MI, IN, and PA borders would be hurting, and that bars on the other side would be booming, as the result of Ohio's smoking ban. It's just another case of moralism trumping people's livelihoods, just like Hope Taft's war against the pre-made Jello shot guy. But this time it's the sacred will of da peepul that Debbie Longley's hours be cut by 3/5. Suck it up, Deb; this is democracy.

And in related news, the university's Smoking Task Force Group sent out a link for a survey at surveymonkey.com. Given that most smoking at Case is legally out of control of the University anyway, I don't know what they were looking for...maybe encouragement to make campus smoking even more restrictive. (Expel anyone caught smoking in a dorm room! Yeah, that's the ticket!) I doubt they were really interested in anyone's opinion, because the message was sent from a no-reply address, and the survey link just defaulted to www.surveymonkey.com. At least we've been warned that there's a Trash Force at work.

More on the Rev's fight against evil gambling machines

Rev. Gov. Strickland is so anxious to ban video gambling that he's willing to see the bill attached to the must-pass state budget. But oh no, this isn't about gambling. "Ethically run enterprises" like the state lottery are OK. Evidently it's all about "the will of the people". So, if "da peepul" voted to load all Methodist ministers into boxcars and ship them to West Virginia, Ted would be down with that?

OSU: more sense than Case

Our flagship state university decided that it just wasn't prudent to raise $4M to host a partisan political event. At least Case is a private university, not directly dependent on public looted money, so if the former management wanted to spend big on currying favor with the ruling class, it was their own business. Maybe they learned from our experience...but it's still humbling for "cow college" to have better sense than us.

There's a reason Ohio went Democratic

...and it was largely because of moralism. Ken Blackwell was way too connected to the Religious Right, to the loons who've lobbied to close down the stripper bars. Worse, he was none too scrupulous about democratic process. So the state went for Strickland. Not me; I voted for Peirce. I am very hesitant to vote for anyone who has ever parked a "Rev." in front of his name.

And I was right. Ted is a moralist too. I always suspected that his campaign against bringing in food for meetings was as much about gluttony as the budget. Now he and his sidekick Marc Dann are going against the evils of gambling...specifically, mechanical "games of skill" with cash payouts, and instant video horseracing. He's oh so careful not to hurt Cedar Point and chuck E. Cheese...but Ted, isn't that where the gaming industry hooks 'em early? And if gambling is such a problem for Ohio, why are you going against the little private guys? Why aren't you campaigning to end the state lottery?

MASShole lobbies for john doors to open outwards

BOSTON -- If Bellingham resident Douglas Flavin has his way, all public bathroom doors in Massachusetts will open outward, not inward.

The Legislature's Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight reviewed the bill Wednesday. State Rep. James Vallee (D-Franklin) filed the bill on Flavin's behalf.

"[Think] how easy it would be to prevent germs and disease," Flavin's wife Tracy told BostonNow. "If state residents could open bathroom doors with a knee or elbow instead of a handle."

Flavin also claimed it would prevent litter resulting from people protecting their hands with paper towels.

A representative for the state Department of Public Safety told the newspaper that the state building code does not specify the direction public bathroom doors must open.

There are actually people who open stall doors with paper towels?? Look, they have sinks with germicidal soap for a reason, and if you can refrain from picking your nose before you get to the basin, you should be home free. Besides, people's hands are full of germs before they enter the stall, and they'll leave them on the handle of an outward-opening door.

This story leaves more questions than it answers though:

1. What's Flavin's problem? Is he immunocompromised? Is he a doctor or bacteriologist and can show how many illnesses will be prevented? Or is he just a neurotic whiner?

2. Does the bill control new construction only, or must all stall doors be retrofitted to open outwards? And how will the cost of this compare to the cost of the illnesses avoided?

Well, research time...here it is:

HOUSE . . . . . . . No. 3258 By Mr. Vallee of Franklin (by request), petition of Douglas Flavin for legislation to require that doors to public toilets be constructed to open outwards. State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 33 the following section:—
Section 33A. The entrance door to all rooms containing toilets or water closets available to the public or to persons engaged in the production or service of food shall open outwards.

That's it. That's all. It's apparently the bathroom owner's job to fix it, but there are no penalties stated for not doing so.

Vallee seems fairly sane, for a politician. He's a military reservist, so he can't be that divorced from reality. I suspect that the way this went down is that Flavin harassed him to the breaking point, so he submitted a lame, badly-written excuse of a bill, figuring that he'd be a laughingstock but that Flavin would be ten times the laughingstock.

My boss' take: "Some people just shouldn't use public restrooms. Is that okay?"

"Well...Depends."

Cut the power!

"There is an overarching lack of trust in anybody with power," said Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter. "It's not just President Bush. It's Congress. It's our CEOs. It's Hollywood. It's Wall Street. There's just an overwhelming lack of trust with authority and the people who have it."
So the solution attempted by both parties is to find a candidate with authenticity, who appears honest, with the thought that somebody can apply power and still be trustworthy. They don't get it. We don't trust power, period, because it corrupts. There is only one candidate for President who has renounced the use of power, and he's been trashed by the media and the Republican Party. Saying (like Edwards) that you were wrong about the war, while offering the electorate the usual stolen goods, is not going to convince people that you can be trusted with power.

Oh boy, the Joo-haters just found my blog!

Apparently, sometime during the past 24 hours, a certain group of people have found this post and posted comments. Supposedly the link came from TheBirdman.org, but I didn't find it over there (not that I spent a huge time looking). Ah, what to do? Shall I approve the posts, edit them, or what? Well, I'll take on the substantive one, from appollonian:

This above-noted "Libertarian" is just another moralist-Pharisaist, most probably Jew, not worthy of any serious notation/response

But you're responding, aren't you? Do you always do things unworthy of das Herrenvolk? For the record, even though with my beard and curly hair I have passed for Jewish (particularly among Lubavitchers and anti-Semitic African-Americans), my ancestors for as far back as I am aware have been Gentile. I can't absolutely rule out being Jewish under a "one drop rule", but then, neither can you.

For again, obvious problem for original blog entry/post is all the brainless question-begging and presumption: WHAT IS MORAL?--and there is no basis, hence definition, but as for Immanuel Kant, "hey, we just feel like we want there to be 'morality,' so therefore we declare not only 'morality' to exist, but we think it's so cool be be 'moral' as we feel that 'space-kadet glow' as we pretend to 'moralism.'" It just makes me feel so "good" and "cool," u see, as I pretend to be "moral"--especially in everyone elses' faces--so these people imagine unto themselves. Moralists are just people with inferiority complex--moralism then makes them feel good, see.

OK. You don't believe that morality exists. Then I guess it's OK with you for me to use you for target practice. After all, it's just my desires against yours.

(2) "Rights" are properly matter of social contract and agreement--as so excellently and definitively laid down by Thomas Hobbes in "Leviathan." Jews then never had any "rights" in Germany (or anywhere), being mere recipients of German charity, the poor German volk too unwitting of Jew anti-humanity.
If rights are contractual, they don't exist, except as privileges; they can be renegotiated at the drop of a trigger. And even if they are contractual, then Jews would have had rights in Israel, as they could contract for them there. Fortunately, you realize that you can't cut Jews out of human rights unless you first cut them out of humanity. That exposes your game.
So much for Jews, anti-human filth, scum, and the murderers of Christ, who affirm such Christ murder in their filthy book, Talmud.
So why would they kill one of their own?
CONCLUSION: Thus we see the empty arguments of original poster falling like confetti through the air--as there's no substance whatsover, the argument consisting of nothing more than subjectivistic wishful thinking (as regarding "moralism")

Not at all. Basically, the only hit you scored on my argument is the claim that morality has no objective existence (a claim that 99.9% of humanity soundly rejects). Let's accept that argument for a moment, and rephrase my main point: Would you like it if thugs with guns forced you into a boxcar and took you to another home? Did Hitler have benign intent toward the Jews? If not, how relevant is the actual scale and success of the Endlosung to its moral evaluation?

Terrorist caught with his pants down.

Terror leader arrested having car sex near Arafat's grave

Israeli forces raid jeep of longtime wanted militant caught in compromising position

This is beyond comment, I think.

Corzine tells the truth

"I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead."

Finally, a policians tells the truth. I agree: he should be dead.

We knew this was going to happen. And if he restricts it to 30 second PSAs, it's not necessarily a bad thing. I know it's too much to ask for a PSA that says, "Wear your seatbelt, don't drive 91 miles per hour, and don't read text messages from your wife's paramour while driving." I think that would dilute the message. Though you can't dilute the message of the crip hobbling out of his chair in crutches.

But of course that's not all that's happening:

Also this week, New Jersey's law enforcement authorities launched their largest ever seat-belt compliance campaign. Seat- belt violations are a primary offense in New Jersey, which means police can stop and issue tickets to drivers and front-seat passengers solely for not buckling up.

While seat-belt use in New Jersey is at an all-time peak of 90 percent, one of the highest rates in the U.S., ``we must continue to strive for 100 percent compliance,'' Pam Fischer, director of the state's division of highway traffic safety, said in a statement announcing a ``Click it or Ticket'' campaign.

Thanks to Taranto.

"Good Riddance Attention Whore"

...is the title of Cindy Sheehan's retirement letter.

A few quotes and comments:

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party....

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used.

Though she never admits it, this is proof that in fact she was the tool of the Left. Nobody keeps around a tool that doesn't do the job or that is unsafe to use. And since the job was always to hurt the Republicans, and Sheehan started hurting the Democrats, they pulled the money plug. Later, she argues about the war issue not being partisan, yet she says:

I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?

So...Republicans bad, Democrats good, Bolivarian Revolutionaries even better?
Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.

That's sadly true.
Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

You can't cuddle with Commies like Hugo Chavez or their ideological cousins back home, and be accepted by any self-respecting working individual. Since Cindy really was just a tool, she couldn't keep her message focused on the war. All of her supporting constituencies had to get their licks in, so it became about the Left as a whole, and Cindy in particular, instead of the war.

I feel a little sorry for her. I understand activist burnout, though I've never understood folks who throw the rest of their lives away like she did. What she doesn't admit in this letter, though she comes close, is that her whole run was ineffective. Since she did no "good", then she did the country no harm, and maybe we should all let her go in peace

The land of bad teeth

Britain has a reputation for people with bad teeth. This may not be only because of British cuisine, but rather a government construct:

The Government accused dentists of putting profit "before patient care" and called for an investigation.

But dentists' leaders said a new contract meant practices were given the same fee for treating people who needed one filling as for people who needed 11. Under the system, dentists are paid for "units" of activity worth between £14 and £30 and are given a set target to reach.

Practitioners said yesterday that people who require lots of fillings and repeat visits took up extra time, but they did not bring in extra money because they counted for the same number of units as people with good teeth.

John Chope, a spokesman for the Dental Practitioners' Association and a dentist in Holdsworthy, north Devon, said: "We have been forced into an impossible position. If you spend a lot of time treating one patient who needs a lot of work, you are not treating the other patients who need maintenance work.

"If you don't treat the patients who need maintenance, you miss the Government target for the year and get fined. You could even be told that you have broken your contract and refused another."

So, let's see: if you treat the patient whose mouth looks like, er, mine, you don't make any more money, and you're penalized for not moving enough bodies through the door. And this is called "putting profits before patients"? And this is the kind of health care system Hillary wants?

Green not clean, and blood for oil

Evidently many of the new environmentally-friendly clothes washers don't get your clothes clean unless you run them through twice, which negates the purpose (sort of like the 1st-generation low-water toilets, which often needed to be flushed multiple times). My parents recently got a new washer and had to jimmy something inside because it would not provide hot water on the hot cycle.

The issue here is not being ecological (which is as hard to argue against as motherhood and apple pie), but government mandates that do not and cannot consider individual needs and desires.

Consider this comment. from the guy who is urging people to send their dirty underweat to the Department of Energy as a protest (comment 16 under the link above):


Several commenters attack the proposition that CAFE (the federal automotive fuel economy standards) kill people as right-wing propaganda. In fact, that proposition is supported by the National Academy of Sciences’ 2002 report on the program. As summarized in its Finding 2, vehicle downsizing, some which was due to CAFE, contributed to 1,300 to 2,600 deaths in one representative year. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309076013&page= 3#pagetop
Since CAFE has been on the books for several decades, its cumulative death toll is staggering. But what’s really remarkable is that, to my knowledge, no advocate of CAFE has ever admitted that it’s ever killed anyone. Meanwhile Congress is moving to make it even more stringent and thus deadlier. In short, we’ve sort of got an escalating “blood for oil” war, only it’s being waged on American civilians by people who aren’t candid enough to admit that lives are at stake.

Gods, even the left is trading blood for oil!

Scraping the bottom of the cannibal pot

When there's no money to feed (let alone pay) the army and the youth thugs who are propping up the government, you know the end is near. It's likely to be messy,with soldiers living off the land, to the extent that there's anything on the land to live on. But for the people of Zimbabwe, sooner will be better than later. It was Claire Wolfe Time there a long time ago.

Note: "cannibal pot" is a meme of Billy Beck. You're eating from it too. I have no intent to imply that some races are more inclined to anthrophagy than others, especially given that the man who brought cannibalism to its greatest refinement was a German economic theorist resident in London.

House votes for energy shortages

Rep. Bart Stupak, aka "Stupe from da Yoop", has led his colleagues in the charge to save us from the eevul oil price-gougers...without quite defining what constitutes price-gouging. That's very convenient, as it means that enforcement can be reserved for very special Enemies of the People, while fear rules the rest.

Most of my campus readership (assuming I have a campus readership) was not yet born the last time this little stunt was tried. The year was 1973, the tyrant-du-jour was Richard Milhous Nixon, who on March 6 imposed price controls on oil and gas as OPEC began its production cuts, and we saw gas go from 30¢ or so to a whole dollar.

For example, when President Jimmy Carter announced in 1980 that his administration was beginning a phased decontrol of oil prices, leftist groups such as the Citizen/Labor Energy Coalition predicted that by 1990, crude oil prices would rise to nearly $600 a barrel, a prediction repeated by a straight-faced mainstream news media. (Before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990, oil prices stood at about $18 a barrel, so the "energy experts" were off by only $582.)

All of this brings us back to Hawaii's pricing scheme, but one must keep something in mind. This was pretty much the same policy that the U.S. government followed back in the 1970s when it controlled prices at domestic wellheads, and at the pump. Any reader who was driving a car during that decade can remember the chaos that incurred, especially whenever there was turmoil overseas.

The government's logic went like this: if we keep the price at the wellhead low, then the savings will be passed on to consumers. However, by placing price controls on crude oil, the government managed to do two things. First, it created shortages of crude oil, as producers saw no incentive to take many risks to drill for more oil. (Yes, the government claimed it had "incentives" built into its policies, but these were the usual byzantine sets of bureaucratic incentives that had no basis in economic reality.) Second, it drove producers to purchase the more available crude oil that was made available from the Middle East. For all of the talk of "dependence" upon "foreign oil," government policies were the driving force in encouraging oil companies to look overseas for supplies of crude.

Policies guiding the pump price were just as bad. Using the logic of "Classical" economics, the government figured that if it took about a month for crude oil after it was pumped from the ground actually to find its way into a vehicle, then pump prices could not increase until a month or so after crude prices went up. Thus, consumers, anticipating price increases, went on "buy now" binges, which quickly used up existing supplies, causing gas lines and the infamous "out of gas" signs that littered gas stations.

Now, if one gas station charges too much, I go elsewhere. If everyone overcharges, well, I have less money in my pocket. What happens if there's a gas shortage? I can't get to work, I lose my job, and I have NO money. Clearly, if price gouging means I can get gas I desperately need, it's a good thing.

And the penalties on this thing are ridiculous. $2 million and 10 years for some gas station owner somewhere? Mao would never have treated an Enemy of the People so inefficiently. Might as well just shoot them and charge the family for the bullet.

Strickland refuses to sign strip bill

Good for him! Yes, he should have vetoed it as unconstitutional, but there was a veto-proof majority, and you pick your battles. It's the legislature that lacked guts:

The Legislature took up the bill after a group called Citizens for Community Values collected enough signatures to require lawmakers to consider it. If the Legislature had failed to act or passed a bill that did not satisfy the Cincinnati-based group, their members could have collected more signatures to put it before voters in November.
I'd have been for making them collect the umpteen thousand signatures and letting the voters have their say. I really don't think that your average citizen has the hardon about strip clubs that this pervert does.

Little Green Footballs takes the heat

...for rigging their online poll by excluding Ron Paul. Unfortunately, not everyone was as reasonable as I was. So we all got a big Eff You from the Big Bad Pajamasmedia Player, who has now degenerated into a Usenet-worthy troll. Hey, it's your website; if you want to shoot yourself in the head with it, be my guest.

Will the last one out of Palestine please turn off the lights?

Apparently, the ambitious young are doing what they always do when confronted with a massively incompetent government and no chance to advance themselves: voting with their feet. And the Mufti of Jerusalem isn't having it:

"Based on [the ruling of the prophet Muhammed and his friends], emigration from the blessed lands to live permanently in other countries is not permitted in terms of religious law. The people living in these areas must remain in their places of residence, and not leave them to infiltrators and conquerors, and they will thus perform an act of honor, and will be a support for the Al-Aqsa mosque... and will merit the good tiding of the prophet...

If they had rule of law in the territories of the PA, they probably wouldn't need rule-of-mullah.

Little Green Footballs sends Ron Paul to the showers

Over at little green footballs they've had enough of Ron Paul.

I’m going to be removing Ron Paul’s name from any further LGF straw polls, because his supporters are deliberately spamming our polls to make it appear as if Paul has more support than he does....

They aren’t “cheating,” as in voting multiple times, but they have sent out emails and posted the link to our poll at several spots on the web, urging people to go vote for Paul. The end result is the same—the poll results are skewed, and it’s not an accurate measure.

Even if they weren’t doing this pathetic maneuver to artificially pump up Paul’s support, I’d very seriously consider removing him anyway, because I found his remarks last night about 9/11 insulting and dangerous, and highly offensive. But make no mistake, he’s not being removed simply because I disagree with him—he’s off the LGF poll because I don’t want my site being used to falsely inflate his popularity.


This is just pathetic.
If somebody supports Paul and votes for him, he's not "spamming a poll", he's expressing support. Now, granted, the people expressing support may not be Republicans, and the only poll that counts is your own state primary. But is lgf going to remove any other candidate whose supporters are caught trying to pump up the numbers? Everybody does that on Internet polls, and if a candidate doesn't, he's clearly too stupid to be President. What he's doing here is trying to define the terms of the debate...which is what bloggers do, after all. But you can do that with reason, or you can do that by silencing opposing viewpoints. And it strikes me that there's a real hit in credibility to those who do the latter. If Paul is indeed a "nut", that case can be made by a rational appeal to foreign policy priorities, or to the DSM IV. But if a "nut" gets that much support, there there are a lot of nuts in the country, and we live in a system of representative government. Or are the Pajamasmedia neocon bloggers sour on democracy these days?

And anyone who would link to Eric Dondero's self-serving posturing (except for me, that is :-) )has no credibility anyway.

I'd post this there in the comments, but registration is closed...so what is he afraid of?

Many students, doing hard time

Alberto Gonzales and the rest of the Bush administration are supporting the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, which would:

* Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright. Federal law currently punishes not-for-profit copyright infringement with between 1 and 10 years in prison, but there has to be actual infringement that takes place. The IPPA would eliminate that requirement. (The Justice Department's summary of the legislation says: "It is a general tenet of the criminal law that those who attempt to commit a crime but do not complete it are as morally culpable as those who succeed in doing so.")

* Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software. Anyone using counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be imprisoned for life. During a conference call, Justice Department officials gave the example of a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it.

* Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations. Wiretaps would be authorized for investigations of Americans who are "attempting" to infringe copyrights.

* Allow computers to be seized more readily. Specifically, property such as a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime would be subject to forfeiture, including civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture has become popular among police agencies in drug cases as a way to gain additional revenue, and it is problematic and controversial.

* Increase penalties for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anticircumvention regulations. Criminal violations are currently punished by jail times of up to 10 years and fines of up to $1 million. The IPPA would add forfeiture penalties.

* Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes. Certain copyright crimes currently require someone to commit the "distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period of at least 10 copies" valued at more than $2,500. The IPPA would insert a new prohibition: actions that were "intended to consist of" distribution.

* Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America. That would happen when CDs with "unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance" are attempted to be imported. Neither the Motion Picture Association of America nor the Business Software Alliance (nor any other copyright holder, such as photographers, playwrights or news organizations, for that matter) would qualify for this kind of special treatment.


OK, this is war. Life for piracy? I don't think so. It's time for some radical steps:
1. As far as possible, use only open-source software.
2. Boycott the recording industry and any label which is a member of RIAA. Trade live recordings, small labels, use alternatives like Magnatune.
3. Boycott the entertainment industry. No theaters, no movie rentals. Read BOOKS, damnit. Yes, they're IP too, but no sane person copies an entire book.

If we're going to be treated like the entertainment industry's cash cow, then we should quit giving milk.

No tickee, no shirtee

Kansas and Missouri are a little hesitant to provide tax refunds to people without Social Security numbers.

Critics say it's a double standard for states to accept income tax payments from illegal immigrants, but not provide refunds when there has been an overpayment.

"Either you accept all of the payments and (give the) refund, or you return everything," said Maria Aranda, who helps immigrants file taxes at the social service agency El Centro Inc. "To me, it's either all or none. You can't have it both ways."

Well, not really. The state issues refunds directly and is thus responsible, while a third party collects steals taxes for the state. Anyway, if they shouldn't have taxes collected, then they also shouldn't get the goodies the taxes pay for.

I'm all for the refunds being given as long as they're given in kind: a one-way bus ticket back across the border.

A vote for Satan

Some Bible-thumper named Bill Keller (who by the looks of the picture goes to John Edwards' hairdresser) has managed to make Al Sharpton look like a moderate statesman concerning Mitt Romney:

"If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!" he writes in his daily devotional to be sent out to 2.4 million e-mail subscribers tomorrow.

I guess Mitt now has a lock on the death-metal vote.
"For the nearly 200 years this cult has been in existence they have strived for mainstream acceptance. They are the most devious of all the cults since they have always tried to portray themselves as 'just another Christian group' when in fact, they are no more Christian than a Muslim is! Their deception starts with their name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sounds like a Christian church doesn't it? Some Mormons have recently changed their name to simply Community of Christ to disguise even better who they are in an attempt to lure people in."

OK..but RLDS/CofC have always resented the title "Mormon".
There is no excuse, no justification for supporting and voting for a man who will be used by satan to lead the souls of millions into the eternal flames of hell!"

I guess John, Son of Cain is right out too, then.
By the sounds of it, this fruitcake would vote for Hillary before Romney...which proves how mentally disturbed the Religious Right is.

"We don't own anything here"

Start ripping and sharing those Sheryl Crow mp3s. She just gave you permission.

Gay Cold Warrior

A board member for Equality California has come out swinging at the Bible-based Capitol Resource Institute, which works on behalf of family and biblical values in California, especially among its lawmakers.

"If you continue your efforts, we will BURY you," said an e-mail from Ben Patrick Johnson, to his "colleagues" at the CRI, according to a statement from the Christian organization.


I'm no fan of Bible-thumpers. But given who said "we will bury you" first, and how that ultimately turned out, Mr. Johnson might want to rephrase that.

Free T-shirt idea

Thanks to Humberto Fontova, I got a great idea for a T-shirt. But I'm not an artist at all, not even in the minimal sense this would require, and I'm way busy. So if any of you want to cash in at CafePress, be my guest.

(Front):
If Che...
[image of Che Guevara]

(back):
...why not Cho?
[image of Cho Seung-Hui]

"But..." one might argue, "...they're totally different people." That's right. One was a mass murderer, and the other was a Virginia Tech student.

Holocaust denial: getting to the core

A man was just booted from a libertarian Yahoo-group I'm on, for Holocaust revisionism. He's been advocating this viewpoint on a number of libertarian lists. I'm not going to blacken the man's name here (he's doing quite a good job of that himself) so we'll just call him Mr. Wacko.

For those a little fuzzy on their theory of rights, note that this is not a case of censorship. This is fundamentally different from what Germany does to such folks. If a man makes a drooling ass of himself in my living room, I have a right to tell him to leave. So does the owner of a Yahoo list. Case closed.

That being said, I have no clue on how a self-identified libertarian can support Holocaust revisionism or revisionists. None. I can understand supporting the rights of these folks to spew their nonsense hither and yon. Truth will out in the end. But that's different than making their arguments for them.

Most people faced with Holocaust revisionism never understand the ultimate issue, and take the wrong tack in dealing with their arguments. One school takes on the revisionist arguments on a factual basis. Yes, there are holes in revisionism that you can drive a boxcar through. But discussing fact and interpretation is what historians do, and this just legitimizes revisionism as history. The other major school regards deniers as crazed anti-Semites and refuses to engage them in anything deeper than mockery and sarcasm. This "proves" to the denier that they have no argument.

There is a better way.

Let's for a moment accept virtually every Holocaust denial/diminishment argument ever made, as fact: the gas was for disinfection, not murder, they were fed so they could work, the starving inmates were starving because Allied bombing had disrupted supplies, yada yada. Let's go even farther, ditch the testimony of Mein Kampf etc. and say that Hitler loved the Jews and that he rounded them up in concentration camps for their own good, to save them from the "spontaneous public demonstration" of Kristallnacht, and was going to ship them to Israel as soon as the war was over.

Now, in libertarian theory, is it moral for a state to remove a group of people from their homes and take their property, even if it's for their own good? Of course not. Consider the universal condemnation of Kelo vs. New London among libertarians, regardless of Holocaust viewpoint. And that was a case where the victims were compensated for their loss. Yet I have never read an argument that the Jews were not transported, or that they were transported voluntarily. That thing cannot be argued: the camps exist, people were arrested, they had to pay exhorbitant taxes in order to leave the country, and had to leave their wealth behind, they were forbidden to carry so much as a club as weapon, let alone firearms. And every one of these violations of individual sovereignty was performed because of their ideas about a hypothetical superhuman, or their ancestors' ideas about that hypothetical superhuman...because of a collective identification.

Yet I have never heard a Holocaust denier admit that what the German government did was wrong. I've never once heard somebody say, "Da Jooz exaggerated what was going on so they could get Israel, but what was going on was wrong and shouldn't have happened." It's clearly not that they don't care about what happened, since they care so passionately about what they think didn't happen. So one must conclude that they approve of Hitler wanting to rid Germany of Jews. Further, I've never seen a hint from them that, had the Nazis actually done what history accuses them of, that it would have been wrong.

The arguments of Birdman Bryant et al that the Holocaust didn't happen because people weren't deliberately murdered remind me of the argument that waterboarding isn't really torture because it doesn't maim anyone. Since it isn't torture, we should stop using it, because it's obviously ineffective. But since it's used for the purpose and intent of torture and is effective as torture, it seems pretty obvious that torture is what it is. Likewise, if a whole bunch of Jews die while you are violating their human rights, the difference between murder and negligence is of no moral import.

The treatment of Jews by the NSDAP government is a big stinking turd. When you whitewash a big stinking turd, you are left with a big stinking turd with whitewash on it...and people who look at you and wonder what kind of insanity causes one to whitewash turds. The libertarian movement doesn't need that kind of crazy, regardless of how much organizational work they might do, or their commitment to the cause.

UPDATE 6/1: Comments to this post have been closed. I have a life, unlike those with a passion of Endlosungverbesserung

10 Steps to fascism

Ace of Spades and rightwingprof are frothing all over themselves over Naomi Wolf's Guardian article, with Ace contributing a sentence which is literally stuck on stupid. Well, yes, the article is kind of stupid. But the 10 steps are certainly valid, and what is stupid about the piece is the idea that Dubya has actually taken those steps, and that those steps are original with Dubya, when actually they've been standard operating procedure for some time now, among both parties. So in the interest of non-stupid discourse, let's look at Naoli's steps:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

Like Communists under Wilson, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson, militias under Clinton, global warming under shadow-President Gore

2. Create a gulag

Like Roosevelt did for the Japanese...only he did it to American citizens and residents instead of POWS

3. Develop a thug caste
...like union enforcers, gangstas, violent protesters, people trashing Republican offices

4. Set up an internal surveillance system
...ECHELON?

5. Harass citizens' groups
...militas, churches, pro-life groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
She exaggerates here, but I have to give the Bush admin credit for reviving this Lincoln-era standard, and I can't think of a Democrat to pin it on (maybe Wilson). Don't worry; there'll be one soon enough.

7. Target key individuals
Here's she's complaining about the US Attorney idiocy. But key individuals have ALWAYS been targeted

8. Control the press
BWAHAHA! the Left OWNS the press. And where it doesn't, it's agitating for revival of the "Fairness Doctrine" so that it WILL.

9. Dissent equals treason
She's got the gall to cite the Palmer raids, from a Democratic administration. Then there's global warming hysteria, the Bonus March, HUAC, Johnson's attitude toward Vietnam protesters...


10. Suspend the rule of law
Done bit by bit through the "Living constitution"

But hey, I've heard Naomi works for Al Gore. All of the above are just in preparation for a revival of Europe's first Green administration (organic agriculture, anti-smoking, alternative fuels, genetic research, population control and, uh, recycling)

"Hanging from the tree of liberty" is racist??

Well, so think some black lawmakers in PA, objecting to a sign which objected to the thoroughly objectionable Rep. Angel Cruz and his proposed 2nd Amendment violation without mentioning Rep. Cruz' ethnicity.

I don't get it. Evidently:
1. Nobody but black people were ever hung from trees anywhere, so that any mention of tree hanging is an automatic invocation of lynching.

2. The lawmakers objecting were never taught the subjunctive mood in school, and believe that "should be hung" is semantically equivalent to "we will hang you", and thus a "terrorist threat"

This is before we get into the worthwhile but politically loaded question of whether violation of the Constitution should be a hanging offence. Being a civilized man, I'd settle for lethal injection, though hanging is already a compromise for the more-deserved drawing-and-quartering. Can anybody doubt that if the target of ire were Dick Cheney instead of a Puerto-Rican victim disarmament advocate, these wouldn't be the voices objecting?

Hillary wants to clean house

We have ta reform our government. The abuses that have gone on in the last six years -- I don' think we know the half of it yet. You know, when I walk into the Oval Office in January of 2009, I'm afraid I'm gonna lift up the rug and I'm goin' to see so much stuff uh-nder thar.
. . . I was listening to Squawk Radio the other night and heard this. Yeah, she was getting a bit Ebonic there, but if Darling Husband can be "the first black president", I don't see why Hillary can't take on a bit of her audience. The more interesting question is why she's afraid to lift that rug. My wife opined that Laura Bush is too down-to-earth to mess around with lifting the carpets. What Hil is really afraid of finding is her husband's used condoms...eight years later.

Graf Bloomberg von Neuyorkstadt

Bidinotto takes apart Michael Bloomberg's proposal to tax people $8 for driving into his city. And yes, it's his. Bidinotto explains "stolen concept" elegantly, but doesn't make Mikey pay for his. Taxation is capitalism IF NYC and everything and everyone in it belongs to Mikey. Then he's free to charge admission to "his" property, just like any amusement-park owner. Thus, Bloomberg is claiming ownership. You'd think that this would be obvious to NYC residents and that they would act accordingly, but then you would have thought that when Mikey stole all the public buildings in the interest of health. Apparently Mikey is going to have to start claiming the droit du seigneur before residents wake up. And even then, they'll be saying, "Being mayor of the Capital of the World is a stressful job; he needs the relaxation."

If Mikey wants a lesson in capitalism, he should look at how cars are managed now. Having a car in NYC is a royal PITA. Nobody in their right mind drives there unless they absolutely have to. They're surrounded by disincentives already, in time and money. So it's a fair bet that NYC's streets and garages have already found their highest use. In a free market, those who can't afford what a vendor charges will go elsewhere. That's very close to what's happening in NYC in general, just because it's so expensive to live there. Now, what if truckers decided not to spend that $8, sat in their rigs, and watched the citizens barbecue each other to survive?

Beth...Jeff 'n' Elsie...I love you guys, but you're corpses on furlough as long as you stay there. There's a lot of art and artists that I'm going to mourn when (not if) the Big Apple gets cold-pasteurized. But I didn't drink the Kool-Aid Flav-r-aid that one has to be in NYC to have a career.

Thanks to Beck...who personally suffers because of New Yorkers' desire to be owned.

32 students PLUS the 1st Amendment?

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - A University of Colorado student was arrested after making comments that classmates deemed sympathetic toward the gunman blamed for killing 32 students and himself at Virginia Tech, authorities said. ... At Oregon's Lewis & Clark College, another student was detained by campus police Wednesday shortly before a vigil for the Virginia Tech victims when he was spotted wearing an ammunition belt. Portland police later determined that it was "a fashion accessory" made of spent ammunition, and said the man did not have a weapon. The belt was confiscated.

John Edwards: man of the people

That son of a mill worker supervisor spends more per month on haircuts than my family has ever spent on groceries.

'Nuff said.

CDC wants gun control

...nail guns that is.

Actually, I suspect that most nail gun injuries are a result of getting hammered. :-)

Thanks to the inimitable Ms. DeCoster.

Paging Tim Bartels and Jennifer Swift

The British may soon be permitted to do dynamic entry on your home to collect on parking tickets. Children are being fingerprinted before they can check out library books. And you two willingly live there??

Mrs. Edwards' neighborhood

She said:

"I wouldn't be nice to him, anyway," Edwards said in an interview. "I don't want my kids anywhere near some guy who, when he doesn't like somebody, the first thing he does is pull a gun out. It scares the business out of me."

Edwards views Johnson as a "rabid, rabid Republican" who refuses to clean up his "slummy" property just to spite her family, whose lavish 28,000-square-foot estate is nearby on 102 wooded acres.

He said:

Johnson said he has lived his entire life on the property, which he said his family purchased before the Great Depression. He said he's spent a lot of money to try and fix up the 42-acre tract.

"I have to budget. I have to live within my means," Johnson said. "I don't have millions of dollars to fix the place."

"I thought he was supposed to be for the poor people," Johnson said. "But does he ever socialize with any poor people? He doesn't speak to me."

Johnson said he has put his property on the market, in part blaming the high property taxes for his decision to leave. He also wants to move for another reason.

"I don't want to live somewhere where someone's always complaining about me," he said.

He can come live in my 'hood. As for the Edwards', between Ike sighting in his gun in the back yard, the machine-gunners in the quarry, my roosters, pink henhouse and Gadsden flag, Jeff Wells' dog and parties, the abusive men who abandon stray women in front of Gino Adkins' place, and our determination not to vote for any more taxes, I don't think they'd enjoy Windham Twp.

Alabaman wants you to buy terror-free gas

They've been trying to get Country of Origin Labeling on food for awhile now, without success. Now some idjit in Alabama's legislature wants COOL for gasoline, so you know when you're buying from terrorist states.

Petroleum is fungible. It gets mixed at the refinery. Any gas coming out of there will probably have a "bad guy" label on it, so all gas will be terror-linked. The tracking and labeling process itself will add costs to the gas.

But let's say it "works", that people see that their gas is coming from Iran or Venezuela or whoever the demon du jour is, and avoid buying it. What then? Alabaman stations will only sell kosher gas, bidding up the price. But since gas demand will remain steady, other parts of the country will get the trayf gas, perhaps at a small discount. So Alabamans will be paying through the nose to accomplish nothing.

I remember a quaint Southern custom involving tar, feathers, and a rail. Maybe it's time to throw Rep. Todd a party.

“Do you know who I am?”

"Yes, ma'am. You're "under arrest".
Not how it played, but the way it should have played, in the case of N'awlins councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, caught doing 100 while running flashing blue lights.

H-1Bs scarfed up in a day

Congress, in their concern for older IT workers being forced to accept a competitive wage, capped the number of H-1B tech visas at 65,000. For the 2007 visas, there were 150,000 applicants the first (and only) day applications were accepted.

"The congressman [Kucinich] believes it puts middle-aged professionals at a disadvantage because they're facing competition from people who are willing to work for less money," said spokeswoman Natalie Laber.

but
Employers like Iyer, meanwhile, are eyeing their options. He said he will search locally for talent but will prepare to send more work to Canada and overseas.

"Sometimes it's just plain impossible to find the skill here," he said. "The projects have to get done."


You can only cartelize labor if there's some way of restricting worker access to the jobs. In IT, there isn't. It's about as practical for your programmer to work in Bangelore as in California; communication and supervision might be harder, but you don't have to pay to bring him over. If you make him a team leader and do the whole project over there, you don't even have the communication issue. So tell me: since the foreign go-to guy is going to get the job anyway, what's better for America: to bring him over here, pay him lower-end American wages, and collect taxes from him (including Social Security he won't collect), or let him stay home, pay Indian wages, let the Indian government get fat on the tax revenue? All that's before we even deal with the rights of an individual to contract with whom he will.

I know there are scads of Case tech guys who read Case blogs. So tell me: how has this cap benefitted YOU? What am I missing in my analysis?

First they hid away our cold meds...

...because they could be used to make meth. Now Rep. Talibdin El-Amin, D-St. Louis, wants to prevent Missourians from making crack...by limiting sales of baking soda.

Maybe because of that Moslem-ish name, he hasn't brought up the terrorist angle. When I was a kid, I had a rocket that ran on vinegar and baking soda. Banning baking soda is the only way to keep such high explosives out of children's hands, without taking away the soccer mom's salads. Can't have the kids getting interested in model rocketry, where eventually one uses real explosives. Besides, somebody might actually bake with the stuff, contributing to the country's rate of diabetes.

I think it's a rather draconian solution. Wouldn't it be better to leave crack production and sale in the hands of trained pharmaceutical professionals?

Michelle's Law goes into effect Friday

...and teenagers are already discussing the problems and the lack of justice, as well they should. And Debbie and Ray Sanderbeck, whose private law this is, should just go to Hell. But if they did, they'd be lobbying for stupid laws there, and I have family in Michigan.

Cleveland Council paints with a broad brush

...or a wide nozzle. The Safety Committee has proposed that sale of spray paint be banned to minors, unless accompanied by an adult. Mike Polensek's argument seems to be that other cities have such a law. He might have asked whether those laws were working, whether Toledo is now a clean, graffiti-free city, before harassing local businessmen who are harassed enough.

I'm real sympathetic to the impulse. I'm really tired of being sold tagging as "urban art". I've seen some fairly complex stuff. But it's art like rap is music. And I have a big issue about other people's property being worked with. But I'm not sure law is the right approach. It's a violation of the rights of good kids who use paint legitimately, and I've seen no evidence that it would limit graffiti. Cleveland's problem is too many laws combined with too much lawlessness, and those factors seem to grow in tandem.

Daylight Savings saves nothing

The Dark-n-Dreary Morning Act of 2006 has gone into effect, and the power companies have observed what the Energy Department predicted: that there is no measurable savings in energy use. There was some increased energy waste: the energy of programmers who had to fix computers' clocks to fit Congress' whim. But at least our Leaders were seen to have been "doing something". I'd like to see the originators of this bill really do something...like allow themselves to be burned for energy.

Guns and drugs and Mexico, oh my!

I wanted to blog this yesterday, but was way too busy and sleepy. But I was coming home with my wife from the tax man, and Rollye James was on (I hadn't heard her before; she's good) talking about it.

So...the Attorney General of Mexico, Eduardo Medina Mora (who seems to think he's Elliot Spitzer or somebody) is demanding that we block guns and drug money from coming into Mexico. James' succinct point was that it's Mexico's job to police Mexico's borders, not ours, and if we really wanted to stop the drug cartels, we'd legalize drugs. All dead on.

Mexico can stop the gun flow. They have no problem issuing long jail terms to some hapless Yanqui who got caught with so much as one loose .22 cartridge in his truck, so why not real gun runners? Well, because it's an economic problem: arresting the gringo brings money; not arresting the drug lords brings bribe money. But more to the point, just as guns (pace Sarah Brady) don't jump out of their holsters or gun cases and fire themselves, guns also don't put on wet suits and swim the Rio Grande.The problem is not guns crossing the border; it's people carrying guns across the border. Now, if Mr. Medina Mora is suggesting that we should stop the flow of people across the border, well, yes, we can do that. But it's quite opposite to the policy that the Mexicans have been advocating. The proposition we're being asked to buy is this: smuggling people=good, smuggling guns and drugs=bad.

So how come we Americans are moral defectives because we like to use drugs, and the Mexicans are not moral defectives for not being able to maintain a clean and just law enforcement system? And does that have anything to do with a country which has abundant natural resources, a warm climate, and hard-working people having to rely on foreign remittances to keep its economy afloat? There are former parts of Mexico that are leading world economies all by themselves. And if Aztlan is ever created, we'll be able to test the proposition that it's a problem of misrule. Not that we haven't already tested the proposition a thousand times.

Bob Barr to lobby for Marijuana Policy Project

Most commenters on this site are dubious and unimpressed with Bob "Barr Amendment" Barr's new job, one going so far as to snark, "Ahh, yes...the Libertarian Party - The Party of Principle!", conveniently forgetting that Barr wasn't a Libertarian in 1998.

Is he one now?

This is a move in the right direction. I'm still skeptical about Barr's Road-to-Damascus conversion, but if indeed he really gets it, he could be a powerful champion of liberty. I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

A Goreocracy for Ohio?

INTRODUCED

SB 128 CLIMATE COMMISSION (Miller, D.) — To create the Ohio Climate Commission for the purpose of studying the probable impacts that global climate change will have on the state of Ohio and for the purpose of recommending appropriate state responses to address global climate change and problems likely to be associated with it.

The Ohio Dept. of Agriculture does a pretty good job. I'm sure they can advise Appalachian farms on orange growing.

Oh, no! Usury!

And speaking of Cuyahoga losers, a few went to Dee Cee to complain about lenders:

Witnesses at the hearing also described how high-interest, short-term loans from "payday lenders" suck low-income workers into a perpetual state of debt. David Rothstein of Policy Matters Ohio, a Cleveland-based research institute, told the committee that Ohio has more payday lending locations than McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's restaurants combined.

Look, anyone stupid enough to borrow money at those places deserves to be put out of their home. That they have any good reason to exist at all is largely due to area banks, whose policies exclude the poor. When National City charges a non-account holder 10% to cash a check drawn on National City, the cash shops look pretty good. But there are way too many people geared to instant gratification, and folks like Rokakis are determined to deny them their education, simply because people with a longer-range view who have provided their own security are less likely to put them in power. And what would be worse for the city: overpriced capital, or no capital available at all?

Cuyahoga: 6th biggest loser

Cuyahoga Co. has achieved a dubious distinction: 6th largest population loss in the country since the 2000 census. The only bigger loser that wasn't involved with Hurricane Katrina was Michigan's Wayne County, which contains Detroit, a city whose raison d'etre anymore appears to be to make Cleveland look good.

I'm one of those Cuyahoga escapees. I mostly bailed for love (and I've sometimes wondered, on that morning commute, just how much I love). But I left a town that is overgoverned and under-serviced. We don't have downtown Republicans endorsing cigarette taxes for the arts. If our county commissioners tried to strongarm a gun show out of existence, they'd probably get their own private gun show. Windham Village constantly turns down an income tax to support the admittedly overextended police, perhaps because they've seen what happens when cops have time on their hands. And our roads are better-maintained. It's not perfect: our schools suck too, and we have a county bus system that is twice as mismanaged as RTA. And we have crime. But we don't have a city government micromanaging us or sucking our sustenance for their pet projects.

If the city gave me 5 acres of brownfields to transport Black Water to, and exemption from zoning and property tax, I'd consider coming back. For better or worse, this is where it's at for me professionally. But that isn't going to happen, because I can't dangle "28,000 jobs" in front of anyone. Cleveland gives away the town to developers, then mistreats Joe Sixpack. And then they wonder why Mr. Sixpack leaves.

New Mexico House does science

Seven months after a conclave of scientists downgraded the distant heavenly body to a "dwarf planet," a state representative in New Mexico aims to give the snubbed world back some of its respect. State lawmakers will vote Tuesday on a bill that proposes "as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies, it be declared a planet."

The resolution, House Joint Memorial 54, was introduced by Rep. Joni Marie Gutierrez (D-Dona Ana County). It reiterates the importance of astronomy to the state of New Mexico and calls for March 13 to be "Pluto Planet Day."

And the Indiana House of 1897 voted to make pi equal to 3. That didn't make it so.

Mayor Frank throws tantrum over state gun law

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is suing in Cuyahoga Co. Common Pleas Court for the right to violate the constitutional rights of Clevelanders, and will continue to enforce laws that are no longer law. Apparently we're the only city in the state with gangs running amok with Evil Black Rifles, and something MUST be done.

To his credit, our new Democratic AG, Marc Dann, is not impressed.

Give it up, Frank. The city has more pressing needs.

Another nanny in Lakewood

Mike Skindell wants to save the kitties and the kiddies, so he wants us to pay 3¢ a gallon to add a bittering agent to antifreeze sold in Ohio. It's not enough that the containers are almost impossible to open, or that the stuff looks gross.

Kucinich busted by FEC

Y'all know that I don't much like The Kooch, but I really have to feel sorry for the guy. He's got to come up with $137K to reimburse the Feds for money he wasn't supposed to spend, because his campaign had already failed when he spent it. Now, granted, since he was spending stolen money to begin with, there's a limit to my sympathy. But it's been over two years since that election, and the FEC have only finished audits of TWO other candidates (minor ones at that). It seems to me almost impossible for a campaign to keep up with the arcana of Federal election law...which makes me wonder if the real intent of the law was to keep campaigns clean, or to discourage campaigns. I suspect the latter, since they started at the bottom of the list (Lieberman and Nader) instead of with Kerry.

Scooter's guilty; who cares?

OK, we have Ann the Outrageous weighing in on the Libby trial. And yes, it was a miscarriage of justice, a political trial, and I should be upset. But I'm not. Libby was convicted of the same "crime" as Martha Stewart: lying about a non-crime. But there was a difference: Martha was minding her own business, doing what Martha does: making money. Libby was involved in government, and this government in particular. We don't get too upset when somebody in an organized crime syndicate gets whacked in the course of doing business; we figure that if he didn't want to get whacked, he shouldn't have been involved in organized crime. The same applies to government (even if we sidestep the question of whether government is an organized crime syndicate). In the grand scheme of things, some guy with a name like an Ayn Rand villain having to do some time is about as important as Anna Nicole Smith. In a D.C. whose main urban-design problem is far too few lamp posts for the number of people who deserve them, what happened to Libby pales in comparison to the case of a Kathryn Johnson or Cory Maye, people who were minding their own business until the State came in and destroyed their lives. I feel bad for Libby's family, though.

Coulter's main point is that Republicans need to do unto others as they have been done by. If they don't (and it's arguable that they do and have; some would include Whitewater and the Clinton impeachment), the reason is that they still care about the country, not because they're gutless. Well, bring it on, I say. Let's have both parties brawling in the courts. Let's have President Rodham try Bush for war crimes, then the 'Pugs can impeach Hillary for campaign finance violations (assuming Peter Paul doesn't take a walk in Ft. Marcy Park first). You want partisanship, beotch, you can watch it bring the country to its knees. Then maybe people will get rid of both of the two evils.

Open letter to Rep. Kathleen Chandler

Dear Rep. Chandler,

It was nice of you to share your thoughts on the state of the state.

The 2nd paragraph of your letter presents a melange of contradictory ideas in a single long sentence: " If Ohio's economy is to ever fully recover we must focus on funding education appropriately, stop the over reliance on property tax, ensure college tuition is affordable for working families, and invest in making an environment friendly to small businesses and entrepreneurs." Or, to restate it in condensed form, "If Ohio's economy is to ever fully recover, we must spend more money." Now, where is that money to come from, but from small businesses and entrepreneurs who, thus having the expenses of government thrust upon them, will decide to go elsewhere? And if we do invest bribe such businesses to come, it will be to tax them in the future, when they will leave. Meanwhile, our current businesses will be paying for the bribe, and thus not investing in their own expansion and improvement.

And what is "appropriate" education funding? Personally, I think that public education should be financed by a per-head tax on all school-age children, equal to the statewide average cost of educating those children, with a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for private tuition or homeschooling materials. Clearly, you don't think that "property tax" is an appropriate way to fund education. There's a case to be made for that, since those who own no property still get to vote to tax those who do. However, it at least gives the voters of an area some say in how much they will fund education. I understand that you call yourself a Democrat, and thus apparently believe in democracy. Why would you remove choice from voters, just because some mobs constituencies are wealthier or more generous than others?

As for college tuition, it has been demonstrated that tuition rises with tuition subsidies; the more money we give people to attend college, the more college costs. This isn't surprising, given that students not paying their own way have little incentive to hold colleges accountable for costs. The same is true in the medical field, but then, you probably want to socialize that as well.

As for your comments on SB 117, they're clearly partisan, as this is a case for the courts to clarify. But if the 1978 act (or was it really 1878?) is "one of the strongest business rape consumer protection laws in the nation", might it also have something to do with Ohio's poor economy?

And then there are your "helpful" instructions on the "Earned" Income tax Credit. You are quite correct that "more than $100 million that rightfully belongs in the pockets of hardworking Ohio families ends up bottled up in Washington", though your figure is off by a factor of a million or so. If the EITC is our "most effective anti-poverty program", then why are most people getting it still on the dole? I've spent large portions of my life living and working with poor people, and not once have I ever heard anyone say, "I'm gonna get me a job or two and make a bunch of money so I can collect the EITC." Anyway, the money "rightfully" belongs to the people it was stolen from, not to the intended recipients; if we're going to use moral language, we should all agree on which moral principles we're acting on, and most Americans, if asked point-blank whether it's moral to take money from one by force to give to another, would say it is not. They only get confused by language like "government money", "taxation", and other misdirectors.

Lastly, I'd call your attention to a conspicuous omission in your newsletter: which Ohio laws do you intend to repeal during this session?

I thank you for taking the time to communicate, and hope that it was actually you writing the newsletter, rather than a staffer, as it was a much more productive use of your time than voting on bills.

Your constituent,

Jeffrey Quick

California's drug legacy

Most of America's truly horrible ideas began in California, including this one, whose centennial we observe tomorrow:

On March 6, 1907, Gov. James Gillett signed amendments to the Pharmacy and Poison Act making it a crime to sell opiates or cocaine in the state without a prescription. The act made California a national leader in the war on drugs seven years before Congress enacted national drug prohibition with the Harrison Act.
That wasn't the beginning though:
In 1875, San Francisco passed the nation's first anti-drug law, the Opium Den Ordinance, aimed specifically at Chinese opium smoking.
The opium law was a success, sort of:
The raids broke the back of the opium-smoking culture, but the addicts moved on to morphine and heroin. The board proceeded to launch a pre-emptive attack on "Indian hemp" or cannabis in 1913.

At the time, cannabis was virtually unheard of in California. Nonetheless, the board warned of an influx of cannabis-using "Hindoos" (actually Sikhs) from India, and prevailed on the Legislature to ban the drug lest the habit spread to whites. Ironically, only after being outlawed did marijuana become popular, eventually being used by millions of Californians.


I think a minute of silence is called for. Tomorrow at 4:20 is as good a time as any.

Fine whines in Gaza

I heard on the radio yesterday that 80% of Palestinians in Gaza are dependent on foreign food aid.

Gaza used to provide 75% of Israel's produce, plus $100m in exports.

Gee, I wonder what happened?

And the evil Zionists even left synagogues to turn into military bases:

Mr. Abir blamed the Jewish state for the desecration of the Gaza synagogues by Palestinian Arabs, claiming the decision to leave the structures intact was part of an Israeli conspiracy.

Israel "left the synagogues behind so the world would see the Palestinians destroying them," Mr. Abir said.


Free Palestine...with $20 additional purchase, cigarettes and alcohol excluded.

Filthy capitalism for clean air

Moron More on Gore:

Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

As co-founder and chairman of the firm Gore presumably draws an income or will make money as its investments prosper. In other words, he “buys” his “carbon offsets” from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself. To be blunt, Gore doesn’t buy “carbon offsets” through Generation Investment Management - he buys stocks.

And it is not clear at all that Gore’s stock purchases - excuse me, “carbon offsets” purchases - actually help reduce the use of carbon-based energy at all, while the gas lanterns and other carbon-based energy burners at his house continue to burn carbon-based fuels and pump carbon emissions - a/k/a/ “greenhouse gases” - into the atmosphere.

The Virginian sees a kind of carbon-based sumtuary law in our future:

The danger is that the use of “carbon offsets” will create two things that re morally monstrous: a de-facto sumptuary law and the impoverishments of the poor and powerless of this planet.

The creation of an aristocratic elite that differentiates itself from the hoi polloi by its ability to buy “carbon offsets” while the rest of the planet is forced by environmental laws into a smaller and smaller carbon straightjacket is not so far fetched.


Meanwhile, the smart money is shorting alternative-energy stocks.

Ted Strickland keeps his girl in line

Wow, I'm impressed. Ted Strickland has announced that if the legislature passes Dem. Rep. Edna Brown's (of Toledo, the real Mistake on the Lake) mandatory HPV vaccination bill, he won't sign it.

"The governor believes this is a relatively new medical treatment and our initial approach should be a cautious one," Dailey said.

The wrong reason, and it leaves the door open, but I'm still pleased that he'd buck one of his own party.

Why do evangelicals ignore Ron Paul?

That's the question Rev. Chuck Baldwin asks here. But he misses the answer: evangelicals don't support Ron Paul because they are not small-government conservatives. They really want government to impose their moral values on the rest of the country, and they want the goodies that government can provide. That's why they wet themselves over Bush's "Faith-based initiatives"; they wanted to get their own ladles in the cannibal pot. And Ron Paul has proven that he isn't going to give them what they want. Oh yeah, he's pro-life (the one area where I disagree with him, but he makes it an internally-consistent position), but he's not pro-War on Drugs, Porn, or Iran. And Falwell and Robertson have had Beltway Fever for way too long, and would do well to relocate their ministries to a state not bordering D.C.

An inconvenient truth about Al Gore's energy usage

I want to be a greenie, just like Al Gore. Can I use 221,000 kwh of electricity this year, just like my hero?

Tip o'hat to Boortz.

UPDATE: Gore's excuse. Carbon offsets. eh? Can I buy those at Home Depot, or do I have to go to some hippie store in California? Maybe some Amish stand has them, next to the whoopie pies.

Obamamania

Obamamania hit Kulas Library pretty hard yesterday. One of our student workers asked off to attend a sudden meeting she had. No problem, as she did the right thing and got somebody else to work her shift. But then that person wanted to leave early too, to go to the Obama rally, and it turned out that Person 1 was actually working the rally so that she could get in...I guess they gave out 7000 tickets for a 3000-capacity space. I guess it was just as well I not know that; I still would have let her go, but I would probably have been more grudging about it.

I came home, and Rusty was all pumped, having heard the beginnings on WTAM on the way home...and was ticked that there was no TV coverage. My receiver doesn't get AM, for lack of an appropriate antenna, and Mon. is TV night for her, so she wanted to be in the living room...but she wouldn't move the stereo in her room that was blasting down the hallway while I was trying to work. So I went into my survival supplies and broke out the Grundig (which sounded better anyway). I told her I was going to let her listen alone, because I wouldn't be able to resist making snide comments, and why burst her bubble? By that point the fluffers had been getting the crowd up for an hour and a half. Finally, the Great Man spoke, for about 20 minutes. I asked my wife what he had said, and it was the usual...pull the troops out, give the teachers more money. Personally, since Democrats think other countries usually have better ideas than we do, I think we should pay our teachers a wage equal to the average of teachers in the 4 countries on either side of our academic ranking. They should get paid what that kind of teaching is worth; sounds perfectly fair to me.

Sorry, I don't get what the fuss is about. Obama is a fresh face, and he's not the Hildebeast. But I haven't heard any ideas out of the man, and the hoopla is entirely out of proportion to the presentation. If I were a Christian paranoid, I might even suspect that it's the work of Satan, and we're headed for the Obama-nation of Desolation.

Liebertarian? What's Boortz smoking?

Boortz muses on the possibility of Joe Lieberman jumping parties. Well, yeah, it could interesting and all. But then he says:

How about switching to the Libertarian Party?

Yeah, right, Neal. Look, the main substantive difference between the Democrats and the Bush admi. is the Iraq war. It's really the only current idea they have, the rest of their ideas being stale rehashes of economic ideas that failed so long ago that the Republicans think they're conservative ideas. So Lieberman going 'Pug is at least within the realm of the possible. But he's in no way a philosophical libertarian, and given that majority opinion about Iraq in the LP these days makes Cindy Sheehan look like a neocon, there's really no motive for him to jump in that direction. Nor would his presense be welcome by anone besides Boortz, who is buddy-buddy with Bob "no drugs, no Wicca" Barr, who is now an LP Region Rep, and who really needs to be Zumboed on the drug issue.

Modest proposal for electoral reform

The dextrosphere has been abuzz about the Democrat's idea that unionization should not be subject to a secret ballot, but that petition signatures should be sufficient. They point out that this is self-serving for the 'Crats (it is), and that the net result would be more unions, because employees who would be intimidated into signing the union petition could not then secretly vote against the union. And such intimidation does happen, as my wife (who is anything but a shrinking violet) can tell you.

It seems to me that the Right is taking the wrong tack on this. They should be taking the principle involved in this and feeding it back to them good and hard. What the Democrats are saying is that secret ballots are unnecessary. Well, if that's the case, why are we spending so much money on fancy voting equipment? Why don't we just make each person's ballot a matter of public record? After all, if you think it's moral to loot your neighbor, then you should be proud of that. And since intimidation doesn't matter, when you vote for a law or a candidate who harms a particular industry, it should be perfectly OK for a company in that industry to lose your resume after checking the voting records. If all Americans are responsible for all other Americans, shouldn't all Americans be accountable to all other Americans? No more of this "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" If we're paying attention, I can guarantee that public policy will do a 180 in a libertarian direction.

When is a gas tax hike not a gas tax hike?

OK, maybe the state highway patrol needs money to run driver's licence examinations (Why can't insurance companies do that?) and check on motorists who are broken down or in accidents.

To plug the hole in the patrol's budget, Strickland wants to cut a good chunk from an obscure state discount on the gas tax given to wholesalers to offset evaporation at the pump. The change would net the state $38 million annually.
I'm not too concerned about how the legislature plays the budgetary shell game. But this worries me:
Strickland said Ohioans would be "protected at the pump" because the evaporation benefit to wholesalers - not retailers - would be cut. But the head of a group that represents 400 Ohio gas wholesalers said gas prices would eventually rise as a result.

"You're taking $40 million out of the economy and giving it to the patrol so they can go around and give people tickets," said Roger Dryer, president of the Ohio Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association.

Strickland's proposal would chop the wholesalers' discount from the current 1.3 percent to 0.35 percent.

The governor said there would be "no justification" for wholesalers to raise gas prices in response to his proposal.

"When this benefit was originally provided, technology wasn't as good as it is today in terms of evaporation loss," he said. "We're trying to hold retailers harmless and asking wholesalers to absorb a reasonable reduction in the benefit."


This bespeaks a worrisome level of economic illiteracy. Does Strickland really think that since wholesalers really don't need the evaporation credit anymore, that it somehow hasn't figured into their price structures?

Damnit, Ted, if you're going to tax us, then tax us. Don't pussyfoot around. You're a Democrat; we expect economic rape.

Obama: man of principle?

I've recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with an old friend who is blogging. It's way cool to be able to be involved with her life and thought (and being a underemployed Gemini, with 2 blogs yet, there's quite a bit of her out there.) But there are lapses...

Like this, in which she tried to convince me that Barack Obama is a principled man. What principles, Andee? What fundamental rules of governance has Obama articulated, or lived through action well enough that they could be deduced? And you want him to talk to the Sunday school teacher from Georgia? Riiight...Carter had more principle than anyone named Clinton, but were they the right principles? I mean, Hitler was a pretty principled guy too, in his way.

In any case, given the reality of the Two Majors, if he's principled, he'll have to abandon principle to get elected. She hasn't voted Duopoly in 15 years. She's seen jackboots in her face (long story that I used to have links to, but they're all dead). And she's captivated by a fresh pretty face? I'm disappointed.

Zundel gets 5

I really hate to stick up for a sleazeball like Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, but this is a free speech case. And if willful denial of reality were a crime, we'd have to lock up most of the US population. His website (the "crime" for which he was convicted) isn't even hosted in Germany; do they think they have a right to police the Internet?

Canada booted him through a 9/11 law:

In February 2005, a Canadian judge ruled that Zundel's activities were not only a threat to national security, but "the international community of nations" as well.

A Canadian law, passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, allows the government to hold terrorism suspects without charge, based on secret evidence that does not have to be disclosed to a suspect or his defense.

Zundel was deported a few days later.

Evidently a terrorist is anyone who you say is one.

"Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar"

...and sometimes it's an excuse to sic the cops on a member of another party. In this case, the siccer is Rep. Keith Ellison and the siccee (no jokes, please!) is Tom Tancredo. And I really don't think that cigar smoke was the only or even the primary issue here. I doubt a Democrat has had as much fun with a cigar since...no, let's not go there.

Unity '08

A friend alerted me to these folks, who seem to think they will save American democracy from polarization and partisanship.

Pardon me, but this is a crock.

First, there is no center in American politics. The duopoly parties actually have fairly clearly-demarcated positions: the Democrats want to control your money, the Republicans want to control your body. The "center" is control, and when we have a fairly centrist government like that of the "compassionate conservative", we get control of both bodies and money. And the electorate reacts against either form of control, depending on their mood, by voting for the other form of control. Both parties belong on the sinister side of the American political spacial metaphor...with even the theocratic Constitution Party to the right, the Libertarians farther on, and with anarchy as the terminus. (the terminus of the left would be de jure slavery, I suppose.)

They correctly diagnose the problem and opportunity: utter disgust. NOT ONE of the mooted duopoly candidates can unify the country. So what's their solution? Have the citizens pick a candidate over the Internet. The candidate has to pick a running mate from the other party (Independents have to pick one from one other party, and give the left-out party a cabinet post). So this was "everyone will win", see? They don't hate the parties; they just want to issue a wakeup call. And who is reponsible for this inew idea? Political operatives -- the same bunch of people who gifted us with the dysfunction we have.

If I had time on my hands and were fonder of conspiracy theories than I am, I'm be looking for membership in the CFR, people getting Soros money, and other establishment ties. What this smells like to me is an attempt to co-opt third-party activity by establishing a third non-party, so you don't have to vote for vanilla or chocolate, but can have TWIST instead...the same old product, full of high fructose corn syrup and soy phytoestrogens, but with a new flavor. (I don't see anything new, or very definite, in their platform.) If this movement became extremely popular, they could get citizens to insist on removing the current 3rd-party barriers (Under current law, their plan to nominate after the Big 2 conventions is just not going to fly), which would be good for real 3rd party. But a group that powerful would become a de-facto first-and-only party. And nothing will change.

Vox Day serves me crow,

here,with a rich mole poblano, re my comments on Amanda Marcotte, late of the John Edwards campaign. As a blogger, I really should have known better than to take words at face value: Edwards is a politician, his lips were moving, therefore he was lying.

But the whole episode has been bizarre. As Vox points out, it probably wasn't Edwards but one of his operatives who got the idea of using Marcotte, and that operative will probably quietly disappear in a week or so. In any case, it showed no comprehension at all of the blogosphere. We're seeing this more and more: politicians figuring that since the bought Old Media are going under, they have to blog. When they do, they are consistently wooden and boring. So they hire a blogger, who, in order to not cause public offence, has to be wooden and boring too. Blogs are by their nature countercultural. It might be possible to do a viral Edwards campaign, but if you're going to do that, it has to be sub rosa; you don't shout to the rooftops, "Hey, we got one of the biggest bloggers out there to blog for Edwards!"

I still think though that, having made the mistake of hiring her, and her having made the mistake of taking on the job, they should have brazened it out. This is a hit on their credibility, and it shows both of them as fundamentally gutless. That it had to be a bullying moron like Donohue that brought her down is worst. Yes, it would have been inevitable; if she didn't screw up on Edwards' site, she would have done it on her own (and why didn't he pursue an exclusivity agreement?)

The moral of the story is: if you want to run for office, keep it clean, reasonable, and not too bizarre. And if you can't do that, and get busted by your words, stay in there like you meant your words, because if you didn't, you had no business writing them. The classic example is Tom Alciere, who had won election to the New Hampshire legislature but gave up his seat in the furor over comments he made again and again on Usenet on the moral propriety of defending yourself with deadly force against the police, no matter what they want from you. That argument has theoretical validity, but if you make it, you're going to have an awfully hard time, both practically and ethically, in becoming the cops' employer...which is what Alciere did. And his response should have been, "Look, you guys deserve to get hurt, but I don't want you to get hurt, so I'm going to do my best to get all the illegitimate BS laws off the books, so there's no reason for you to get hurt." But he pulled an Amynda and backtracked on his words (but couldn't remove them from Usenet). I try to write so that I will never have to do that (questioning Vox Day's intelligence excepted...hey, I'm saving one of the breasts for Spacebunny...)

Amanda and Melissa safe, for now

John Edwards isn't going to fire his two new bloggers for being, well, bloggers. And that's a good thing. It would have cost him more in the long run to cave to the likes of Donohue, than it has to apologize and deal. If Edwards didn't read them, then he should have; either way, he accepted what he was getting. And Democrats don't fire people for sleaziness; they make their wives Senators instead. So you have to wonder why intelligent people like Vox Day were so sure that Amynda would be tossed to the wolves. I mean, aren't wolves a protected species?

Ken Blackwell finds his voice

Kenny has written a damnfine piece on the connection between the civil rights movement and the 2nd Amendment. I'm suspecting the man might do more for the cause of freedom as a writer than he ever did as a politician. No, I'm not taking back the nasty things I said about him, yet, any more than I'm in a rush to call Bob Barr a libertarian. But I have to give props where props are due.

Stossel on Boston terror freakout

As you'd expect, John Stossel has an interesting take on the Lite-Brites of Death fiasco:

Terrorism is horrible, but your chances of dying in a terrorist attack are relatively low. You're more likely to be killed hitting a deer with your car. (Two hundred Americans die on average every year from car collisions with deer. Including the toll from 9/11, the average number of Americans to die each year from international terrorism since 1981 is 145.)

Believe me, I'm not looking for swarthy men with C-4 when I drive those country roads at night.
But he misses here:

Excessive fear of terrorism hurts Americans, too. After 9/11, many people chose to drive rather than fly, leading to 1,000 additional deaths in automobile wrecks.
It isn't fear of Islamic terrorists that causes Americans to do that; it's fear and distaste for their own government's agents.

Carleton manages the news

Carty Finkbeiner (the man who has almost singlehandedly wrested the Laughingstock of Ohio trophy from Cincinnati, who took it from the original holder, Cleveland) got his hands slapped real good by Federal judge James Carr. It seems Carty got a burr up about a local radio station and stopped inviting them to press conferences...then had one of their reporters barred from attending. the judge was not impressed with the idea of press conferences being invitation-only events. Details from Bovard.

Stuart saves America

It looks like Al Franken is running for Senate, and should get your vote because he's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

Actually, that's a little unfair. Franken actually does have a platform. Unfortunately for America, it's a bit like the last platform Saddam Hussein stood on.

Looting for arts starts today

I didn't realize that the Tax on People With Unpopular Habits was really an inventory tax, that smoke shops have to pay tax on their present inventory whether it sells or not. Of course, I should have; how else could one guarantee compliance? This is going to shake out a lot of marginal outlets. And the folks too far out to be bothered to come downtown for art will have no problem buying their smokes out of county.

This gentleman is quite well-spoken:

John Coleman, manager of Cousin's Cigar Co. on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, said he has been preparing for the impact of Issue 18 for months -- cutting back his inventory from 300 cartons on hand at all times to about 100.

Coleman, whose store specializes in imported cigars and tobacco, said he will scale back his cigarette business even further if customers head for the county lines.

"This tax increase is a tyranny of the majority," Coleman said. "And no one will stand up for the rights of those who choose to enjoy tobacco. Cigarette retailers across the county will be forced out of business, the arts will not be bolstered a bit, and in the end it is a terrible sort of prejudice."

Merck out to buy vaccination laws

$360 a dose is a lot to spend for every 12 year old girl in the country. But don't worry, girls, it's for your own good. Merck's purchased legislators say so.

There's a draft in this voting booth

Jenny Brunner, Ohio SS (seems like a more fitting abbreviation for Secretary of State) of the party of Lyndon Johnson and Charles Rangel, is carrying on her party's tradition by supporting the draft...for poll workers....something only proposed in 2 other states and implemented in none. Gotta love that adventurous leadership!

"Just like jury duty!" Considering the quality of juries these days...

Let's see...the problem we've had in Ohio with poll workers is that they aren't well enough trained or up on the ever-changing technology for stealing counting votes. So we're going to staff the polls with people who don't want to be there and don't care? What's next, drafting voters? They're going to great extremes today to shore up the legitimacy of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

Actually, if we're going to throw out the 13th Amendment anyway, why can't we chuck the state constitution and draft LEGISLATORS, by random lot. They would certainly be more representative of "the People's will" than the ones we have, no more corrupt, and since they would not be running for re-election (not having been elected to begin with) they'd have to take graft directly (which is far easier to police; just look for the foil-covered Franklins in the freezer).

Planned Parenthood a little confused on property rights

"It's bad enough that pharmacists think they could refuse to refill a prescription, but Plan B has over-the-counter status," says Mary O'Shea of Planned Parenthood of Greater Cleveland. "It has the status of cough drops. How does a pharmacist think he has the right to say no to this?"

Uh, Mary...
the pharmacist can refuse to stock cough drops, if it's his store. He doesn't have to sell Plan B pills...or aspirin...or Bibles....or burqas. It may be bad business, or stupid in a hundred other ways. But he has as much right to say no as Planned Parenthood has to not sell anti-abortion books.

Tancredo wants Black Caucus shut down

"It is utterly hypocritical for Congress to extol the virtues of a colorblind society while officially sanctioning caucuses that are based solely on race," said the Colorado Republican, who is most widely known as a vocal critic of illegal immigration.

Well, I say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em; start a Caucasian Caucus. Of course, you know how that would go over. And Tancredo is the wrong guy for the message, since he's already been accused of being a racist.

The issue here is freedom of association. Congress believes that their members have a right to gather in race-oriented groups and to exclude members of other races. Indeed, freedom of association gives them that right. But they deny that right of free association to the general populace. If I decided not to rent the bottom of my duplex to purple people, I would have the National Association for the Avancement of Purple People filing a lawsuit. The further issue is that of Congress being above the laws they form for the rest of us. Maybe if Stephen Cohen took the uncollegial action of suing the Black Caucus for discrimination, something might change. Unfortunately, that something would probably be "Cohen's chances of re-election". But what's wrong with Congress following our rules?

1st Amendment void in Brazoria TX

If Mayor Ken Corley has his way, using the "n-word" in his town will be punishable by a $500 fine...unless it is a "term of endearment" and nobody complains. Not that any civilized person would want to use that word, endearingly or any other way. But where will we draw the line? The F-word will be worth, what, $100? I mean the 4-letter one; I'm sure that "f-----m" will merit the death penalty.

Modest proposal to improve SOTU speeches

OK, I didn't watch Bush last night. Almost anything from anyone that could be considered a "public policy proposal" will make me unhappy, and I'm way too busy these days to make myself deliberately unhappy. Reading the transcript, I'd have to say that it's less objectionable than most (including his first), and he did a deft job in kissing the Pelosi's posterior. But it's still just an announcement for an upcoming auction of stolen goods.

All patriotic Americans need to band together to control the rhetorical and policy excesses of the State of the Union speeches. What I propose is that friends gather together to watch, and whenever a new initiative is proposed, they should down a shot of their favorite distilled beverage. This can unite our fractured political landscape and foster bipartisanship. Republicans will drink to Bush's proposals; Democrats will drink to forget them. And vice-versa, of course, when the other wing of the Boot On Your Neck Party holds the office.

This will require great self-sacrifice. If practiced conscientiously, the outcome of any SOTU would be acute alcohol poisoning. If we can get enough Americans involved enough to die for the Presidents' promises, maybe he'll quit making them.

New front in the abortion war

There's a small problem with abortion providers practicing medical confidentiality:

"In all 50 states, sexual activity with underage children is illegal. Also, every state mandates that if a healthcare worker has reason to suspect that an underage girl is being sexually abused, they are required by law to report that information to a designated law enforcement or child protective services agency. That agency is then responsible to investigate the possibility that the child may be the victim of sexual abuse or statutory rape," according to Life Dynamics.

Now there's a movement to cut off Planned Parenthood's Title X money for violations of these laws.

To some extent, the abortion industry has painted itself into this corner by fighting parental notification laws. It really should be up to the parents to prosecute abuse. Yes, that's harder when one parent is the abuser, but if both parents are notified, chances are good that something will happen. When parents aren't notified, the State must be hyper-vigilant about the rights of the child, which means they need the information.

If this strategy is successful, we're left with the case of the 20-40% of pregnant girls 15 and under who were impregnated by minors (per the story's stats, which I'm skeptical of) not having access to abortion. That will undoubtedly make some folks happy, but I'm not one of them.

Why conservatives are hopeless, Take 2

Today's example is from Carl Hames of Little Elm, TX, writing in the Feb. '07 Mother Earth News:

I am a die-hard conservative Republican ... not particularly convinced that humans are causing global warming ... But for the life of me, with solar power being so easy to install and so cheap ... I don't know why every state doesn't mandate that every new home being built must come with a solar-electric system. It's a no-brainer. I'm going to send this suggestion to every member of our State Assembly.

...with public schools being so easy to send to and so cheap...
...with abortions being so easy to obtain and so cheap...
...with local police SWAT funding being so easy to obtain and so cheap...
...with government health care being so easy to obtain and so cheap...
...with ID chips for animals being so easy to obtain and so cheap...
...with eminent domain for redevelopment being so easy and so cheap...

Why doesn't "every state mandate", Carl? I haven't the foggiest. I mean, it's not like any of them actually believe in private property.

Ney: bend down and give me 30

OK, so Bob Ney is a lush. Not surprising; no sober man would have done what he did.

But this guy sounds almost as bad:

Bill Livingston, a GOP ex-congressman from Louisiana who also served on the Ethics Committee, said the compressed Tuesday through Thursday work week adopted by Republicans let congressmen operate without enough supervision by peers, and said longer hours imposed by Democrats might remedy matters.

“There’s a reason Bob Ney ran into problems,” Livingston said. “It’s because people weren’t watching him.”


'Scuse me? These are the guys "we" hire to set rules for the rest of us (or so the mythology says). If they can't govern themselves, how can they govern us? And who will act in loco parentis for wayward Congressdroids, and who in turn are their parents?

Be afraid, very afraid...

...of 30 million underachieving and very horny Chinamen, aka "cannon fodder". The military has always been a stepping stone for the underclass, and rape has always been part of war.

Liu said the sex ratio imbalance was not connected to China's family planning policy. "It is more a result of the deep-rooted notion in Chinese culture that men are superior to women," she said.

I suppose she had to say that, though it's rampant nonsense. When the policy is "one child", abortion is not only permitted but encouraged, and you have the technology to sex the fetus, I think we'd have the same outcome here.

Ron Paul for President!

OMG! Ron Paul has thrown his hat in the ring.
He's not going to get the nomination. Any party which claims to speak for limited government, yet has John, son of Cain as Presidential front-runner, is not going to go for Ron Paul. But if he makes it into the Ohio primary, he has my vote. And if he gains the nomination and the LP candidate doesn't step down, the party deserves to go down in flames.

House votes price controls on labor

I bet you didn't see that headline in your paper. But it's the truth. You probably saw something about a "boost in wages", as if Congress actually had that power.

Workers at the Wendy's in Cuyahoga Falls are cheering about their new-found wealth...oh wait, there ARE no workers and no Wendy's there; it got closed up by the voters of Ohio, acting under the delusion that they were granting a "boost in wages."

At least a federal minimum-wage boost will equalize the misery. But Steve LaTourette knows better than he voted.

Paul Hackett, hero

I haven't been a fan of anti-war Democrats in general, or of Paul Hackett in particular. But I was impressed to read that he'd chased some bad guys down and held them at gunpoint until police arrived. Of course the civilian AR15 is not an "assault weapon" (assuming that word to have some objective meaning besides "scary gun"), but the reporter tried.

Gotta love this line:

"He said he had done this about 200 times in Iraq, but this time there was not a translation problem," the police report said.

Strickland begins with a bang

Our governor has a different idea of "10 days" than the legislature does, thus beginning his regime with a constitutional crisis.

It's hard to feel sorry for the Republicans in this. If they'd done their work instead of waiting until the last minute, and if Taft hadn't fecklessly pocketed the bill, this wouldn't be an issue. I'm mildly in favor of the noneconomic damage limits, but hey, it's a new regime. If they're such an obviously good idea, the legislature can override the veto, yes?

But what's just bizarre is this:

Attorney General Marc Dann, who, like Strickland, is a Democrat, said he would "vigorously" defend the governor's veto. But he also said he would offer legal counsel to members of the Ohio General Assembly if it wanted to sue.

Can you say "conflict of interest"?

Ohio's next employee-health crusade

Jacob Grier calls pizza "the widowmaker":

Driver-sales workers — pizza delivery guys, vending machine stockers, etc. — clock in as the fifth most dangerous occupation with 38 deaths per 100,000 workers every year. The risks of traffic accidents and crime combine to make this one pretty perilous profession.

In other words, dialing up a pizza from Domino’s is just as bad, probably even worse, than lighting up in a bar. If smokers can’t force bar and restaurant workers to inhale their fumes, then surely people too lazy to cook or pick up their own dinners shouldn’t be able to force drivers to risk their lives delivering food. No worker should ever have to choose between his safety and his livelihood. How many innocents must die bearing midnight snacks for the gluttonous and slothful before we put a stop to such irresponsible behavior?

The lesson is clear. For the sake of the pizza delivery guys, we must ban pizza delivery. Working together, we can have a Delivery Free DC by 2008.

The sky is falling! Pesos for pizza in US

The dextrosphere has its panties in a bunch over the decision of the pizza chain Pizza Patron to accept pesos as payment. Evidently this is the first stage in the adoption of the Amero, shameless pandering to illegal immegrants, and The End of America As We Know It (TEOAAWKI?).

I grew up in (or rather, near enough) a border town (Port Huron MI) that the issue was not "Will you take Canadian dollars?" but "What's your discount rate on Canadian dollars?". And vice-versa, of course.

This is a chain-wide decision, not just for border outlets, so the claim is that the parellel doesn't work. 'Scuse me, but Pizza Patron is a private business. As such, it has a right to accept payment in any way it sees fit, be that Federal Reserve Notes, pesos, euros, gold, Liberty Dollars, or crack rocks. (OK, it's not legally permitted to accept crack rocks, but it has a right to...see the difference, Grasshopper?). As long as they continue to accept the stuff that says "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private" (the paper that Case gives me under pretense that it's real money, a pretense that my creditors fortunately also share), I'm cool with it.

Addendum: actually, I'm cool with it even if they don't take Federal Reserve Notes. It IS their business. But I wouldn't be happy if I really wanted a pizza and had no pesos to pay for it.

On his last working day...

"Milhous" Taft decided his reputation couldn't get any worse, so he vetoed a bill to restrict spycams at intersections, citing "home rule".

If the Village of Windham decided to legalize marijuana smoking within village limits, or NOT ban smoking in restaurants, I'd like to see how that "home rule" business would play.

Don't let the door hit you on your behind, Bobby.

Another employer driven from Ohio

BPNC Distillery has left Ohio, largely thanks to harassment instigated by our now blessedly-former First Lady, Hope Taft. Brian Pearson's crime? Manufacturing pre-made Jello Shots. Ironically, he's now in Temperance (MI), right across the border, where they know how to treat an entrepreneur and former Marine.

The Religious Right won't be able to ruin Ohio's economy any more. Now it's the unions' turn.

A Ford, not a Lincoln

On day when People's Employees (except wife) have day off to honor death of only non-elected* President of glorious Fatherland, capitalist running-dog Joseph Farah remembers Gerald Ford.


*One of my colleagues took offence at this, claiming that Ford was "one of two". Without debating the facts, I am willing to change that to "Only President to serve without pretense of election".

All the best lists

I occasionally twit Mano Singham for leftism. But he's spot on here. If you aren't on some government list somewhere, you aren't doing your job.

As a matter of strategy, I'm not sure it's worthwile to get on as many lists as possible. Surveillance is expensive, after all, so why give them more reason to tax us to spy? On the other hand, enough spying can lead to the collapse of the system. It didn't help the East Germans that a quarter of the population was working for the Stasi. Ignoring the government's list-making and getting on with life is probably best. This also means not volunteering information for lists. That's hard to do nowadays, with employers increasingly becoming an enforcement arm of the state (can you say "fascism"?). Case demands my socialist insecurity number and takes Danegeld out before I see it, just like any employer. At least they aren't using it as a library ID number any more. And I don't use it any more than I absolutely have to. Nor do I co-operate with private snoops. "What's your zip code?" the cashier asks as I hand her CASH. "99999" I answer...she blinks, but they don't pay her enough to argue. And they don't pay me to do their marketing research.

Brits, stay home!

Really, I mean it. I love you guys, and this country could certainly use your money. But if you're going to lose your privacy for the simple act of visiting the States, why come here?

Nobel Prize is unethical in Colorado

"The people" in Colorado have imposed new ethics rules on their legisrapers. And now that calmer legal heads are examining the wording of the initiative, they're finding that it bans state college professors from accepting Nobel Prize money, and children of public university employees from accepting many scholarships. One can understand the impulse behind the law; eight legisrapers are leaving office early so they'll still be able to become lobbyists. But the solution is not amateur-drafted regulation, but a total separation of economy and state, so that it's not worthwhile to lobby.

Iraq is a success because...

..of 13% GDP growth. So says Kevin McCullough.

Now, prosperity is generally a sign that some things are being done right. And given the economic dysfunctionality of Baathism (even allowing for the effects of the embargo), growth would be expected upon its removal. But I have to wonder how much of this is Broken Window Fallacy, how much American pump-priming. And there's something a bit ghoulish about this, like praising Fascism for making the trains run on time.

Anarchy In Chicago

Chicago is as anxious to enforce its new fois gras ban:

But Mayor Richard Daley is no fan of the ban--just this week, he called it "the silliest law" the City Council has ever passed.

Perhaps that helps explain why the Health Department is in no rush to boost their compliance checks.

"In a world of very limited public health resources we're being asked to drop some things so we can enforce a law like this," Hadac said. "With HIV/AIDS, cancer, West Nile virus and some of the other things we deal with, foie gras is our lowest priority."


as restauranteurs are to obey it:
When the letter came from City Hall threatening punishment if he continued to serve foie gras at his North Side restaurant, Doug Sohn framed the warning and set it beside his cash register.

Think of how many more laws would benefit from such treatment.

Walter Williams hits one out of the park

...re ethnic profiling. I think this is the first time I've ever seen Williams complain about being a victim of racism.

A law-abiding Muslim who's given extra airport screening or a black who's stopped by the police is perfectly justified in being angry, but with whom should he be angry? I think a Muslim should be angry with those who've made terrorism and Muslim synonymous and blacks angry with those who've made blacks and crime synonymous. The latter is my response to the insulting sounds of car doors locking sometimes when I'm crossing a street in downtown Washington, D.C., or when taxi drivers pass me by.

And this is precious, for clarifying the relationship between morality and reality:

You say, "Williams, are you justifying religious and racial profiling?" No. I'm not justifying anything any more than I'd try to justify Einstein's special law of relativity. I'm trying to explain a phenomenon. By the way, I think some of the airport screening is grossly stupid, but I'm at peace with the Transportation Security Administration. They have their rules, and I have mine. One of mine is to minimize my association with idiocy. Thus, I no longer fly commercial.

Where's CAIR when they could do some good?

Hookah bars are scrambling to not be a casualty of the Ohio Dictatorship of the Proletariat's anti-smoking law. But some of their patrons deserve a little pain and suffering:

Vip Garg, an ex-cigarette smoker and a doctor at MetroHealth Medical Center, said it didn't occur to him when he voted for November's anti-smoking measure that it would cover the water pipe.

Aww, poor boy! And this is a doctor? You'd trust your body to somebody that stupid? (both to suck hookah in spite of the health risks, and to think it wasn't "smoking").

Anyway, in this wonderful multicultural country, shouldn't there be some religious or cultural exemption for Middle Easterners?

"Stiff" opposition for Hillary

I want one!


Exhume_goldwater_2

Orson Welles reincarnates in Belgium

Flemish separatists are more plausible than Martian invaders. Thousands of Belgians wept at the partition of their country, only to find that the TV broadcast was a hoax.

So what's the big deal? You're all in the European Union anyway. But if the Flemish did secede, I would certainly raise un Trappiste in their honor.

Pubs vs. "the public"

Oh my, some barkeeps are flouting the Dictatorship of the Proletariat's new smoking ban, because there are no enforcement teeth in it yet, leaving county health commissioners to pewl and moan.

Good on 'em, I say. Whose bar is it?

At least they didn't call it "Michelle's Law"

Another pair of weepy parents have had their way with the Ohio Legislature. It always happens like this: something happens to a young person, a law is proposed "for the sake of the children", and suddenly parents are being told how to parent. 'Scuse me, Debbie and Ray, but if it's such a bad idea to let teens taxi teens, why did you let Michelle get into that car? And if she did it without your permission, what makes you think that kids will obey the law, when they don't obey their own parents?

I grew up in the sticks, and some of the most personally enriching events of my early life happened when I drove at night with teenagers. I think particularly of the trip at night to Rochester MI (a good 50 miles or so)with Tom Wright, Nancy Huiser and Sharon Fockler to hear Lyle Nordstrom's Oakland University Collegium Musicum, which opened me to early music. That would have been 1973 or 4. We were all Good Kids, so our parents were cool with it, though I'm sure they worried. Now they'd worry about their kids getting busted.

We're prolonging adolescence, and treating more adults like children. Why don't we just make adulthood a capital crime? That would be one way of dealing with Congress; can't have one if there's nobody alive old enough to serve under the Constitution.

Why we're losing our freedom

This poll from WorldNetDaily says it all:


Should Rep.-elect Keith Ellison be seated in the upcoming Congress?

No, he'd be unable to uphold an oath to the U.S. Constitution, since Muslims put the Quran first 43.98% (1601)

No, Congress needs to do the right thing for American security and block his seating 26.84% (977)

No, he's unfit for office due to his links with the Nation of Islam 9.23% (336)

Yes, he was elected by Americans. Why is this question even being asked? 5.66% (206)

Yes, there is still no religion test in the Constitution 4.70% (171)

Only if he takes his oath on the Bible 4.51% (164)

No, in a post-9/11 world, it is obvious he shouldn't be seated 2.91% (106)

Only if he doesn't take his oath on Quran 1.10% (40)

Other 1.04% (38)

Yes, there are millions of Muslims who deserve representation 0.03% (1)

In summary, 88.6% of 3640 respondents think the Constitution is a "goddamned piece of paper" (as their Fearless Leader is alleged to have said). And don't go on about the inaccuracy of Internet polls...you actually have to register for WND's polls, so they're more likely to reflect actual readership. The Red Team allegedly supports the Constitution, remember? And for even one to vote for not seating a legally-elected Congressman on the basis of religion...well, it explains the past five years, doesn't it?

(For the Constitutionally-challenged, #5 is the correct answer, though I counted #4,9 and 10 as acceptable.)

Kookcinich '08

Sorry, Dennis. You're going to do worse than in '04. Give it up before you hurt yourself.

One of the least forgivable things that the folks at Acres USA ever did was to print an interview with The Kooch. This could have been a good thing, given that Kucinich is one of the few pols out there whose ideas on agriculture policy weren't written by ADM or the Iowa Farm Bureau. But alas, it was almost entirely about The War...which Dennis, being a peacenik, really has nothing substantive to say about. I mean, after the Battle of Trenton, he would have been obsessing about fish kills in the Delaware from the Continental Army's oars.

At least ther'll be a lot of free blog humor the next several years.

O Canada, we stand for heat for thee

In the midst of one of Canada's coldest winters in recent history, Stockwell Day (Public Safety minister, and a man who had too much personality to become Prime Minister) has been catching flak for his mockery of global warming. This in a country whose main problem (besides one language too many) is that it's too damn cold.

Particularly cute was the Green Party leader:

Green Party leader Elizabeth May said she wasn't surprised by Day's comments.

"Mr. Stockwell Day sums up what David Suzuki said about parliamentarians, that they're all ignoramuses,'' May said in a telephone interview.

Then presumably if May were elected, she would also be an ignoramus. Not that that would be a change, mind you.

Day's comments reflect his ignorance about his own portfolio as minister of public safety, May said.

"The most significant threat to Canadian security is climate change, not terrorism.''


How's that? Because the country that provides Canadian security (the US) would fry? Or because of the hordes of Yanks buying time-share condos on Great Slave Lake?

$90K in the freezer gets you...re-election

I can't flaming believe this. N'awlins elected a CROOK over a BLACK WOMAN, largely because the "wrong people" supported her.

But I found this grimly amusing:

The law firm Jefferson founded became the largest black-owned practice in the South. He created a political organization, the Progressive Democrats, which fielded candidates for the school board, assessors' races, state House seats and mayoral contests.

When we discuss similar organizations of the 19th century, the term used is "machine". Why not now?

One veto override, one to go

OMG! The legislature spanked Bob Daft re his gun law veto. I really didn't see that one coming.

Now for the Senate...

Frank Giglio: Cleveland's New Homeless

As if Cleveland didn't have enough of a homeless problem already, now they're making homeowners homeless. For their own good, of course.

Nobody is in the right here. Free Times has exposed Cimperman as a lying scumbag on the issue of Giglio's home. Nobody in their right mind doubts that this is part of a concerted effort to get Frank out. I have any number of homeowning friends whose houses would fail inspection on the same grounds as Frank's. If the Department of Building and Housing applied the same level and manner of enforcement to all of Cleveland, they could probably knock the population figures down to 5 digits.

On the other hand, Frank is a pig. Worse, he is a pig who has defended his piggishness on the religious grounds of being a Neo-pagan, which I personally resent.

But he's a pig who owns his own sty. That's the main issue. By what right does a city remove a man from his own home? And why in Goddess' name would anyone buy real estate in a city where such things were condoned?

Shut up and wear your horns!

A British judge has blocked a man from exposing the married public figure who cuckolded him:

In his ruling, the judge said: "There is a powerful argument that the conduct of an intimate or sexual relationship is a matter in respect of which there is 'a reasonable expectation of privacy'."

He did not accept the submission that there was, or should be, a general legal principle that there was no legitimate expectation of privacy for a person who conducted a relationship with another person's wife.

A wise woman once said to me, "If you ain't proud, don't be it." Mr. CC obviously convinced himself that what he had done was right, or he would not have done it. So why is he afraid of exposure? There's a "powerful argument" that the public has a right to know who not to leave wives alone with. To legally block the forces of social opprobrium is social engineering of the most blatant sort.

The "people's will" kicks in tomorrow

"The people" get their public smoking ban tomorrow, and not everyone is happy about it:

"I certainly have sympathy” for people who still fire up, Kollar said. “One customer said that this thing starts Dec. 7, and so did [America’s involvement in] World War II. He said, ‘Another war’s about to start.’ I said, ‘Whoa!’¤”

One can hope.

Harry Quick got to vote

Cuyahoga Co. had 12,000 more ballots cast than voters signed in, in the past election. I'm sure Harry was one of them.

That's not sloppiness. You get the signature, you give them the machine card. It's not rocket science. If there's any precinct where there are more than one or two overvotes, any poll worker who was there needs to be barred from poll working, because somebody there was obviously involved in fraud.

Rights, government and iguanas

The same anonymoose came back to play after I slapped him once, and he was a little more reasonable this time, so I'll treat his argument seriously.

Rights and abilities are granted by limiting others; that is the very basis of our government. We protect life by outlawing murder. We protect free speech by preventing violence. We offer equal education by removing religion. We protect health by controlling food quality and contents. We allow drinking by limit the amount to protect life and the right to travel with risking ones life. We protect our economy by controlling trade.

Continue reading "Rights, government and iguanas"

No iguana meat for you!

The Food Nazis in New York City have been working overtime to Americanize the diets of recent immigrants:

NEW YORK -- A food safety inspector noticed an interesting special posted in the front window of a market in Queens: 12 beefy armadillos.

In Brooklyn, inspectors found 15 pounds of iguana meat at a West Indian market and 200 pounds of cow lungs for sale at another store. A West African grocery in Manhattan sold smoked rodent meat from a refrigerated display case.

All of it was headed for the dinner table. All of it was also illegal.

Of course, the inspectors are all covered under the Eichmann defense...just doing their job to keep poor immigrants safe.

Ruiad Nasher, who immigrated from Bangladesh in 1995, manages the Master Mini Market in Brooklyn and was caught selling more than 50 pounds of chicken from an unapproved source this year. Nasher bought the chickens from a poultry market in Brooklyn, and said he didn't know he was violating state law.

"In Bangladesh, you didn't have all these rules," he said.


Sad but true. I wonder if he came here in search of freedom?

Meanwhile. I just found out about the FDA boilerplate that all eggs for retail sale MUST carry. Being a law-abiding American, I have made the following label for my egg cartons:

You are an informed consumer
so you know that eggs have 0 g trans fat and all about "SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly."
but the FDA makes me tell you anyway.

"Besides having money what has Capri done wrong?"

So asks bobsmith@yahoo.com.

Run for public office. And run for public office under a party that believes in redistribution of income. In short, she's going to have her hand in my pocket so that she can feel good about herself. I'd like to see a legislative rule stating that before you can vote for any tax to help individuals, you have to donate to charity all assets beyond the average net worth of your constituents. Ain't gonna happen, but it would be fair: give your money before you give mine.

I don't hate Capri personally...never met the woman. And I don't envy her wealth. As far as I know, her family earned it fair and square, and if she wanted to lead a Paris Hilton lifestyle and blow it all, I wouldn't have boo to say about it. What I resent is somebody using their financial power in order to gain financial and paramilitary power over me. And even if her motives were absolutely pure, I resent do-gooders.

Do I think the rich should stay out of politics? Hell, I think EVERYONE should stay out of politics.

Jesus, Gary and Joseph!

Those wacky campus activists are at it again, this time with an "ACLU nativity". Of course, Jesus is missing; the ACLU doesn't want anything to do with Him. Or is that a comment on the fecundity of "Gary and Joseph"? If you believe in the miracle of the Incarnation, it's not much more of a stretch to think that God could do His own transgendering on Gary, if it suited His purposes.

Aside from that little interpretive infelicity, good job, McDonald. Now it's time to defend that evil exclusive religious figure, Santa Claus.

Little Capri

Capri Cafaro got from her party what she couldn't get from the voters: a political seat, Marc Dann's OH Senate seat to be exact. How long until we can vote her out?

I started a little bluesish song about her a couple years back. Maybe one of these days I'll record it...but it keeps changing.

Little Capri, little Capri,
gonna spend all Daddy's money.
Spend all his cash, all you can get;
You'll never beat Steve LaTourette.

Lttle Capri, Little Capri,
Face that looks like Hillary,
Did you ever work for a dime,
Sell your plasma just one time?

Little Capri, Little Capri,
Stupider name than Tiffany,
Got a job from Democrats,
Worker's party needs fat cats.

Little Capri, Little Capri,
Got a job from your party.
Not appointed 'cause you're cute,
Got the job because you have loot.

My, that was quick

It seems like just yesterday (actually it was the day before yesterday)that I blogged about improvements to Ohio's gun laws. Well, it's been passed by both houses, and as I suspected, Daft has promised a veto (which the legislature has already said they would override.)

Fingerbutt wins the award for most inane argument:

Sen. Eric Fingerhut, a Shaker Heights Democrat, during a floor speech, said that gun control is more imperative in urban areas than in rural areas. He chastised his Senate colleagues for pushing a bill that hurts Ohio's large cities.

"If you don't respect my constituents, you don't respect me," he said.

Well, I don't respect him, but that's besides the point. What's interesting to me is that HE doesn't respect his constituents. I haven't read the statistics, but based on observation, I'm not convinced that the crime rate per capita is much lower in the country; it just seems like there is more crime in the city because there are more people there. Po' trash is po' trash, regardless of location or color. So here's Eric saying that we need gun control more in the cities, because my constituents are more evil and irresponsible than your constituents. That's pretty typical for a liberal -- but jeez, guys, you get dissed and still elect the guy? Or is it a Shaker thing, and y'all know that Eric is trying to save you from the unwashed masses on the other side of those roadblocks?

It looks like a fine bill overall. Too bad about the journalist access provision, but we'll fix that later.

OH gun laws to be improved?

It looks like the Ohio Senate has come up with a CCW/local preemption fix that the State Highway Patrol can live with. Now let's see if they can get it through before the next session, and if lamest duck Daft will sign it. Kudos to Jordan and Aslanides!

Beer as cheap as bottled water

...is a holiday tradition in Britain, where the stores drop prices to lure shoppers. Of course, not everyone is pleased:

Paul Waterson, president of the Scottish Licensed Traders' Association agreed: " This type of price-cutting just encourages people to drink excessively outside of a controlled environment like a pub.

"The supermarkets want to sell alcohol in the same way that they sell bread or eggs, but you can't. There is a moral responsibility that comes with it."

So, do low prices encourage the overconsumption of milk and eggs? Hey, people drink over the holidays. I know I consume more than usual. Cheap beer wouldn't be the come-on it is if people weren't out for it to begin with. And where does "moral responsibility" end? Will the British someday have to input cholesterol numbers in order to buy eggs?

The king's highwaymen own the game.

Did you know that "severing parts from roadkill is illegal without a permit or tag from a state game official or a police officer"?

Me neither.

I'm somewhat in sympathy with road workers; a headless deer IS grosser to pick up than a whole one. But out where I am, the only crew cleaning up roadkill are the hawks. And damnit, if I hit something and it damages my car, I want to get SOME good out of it.

Honkies only need apply

At Boston University, the College Republicans have instituted a scholarship for which you need to be at least 1/4 Caucasian. So far there are no takers. Perhaps no self-respecting Caucasian would apply for such a scholarship. If so, where does that leave other minorities who apply for similar scholarships? You can disagree with these folks on the basis of taste, but not on principle.

Cleveland borrowers will have to think...

...now that the Ohio Supreme Court has decided that state lending law trumps home rule. A good decision, it was. But why does that sow Resnick think that "predatory lending" is even a valid concept? Any party in a financial deal will seek their own advantage. If a borrower doesn't examine their deal carefully, whose fault is that?

Art too much for Oberlin

It's kind of a hippy-town thing to regard store windows as a venue for edgy art. My girlfiend, Dianna Talley, was pushing the envelope in Ann Arbor in the late 70s. And in Oberlin, evidently caroler-bashing snowmen and kids making meth with their chemistry sets are OK.

But even Oberlin has its limits. And the edge in Oberlin is...gingerbread Nazis.

Now me, I think it's healthy to regard Nazis as a bunch of crumbs stamped out of the same mold. It's a pity that they're sweet, to be sure. And I haven't seen (and now can't see) their context in the window. I suspect that the same people who say "Never again!" don't want to be reminded that it happened once before. Which is fine, except that things shoved down the historical memory hole tend to come back up. And as a response, it validates shock-art, because, well, somebody was shocked.

The hardware store owner won't be inviting the window dresser back. Understandable I guess. But what did all that weird stuff have to do with hardware anyway?

Hey, Clay...

If Hoyer v. Murtha was a "landslide", what was Boehner v. Pence? Besides just sad?

H. Res 288 and freakout in the dextrosphere

rightwingprof brings my attention to H Res.288, which carries Muslim water by tut-tutting over bad things said about Islam and the Koran. Evidently 7.62mm Justice and Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler are also upset. RWP refers to it as "legislation to destroy the 1st Amendment."

OK, whackjobs, let's get a couple of things straight here:

1. It's not legislation. It's a resolution. Nowhere is this document is there any specific infraction tied to a specific legal penalty. This thing does not have the force of law. The only force it might have would be to collect a few more Muslim votes. If Conyers wants to kiss Dearborn booty, it's no different from anything Christian congressmen have been doing for years...and I haven't heard yelp one out of y'all about THAT destroying the 1st Amendment. I agree that it's a violation of the spirit of the Establishment Clause. However, the law doesn't deal with spirit, but with facts.

2. This is very old news; the thing was introduced 18 months ago, and has apparently gone nowhere. I don't stay up at night worrying about what flaky crap Dennis Kucinich has attached his name to. Neither should you.

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: Edwards wants a Playstation

OK, I'm going to take John Edwards at his word: that he didn't ask a volunteer to get a Playstation 3 for him, let alone get one from Wal-mart.

So...is his internal political education really that crappy? Was the kid really that clueless? Or, since he wanted one for himself, did he figure that using John Edwards' name would facilitate that? Since he did this all on his own, if he had been successful, would John Edwards' Playstation have gone to his kids instead? Did he figure that Wal-Mart was big and bureaucratic enough that it wouldn't notice suce a thing?

If I were Edwards, this guy would be volunteering for somebody else. But if I were Edwards, I wouldn't be picking on Wal-Mart either. Well, heck, I wouldn't be Edwards...though the looks and the money wouldn't hurt.

UPDATE:
This line from Taranto (re "the young kid")is too good not to include:

So have a little sympathy for the populist John Edwards. After all, these days good unpaid child labor is hard to find.

Uncle Miltie's dead

this one, not this one.

If Friedman had done nothing else, writing one book that had an effect on one man in one country would have been enough to ensure his place in history:

"I had read only one book on economics — Milton Friedman's Free to Choose. I was so ignorant at the time that I thought that what Friedman wrote about the benefits of privatization, the flat tax and the abolition of all customs rights, was the result of economic reforms that had been put into practice in the West. It seemed common sense to me and, as I thought it had already been done everywhere, I simply introduced it in Estonia, despite warnings from Estonian economists that it could not be done. They said it was as impossible as walking on water. We did it: we just walked on the water because we did not know that it was impossible." -- Mart Laar, former prime minister of Estonia.

Hsieh WHAT?!

NoodleFood has been a bastion of sanity in the blogosphere, but of late, I really think the Hsiehs are losing it. First there was the whole big thread of assent and support to Leonard Peikoff's notion that Objectivists should vote Democrat because theocracy is a bigger threat than socialism. Sorry, don't see it, at all. It can certainly be argued that the GOP has sold out its libertarian wing to the Religious Right..and Nov. 7 showed what that got them. Americans, even screaming-in-tongues, snakehandling nutjobs, are not at core theocratic. OTOH, socialism is as omnipresent in modern American thought as air is in the sky, to the point that the highest ranking elected Republican espouses socialist policies. Even ceding the tactical advantages of blocking the theocrats first, one is left with the recommendation to compromise with evil. What would Rand do?

In any case, rational voting as a concept is pretty much a non-starter. The Duopoly appeals solely to emotion. That's why they try to kick minor parties out of debates: because the outsiders beat them. Information is filtered, and presented in little emotion-stirring snippets. I'm not sure fear of Hell is any worse a reason to vote than fear of Social Security cuts. It's hard to get enough information to make a rational decision. that doesn't mean one shouldn't try. But to expect the electorate to revamp their decision-making process is hopeless. Ain't gonna happen in our lifetimes, even if St. Ayn comes flapping down from the clouds with little Athena-wings.

Then there's Paul, trying to find a new term to cover waterboarding, because evidently instinctive panic at perceived threat of death is not the same as excruciating pain and is therefore not torture. I suppose that, since he doesn't believe in angels, he can't argue about hom many can dance on the head of a pin, so he has to make this argument instead. I don't see him lining up to experience this non-torture, so somewhere his mind knows that a spade is a spade. It's fairly benign and non-destructive as tortures go, and sometimes torture might be a lesser evil. But there's nothing to be gained by avoiding reality.

It's kind of ironic, given the whole anti-religion thing, that the dictonary definition of "torture" that Paul cites uses the word "excruciating". I guess that if you didn't actually nail Jesus to the cross, and took him down whenever he became too weak to raise himself up to breathe, that wouldn't be torture either.

The Republican's problem diagnosed

...by rightwingprof, who notes how Christian conservatives have driven libertarian Republicans from the party. As usual, he minces no words:

We're at war, and the President has God knows how many judicial appointments waiting in the wings and any number of other pressing issues that are crucial — and Bill Frist thinks it's a good idea to fight the evil internet gambling menace instead.

What a mouthbreathing, drooling moron. And who, again, are the idiots who elected this dickhead?

Worth the read; most of it is a lot more reasonably-phrased.

Guns N' Roses vs. Oktoberfest

Email from my dad:


Read your blog and if freedom means you can perform for an audience while breaking the law and while being soused, inspite of the majority opinion. Then I want no part of Libertarianism either.

Evidently their fans have no problem with GNR being soused, and they're the only ones whose opinions matter. As for "the law", it's a red herring here. What business is it of the State if people choose to drink onstage? Seems like the only ones with a legitimate interest are the audience, the band, the promoters hiring the band, and the owners of the venue. Everyone else needs to butt out. Certainly "majority opinion" has no relevance here; if that's the moral and legal arbiter, why don't we just shut the band down? What we're dealing with here is a Christian blue law. I would also add that YOUR SON has drunk onstage many times, had open beer cups, lifted them up to "Ein prosit". Different state laws and social context here, but BY THE LAW (which is what you're considering sacred), the Joe Wendel Ensemble, doing an Oktoberfest in Maine and doing their usual Oktoberfesty things, would be CRIMINALS. Now, as a German-American, do you think the state has a legitimate interest in stamping out German-American cultural expression?

And while I'm picking on that email:

It scares the beJesus out of me to see Bush kissing up to Pelosi and Reed.

That was a foregone conclusion back in '99...you Pugs should have ran from that "compassionate conservative" crap the minute it left his mouth. IN PRINCIPLE, Bush is as Commie as Pelosi; he's just more "moderate". He still thinks your money is there to help the disadvantaged (or to be more precise, our children's money). It might be marginally better to be raped with 5" rather than 9". but it's still rape, and it's not conservative.

Shut down those dark Satanic (puppy)-mills!

"There are hundreds of puppy mills in the state, close to a thousand, and many of them operate underground to avoid regulation," Hughes said.
And Mr. Hughes thinks the solution to this is...more regulation?

I don't approve of inhumane dog-breeding farms (less perjorative term than "puppy mills"). But I really don't see how they are a legitimate concern of government. And when a legislator's view of the problem is as diffuse as this, the likelihood of the innocent being persecuted increases.

Michael Schiavo kills again

OK, maybe that's a little unfair; there's no evidence that Schiavo's campaigning for pro-euthanasia candidates cased them to die of starvation actively hurt their cause. But it's worth noting that they all went down to defeat.

Another vendor off the list

Last night, I was listening to WCPN, and heard one of those "advertisements that is not an advertisement" (since public radio doesn't have advertisements, don't you know?), this one for "Great Lakes Brewing Co., the ecologically and socially conscious maker of Christmas Ale."

I turned the radio off.

Now, what was that supposed to mean? Anyone who has been reading here for very long knows that I am "ecologically and socially conscious.", though the exact content of that consciousness would probably appall the typical NPR listener. And why should I care about that more than that Great Lakes is "conscious of brewing traditions" (which I can taste) or conscious of anything else?

There are a few things which GLBC does that are "ecologically conscious", I suppose, which I approve of. Making spent brewing grains available to small farmers is one of those. I don't have the science to say with certainty whether those deals are of ecological net benefit; intuitively it would seem so, but it depends of the energy costs of the entire transaction, including growing the grain again for feeding straight, transport, etc. I can be fairly certain, though, that if that did not make economic sense, it would not be happening. Spent brewing grains have nutritive and thus economic value, and both parties must find the deal attractive in order to participate.

And "socially conscious"? Some people might consider a socially-conscious brewer to be an oxymoron, though GLBCs pricing shows a concern with keeping their product out of the hands of street people. How can one brew in a socially-conscious way? They're producing a product. They may treat their employees better than the average business (and given the skills needed from a brewmaster, they'd best treat theirs well), or they may practice charity. But again, these are business decisions, and really aren't relevant to the beer I drink.

But really, I am treating this expression as if it were meant literally, as an attempt to impart information. It's a slogan, not a statement. If we parse it connotatively rather than denotatively, it says, "We're a cool, hip bunch of Green Commies." "Social consciousness", like "social justice", means "Willing to rob one to support another."

Now, actually, I don't have a problem with GLBC holding this position. I don't have to know somebody's politics in order to do business with them. Their product meets my needs, or it doesn't. But, strangely, the only product information offered was the announcement of their seasonal brew. And that was offered after their political statement. Apparently, their politics is more important than their beer.

All right, then. I'm in the market for beer instead of politics; it'll be a long 2 years, and alcohol will help. There are lots of brewers who brew as well (or better!) as Great Lakes. So...thanks for the effective advertisement, and good-bye.

Losers at the Supreme Court

A day after voters defeated abortion restrictions in three states, hundreds of protesters gathered in the rain outside the court. Anti-abortion advocates curled up in the fetal position along the wet sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to step over them as abortion rights groups chanted and held signs nearby.
Considering who won yesterday, looking like a fetus is the last thing I'd want to do. I mean, if there's an absolute right to an abortion, is it still active in the 200th trimester?

I'm glad the Religious Right got their butts kicked. I'm sorry that it took a huge turnout of commies, cheese-suckers and economic illiterates to do it. But that's what happens when you try to run other people's lives: you inspire a backlash. If these folks spent half the time spreading the Gospel that they do lobbying for laws, we wouldn't need anti-abortion laws, because nobody would be getting abortions. They need to live their lives, teach their truths, and make babies. In 30 years or so, the culture will change.

Disheartening evening

It isn't the Democrats winning...we expected that. They will of course claim to have a mandate, when they didn't win election so much as the Republicans lost it. And so they will overact, and find themselves tossed out.

It's the general trend of minding their neighbors' business, with the minimum wage hike, Smoke Free Ohio, and the Cleveland arts levy. I always want to believe that The People are wise, not that The Masses Are Asses. But democracy is the modern version of the Divine Right of Kings, and every once in awhile you'll get an electorate which is the equivalent of the worst syphillitic rotters of Renaissance Europe.

I had Peirce and Fitrakis together at 5-6%, and they're doing about half that. I thought Strickland would eke out a win, and it's been more of a blowout. Thus far, Portage has been doing better for Peirce than the state as a whole (2.5% vs. 1.8%), which is a comfort.

There's both hope and disappointment at http://www.lp.org/. Apparently the 'Pugs were successful in training their idiots to write in the Hyphen Lady for DeLay's old seat. It's Too Early To Tell, but Lampson is ahead. And the margin of victory is about that of Smither's total. Which means that Libertarians will be blamed again for not supporting theocracy, warmongering, and Socialism Lite, as if we somehow owed the Republicans our votes.

And in a moment of madness, I made an 8:30 dental appointment, so I won't be torturing myself much longer.

Everyone in NY is a drunk.

In the Vampire State, they're so anxious to punish drunk drivers that they forgot to read the fine print.

Now you can be arrested for the amount of blood alcohol your body produces naturally.

Prosecutors say they won't enforce the law until it's fixed. A good thing, too, because, as Beck points out, by the standards that The Powers That Be suggest we use to nark on possible drunk drivers, 85% of the people on the road are obviously plastered. This law would just create a tool for conviction. Think of how safe we would be if the entire population were behind bars. Oh wait...maybe we are.

They so want air time

PuffHo has a script to use so that Democrats can take over talk radio today.

Knock yourselves out, guys. I want to hear all the Democrap talking points loud and clear today. Take all the rope you want; the tree is over yonder.

Thought for the day

I think about the history of ATMs when I hear all the nervous Nellies wetting their pants over electronic voting machines. I believe those worries are totally misplaced. Now don’t get me wrong – there’s a 100% chance that the voting machines will get hacked and all future elections will be rigged. But that doesn’t mean we’ll get a worse government. It probably means that the choice of the next American president will be taken out of the hands of deep-pocket, autofellating, corporate shitbags and put it into the hands of some teenager in Finland. How is that not an improvement?

--Scott Adams

Thanks to Claire Wolfe.

Which principles?

Rick Santorum is perhaps the most principled elected politician in Congress...

So says rightwingprof, after a laundry list of flagrant thefts of taxpayer dollars and federalization of power attributed to Santorum...all of which he apparently thinks are good things.

So tell me, Dr. Bond: just what principles does Rep. Santorum hold? Or did you really want me to deduce them from the evidence presented?

Jeffrey's personal voting guide

Here are my recommendations and comments for Tuesday, if anyone cares:

Continue reading "Jeffrey's personal voting guide"

Three-monkey Republicans opening the senses over Internet poker

"I've been a loyal Republican for over 30 years, and I'm quitting the party I once loved," said Jim Henry, 55, who lives outside San Francisco. "Not because of the Mark Foley scandal or Middle East policy. But because the Republican Party wants to stop me from what I love to do: play poker over the Internet."

Well, I'm glad you're seeing the light, Mr. Henry, now that it's your ox being gored. But tell me, how many times in the past 30 years have you supported laws to stop somebody ELSE from what they love to do? For example, where do you stand on the War on Drugs?

My Republican adventure

Last night's Wendel gig was in a church rental hall in Fairlawn, an Oktoberfest for...the Summit County Republican Party. I knew I was playing for the 'Pugs, and didn't figure that my personal opinions should get in the way of my professional duties

It almost didn't happen that way though.

Continue reading "My Republican adventure"

Corsi's getting better

At last Jerome Corsi is giving us some dirt on Ted Strickland more relevant that whether he's into forgiving those who flash children. The residency and voting-frequency issues are absolutely legit. Of course, he has to poke his nose into Strickland's marital living arrangements, and mention that Strickand has never been in business for himself (trie of many politicians). And most bizarrely for a conservative, he writes:

The one consistent feature of Ted Strickland's career is that since his first try in 1976, he has been running for Congress from Ohio's southeastern 300-mile Sixth District that runs along the Ohio River bordering Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, a district that has consistently been ranked as among the poorest in America despite Strickland's nearly 12 years in office.

Does he actually think that politicians create wealth?

City Club getting gamed

The City Club of Cleveland is taking a look at its role in political debates after most candidates this year found a way to manipulate the format.

Yes, packing the hall with your supporters and giving them prepared questions to ask isn't in the spirit of the thing.

But...

I do believe the City Club has held debates in which not all candidates were invited. If they've played bipartisan politics with nonpartisan debates, they are no better than Betty Sutton's supporters...or Case Western.

It would be fairly easy to rein in spoiled brats like Blackwell and Strickland. Legitimate organizations like the City Club, League of Women Voters etc. should simply invite everyone on the ballot, and if a D or R takes a snit, let them stay home. If they want to organize their own political infomercial, let them use their own money. And let the press cover the DEBATES and not the INFOMERCIALS. All it would take is a few of the enabling organizations (in the 12-Step sense) to stand on principle, and the games would cease.

West Virginians for the Byrd

He uses two canes, and his hands shake. But even the kids like him because...

"It's not that we deserve more money than other states, but if he wasn't there, we probably wouldn't get as much as we should," said Ally Hagsett, a Marshall University sophomore and Republican. "While he's alive, we'd better get as much as we can."

...he brings home the swag.

At 88, it's about time for him to put on his robes of white. Again.

Union asks Canada Post to censor mail

That's what it amounts to. And if the post office won't, its workers will.

In a government monopoly, this labor action was totally illegetimate, as it constitutes de-facto censorship. Not that the Canadians have any problem with that; in the '70s listening to CBC, I used to marvel at mention of the "Ontario Board of Censors". But on the other hand, couldn't the religious loons who sent this mailing out have sprung for some envelopes? Sort of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for anti-gay literature?

Christopher Soghoian, American patriot

A 24-year-old computer security student working on his doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington has created a Web site that allows anyone with an Internet connection and a printer to create and print fake boarding passes for Northwest Airlines flights.
"I don't want to help terrorists or help bad guys do bad things on airplanes, but what we have now is what we in the industry call 'security theater.' It's made to make you think you're secure without actually making you secure," Soghoian said. "As a member of the academic research community, I consider this to be a public service."

Naturally, the TSA doesn't agree. Nor do a whole hoast of bloviating opportunist politicians (but I repeat myself) like Edward Markey.

Soghoian points out that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) publicized the same security hole in April 2006. "Perhaps Sen. Schumer will end up being my cellmate," Soghoian said.

One could hope...

The page is down, but Chris' homepage is here.

Candidate sues with the wrong argument

John J. Sullivan, independent candidate for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, is suing CBS for not including him in the televised debate. Both sides are standing on the 1st Amendment.

Much as I hate to say it, CBS is right here. Sullivan's free speech right doesn't include an obligation for CBS to provide him a soapbox. Their station, their rules, end of story.

Bu this "bipartisan=nonpartisan" crap has to stop. I'd like to see CBS taken into court for making illegal campaign contributions in-kind to the Democrat and Republican. Of course, our campaign finance laws are ALSO a gross violation of the 1st Amendment, but as long as the courts continue to deny the obvious, we might as well use the law to our advantage.

T -11 days: will you vote for the status quo?

I let out a little fart of disgust about the 'Fraid Chickens (Teddeth Blackland), and it gets linked to the Peirce campaign blog. Thanks, I'm flattered, but I feel like I haven't done anything or enough or whatever. There's no time in my day to campaign. All I can do is shout out the idea that voting for the lesser of the evils isn't working.

It's like pulling teeth though. I've got a friend who claims to be a socialist (hey, I'm working on him), and he can't bring himself to vote for Fitrakis because Blackwell scares him so badly. "But Strickland is 12 points ahead in the polls!" No matter. It's as if people were hypnotized. The same people who don't drink mass market beer or drink mass market food, who don't listen to Top 40 radio...will still vote for mass market politicians.

I enjoyed the College Republican stunt though. I've done my share of concrete work, and there's no shame in working a float or trowel. Being a Congressman, on the other hand... And Dr. Peirce has too much class to whine on the blog about his supporters being sent to the back of the bus to a hill 1000 feet away from the action. However I, being a former cement worker, don't have that much class (per Ted Strickland), so I can say THAT SUCKS!

Uncovered meat

To the Muslim cleric in Australia who blamed the victim in some gang rapes:

Not every animal likes the same kind of meat. And you don't wear a hijab. So it's your fault if Big Bruce has his way with you, isn't it?

Save 'em, then send 'em back.

A van full of illegals flipped in Texas: 1 dead, 20 injured.

Before the anti-immigrant crowd starts frothing at the mouth about the costs of this tragedy, I want to say that the authorities handled this perfectly. They got people to the hospital ASAP. Human life is human life, and it needed to be saved, regardless of legal status. If I were in an accident in Mexico, I'd want emergency care.

But there's one more thing to be done: once these patients are stable, they need to be life-flighted to the nearest Mexican hospital. That's what I'd want the Mexicans to do for me, if I were in that situation. Golden Rule and all....

Ballot language "counts"

Speaking of proposals to rob smokers...

Arizona has one on the ballot for early childhood education and health. It's 80 cents a pack, according to its supporters. But what it says in the ballot language is ".80 cents", i.e. 4/5 cent per pack. Their secretary of state says, "that's a highly technical reading". But the law IS technical, by nature. It was a technical reading by which Ken Blackwell disenfranchised the Libertarians in 2003, and folks like rightwingprof were telling me to suck it up, that Kenny was just doing his job by enforcing the law. Well, Clay, where do you stand on this? I say that if they can't even articulate how much they are going to steal, they don't deserve it, and if the voters think otherwise, then backers should come back to them for the other 79.2 cents.

Worst part of the story is this leadoff by Mary Jo Pitzl
(isn't that the diminutive of "putz"?)

Early-childhood-education and health programs on next month's ballot could lose millions of dollars if a misplaced decimal point is interpreted technically.

'Scuse me, kids aren't going to lose ANYTHING, not even if this proposal fails. If it passes, they are going to get either .80 cents/pack or 80 cents/pack that they didn't have before. This is just another case of the assumption that "all your money belongs to us."

"I'm the only one allowed to exploit my wife."

Oh, this is rich:

Michael Schiavo criticized Bob Casey Jr. and Pennsylvania Democrats yesterday for using the death of his wife, Terri, as a weapon against U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) in the Senate race this fall.

This from the guy who started TerriPAC, to funnel money to opponents of those Congressmen who voted for intervention in his late wife's case?

Danish cartoon paper off the hook

A Danish court dismissed the Muslim lawsuit against Jyllands-Posten over "those cartoons".

The lawsuit said the cartoons depict Muhammad "as belligerent, oppressing women, criminal, crazy and unintelligent, and a connection is made between the Prophet and war and terror."

Hmmm, maybe these organizations should be suing other Muslims. Some of them are making some pretty explicit connections between the Prophet and terror.

Pervert poker

"I'll see your child flasher and raise you a cokehead."

Two more weeks! Will I live that long?

Anyone notice that Bill Peirce doesn't have any opinions about whose staff is more twisted? And hasn't been engaged in negative campaigning?

Why polls are meaningless

When "Hillary Clinton" is put up against McCain or Giuliani, she pulls different numbers than if "Hillary Rodham Clinton" is put up against the same names.

Is the electorate really that stupid? Do they only have a 5-syllable attention span, so that they forget she was the Prevaricator-in-Chief's co-president? Does she sound more important or powerful with a longer name?

Such wonderful people

The Seattle Post-intelligencer goes on at length about two charming women, Jennifer Kolar and Lacey Phillabaum, wondering amidst the praise how such perfect people could be convicted eco-terrorists.

Taranto notes that, had their terrorism been directed at abortion clinics instead of scientific laboratories, they wouldn't get that kind of treatment from a major newspaper. Indeed, where are the warm fuzzy stories about Islamic terrorists or anti-government extremists? Maybe they're looking for penpals who could turn into romantic interests after they're free...especially given that it was probably Phillabaum's boyfriend who ratted on her.

I think that genetically-improved poplars are a wonderfully Green goal, myself...but then I'm an animal-exploiting, fossil-fuel-guzzling anti-government extremist, so what would I know?

Smoking gun?

The tiresome Jerome Corsi has announced the "smoking gun" in the Strickland non-scandal: the arrest records for Strickland's former campaign manager.

Yeah, so? Yed was either guilty of bleeding-heart liberalism for keeping him on, or of cowardice in not dealing with it forthrightly. And if either of those were an impediment to high office, well, this would be a far different country than it is.

Enough already.

Second Halloween

This morning, my wife referred to Election Day as "the second Halloween."

I laughed, and laughed. then I laughed some more. And the more I think about it, the funnier it gets.

Like the Celtic New Year, this is the time when the dead walk the earth. In some particularly Celtic places like Chicago, they even vote. Terrifying things happen as midnight approaches: major party candidates are elected. The opposing mobs of goblins attempt to make this even scarier, muttering dark phrases like "Speaker Pelosi". Deeds (voting) are done in secret, votes are counted in darkness. Like rumors about tampered candy, tales spread about Diebold machines stealing the election. But the elections were stolen by law long ago, so why does it matter? Candidate talk incessantly about the recently dead, and who will be dead if they are not elected.

And there's trick or treat for everyone. Politicians offer a treat but deliver the same old tricks. If taxpayers refuse to pay for the treats promised by the politicians. they get tricked out of their home and freedom. The treats destroy the health of the body politic, but nobody dares to offer anything healthy; that would either be too expensive or, if homemade, would be considered poisonous. Their chocolates bind up production; their caries-inducing candies inhibit our ability to feed ourselves. And the candidates go door-to-door, too, asking for votes. They have rules about how they can beg, just like municipal trick or treat rules.

Everyone is wearing a mask. Republicans disguise themselves as Thomas Jefferson, Democrats as the friend of the worker, Libertarians as Republicans. Greens wear their ghoul-green masks to hide their red complexion. We know the bigger kids can do more damage if crossed, but they're all just children, and none will act responsibly, though the innocent little Greenies and Libbies are at least teachable. The big kids have already TPed the neighborhood, and now there's no way to clean up the poo they've been flinging. In Detroit Waco, they'll even burn your house down.

And of course, the whole exercise is "for the children". The use of that phrase should be an impeachable offence.

What would happen if people decided that one Halloween was enough, and just stayed home? What if everyone's hopes for getting free candy for mindlessly repeating a slogan ("trick or treat!") were permanently dashed? What if we dropped something totally unexpected into the outstretched bag ballot box? What if Mickey Mouse got a majority of the vote? Why don't we celebrate Election Day like Guy Fawkes Day, but realizing that the treason is above the floor of Parliament instead of beneath it? In short, why don't we just grow up, and leave the games to the kids?

Modest proposals for a proposed island

The Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a 100-acre island off the coast of Cleveland, for about $100m. -- of which $25m needs to come from local government.

Given the current setup, with a river that has to be dredged and a society that's agreed it's government's job, well, the toxic sludge has to go somewhere. We'd might as well get some acrage for it.

But what to do with it? I think we should make it the seat of local government. In 40 years, when the island is done, our leaders will be complaining that their municipal buildings are old and inefficient. Having a huge moat around them will be good for Homeland Security. We can bring people in on little motorboats, carefully screened. We can even house workers there. After all, the desire to rule others is a disease, and an island can help enforce a quarantine. When we finally weary of local government, we can mount a naval blockade and starve them out. And think of the charm in saying "The mayor was voted off the island".

Alternatively, we can build it exactly between the US and Canada, and make it the new UN headquarters. No cars to generate tickets that diplomats don't pay, no nightlife, no fun.

The two-way wall

Taranto doesn't quite get it:

Second, although we are not a fan of the U.S. Mexico border wall, there is an essential difference between a wall to keep people in and a wall to keep people out. Prisons and houses are not the same thing, even though they too both have walls.

Au contraire, prisons are houses for prisoners, and houses can be made into prisons. The difference between houses and prisons is in who holds the keys. Given that it's the government that will hold the keys to the border wall, what is to stop some administration some time from deciding that Americans really need to stay here?

Rallying the troops to plunder the poor

I came to work to find a rally for Issue 18 (the proposal to rob the poor to pay for the art of the rich) happening on the front lawn of Severence Hall. Yeah, like that's really going to make me contribute to the orchestra. They had some guy on stilts almost falling into traffic. A woman waved her sign at me; I waved a finger back. Gee, I wish I still lived in town, just so I could vote no. Maybe I can cast Harry Quick's vote. :-)

"But this isn't a tax on poor people, it's a tax on smokers. And smokers can change their behavior." Well, so you say. I'm married to a smoker. She's tried to change her behavior several times since she's been with me, and failed...and she's a fairly competent person. And poverty largely comes from bad choices in life (including smoking)...which can be changed. So why don't the poor just change their behavior? Really, I don't see how one can be a socialist (as most artists are, philosophically) and support Issue 18 at the same time. It clearly focuses on a habit associated with the poor, and taxes it to benefit the well-off. It's not like we're going to have free concerts by major rappers in Cleveland. And we're not taxing, oh, any wine with a cork in the bottle. That would make way too much sense.

But in a further outrage:

Backers of Issue 18 filed a formal complaint on Tuesday with the Ohio Elections Commission against tobacco company Philip Morris USA and Lorain County resident Gerard Seman, registrant of the Web site www.smokeissue18.com.

I've known Garry Seman for years, and he wouldn't take money from Big Tobacco. I'd certainly like to see the evidence they've invented. I guess it's just inconceivable that somebody would oppose their little shakedown on the basis of principle.

Well, guys: I'm writing this on a computer and server owned by a University Circle institution, who are not responsible for the content of this message. I am. Now, do you have the stones to go after a fellow practicing artist -- a composer and performer -- for campaigning against you?

Geauga and Holmes Counties have a problem:

They don't have enough food stamp users.

It's all the fault of those Amish. How dare they assume they can survive without government aid? Or raise their children...it's for the chillldrennn, ya know? One in 5 qualifying families in Geauga is Amish, one in 3 in Holmes, and they aren't applying.

The guys on the ground in the local Department of Job and Family Services know the answer is "ain't gonna happen". But Jeanne Carroll,(Phone - (614) 466-4815) deputy director of the state's Office of Family Stability (as if a burrocrat could make families stable), claims that "we can't assume they don't want the benefits". After all, somewhere there may be an Amish hypocrite. So the state is going to spend more money so that they...can spend more money.

I invite Carroll (along with Agriculture Secretary Fred Dailey and his flunky Lee Ann Mizer) to go to the Hell of the Amish. I am certain the Amish would not agree with this sentiment, but I'm not Amish and can do what I want in that regard.

Blackwell piles on

...with the "soft on perverts" accusation.

Teddeth only have themselves to blame for this. If they'd allowed people with a real grasp of the issues -- like, oh, Bill Peirce -- to debate with them, they wouldn't be able to roll in the mud, because they'd only make themselves look bad by doing so. As it is, there's no yardstick present, people aren't allowed to see that there's a better way, so even "Jimmy Carter Jr." (Strickland) comes off looking good.

Janet Reno, "champion of justice"

From Balko, news that the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers gave Jackboot Janet an award and a standing O.

Janet Reno oversaw and is largely responsible for Waco. She sent armed thugs into the private home of a peaceful family. Janet Reno is responsible for Richad Jewel and Wen Ho Lee. This is the Janet Reno who as a prosecutor in Florida pursued a number of bogus "recovered memory" cases, and wrongly prosecuted at least one man for child sex abuse, then refused to admit her error, allowing the man to fester in prison for more than a decade.

I wanna barf.

AP plays partisan politics

Three web pages on the race for DeLay's old seat, with many mentions of "the hyphen lady" (Shelley Sekula-Gibbs), who is a write-in candidate.

The name conspicuous by its absence? Bob Smither, the other ballot-qualified candidate, who is polling at 25%.

So much for objective reporting.

Another national socialist

Cult of the supreme leader? check.
Belief in racial superiority, with killing of members of other races? check
Forced eugenics, euthanizing of the handicapped? check.
Militarism, desire for territorial expansion? check.

Adolf Hitler? Try Kim Jong-il.

And what was that about fascism being the opposite of communism?

Foleyating Strickland 2

World Net Daily is still at it.

Pullins insisted he doesn't "give a hoot about how the Stricklands live their private lives."

"But what I do find interesting," he said, "is the whisper campaign that has been going on behind the scenes for months and the efforts by liberals and some conservatives to shut down any discussion of the issue."

In other words, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"

Come on guys, show me the stained blue dress, and I will believe. Otherwise, you're only making yourselves look bad.

Food stamps in 4 hours

Orange County leads in providing "services" to illegals. And of course, as always, it's "for the chillllldrennnn"

"The Mexican man is macho. He doesn't want to come to this country and beg," said Alfonso Chavez, the Community Action Partnership's outreach coordinator. "I tell them this is a program that will help the children. The kids are American-born, and they have a right to this program."

So there's now a "right" to the fruit of somebody else's labor? Let's party like it's 1861!

The brass risk their ...

The assistant defense secretary for homeland defense has to go to war:


WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul McHale, a top civilian Pentagon official and a former congressman, has been recalled to active duty as a Marine reservist and will be sent to Afghanistan, The Associated Press has learned.

Well, he's been there and knows what it's about, so this is kind of a waste, when there are folks in Dee Cee more deserving of a Mideastern vacation. But it's a positive trend; let's not stop now.

Cincy-area kids won't get their hides tanned?

Hamilton Co. has decided that they don't have the authority to ban teens from using tanning beds without a doctor's prescription. So they want the STATE to do it.

Funny, as a child I lived in the Goddess' tanning salon (the beach) and haven't had skin cancer yet. That may be the difference between artificial and natural. Or it might be that the epidemic of skin cancer that caused California to pass a similar law is caused by something else...malnutrition maybe?

CAIRie Nations of Minnesota

I didn't pay much attention to the Twin Cities Moslem taxi deal until this morning, when I read Daniel Pipes' article. Pipes is worried about the precedent of setting up what amounts to a dual transport system. I'm more concerned about cost-free discrimination. Of course, the cabbies always could discriminate, and did. (Anyone can. There is no way to force an individual to not discriminate; you can just make him jump through hoops to do so.) But the MAC has basically said that discrimination on the basis of religious practices is OK. Well, I'm waiting for the Christian Identity cabbie to hang a "No coloreds" sign in his window; after all, that's his religion. Somehow I doubt that will be given the same respect. But giving a green light (perhaps literally!) to discrimination can cut both ways, as those with booze (or even those who think a cabbie should shut up and drive instead of imposing his religion on others) can simply quit patronizing Muslim cabs. Apparently the deal is already dead in the water, as cab companies are afraid of losing business in a consumer boycott. But if their employees are already turning down fares, why are they still employees? If I refused to do my job, I wouldn't have it. Even if they're leasing their cabs, why isn't there a clause in the lease? After all, turning down fares reflects badly on Yellow Cab or whoever the driver is driving for.

It seems that a great deal of the problem could be dealt with by the duty-free stores, who are sending out their booze in transparent plastic bags, making it obvious which fares are carrying. They should switch to tasteful paper handle-bags, maybe solid royal blue with "Allah akbar" in gold Arabic script along the top. "I just bought some copies of the Koran," the fares could say. Alas, the cabbies would buy that for about 5 minutes. Better they should just get with the program and realize that in America, Allah has bigger problems to worry about than whether your customers break the minutiae of Islamic law.

Frank begs: take the ciggie out of your neighbor's mouth

Mayor Frank is coming out against the right of private property smoking in bars, and in favor of Issue 5.

I have to wonder how folks in the old 'hood view this, seeing as how smoking tends to correlate to poverty. I thought we'd fired Cleveland's nanny when we got rid of Queen Jane.

I'm just glad I don't work for the Cleveland Clinic. Those guys are going to get propagandized big time in the next month.

The naked civil servant

This is certainly odd behavior.

But tell me, if it was after hours and nobody but the all-seeing spycam saw him, what makes it "public indecency"?

Foleyating Strickland

Today's bit of poo-flinging comes from WorldNetDaily, citing Bizzyblog. Evidently Ted "'Fraid chicken" Strickland was one of only 13 congresscritters to vote "present" on a 1999 resolution condemming an APA paper supportive of pedophilia. His reason, as expressed in a one minute speech, was that the House was incompetent to critique the methodology of the study. That is certainly true, and a laudable point to make. But if Ted had refrained from voting on every law requiring technical knowledge he did not have, he would have amassed such a libertarian record that I would have no qualms about supporting him for governor. That's pretty obviously not the case; it's not how Congress works. And I also understand why Ted didn't make a principled stand and vote "NO".

The questions being debated are "Why did Ted vote that way?" and "What does it say about him?" Strickland's wife is a psychologist (I believe he is also), and he may have felt an impulse to protect the profession. And Ted is a former minister and a Christian man after the manner of Jimmy Carter. Whether you want somebody who is afraid of making judgements and is under his wife's thumb to run Ohio is a fair question; personally, I think we've had enough of that with Bob Taft.

But that's not where WND wants to take this. They're mostly spinning dirt that Brian Flannery had dug up for the primary. Ted had hired a staffer who had previously flashed some children. Either he didn't do a thorough background check, or decided it wasn't relevant to the job. And Ted went to Italy with this man...oh my, bunghole buddies for sure! Never mind that it was a trip that all the staffers were to make, but in the event only one could go. Was Ted to cancel? What if he'd gone with a woman-not-his-wife? It seems that the only way that trip couldn't be spun sexually is if he would have brought a child....uh, no, scratch that...

Then there's the "firestorm among Ohio bloggers", with only Bizzyblog being cited. BB is fairly reasonable about this; his points are that Foleygate and its accompanying Democratic hypocrisy make this fair game, and that Strickland has tried his best to not reveal any opinion or platform during this campaign, so that any information on his character is relevant. And the conclusions he draws are general character conclusions. He does not imply that Strickland is a pedophile. WND, on the other hand, wants to leave you with that impression without saying it.

This didn't stick when Flannery said it; it's not going to stick now. I really hate watching desperate politicians and their media shills. And I especially hate politicians which are so devoid of ideas and principles that the only way to discriminate between the fungible product is smear black over it. Play fair, or don't play at all.

Vote third-party -- ANY third-party -- or stay home. Screw them all!

Winston Churchill's great-grandson...

...continues the fight against tyranny, and may pay the penultimate price. May the Gods bless this hero of Australian capitalism.

Peirce campaign disses League of Women Voters

They caught one of Blackwell's toadies on video claiming that it is "federal law" that debate participants have at least 15% poll support. They were quite right to nail that; it has only applied to Presidential debates, it is not "law", and it shows that Blackwell supporters have not-a-clue about that thing called Federalism (i.e., Ohio has the right and power to run its state elections as it sees fit, even including charging a poll tax to vote for governor). But, contrary to the panel in the youtube show, it has been many years since the League of Women Voters ran the Presidential debates, as the LWV would not rig their debates in the Duopoly's favor, and the Duopoly would not play otherwise (somewhat like the current situation in Ohio). The 15% rule is the creation of the Bipartisan Debate Commission, which took over from the LWV. "Bipartisan" of course is not "nonpartisan". All it would take to change the 15% rule would be for a Duopoly candidate to refuse to play by it. This will never happen.

It's too bad the Peirce video had that error in it. But it's understandable, and not nearly as horrible as this little Blackwelloid stunt:


On a side note that’s just funny, while we were driving down to Cinci from Cleveland, we happened to get passed by one of Blackwell’s SUVs carrying what looked like his campaign manager. We paced them for long enough for me to lean towards the window and flap my arms like a chicken. The next thing I know, they actually were stupid enough to pull behind us and turn on the flashing blue lights (who knew the Secretary of State had such perks?). Of course, they quickly turned them off and sped past us while glaring out their windows. I think the multiple Peirce stickers might have been a clue that abuse of power would have been a really stupid idea.

What would the bust be for? Terrorism? Dangerous driving? Playing chicken on a freeway?

"You can't execute my client, because we'll riot!"

So says Ramsay Clark, for Saddam. Extortion (which is generally illegal) seems like a rather novel legal argument. The threat of violence if a verdict went a certain way has been discussed before, concerning various American trials, but I don't recall it ever being mentioned by the defence attorney. At least he didn't say that in the courtroom, though that would have been something to see. Perhaps Clark is really a legal genius, setting up an appeal for Saddam on the grounds that his counsel was incompetent.

Those inclined to riot over Hussein getting the Eternal Sand Nap already think this is a kangaroo court; having a kangaroo court made up of gutless wonders is not going to pacify Iraq. I suppose that, rather than sentence him, the Iraqis can just quietly put a bullet through his head and blame a rogue American soldier. Why not? They hate us anyway.

Senator Quisling (R-PA)

Mano Singham digs up a particularly damning fact:


Some of the legislators who voted in favor of the torture bill did so even though they thought it was bad legislation, presumably because they thought that the Supreme Court would rule it unconstitutional and thus no lasting harm would be done.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), who voted for the bill even after his amendment to preserve certain rights for detainees was defeated, called the proposal "patently unconstitutional on its face."

This is not just "craven behavior and buck passing". It is evidence of perjury, which is grounds for impeachment (at least it was 7 years ago). This text might sound vaguely familiar to Specter:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

If Specter voted for a bill, knowing that it was "patently unconstitutional on its face", then he clearly did not "support and defend the Constitution" or bear "true faith and allegiance" to it. While not meeting the Constitutional standard for treason, it shows clear contempt for our system of government and the American people. And this is the man Bush supported over his primary challenger, so he also bears a measure of guilt. This same way of (not) thinking brought us McCain-Feingold, which is also "patently unconstitutional" (the Supreme Court be damned).

Prices too low? Have a coup!

"Progressives" in their war against Wal-Mart have missed out on an effective technique: infiltrate the military, have it take over the country, and then force Wal-mart to raise its prices by threatening to jail top executives.

It worked in Thailand, anyway.

Blackwell plays the race card

This is just bizarre:

Holding his hand almost in Strickland's face, Blackwell said: "Take a look at the color of my skin. There would be very few people of this color if the instinct of the slave that was brutally attacked, the slave woman, was to kill the baby."

Is he saying that black slave women were prone to infanticide? That's not necessarily racist; in that situation I might kill my kids as an act of mercy. But it sure sounds funny.

I suspect that seldom happened, because the slaveowners (who had a vested financial interest in the survival of that baby) would make life rough (and maybe even short) for the slave who wouldn't breed. Sort of like what Blackwell would do to modern citizens slaves who want to kill their fetuses babies.

Chicken Little, the sky ALREADY fell

Mano Singham, my colleague "on the other side of the aisle", writes today about the Military Commissions Act. I can't disagree with him; it appears to be pretty appalling stuff. He overworks the torture angle (Abu Ghraib? There are frat houses that put their pledges through more.), but under the law, we won't KNOW what the government is using, will we?

But this is what got me going:

Last Thursday saw the day when the US as a nation formally decided that it no longer accepted the basic human rights that have been the foundation of its civil society since the time it adopted the Bill of Rights. In particular, the nation went on record as declaring that habeas corpus was expendable and torture was acceptable.

THE day? You just got your line in the sand crossed, Mano? Will you be emigrating, or will you be joining a militia? Please pick one.

The sainted Abraham Lincoln (another Republican; doesn't that make you smile?) suspended habeas corpus and freedom of the press, and rigged the Maryland elections. The 10th Amendment died around then too, if it was not mortally wounded earlier. We allegedly settled the issue of whether an individual has self-ownership and the right to the fruiits of his labor then, too, but that didn't stop the income tax or the draft. The first gun control laws come from then, too, designed to keep firearms out of the hands of newly-freed slaves, so there went the 2nd Amendment (to be mortally wounded in 1934 and killed in '68). That's just the score from "the man who saved the Union" (Sic semper tyrannis!). Since then, we've abused private property, the right of privacy (If you want to hide something, put it in a uterus; the cervix is the only sacrosanct barrier left.), the right to travel, created the War on Some Drugs, destroyed the jury system with voir dire...

Basic human rights and the Bill of Rights have been dead for some time, Mano. How is this law different from all other laws?

But I must congreatulate you for seeing through Shagrod Brown and Ted "half-a-debate" Strikeland. Will you be voting for Fitrakis, or Peirce?

Open season on the Constitution begins today

Because of the holiday, the holiest on the Jewish calendar, the court session was brief. The court swore in new lawyers and issued an 86-page list made up almost entirely of cases the justices declined to consider.

Like whether a Texas law making it a crime to promote sex toys shaped like sexual organs is unconstitutional, or a challenge to McCain-Feingold.

"Vote like a good little republican and the supreme court will protect your rights". Yeah, right.

NSDAP wins council seat in Charleston SC

OK, Larry Shirley is not a Nazi. He just sounds like one.

"What we've got is a failure in society, whether it's in Mount Pleasant with yuppie parents or whether it's on the East Side with poor crackhead parents," Shirley said Friday. "We pick up stray animals and spay them. These mothers need to be spayed if they can't take care of theirs. ... Once they have a child and it's running the streets, to let them continue to have children is totally unacceptable." Deadbeat dads might ought to be sterilized as well, he said.

My wife and I joke about getting her son drunk and doing a home vasectomy on him. But it's a JOKE. And it would be penance, not public policy. Besides, sterilizing Mom 15 years later when the kid's a hoodlum is kind of like locking the barn after the horse gets out. Why should government get involved with eugenics when Nature would do a fine job, if government only got out of the way?

Or Foley could move to California.

Says my wife, "Anyone proposing a law on sexual predators should be given an instant FBI background check and put under surveillance for 7 months." Sort of a more humane Locrian law.

This would include the authors of California's Proposition 83, which

would give California some of the nation's strictest laws governing sex offenders, increasing prison and parole terms for many crimes. Its most controversial provision would bar released offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park and permit local governments to make other locations, such as libraries or public swimming pools, off limits.

The initiative also would require released sex offenders to wear an electronic tracking device for life, regardless of their crime or level of dangerousness.


Convicted daughter-molester and activist Jake Goldenflame claims that the law would make sex offenders homeless, and wants the state to establish a sort of psychosexual leper colony for them. He's got a point, particularly since, as written, prior offenders aren't grandfathered out. There are some real constitutional issues with this. And won't this lead to the exportation of perversion from California? Not that that would be anything new...

But I laughed out loud at this:

The law's chief sponsor, Republican state Sen. George Runner, ...said ..."We don't think government can go in and kick someone out of his house."

Tell it to Suzette Kelo, George.

Another DC hypocrite goes home

Mark Foley is headed back to "the wang of America"

At a White House Rose Garden ceremony on July 27, President Bush hailed Foley and some other House and Senate lawmakers as members of a "SWAT team for kids."

Swat team? Didn't know he was into BDSM.

The sanctimonious little perv urged Jeb Bush to persecute nudists, wanted to seize steal johns' cars, proposed opening FBI databases to the Boy Scouts, and made 'frequent appearances on cable talk shows, where he described sex offenders as "animals" who will persist "unless stopped."' I guess he would know.

Like he said, "it's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction." Only he said that about Clinton.

Property, smoke, and mirrors

Joshua Terschek, in a comment about my piece on Ohio tobacco initiatives:

Well, it is clearly your belief that "the law has no right to tell private property owners what do with their property."

Well, yes, that's pretty clearly my belief, and if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, it would not come as a surprise.
This view is clearly not shared by everyone.

And yes, it's a belief not shared by everyone; if it were, we'd be living in a free society instead of the Marxist-lite nightmare that America is today. But "belief" makes it sound like we're talking about some whim, as opposed to "I believe the sky is blue." It's a simple thing, really; to the extent that a business owner does not call the shots in his business, to that extent he is not the owner. And the person calling those particular shots is the owner to that extent. There's something worse than public ownership: private liability with public control, where a person must take on the burden and risk of success or failure, without being allowed to make decisions that could lead to success.
In fact, I (and probably many others) believe great progress has been made by made through the law telling private property owners what they can and can't do with their property.

"The law" is an abstract noun, and can't tell anyone anything. It's a personification that allows the little tyrants of the world to avoid the truth that people tell other people what they can't do with their property. That's what people do when they walk into a polling booth: they either decide others' fate directly, or they hire agents to decide their fate.

I am quite happy things like the FDA and OSHA exist insuring my food meets standards and my workplace is safe.

I'm glad you're happy, and if you want such things, you could have them without forcing ME to have them. You can have a private FDA like Underwriters Laboratories, to confirm that YOUR drugs are safe and effective. Of course, I suspect you'd sneak off and take non-FDA drugs when they proved effective against your ailment. You could choose to work for OSHA employers.

Neither proposal is banning smoking everywhere...just in certain places. Also, I think few would argue that smoking is a fundamental right.
I would; or, more precisely that it's a particular case of a fundamental right: the right of self-ownership.
As someone who both works in the a health related field and is married to a former waitress I will be voting yes to SmokeFree Ohio.

Well, I'm married to a former waitress (who isn't?) who smokes. I don't. I would allegedly benefit from this legislation. I'm still voting no, because it is something neither you nor I have a right to decide. Smoking is something that separates true fans of freedom from lib-lites. It's pretty disgusting, really, and it's hard to allow somebody to do something that obviously self-destructive. And when we allow somebody to allow others to do that on their property, we tend to think that non-smokers are forced to be there. Well, if there were a huge demand for smoke-free bars, there's be more of them.

Since I'm not in the public accomodation business, I'm not going to take your threat personally. But I will call it for what it is: a threat. Not "your opinion" or "your democratic right." But a threat to hire armed goons to fight against everyone in the hospitality industry who doesn't do business your way. And there's no "color of law" that will pretty up that fact.

Aleuts to Chavez: shove your oil

Free heating oil, in a place where it runs $5-6 a gallon, and they turned it down?! Some people don't like being bribed. I'm proud of them.

Question of the day

From my wife, watching a mob in some Turd World country shooting guns into the air:

"How can they afford to waste that much ammunition? And why does it never fall back down and hit them?"

A mag full of rifle rounds costs more (in the US at least) than those folks make in a day.

NYC health Nazis take on trans fat

Cigarrettes weren't enough; now they have to ban Crisco.

OK, trans fats are bad for you. No argument there. But let's look at some history. The last generation of health Nazis got saturated fats all-but-banned, which is why we have a trans fat problem (and trans are worse than any saturated fat). Ban hydrogenated oils, and we'll have peroxidized Omega 6-rich veggie oils, which aren't good for you either. And there's acrylamide in those french fries either way. Why don't they just force us to eat raw tofu and be done with it? Oh yeah, [falsetto] the phytoestrogens [/falsetto]. (turns genitals inside out)

Instead of violating private property rights, why don't they just let us THINK and decide for ourselves? I thought all the SMART people lived in NYC; that's what they try to tell us out here in The Flyover. Surely they can just quit eating the stuff. And why don't the fast food companies sue on the basis of the law being a violation of the Commerce Clause? They use it for all else, after all. The proposed Chicago law is a real dilly of a soak-the-rich-corps fit, in the mode of the Maryland insurance-costs law, designed for Wal-mart. I'd like to see a civil-rights suit on that.

A good word for third parties

from Wendell Robinson, Republican for Cuyahoga Co. Commissioner.

I see why he'd say those things; a Republican in Cuyahoga might as well be running third-party. But when you click on his issues, there's nothing about ballot access reform. Granted, it's not really a county issue. But combine it with the fact that he IS a Duopoly candidate, and it looks too much like all talk, no action. The courtesan press deserves Robinson's tongue-lashing. But if there were a 3rd-party candidate for commissioner, would he refuse to debate unless everyone were included? Would he insist on coverage of his opponent? In short, is Robinson willing to put his money where his mouth is?

Green Senate candidate off in PA

Santorum campaign spokeswoman Virginia Davis said the lawsuit was an attempt by Casey's campaign to silence a candidate who was willing to debate the issues.

"Rather than focus on the issues, Casey and his crew spent weeks stifling democracy and disenfranchising the tens of thousands of voters who signed Green Party petitions," Davis said.

I'd be far more respectful of Davis' crocodile tears if Santorum had ever actually done anything to ease third-party ballot access.

Eeevul monopolist Starbucks

You KNEW this was going to happen:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The owner of a small coffee company sued Starbucks Corp. (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Monday, claiming the coffee shop's anti-competitive business practices put her store out of business.

The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed in Seattle federal court by Penny Stafford, the owner of Belvi Coffee and Tea Exchange Inc.

According to court papers, Starbucks violated federal antitrust laws by leasing prime commercial real estate at above-market prices in return for the exclusive right to sell espresso drinks or specialty coffee in those locations.

If there is a problem with property-owners cutting deals with vendors, then Case (and most schools in the US) is in big trouble, because of the widespread practice of giving the soft drink concession on a campus to one company. Is it "an abuse of monopoly power" that forces me to go off-campus for a Coke?

The lawsuit alleges the chain "possesses monopoly power" because it has "at least" a 73 percent market share of the U.S. coffee shop industry.

Starbucks has said it has a less than 8 percent market share of all coffee consumed in the United States.

...which is comparing apples and oranges, as I'm sure most coffee consumed in the US is still made at home or in the office. I suspect the actual market share is lower than 73%, even counting only locations that specialize in coffee, and not gas stations etc.

The suit also claims that, after Stafford found a space at one prime Bellevue office building, Starbucks employees "were directed to stand at the entrance of Ms. Stafford's business for the purpose of handing out free Starbucks drinks."

Awww! so why didn't SHE stand in front of Starbuck's giving out free coffee?

Economic illiteracy and the American public

Appallingly, 42% of Americans think Bush is manipulating gas prices to win the election for Republicans, in spite of the press actually DOING THEIR JOB and explaining the forces at work. And we want more people to vote?!

Boortz' commentary on this included the following:

1.) I thought Bush was an idiot. If he's so dumb, then how is he controlling the price of gasoline and the world price of oil? Surely such an intellectual lightweight is incapable of lording over the worldwide energy market and controlling it.

Actually, the real evidence that Bush Is A Idiot is that he hasn't used his power to manipulate oil prices to make himself filthy stinking rich, like any other American (even a liberal) would.

Russian governor: screw off all afternoon

The Russians are getting serious about their demographic tailspin. But I don't see the carrot (afternoon delight and free washing machines) being as effective as a stick (ban abortion, restrict birth control). The problem is not that people can't find time to mate; it's that they can find no reason to bring children into the world.

A stopped clock is right...

Clean tackles, no flags, from yesterday's debate:

"I'm a little surprised my opponent says he's a conservative, yet he would use the heavy hand of state government to tell local boards how to spend their money," Strickland said.

and

The most heated exchange in the debate occurred after Strickland expressed concern that some standardized tests were unfair to minority and poor children.

Citing the "soft bigotry of low expectations," Blackwell said he found it "actually disgusting" his opponent wanted to "throw away standards for African-American males."

The press grows a pair re Teddeth Blackland

CLEVELAND (AP) — In a reversal, the candidates for Ohio governor allowed The Associated Press to shoot still photos Wednesday for pool coverage during their second debate.

The campaigns of Republican Ken Blackwell and Democrat Ted Strickland had said photo coverage would be restricted to the candidates' handshake before the debate and interviews afterward.

In a letter to the campaigns, the AP, dozens of its member newspapers and the Ohio Newspaper Association demanded that photo access be given for the full debate. The AP and those organizations were prepared to boycott photo coverage of the debate if full access was not allowed.

That's nice. Now, how about they do something really radical and boycott coverage of the debate unless all candidates are included?

I could have shown up for an hour before work to join the Libertarian unwelcoming committee at Channel 5, but I didn't...I really needed to practice. I heard a bit of the advance auction of stolen goods debate on the way in. And if Blackwell would find a way to bail on the debates that wouldn't make him look bad, he'd be ahead, because he's blowing it on stylistic grounds. You can't have your opponent lay out a plan, and then say "My opponent has no plan". Nor can you get your rhyme groove together and call him "the man without a plan"; imitating Johnny Cochrane is not going to help with one demographic and will actively hurt with another. Blackwell's positions are not unreasonable, at least no more so than Strickland's. But he's losing points on presentation.

Another thing: one questioner threw out the stat that higher education costs 45% more in Ohio than the national average. I'd like to see what went into that conclusion; it seems a little glib. Are we comparing apples to apples? What are the ratio of OH private-college to public-college students? A fair comparison would be to compare Ohio's public universities with other public universities of similar academic standing. The questions are whether Ohio students are getting enough bang for the buck, and whether they can afford the bang.

And it's not bad enough they're watching kiddie porn...

...they're registering to vote. Or being registered.

ACORN has been implicated before in voter registration fraud overzealousness. It amazes me that they're still allowed to do it. They were probably responsible for Harry Quick.

Of course they say, "And thereis no evidence that the type of fraud that this bill seeks to address isanything but an anomaly."[sic]

"We lied in the morning, we lied in the evening."

Well, of course they did. They're socialists.

I don't think Gyurcsany meant that the entire notion of prosperity for all through robbing the capable is a lie, though it is. They just, uh, miscalculated how much swag was available to be distributed.

Of course he shouldn't resign. He should stay there and clean up his own mess. He won't have long:

Local elections are scheduled in two weeks' time. The Socialists and their liberal coalition allies are trailing [center-right] Fidesz in the polls.

Gods only know why a former Commie-bloc nation voted in socialists to begin with. Was it this list of goodies?

In an effort to rein in a soaring budget deficit, his Socialist-led coalition has raised taxes and announced plans to lay off scores of state employees, introduce direct fees in the health sector and tuition for most university students.

The poor dears will have to PAY TUITION?

Kõrm szivárgás bíbor Kool-aid!

Huck Finn, criminal

In the case of Normal Parm v. Sheriff Mark Shumate, James ruled that federal law grants exclusive and private control over the waters of the [Mississippi] river, outside the main shipping channel, to riparian landowners. The shallows of the navigable waters are no longer open to the public. That, in effect, makes boating illegal across most of the country.

But...but...it's taking property out of the commons and assigning it to private owners! Some kinds of libertoonians tell me that's GOOD!

Now, who will be the first to mine their waters to keep out jet skis? I want to see that. Roarrrrrrr.....BOOM!

UN to go into the nuke business?

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier thinks that the UN should get into the uranium-enrichment business "to stop countries feeling the need to build their own installations," and to provide international control.

To which I can only say "oil for food."

The UN is the last political organization I'd trust with nuclear materials....seriously, below Iran and North Korea. At least with them, you know what you're getting, and they aren't hiding behind idealistic words. With the corrupt UN, we won't know what's going out the back door. And if the UN is enriching uranium, what's to stop the UN for developing its own bomb sub-rosa? could such a project be done off the books, with the UN's budget? Or financed by illicit uranium sales? What happens when every tin-horn dictator decides he's had enough of America, and the UN votes for America to do something "or else", and we find out what "or else" is? These are the folks whose soldiers can't be trusted with a rifle and a penis at the same time, and we're going to let them have fissionable material?!

The Divine Right of Kings

"For me it is clear: If two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," Donner said. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'"
Or if they vote for... Mandatory church attendence? Chattel slavery? The Final Solution? ...it's okay?
The justice minister said, according to the Dutch Expatica News, "It must be possible for Muslim groups to come to power (in the Netherlands) via democratic means."

Mob rule and tolerance are incompatible values.

Sure we're gay

Two elderly British sisters want to be treated as lesbians in civil union, for tax purposes. And I say: why not? I suspect it would be easier for them to simply declare themselves gay and get "married". But there's probably a law against gay siblings getting "married", even though there's no compelling State interest for such a law; after all, it's not like they're going to reproduce. They'd doubtless find such a union "quite improper", but hey, they're old ladies; they can get away with being a bit dotty. And there are folks who would say, "Oh how sweet! It's just like 'gay until graduation': queer until the bier."

These ladies are demonstrating the absurdity of the law. I've been using those scare quotes because the State can't marry gays, for the same reason it can't marry straights: it's not part of a valid apostolic succession, and thus is not able to administer the Sacraments. We're all domestic partners. And what is the State's interest, and the individual's interest, in domestic partnership? If it's security for children, then there's no point in gay "marriage" unless there's already a child, either naturally or by adoption. And if it's about children, wouldn't "one of each" be preferable? If it's about sex, do you want the government to have an interest in your conjugal relations? Just as we don't need a state licence to screw, having a state licence is no proof that we are actually getting any.

No, "marriage" is primarily about estate planning, and certain economic rights and obligations. That being the case, why bring sex into it at all? "Marry" your gay lover, "marry" your sister, "marry" your adult child; I don't care. If the state shouldn't discriminate against homosexuals, why should it discriminate against asexuals?

MI to tell girls they must get poked?

They've had a vaccine for human papilloma virus for three months now, and already the women of the Michigan legislature want to make it mandatory. Hey. I'm all for preventing cervical cancer. But I have a problem when government tells you what to stick into your childrens' bodies, and when the state zaps employers or the Federal government $360 per dose. And oh, before anyone accuses me of misogyny, I'd have the same problems with a prostate cancer shot.

Yard-sign count on my way home last night

Blackwell: 0
Strickland: 0
Peirce: 11

It doesn't really mean anything. But it put a smile on my face.

My heart bleeds purple Kool-aid

Apparently neither group of Cigarette Nazis have enough valid signatures to be on the ballot.

In the case of SmokeFreeOhio, it's another case of petition technicalities, though this time Blackwell was the source of the problem, and the courts are disallowing the petitions. I suppose that for the sake of consistency, I should be crying about this. But given that there is no right to a public vote regarding the use of private property, I can only applaud.

Who is Big Oil?

...Big Government! And they don't do oil production any better than they do anything else.

Thanks to Balko.

Oh yeah, Cooper City FL is prepared for hurricanes

Under the city law, once the city declares a state of emergency, officials would be able to regulate fuel and alcohol sales, close any place of public assemblage and prohibit public possession or display of firearms. In addition, they would be able "to confiscate merchandise, equipment, vehicles or property needed to alleviate any emergency condition."
I see a lot of city officials who need to be unemployed.
Kleiman said Cooper City residents should be happy because their city has taken preventative steps to ensure their well-being.
And if you've taken your own preventive steps to ensure your family's well-being? Kiss them goodbye.

Yee-HA! LPO wins elections appeal.

Libertarian Party of Ohio v. J. Kenneth Blackwell (04-4215)

The LPO’s second claim, which is not moot, is that the combination of two Ohio election regulations – the requirement that all political parties nominate their candidates via primary election and the requirement that all minor political parties file a petition with the Secretary 120 days in advance of the primary – imposes an unconstitutional burden on its First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of free association, by effectively preventing it from gaining access to the general election ballot in the twelve months preceding a presidential election. Following the analytical framework set forth by the Supreme Court in Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780 (1983), and its progeny, we find that the combination of these two requirements imposes a severe burden on the constitutional rights of the LPO, its members, and its potential voter-supporters. As the regulations are not narrowly tailored and do not advance a compelling state interest, Ohio’s system for registering new political parties violates the Constitution. Thus, we reverse the ruling of the district court.
and:
The State has made no clear argument regarding the precise interests it feels are protected by the regulations at issue in the case, relying instead on generalized and hypothetical interests identified in other cases. Reliance on suppositions and speculative interests is not sufficient to justify a severe burden on First Amendment rights.

This seems to me to be a pretty narrow decision. Judge Clay, in his dissent, wanted to take it farther and consider the strict application of voter law, which the majority found moot. Griffin wanted to declare the whole matter moot. Gibbons wasn't interested in telling the legislature how to run their elections, except to say that the past way wouldn't do...which probably means a lawsuit or two and some hard legislative lobbying.

Still, it's a very fine day when I see Blackwell get spanked.

Warren Jeffs = David Koresh?

Ilana Mercer draws a comparison between the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Branch Davidians, and in the process demolishes the rape charges against Jeffs.

Yes, I think they're freaking weird. But it's their religion. It's not like they're out kidnapping Catholic schoolgirls to serve as supernumary wives.

But does urging someone to engage in what one perceives to be marital sex amount to being complicit in a rape?
Only if you're Catherine MacKinnon. This muddying of the notion of rape can only result in less prosecution of real rape.
As Court TV has reported, "Under state law, it is a crime to have sexual relations with anyone under the age of 18 unless the parties are legally married to each other. Because a polygamous marriage can never be legal, the men marrying teenagers as second, third or fourth wives [are] guilty of statutory rape, or sexual conduct with a minor." Thus a determination of rape here rests not so much on whether evidence exists that a woman was forced to have sex against her will, but on her position in the harem!

Katie Couric is going to need a ratings boost Real Soon Now. I'm waiting for the rabbit screams, the tanks, the fake meth lab, and finally the auto-da-fe'.

In a Czech speakeasy

..an expat is questioned about life in the states:

And I was, sadly, forced to confirm their fears. Zdanek asked, wide-eyed with disbelief, if you could really go to jail for a joint. I told him about Mandatory Minimum sentancing and Three Strike laws, and he drained a half-liter of beer all in one go
.

Ohioans will vote for youth unemployment

They won't think they're doing that. They won't think, period. What's to think about? Everybody wants more money. But every rise in the minimum wage has led to unemployment among unskilled and marginal workers, which is something this state can't afford, given its precarious economy.

Ohioans for a Fair Minimum Wage (a front group for the AFL-CIO) has put on the ballot something people have no right to vote on: a contract between two people, and the use of an individual's wealth as he sees fit. If there is any chance of defeating this at all, it's going to require a stronger advocate than Ohioans to Protect Personal Privacy, which has built its campaign around what it says are burdensome record-keeping requirements embedded in the amendment. That may be the case, but it's really besides the point. Personal privacy was breached the minute the state stuck its nose into private deals between employer and employee.

A coalition of Commie pastors will be supporting the job redistribution, in spite of Matthew 20.

And they say Cleveland is poor

From DeCoster:

In Detroit, where the government's "unemployment rate" is the highest of any metro area: "Nearly 7,000 homes, more than a year's worth, are up for sale; 7,422 homes in the county are in foreclosure (that figure swelled by 39% in July alone); and prices from January through June are down 6.6% from the same period last year." Homes in the upper crust Grosse Pointes are taking 1-2 years to sell, if they sell at all. Meanwhile, people are fleeing GM, Ford, and Chrysler (or are getting fired), and are snapping up jobs in places like Charleston, Charlotte, and Georgia. One ex-GM engineer friend of mine, who is in the process of settling at a new job in Charleston said, "It seems like everyone here is from the Detroit area." The Yankee invasion?

Judge blocks effort to keep Harry Quick from registering to vote

This was probably just as well, as it was an unwieldy and unfocused attempt to solve the problem.

At a hearing Friday before O'Malley, lawyers for the state said such tactics led to fraudulent registration cards with names like Mickey Mouse and Jive Turkey. The changes would prevent those types of scams, state attorney Richard Coglianese said.
The problem is not voter registration, but people being paid to register voters. And nobody sane would pad their cash cow with obviously false names. They'd use something sensible...like Harry Quick.

Harry showed up at my address during the 2004 election cycle. I found out about him on November when I went to vote. Fortunately, he hadn't signed to vote, though that means nothing as I tend to vote early. I notified the poll workers at that point. I received several other bits of official mail for Harry, which I sent back with notes attesting to his non-existence. Finally, after I moved, the PO forwarded (which they aren't supposed to do) a jury summons for Harry. I think I finally killed Harry off, or at least convinced somebody that he no longer lives in Cuyahoga Co. In the process, I found out that he was probably my big brother (b. 1953) and that he was (surprise!) a Democrat. (as if I would let a Democrat live under my roof. Well, Rusty claims to be a Democrat, but that's for sentimental not for ideological reasons, union girl from the Valley and all that. And since she's my wife I get to do with her literally what I would metaphorically do to Democrats generally.) The relative non-reponsiveness of the authorities didn't help preserve any faith I had in the electoral system.

Seattle: the word is no longer Thunderbird

"Alcohol impact area" -- what a lovely concept! Seattle has 'em, and the mayor, council and state liquor board have conspired to ban sales of 29 brands of beer and wine in the zones, in response to citizen complaints about "homeless alcoholics".

Do I really need to show what's wrong with this picture? Given that some idiot got the idea, and another idiot voted for him, I guess so.

First let's deal with principle...and the principle is equality before the law. Picking out specific brands discriminates against certain manufacturers. More than that, it's racist, given that Old English 800 and Thunderbird (and the others) have a definite association with Certain Ethnics, so that a ban affects them disproportionately. (Would it ever occur to anyone to ban Jägermeister?) There are a lot of equally potent microbrews in Seattle; why aren't they on the list? It is an "alcohol impact area" not a "Colt 45 impact area." And what of the many hard-working people who come home from their Hard Work and like to drink malt liquor?

Then there are the consequences. Since the homeless don't stay at home, or rather, where they stay is home, they'll migrate to other parts of the city where they can buy their favorite tipple, pissing off those neighborhoods. Meanwhile, assuming they don't find equally high-value beverages to sell that aren't on the list, the small stores will go under and we'll have yet more complaining about neighborhoods underserved by groceries and discrimination against the Certain Other Ethnics who run the stores. And it won't dry anyone up; it will just encourage alternative beverages. Maybe there'll be a renaissance of moonshining.

"Well, okay, smarty," you might say. "How would you fix the problem?" Well, I don't see the drinking as a problem separate from that of homelessness. But if it is, there are many solutions, of varying humanity, morality, and constitutionality. My own Modest Proposal is this: since Seattle has shown itself willing to legislate morality already, and in honor of its strong anti-war contingent, I think they should just institute Sharia and be done with it.

Thaks to dustbury, via (accidentally) rightwingprof.

Ohio, put on your scarlet P

COLUMBUS - An Ohio legislative panel yesterday rubber-stamped an unprecedented process that would allow sex offenders to be publicly identified and tracked even if they've never been charged with a crime.

They call this a "civil registry", and those named would be treated as those covered under Megan's law, including being restricted in where they could live.

And whose bright idea was this?

The concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago.

In other words, to protect the church's assets, the bishops threw the rest of Ohio to the dogs. That should be worth 7 aeons in Purgatory, at least.

But we all hate perverts, right? Let me spell out a hypothetical, for the paranoia-challenged out there. Let's say I'm a gadfly politician, and I've pissed off the county prosecutor. He trumps up some evidence about me being a child molester and brings it to the judge. The judge is convinced by it, and puts me on the list. There's no trial, so I can't argue against his evidence. Now, let's be optimistic and say I don't have to move, and the neighbors don't much care. (I got notices several times in my old 'hood, and the perp was generally accused of stupid stuff like 19 diddling 15...certainly nothing to fear or change behavior over.) Now, say I run for office, and the opposition does its homework. Bingo! Suddenly the whole freaking nation knows "he's a pervert", and my electability has plunged to just below that of Genghis Khan.

A friend of mine just said she was moving because she did not feel safe being a freedom-lover in Ohio. I derided that remark a little, at the time. I'm not now.

Thanks (I think) to Clairefiles.

No BVM in your yard

Anyone who would buy into any development with a homeowners association is nuts. Anyone who would do so contingent on promises that were not put in writing is a fool. What's this country coming to, when you can't place a 2-foot Virgin Mary in your own yard?

I hope the association board members get stuck with some overpriced property.

Coulter: a bit too far

"They shot the wrong Lincoln"?!

Ann, Ann, supporting the assassination of political figures doesn't even fly on Democratic Underground. Anyway, Chafee hasn't yet been responsible for 600K deaths and the conquering of a sovereign nation. And if he's as lame as you claim, he never will be.

And you seem cranked over Bush supporting the "wrong" Republican (a trait Pat Toomey remembers well). Tell me, Ms. Coulter, what business does ANY sitting president have taking sides in state party business, given that he has to work with whomever is elected? Bush should sit on his hands until after the primary...and then (as you rightly note) he should be supporting the Republican, not a rogue Democrat.

No Lane Bryant in Oak Park

"The sexiest suburb in America" apparently doesn't want to see fat people shopping, so they've told Lane Bryant they aren't welcome to open there.

Since the right of property is intrinsically related to the right to life (property being necessary for survival), why don't they just cut to the chase and RENDER the chubbies?

Thanks to rightwingprof.

Misfortune for soldiers of fortune

It's not a big segment of the economy, but South Africa is again shooting itself in the foot, this time by banning mercenaries.

How's a poor ex-JackBootThug supposed to earn a living anyway?

DEA agent fighting CO marijuana referendum

Michael Moore (not the movie-making fatso, but his soul brother) needs to be unemployed, NOW.

I don't care what Federal law allows. It's just WRONG for members of the Federal government to meddle in state referenda while on the job.

A new idea for tax avoidance

Become an illegal immigrant retroactively.
Write your Senator today!

The election fixer and his friend

Half the candidates for governor of Ohio will debate Sept. 20. And the less interesting half, at that.

At the county fair

I played hooky from work today, partly to help my wife deal with the mysterious symptoms her car has been exhibiting, partly to go to the Rogers flea market, and partly because it was fair time and I wanted to use the whole weekend for farm work.

The only problem with county fairs is that they are COUNTY fairs, i.e., they have some relationship with government. The animals were wonderful, the rabbit sandwich and sugar-free Klondike bar were tasty, and we even found out what to do about my brush-hog eating PTO pins. But our interactions with government were dodgy at best.

First there was the visit to the county health department. I was idly gazing at their table full of propaganda, and gazing back from a pamphlet was this gorgeous little moppet who had doubtless taken over all JonBenet's gigs, with the politically-proper Heinz 57 features (could be of almost any race, but certainly of no one race). And the title of the pamphlet was: "Food stamps make America stronger." Needless to say, I about horked. The publication did not make a single argment backing this assertion, but instead told us how to do it. (An argument could be made, though personally I think that encouraging weak links to remain weak does not make the chain of "us" stronger.) I started fantasizing out loud about the brochure "Cheese-sucking: your patriotic duty", and Darling Wife pulled me away from there.

Then we visited both branches of the American Socialist Party. Rusty considers herself a Democrat, though a Democrat "in recovery", and I nourish this vain hope that the Republicans will someday match their actions to their rhetoric. The Pugs gave Rusty a fan, and I got a little book that will tell me whether Fran DeWine's cooking is as bad as her husband's voting (at first glance, it doesn't appear to be). Rusty politely gushed about Janet Esposito, the county auditor, who reduced our taxes. Then we went across to the 'Crats. "Look, they're giving out something useful: nail files," said Darling Wife cheerfully. "That's so Democrat women have something to do during sex," I said loudly....getting me pulled away again.

Then there was the site put together by the organization of townships, and each township had its own display (there was also free drinking water, the main reason I was there.) Windham's was much lamer than the others. It wasn't so much that nothing ever happens there, but that no thought was taken in putting it together; it was just a mass of unidentified (and mostly badly-shot) photos. And there was an aerial map of the county, and this woman talked about how her son works for some company called EROS (lovely, that...NOT) which analyzes satellite data for the government. "He says they can read your licence plate from up there. So if they can do that, why can't they find Osama?" The truth hit my brain and mouth at the same time: "Because Osama doesn't use licence plates." That was a big camel-jockey joke to them, but that wasn't the point...which was that if you wear big horking tags identifying which driver you are, you can be identified; that's the whole point of that little exercise.

We had fun in spite of politics...which is more and more the way I try to live.

Give us a break, Taranto!

James Taranto (who apparently doesn't believe in permalinks or trackback URLs) comments on Iran's answer to MoveOn:

The Iranian government's pledge of 500 million dollars to Hezbollah has angered many Iranians who say they are still awaiting money to help rebuild their homes that were damaged by wars and natural disasters, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The anger is particularly fierce in the Khuzestan district, which sustained severe damage during the Iran-Iraq war, and in Bam, which was hit hard by an earthquake three years ago. . . .

"Informed sources" told Asharq Al-Awsat that spontaneous demonstrations were staged in Bam and in Khuzestan on Friday as protesters shouted slogans critical of Hezbollah and the government. They were demanding their homes be rebuilt instead of the government intervening in Lebanese affairs.

This is one reason why democratizing the Middle East is such an important goal. It's very unlikely that a democratic Iran would be waging war on Lebanon. Democracy is a check on unnecessary war. Indeed, a drawback of democracy is that it's sometimes a check on necessary war; just look at Old Europe and its approach to Iraq, Hezbollah, etc.

This is laughable on so many fronts:

1. Democracy has not been a check on a necessary (or unnecessary, depending on your viewpoint) war in Iraq.

2. Democratic regimes in the Middle East have tended to support jihad, it being a popularly-supported concept.

3. Iran is not "waging war on Lebanon", any more than we waged war on Nicaragua or the Soviet Union when we supported the contras and the Afghani muhejadeen; rather, it's following the established (by us) Cold War pattern of supporting proxy fighters. If this constitutes waging war, then clearly American democracy failed to stop it, in spite of the general unpopularity of foreign aid.

4. A year ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when it was suggested that we should bring the boys home to help with reconstruction, the conservative bloviacracy howled that it was just Democrats playing politics with the victims. Well, now Iranians are demanding the same (real Iranians in the streets, not talking heads), and suddenly it sounds like a better idea. just because it would be in our national interest.

TATP in the skies

Was the latest terrorist bomb plot technologically feasible?

You read this, and tell me.

But the Hollywood myth of binary liquid explosives now moves governments and drives public policy. We have reacted to a movie plot. Liquids are now banned in aircraft cabins (while crystalline white powders would be banned instead, if anyone in charge were serious about security). Nearly everything must now go into the hold, where adequate amounts of explosives can easily be detonated from the cabin with cell phones, which are generally not banned.

Thanks to Mr. Beck.

PETAoids go after anglers in Britain.

A mob of about 35 got chased away (not arrested mind you) from a grouse hunt, came upon "a handful" of people fishing, and decided to have some fun. And the government isn't sure what, if anything, to do:

Pc Duncan Thomas, the force's wildlife officer, said that saboteurs were increasingly attacking anglers.

"Both anglers and grouse shooting parties should be aware of the threat to them and they should have contingencies in place to protect themselves."

Uh, "PC" Thomas, HRH's government has BANNED such contingencies. Or did you expect them to do battle at 7 to 1 odds with the same sticks the rioters were carrying? Odd how I haven't heard of any similar attacks on this side of the pond.

Saturday the Prevaricator-in-Chief turns 60...

...and he's whining about it.

Maybe his former opponent can fix him up with some drugs to put the spring back in his...step.

Kentuckyfriedcruelty.com is off the menu

Those who are regular readers here know that only Ted Nugent surpasses me in contempt for PETA. However, I just got news that has nibbled at my heartstrings: Goveg.com (nee Karin Robertson) and Kentuckyfriedcruelty.com (nee Christopher Garnett, aka "Tucker" around the office) have reverted to their given names.

Garnett's case was particularly poignant:

All was going well until recently, when Garnett applied for a passport and credit card in preparation for a family trip to Europe.

"Since Kentuckyfriedcruelty.com doesn't have a social security number, it became a big hindrance," he said. "From what I've been told, it's a real nightmare to go through the whole process."

In other words, the little dweeb got caught in the same kind of bureaucratic tangle he wants to put the rest of us in. It's almost enough to make one feel sorry for him. Almost.

Two questions arise:

1. If he'd changed his name legally, why wasn't the courthouse talking to the SSA?

2. What kind of sick human associates his entire identity with a political cause?

Definitive statement on WW IV / War on Terror /War against Islamofascism

Tam says:

If they "hate our freedom" so much, Georgie, then why are we doing everything we can to help them kill it?

Thanks to Mr. Beck.

Taranto discovers the War on Individuals....

...though I'm sure he doesn't quite understand the real meaning of his words:

Last week, after the British terror plot bust, President Bush used the term "Islamic fascists," which the Council on American-Islamic Relations finds irksome. What term does CAIR prefer? Here's its statement about the plot:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today issued the following statement at a news conference in Washington, D.C., in response to the arrests of 21 individuals for allegedly plotting to use liquid explosives on passenger flights traveling from the United Kingdom to the United States.

The war on individuals! Why didn't we think of that?

Yes, that's exactly what we're in: the War on Individuals. And their nationality and religion are totally irrelevant. Indeed, if you're American and Christian, you're even easier to war against, as your territory is occupied and the supply train is short.

Ebay: Pennsylvania's fence of choice.

You thought all those pocket knives and fingernail clippers seized stolen at airports were taken for the safety of us all? Turns out there's money in selling that stuff on Ebay...along with Christmas ornaments from Nathan's Famous, assault blenders, artificial palm trees, sombreros, and other items of dubious utility as weapons. I wonder when the airports involved (which include Cleveland Hopkins) will get tired of such penny-ante pickings, and start stealing musical instruments, computers and rare coins. After all, anything can be a weapon.

Screw McCain-Feingold




At least *sigh* commeasurate with my employer's tolerance level....

Thanks to Mr. Bond.

Lieberman and democracy

David Sirota has a rant on at AlterNet. I don't generally do leftist rants, but this one is focused around an interesting idea:

Lamont's Victory and Lieberman's Insult to Democracy

Understand how insulting this is: Connecticut taxpayers just spent a large sum of money to hold a democratic primary election in a country founded on small-d democratic principles. An 18-year incumbent who had 100-percent name ID and a $12 million war chest (thanks to, among others, Joe's good friends in the pharmaceutical and financial services industries) was unable to win that election. Now, instead of respecting small-d democracy or the party he has spent the last week pledging his devotion to, he's behaving like a Third World autocrat who ignores democracy and running to hard-core GOP voters and fundraisers in Connecticut and begging them to help him hold on to his job in the Senate club. This undemocratic chicanery from a man who has long justified his support for the Iraq war by saying he has a supposedly heartfelt devotion to spreading democracy.

Let's see if I have this right: the DEMOCRATIC PARTY (with which what percentage of CT voters are registered? And how many of those have donated time and money?) has chosen Lamont instead of Lieberman as their standard-bearer. Lieberman has chosen to appeal to other voters instead. So we have THREE candidates (at least) running instead of the two we would have if Joe had taken his licking and slunk off quietly. In other words, voters have 50% more choice than they would have otherwise. What's undemocratic about this?

What's undemocratic is the notion that if a candidate doesn't have the approval of the two major parties, he shouldn't be allowed to run. Historically, I'm sure this has indeed been Lieberman's position, and only his ego makes him behave otherwise. I strongly suspect that it is also Lamont's position. I would love to see him campaign on reducing ballot-access bars to third parties, but I'm not holding my breath. ANY adult who is not clinically insane should be allowed to run, even Lieberman. And anybody who complains about "insults to democracy" while supporting an organized conspiracy against democracy (the Democratic - or Republican- Party) gets no respect from me.

More family-friendly law from Minnesota

If you're a massage therapist, don't marry a client; you could lose your license.

And awfully presumptuous of the State to assume that the marriage was consummated, isn't it?

Bono: hypocrite

He's awfully into telling governments to steal more swag from their citizens to give to Turd World hellholes. But when the Irish government decided that £170K was quite enough for an "artist" to make without paying taxes,U2 Ltd was outta there.

U2 really should have gone to Zimbabwe. I would love to see Mugabe nationalize their copyrights.

Brownshirts in Connecticut

A friend of mine just returned from Connecticut, where he had spoken on several occasions on behalf of Joe Lieberman. He happens to be a liberal antiwar Democrat, just as I am. He is also a lawyer. He told me that within a day of a Lamont event--where he asked the candidate some critical questions--some of his clients were blitzed with emails attacking him and threatening boycotts of their products if they did not drop him as their attorney. He has actually decided not to return to Connecticut for the primary today; he is fearful for his physical safety.

Lanny Davis, linked by Beck
.

And here I thought the Dems were the International Socialists.

Governors to lose state militias?

This is getting almost NO media attention. And when governors of both parties oppose it, you can bet that it's not just another attempt to embarrass Bush.

"Duh, shouldn't the Commander in Chief have control over all the armed forces?" Duh, shouldn't the sovereign states of the United States have some way to exert their will?

Why just have religious police...

...when you can join the ranks of civilized countries such as France and Iceland and have language police?

I'm surprised that Iranians are even allowed to eat pizza elastic dough, because it isn't mentioned in the Koran.

Maybe we should get rid of some loan words in English. The word for Islam can be "boom-boom", and mullah can be "burdizzo"...whoops, that's not English either.

Again, Taranto helps me bring you the news you couldn't live without.

Mitt gets apologitis

Evidently, classics of American literature may no longer be referenced in political discourse. And I'm sure Joel Chandler Harris is no longer taught, as he was when I was in school.

"Tar baby is a totally inappropriate phrase in the 21st century," said Larry Jones, a black Republican and civil rights activist.
On the other hand:
What Harris, a man who despite his anthropological efforts subscribed to most of his culture's white-superiority beliefs, failed to see is that the tales he recorded for posterity undermined the very culture he worked to stimulate.

"Tar baby" is such a useful shorthand for a particular type of "sticky" situation that it would be a shame to lose it over racists' misuse of it (esp. since the story has nothing to do with race). And apologizing, and getting people used to apologies where none are needed, is a certain way to drive it out of circulation.

Kucinich gets some extra airplay

Geez, Beck, did you HAVE to subject me to that face this early in the AM?

Won't somebody stuff a Big Mac down his piehole and shut him up already?

Freedom, responsibility, cancer, and rightwingprof

In response to this and this, rightwingprof writes:

Now, I'm going to piss a lot of people off. Please explain, in detail, how parents are somehow exempt from taking responsibility for their freedom? Remember, there is no freedom without responsibility. Why is it, then, that conservatives conveniently forget this basic precept when it comes to parents?

Certainly, it is the parents' decision. However, if their child dies as a result of that decision, they should be imprisoned for manslaughter. Period. The end. It's the same with religious freedom and doctors. Certainly, you have the right not to take your baby to the doctor, but if your baby dies as a result, you go to prison where you belong.

There is no freedom without responsibility, and parents are not exempt from responsibility.

Continue reading "Freedom, responsibility, cancer, and rightwingprof"

Real community values

Citizens for Community Values, having banned gay marriage, now wants to close porn stores and strip clubs at midnight. It seems to me that the right of private property is a more core "community value" than the hiding of T and A.

However, in this day where there are no enduring values or principles, I'm willing to compromise and meet them halfway. We'll close the strip joints at midnight...but churches can only be open from 7 until noon on Sunday morning. That's the only time most people want to go anyway. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

And it has nothing to do with "an establishment of religion". It's just a simple zoning ordinance. Really.

OH Supremes block Norwood eminent domain

...unanimously.

Clone those folks and send them to DC. Here's another nail in Kelo (the Dred Scott of the 21st century).

This makes my day.

1st Amendment void in Katrina camps

One isn't allowed to go into a FEMA trailer camp to do an interview without a FEMA agent with one at all times. Even if the interviewee invited you in.

Yeah, it's one more reason to toss FEMA back into the Alphabet Soup can. But why are Katrina refugees putting up with this? And why are they living in Federal housing after a year?

UPDATE: They've backed off. Funny what light does to cockroaches.

Do I HAVE to defend Blackwell?

Equality Ohio thinks that Ken Blackwell should apologize for and retract his opinions about homosexuality.

While I find Ken's obsession with gays to be distasteful, and would rather he obsessed about free, fair and open elections, he doesn't owe anybody an apology. His opinions, based on his religion, are his opinions. It's not like he's interrupting military funerals or something. If gays don't like it, they can vote for William Peirce on Nov. 7.

Specter: Shrub's karma

Arlen Specter was railing against Bush's stem-cell veto, and cited church history about dissection. Too bad it was all a lie. And even if it were true, how would his denial of federal funding (something he should have used his veto on for the last 6 years) be equivalent to the Church's power to shut down investigation, unless Specter believes that government is a religion? Which he just may.

Hey Shrub, you still happy you worked to defeat Pat Toomey?

Incitatus for Senate MMVI

After swearing that I would avoid partisan politics, I now find myself in the unenviable role of being manager for the Incitatus for Senate MMVI campaign.

Incitatus has a record of political service, having been appointed to the Roman Senate around 40 AD. He was put to pasture after the fall of his owner and political patron Caligula, and has been trying to make a comeback ever since. We think that MMVI is a good year for an Incitatus run in Ohio, since the majority party has been tainted by scandal, and the minority party is a scandal, and the self-centeredness, depravity and insanity of the electorate has fnally reached the depths of Caligula. Neither Mikey DeWhine nor Shagrod Brown could possible win with a real candidate in the race, which is why they've done their best to make sure that real candidates are not allowed to run. But Incitatus learned intrigue from a master, and even Ken Blackwell stands in fear and awe of his manipulations.

We've discussed several campaign slogans. Incitatus had proposed his master's old favorite, oderint dum metuant. but it's a little negative, and with the anti-illegal immigrant sentiment, it was felt that a non-English slogan would be a turnoff. (Plus it's already taken.) "He'll always vote neigh," would appeal to conservatives and libertarians who admire Ron Paul as "Dr. No", but it doesn't have broad appeal. We finally settled on, "Why vote for just the rear?" as something that would exploit anti-incumbent sentiment.

There are some negatives to be dealt with, certainly. Incitatus has a taste for high living, eats oats with gold flake out of an ivory manger, and wears purple clothes and a jewelled collar. But the vark-like gold should appeal to the Indian-American community, and the loud colors and bling should help him in the cities, where he does not have a natural constituency. (Geauga and Holmes Counties are a lock.). Also, there's a bit role in a notoriously violent and pornographic movie. But if Ronald Reagan could overcome Bedtime for Bonzo, overcoming Caligula should be a breeze.

He's already picked up one celebrity endorsement. Mr. Ed is hosting a fundraiser on his California ranch.

I'd like to thank Claire Wolfe for introducing me to Incitatus' career, and hope that she will help get the word out. We're considering t-shirts, bumper stickers, and buttons now.

The end for San Francisco

I was tempted to write "the beginning of the end", but it's been beginning for some time now. This is the coffin nail. Sit back and watch sickly cheese-suckers move in as businesses move out.

It was once a great city, I'm told.

Ain't your street, Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic wants to take over Euclid Ave.

Nobody sensible uses Euclid to go anywhere, except there. But the Clinic area still needs to be car-accessible. And the idea of an economic 800 lb gorilla calling the shots on street use does not sit well with me. It's bad enough that RTA will construct the Eusless Corridor, mostly for them.

And look at the PD headline: "Clinic wants to clear up congestion on Euclid". No bias there, is there?

Spycams in Lake Wobegon

I'm sure Garrison Keillor would approve of this.

In every rural town, there's sombody who wants to climb to power in the name of "progress". We have one in Windham Twp., a twerp named Kevin Knight who talks about "free money" as if there were such a thing and who wants to build a park in the midst of miles of greenery. He narrowly missed election to Council last time around, and when the old man who beat him retires, I may be forced to run myself.

I had feared that "free money" from the DHS had funded this monstrosity, but no, the sheeple actually worked to raise money.

And they were useless in the one real crime that happened since they went up.

Euclid council not dark enough

I don't get this at all. Because Euclid has at-large council seats, black people don't have voting rights? Like they have a right to black representation on council? Isn't that racist? Isn't that demanding a guarenteed outcome based on race?

Detroit has had at-large seats for years, and a consistently-colored council. Where has Wan J. Kim been?

So our police will soon be Indian-American too?

Joe Biden steps in it, big time (video here) while schmoozing an Indian:

"In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

Joe had better hope that nobody tries to assassinate him, because dollars to donuts (smirk) the surgeon who patches him up will be an Indian-American.

Thanks to Boortz.

More on arts tax

I'm pretty teed over a tax I won't be paying, given that I'm not a smoker and no longer live in Cuyahoga Co. (partly over shenanegans like this, and the commissioners attempts to shut down Dick Walters' gun shows). This actually has a better chance of passing than their last attempt (a sales tax), as in general, those who will benefit from it will not be the ones paying it; it's a transfer tax from the poor to the rich, supported by "the working man's friend", the Democratic Party. How's that for irony?

It might be argued that since "we" already tax smokers to fund professional sports facilities, it's "only fair" to tax them for the arts. But it was also wrong to tax smokers for the stadiums. If it was any more right, it was only because the percentage of sports fans who smoke is probably higher than the percentage of arts patrons who smoke, given that arts appreciation requires a certain degree of intelligence and smoking is a stupid thing to do; as a class they were largely paying for their own amusement rather than making somebody else pay for it.

Then there's the economic development angle. Remember the "28000 Gateway jobs" (i.e., 500 restaurant jobs circulated 56 times as restaurants closed)? It seems to me that the economic benefits of the tax are equally specious. Arts tourism is not that big. And the tax will depress the economic development that would naturally occur from smokers spending the money that is going instead to tax....development for something that somebody actually wants.

My biggest problem with this is that I might be forced to become a beneficiary of it. Not so much as an arts consumer; most arts organizations in town get at least some money from trayf sources (Ohio Arts Council if nothing else), and it's too much work to research that for me to be a purist. But as a composer, I could see Composers Guild going after the money (not when I'm an officer!), filling out long grant applications detailing the sex and ethnicity of each of our members (if we let some rap "artists" in, do we get the swag?). It's even possible that our private funders would expect us to go to the city before asking money from them, which would give us no choice in the matter. At that point, I think I would have to quit submitting scores, which would probably destroy the meager excuse for a career that I have now.

Papers take de bait

What to make of this? A bunch of big papers propose a gubernatorial debate. Blackwell proposes that the Call and Post (Black paper) be added. Strickland, not wanting to alienate part of his base, agrees. The papers, not wanting to support a competing product, refuse. Thus, no debate. Blackwell brings up an unacceptable proposal, so he gets out of a debate he doesn't want (because he might say something substantive, and you either love or hate Blackwell, which means he could only lose the uncommitted) and makes the papers (which have not been his friend) look like racists.

He's slick. I despise him, but I must give credit where it's due.

A modest proposal for artists and smokers

Smokers are a real engine of economic development. There are all those hospitals to be built, doctors to be paid, cleaners to get the stench out. They even save the federal government money, by dying before they collect their share of Social Security. And Cuyahoga County needs all the economic development it can get.

Therefore I propose that the county commissioners place the following proposal on the ballot: that all admissions to artistic events be taxed at $1.00 per admission. Yes, even the free ones, because why should those Bohemian bums get something for nothing? The proceeds will go to providing free cigarettes of their chosen brand for all smokers who will register as addicts. After all, it's not their fault they were molested by Joe Camel in their impressionable youth. They are victims of nicotine, who just can't help themselves. They are generally poor. And folks who can afford theater and concert tickets (and who are generally not smokers, except for the occasional cigar) have plenty of dough with which to help the less fortunate, and their insatiable desire for Art will cause them to pay regardless of means. And if they do quit Art for more socially acceptable pastimes such as Reality TV, so much the better.

If any of the above seems unjust to you, tell me: how is this any different in principle from the commissioners plan to tax ciggies to support the arts Hezbollah?

No cock for you!

Turks.us is keeping it clean:


• 3 Detained in Bomb Attack Against Turkish Embassy in Paris
Friday, June 23 2006 @ 10:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Three suspects have been taken into custody by French police in connection with last Saturday's Molotov *censored*tail attack on the Turkish embassy in Paris.

In the attack on the Turkish Embassy, two Molotov *censored*tails were thrown which caused damage to the embassy entrance but no casualties were reported.

In April this year, Turkey's Paris embassy had been the target of another Molotov *censored*tail attack carried out by unknown persons.

I admire their *censored* in admitting to censorship, though it's *censored*inine and re*censored*ulous to split up words like that. It's like the prank we used to pull in elementary school: "Say 'mother may I' and spell 'cup'."

It's comforting to know that I can still talk about having a piece of tail, though.

Apparently the US Turks are better Moslems than the Turkish Turks, who printed the article uncensored.

Thanks to Taranto.

Die, and pay for somebody else to die

Taranto has some fun with this report of a Bil Clintoon speech:

Clinton . . . objected to the president's efforts to permanently repeal the estate tax. An estate tax on the richest one percent of Americans could raise $25 million to $40 million a year, enough to wipeout [sic] extreme poverty around the globe in a decade.

Hmm, let's assume the take from the death tax is at the high end of Clinton's estimate, or $400 million in a decade. How close would this come to wiping out extreme poverty? According to NetAid.org:

Over 1 billion people--1 in 6 people around the world--live in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1 a day.

Let's assume they all live on 99 cents a day, and thus need only 1 cent a day to lift them out of extreme poverty. That means wiping out extreme poverty world-wide would require a billion cents, or $10 million, a day--so that a decade's worth of death-tax revenues would alleviate extreme poverty for just under six weeks--not counting the administrative expense of distributing those 40 billion pennies.

Now, if the taxman could get his hands on Warren Buffett's estate . . .

It's unclear whether this was AP editorializing, or a paraphrase of something Slick Willie said. Either way, they need to be held to account.

On the other hand, if that much money were used to buy assassination contracts on corrupt dictators and Marxists, it's entirely possible that the currently defined level of global poverty could be indirectly eliminated. If everone who didn't support economic freedom, property rights, and a stable economy got psychosurgery with a lead probe (and I do mean everyone...here too), the entire world could probably go on a 30-hour week and still be better off than they are now.

Not that that would make the death tax right...but it would at least make it useful. Especially since death tax supporters would eventually get a contract themselves.

The Marines get it; the Senate almost didn't

Two seemingly unrelated stories about the 1st Amendment. First, the Marines have decided that singing tacky songs about offing Iraqis is not a prosecutable offence. It's true that the military has restrictions that civilians don't, but I've noticed that they tend to be persnickety about the Constitution they swore to defend, as witness their support of the Ft. Hood Wiccans against showboating Congressmen like Bob Barr.

But then there was the Senate, and their rejection of the flag-burning amendment by ONE VOTE:

"Countless men and women have died defending that flag," said Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., closing two days of debate. "It is but a small humble act for us to defend it."

To the extent that soldiers have died literally "defending the flag", it was a symbolic act, and not a terribly good use of American blood. I'd always thought our soldiers fought and died for freedom...which this is definitely not about. Giving government constitutional powers it did not previously have is a Bad Idea. This isn't just a freedom of speech issue, it's an Establishment Clause issue too, as it sacralizes an object as part of a state religion.

I've helped burn my share of flags. Not American flags; I'm kind of sentimental that way. UN flags, certainly. But it's so hard (and expensive) nowadays to get a flag that burns instead of melts. "These colors don't run" doesn't apply to nylon, evidently.

I'll probably fly the Stars and Stripes this weekend; as I said, I'm sentimental. But there's a Gadsden Flag flying in front of my house 24/7.

Slam of the day

Vox Day, in an otherwise uninspired (for him) column attributing the current boom in sex slavery to the post-Christian West:

When one considers that a pretty young blonde sells for between $700 and $2,500, it's no wonder that aging feminists rage about the low value men place on them. You could probably get Gloria Steinhem [sic] for less than the price of a decent bottle of scotch and Catherine MacKinnon for a Red Bull and a pack of chewing gum.

A whole pack of chewing gum? That damn lawyer drives a hard bargain.

If it's born broke, don't fix it

Here's a letter, allegedly from UN employees, detailing just how FUBAR the UN is. It's pretty good until the end:

Ask your Senators and Congressman to create a NEW organization that can lead the world well into the 21st Century...All Democrats and all Republicans should be able to easily agree that if deep, deep reform is not possible, the UN should be closed and a new organization should be created to truly make the world a better place.

You can hardly blame a bunch of career public policy types for wanting to hold on to the dream, for thinking that their jobs actually matter. But it's in the nature of the UN as a quasi-world government that it will be corrupt. There's just no accountability. Most of the member states are themselves corrupt in varying degrees, and those who aren't, and have enough purse-power to have leverage (i.e., the US) are "too nice" (i.e., too easily cowed) to hurt the small (and corrupt) countries by curtting funds. For the UN to do its stated mission, it has to be free from government interference, which means it is also free from government oversight.

The League of Nations didn't work. The UN hasn't worked. What makes anyone think that the third time's the charm? Yanking every last dime is the least we should do; the real answer probably involves precision bombing of some NY real estate.

Sins of the father

Which German political philosopher was responsible for these, er, charming quotes?

"Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?"

"It is now completely clear to me that he, as is proved by his cranial formation and his hair, descends from the Negroes from Egypt, assuming that his mother or grandmother had not interbred with a nigger. Now this union of Judaism and Germanism with a basic Negro substance must produce a peculiar product. The obtrusiveness of the fellow is also nigger-like."

Hint: it wasn't Hitler.

Even China has PETAoids

40 harpies swarmed into the Fangji Cat Meatball restaurant (which, as you would expect, serves cat meat) in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and forced it out of business, even though there is a tradition in Guangdong province of eating cats as a warming food in winter.

China is developing a nascent animal rights movement as more people raise pets, which during the country's Communist heyday was frowned upon as a bourgeois activity.

I hate to agree with Commies, but it IS bourgeois. So is the custom of trespassing onto another's property in order to force him to cater to your particular prejudices. Evidently the government doesn't inhibit freedom nearly enough for these women.

Now to watch the comment fireworks begin, mwahahaha!

Thanks to Taranto.

Friendly fire in the drug war

The mayor of Bridgeport CT won't quit over having used cocaine in office.

Why should he? The former mayor of DC didn't (until he had to, and then he got re-elected). And this wasn't a bust; it was hearsay from a drug dealer inadvertently (or so they say) released by the FBI.Fabrizi has allegedly been clean for 18 months.

I'm cool with letting him skate. But since it would never happen to you or I, I want a quid pro quo: no coke busts in Bridgeport for the rest of Fabrizi's term. Sounds fair to me.

Vampires in Ohio City

The allegedly-haunted Franklin Castle is again the site of strange doings, with a developer bullshitter hard at work. But here are the real ghouls of the story:

But not if City Councilman Joe Cimperman has his way.

Cimperman said neighbors, especially the church-run halfway house for men next door to the castle, were opposed to an upscale private club.

"He's pushing crazy stuff that doesn't even exist," said Cimperman, vowing to block a liquor license for the castle. "The guy has done nothing. Stop the nonsense."

Uh, Joe, whose house is it anyway?

Whiff of fresh air in France

Sure, she has to get elected first. But a Frenchwoman expressing admiration for - gasp - Maggie Thatcher?

She is about to start a job in a small venture capital firm after graduating last week from a Paris business school. “Some of our politicians have never really done anything in the real world. I want to know what business is.”

"Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ces soir?"

Darwin and the doper

Not only were there several photos depicting marijuana plants, Giorgi explained, the subject was quoted as saying, "I have a medical condition that my doctor says I have to cure with 'green' medicine. The weird thing is that alllll of my friends have the same condition!! Haha, it's legal b------!"

You know, I hate the War on Some Drugs.But when I see a 25 year old stupid enough to brag about his pot plants on Myspace, I begin to suspect that it's fulfilling an evolutionary function.

Wisconsin's newest tourist attraction

It's his shed. If he wants to turn it into a Hitler Memorial, what's the problem? The batty old SS vet will be dead soon enough, and his family will sell the contents and go on vacation.

Government price supports for coyotes

Why not? It works for marijuana.
Black markets are by definition free markets. Anyone could have seen this coming.

Why conservatives are hopeless

..is illustrated by this unscientific poll for World Net Daily:

If you had to base your vote in November on 1 issue, which would it be?
Border security/Illegal immigration 63.43% (548)
Oust all incumbents 12.50% (108)
Abortion 7.41% (64)
Same-sex marriage 4.63% (40)
Taxes and spending 3.36% (29)
War in Iraq 3.24% (28)
Other 2.43% (21)
Property rights 2.31% (20)
Environment 0.35% (3)
Gas prices 0.35% (3)

What makes them hopeless is not the relative ranking of the hot-buttons. It's that "property rights" came in so low, given that property rights are the key to every other issue on the list...even illegal immigration, if you accept the dodgy notion of "public property". Incumbents? They don't respect property rights. Abortion? whose bady/whose life (depending on where you fall on the issue) is it? Marriage is all about property. Taxes? Whose money is it? Iraq? Whose country is it? Whose environment, whose gasoline?

That this shot right past the readership does not bode well for American conservatism.

Peter King, your mommy

...wringing his hands about Ben Roethlisberger:

And while we're at it, how dumb does Pennsylvania look for not making helmets mandatory? I heard a state legislator on the radio this morning say that this accident wouldn't cause him to change his mind. It's about human rights, he said. Riders should not be forced to wear a helmet.

I've got one for you, Mr. Politician. Let's repeal seat-belt laws, and gun laws, and minimum drinking ages, and let's just let America be the Wild, Wild West. Do what you want, when you want.

Laws are made to protect people, even when they think they don't need protecting. Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is about as basic as one can get in terms of human safety. It's irresponsible to argue the other side.

Laws are NOT made to protect people; they are made to protect RIGHTS. If it's all about protecting people, why don't we ban professional football? It's inherently dangerous; players are always getting hurt, sometimes with career-ending and permanent injuries. And why not put the government in charge of our diets? Issue everyone a scientifically-formulated MRE and ban sales of any other food. And close the frigging bars!

The "problem" with freedom is that one must accept the occasional negative outcome. That's better than permanent and consistent negative outcomes from the government. I agree, "Let's repeal seat-belt laws, and gun laws, and minimum drinking ages, and let's just let America be the Wild, Wild West. Do what you want, when you want." Certainly any big-city mayor would kill to have the crime rate of the Wild Wild West.

Thanks to Vox Day.

Battered Conservative Syndrome

Dafydd at Big Lizards knocks one out of the park in defense of Ann Coulter. No mean language, just lining up the examples. I hadn't heard the Oprah story; it certainly diminishes her. The rest of it I've lived through.

Thanks to rightwingnation.

More rigged debates in Cleveland

Apparently Blackwell and Strickland have agreed to debate.

Names conspicuous by their absence in this article: Green Bob Fitrakis and Libertarian Bill Peirce.

All or none, Uncle Ken. I know through bitter experience how much you hate Libertarians, but fair is fair. And since Kenny hates them so much, why don't you insist on having them aboard, Ted? Afraid of losing votes to the Greens?

DHS: Any card will do

This story is a riot on several levels. First, the factual:

The Department of Homeland Security allowed a man to enter its headquarters last week using a fake Matricula Consular card as identification, despite federal rules that say the Mexican-issued card is not valid ID at government buildings.

Bruce DeCell, a retired New York City police officer, used his phony card -- which lists his place of birth as "Tijuana, B.C." and his address as "123 Fraud Blvd." on an incorrectly spelled "Staton Island, N.Y." -- to enter the building Wednesday for a meeting with DHS officials.

He's been using this obsolete-style Matricula Consular card to board airplanes for FOUR YEARS!

And this:

Some members of Congress tried to crack down on use of the card, particularly as valid ID for opening a bank account, but the Bush administration opposed that effort.

For once, Bush has it right. Since banks are private businesses, it's up to THEM to say what forms of ID they will and won't accept. If they're cool with a Matricula, that's fine. Is there some overwhelming security reason why we want illegals patronizing those sleazy check-cashing stores?

Finally:

Mr. DeCell is a member of 9/11 Families for a Secure America, an organization of families with relatives who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Isn't this the sort of thing that Ann Coulter was all over? As an ex-cop, he presumably knows something about security, but that has nothing to do with his 9/11 loss. Making DHS look like utter fools probably does more for security than anything the "Witches of East Brunswick" (Vox Day, trying to one-up Coulter) have done. But neither set of actions has any real connection to victimhood.

This'll make the Demoleft REALLY love Zionists

Kadima USA (and what's with an Israeli political party having a US branch anyway?) has posted on their website policy summaries that are virtually identical to some on the site of the Texas Democratic Party.

I don't know who looks worse here, given that the TX stuff is such platitudinous boilerplate that it could be made applicable to another country in vastly different circumstances. And the Kadima dude was a bit touchy about ther discovery:

"You are making enemies with the wrong people," said Solomon Vas Diaz, executive director of Kadima USA.

Oooh! Be vewy afwaid!

Thanks to WorldNetDaily.

A modest proposal on Mexican immigration

Jane Chastain is being a bit extreme here, but maybe the remedy for reconquista is mas conquista.

But if the US makes it a policy to take over every corrupt, poorly governed economic backwater, who will do the same for Ohio?

Property rights hit in Eusless OH

If you live in Euclid (and aren't moving out because of this), you'd best get some proper curtains on your windows, or be prepared for 6 months in jail and $1000 fine.

Only one of 9 councilmen had the sense to vote no. Law Director Chris Frey could not find a similar ordinance to use as a model, not even in the People's Republic of Cleveland Heights. Did he ever consider that maybe the reason he couldn't find such an ordinance was that it was a bad idea?

I hope Euclod loses an extended court fight.

PETA decries horsing around in Alabama

I'm not going to stick up for bestiality, but for PETA to insert themselves into this case raises some issues. Since PETA basically believes that animals have equal rights (and therefore responsibilities) to humans, how do they know it was cruelty? What if the pony was a kink with a thing for humans, it was consensual, and she enjoyed it?

Po widdle Wodesia

"The United States is rolling out yet another programme tht seeks to block all avenues of donor assistance to Zimbabwe in a bid to force regime change," The Sunday Mail reported Sunday.

"In one of its recent strategic advisory documents to the US government, Havard University's John F. Kennedy School of government implores donors to withhold assistance to Zimbabwe until "recovery" is possible with new leadership." it said.

Does anyone objectively disagree that in order for economic recovery to take place, there needs to be an infrastructure of property rights, and that with the current kleptocracy in place, that simply doesn't exist? Even Somalia is better off in some ways, because with no functioning central government, they don't have the same powers of theft.

And whose money is it anyway? Do the Zimbabweans really think there is a moral imperative to steal money from US taxpayers to prop up Zanu-PF?

Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba told the paper that such efforts would be fruitless.

"The US vainly hopes that they can tantalise Zimbabweans through empty offers of aid to self-destruct," Charamba said.

They're doing quite a nice job of self-destruction now. Maybe aid would speed it up.


"It is clear the US have a problem with the liberation ethos as well as its symbol President Robert Mugabe and are thus intent on reversing all that together with the gains of independence," he said.

"The overall intention is clearly to turn Zimbabwe into a neo-colony."

"Reversing the gains of independence?" I'm all for that, on humanitarian grounds. The average Rhodesian was better off under Ian Smith, who for his racism at least wasn't bulldozing slums, stealing farms for nonfarmer cronies, and running the printing press full time. And if Zimbabwe can't establish an honest and stable government for itself, I'm all for giving its administration to a country that can; Switzerland would be a good choice.

"the blogger ate my paperwork"

Another congressional candidate bites the dust because he couldn't be bothered to fill out the paperwork properly. This time, it's a 'Pug, showing that stupidity is bipartisan. But he has an excuse: a blogger was saying nasty things about him, and distwackted him. He claims he had no clue there was a filing deadline, even though he had run for public office before. If there were a political Darwin Awards, Chapman would be a winner; as it is, we win for him not being in office.

I hope we have a lot more of these. If enough Duopoly candidates stumble on the mild requirements they have to satisfy, maybe they'll consider establishing free and open elections in the USA, instead of trying to export them to Iraq.

Mini-RFK says Blackwell stole it for Bush

I guess I'll have to buy the freaking Rolling Stone.Not that I trust what one imperial house (Kennedy) has to say about another (Bush). But since everyone accuses Blackwell of stealing the election in November of 2004 (instead of Novemeber of 2003, which is when he really stole it), I'd like to see some proof.

Kennedy's article points out that CNN had predicted Kerry would defeat Bush in Ohio by a margin of 4.2 percentage points. Instead, election results showed Bush winning the state by 2.5 percent. Bush also tallied 6.5 percent more than the polls had predicted in Pennsylvania, and 4.9 percent more in Florida.

Well, duh! So was Jeb stealing too? And wasn't PA run by a Democrat then? Maybe CNN was asking the wrong people.

Pot calls kettle black in CA

Yes, the legislature has come out with the Vampire Slayer Act of 2006.

No, it's about having to let consumers know about standby electrical power usage. If the legislature were really committed to vampire-slaying, they'd emulate that famed Californian Jim Jones and throw themselves a Jonestown FlavorAid party.

(Yes, I know Jimmy was from Indiana originally...but it was not Kool-Aid, damnit!)

Extended service

Portage County is really great about keeping our roads clear in the winter. But yesterday I think they may have overdone public service. Two trucks stopped in front of our house; somebody got out of the rear truck with a weedwhacker and cleared around the traffic sign across the street.Rusty claims she saw several people in each vehicle. Not a good use of my taxes, I think.

Ve haff vays uf tracking die vorkers

Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg thrust himself into the national immigration debate Wednesday, advocating a plan that would establish a DNA or fingerprint database to track and verify all legal U.S. workers. In the article and on air, Bloomberg slammed lawmakers who want to deport all illegal immigrants, saying on Fox News that "they are living in a fantasy world."

Asked in that interview whether his opinions put him at odds with his political party, the mayor, a former Democrat, shot back: "With which party?

Certainly not the NSDAP.
If either party stood for anything, they would have tossed Bloomberg out years ago.

Marry or move

Black Jack MO has a housing code limiting the number of unrelated people in a single-family home, and they're using it against unmarried parents with kids.

Whether a municipality is using law as a moral enforcing stick is secondary to this point: by what right do they tell anyone what they might do with their property?

Boortz praises statism yet again

MASSACHUSETTS MAY GET THIS ONE RIGHT

This falls under the "even a blind pig finds an acorn" rule, but the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be on the verge of raising the minimum driving age to 17 1/2 years. Good for them! So many other states don't have the guts to make this necessary move. We'll keep an eye on this one for you.

The irony is that he links to a Boston Herald editorial that DOES get it right...by opposing the law. And there's no irony in the micromanaging Commonwealth doing this; it's business as usual for them.

Hey, Neal, let's assume you're right and there is a problem with young drivers. Why not drop the age to 15, but anyone under 18 has to have a parent sign off before receiving a licence? No signature, no licence. After all, who besides your parents has any real clue about how mature you are? Orphans can ask a judge.

Carjacking under color of law

Rather timely, given the morning's adventure, is this from Joe Sobran:


The other day I was ticketed, and my car briefly impounded, when a policeman noticed that I was driving with a cracked windshield. My car had passed the required safety inspection and had the required sticker before some vandal had thrown rocks at it, so I thought I was legal. I wasn’t hurting or threatening anyone; I posed no danger I could see. The cop was as polite as a man with a pistol can be, but as he ordered the car towed away I asked him quietly, “Just who are you protecting from me?” The answer was a vague mumble about “the public.”

Later I joked to friends that I’d been “carjacked.” An armed man had seized my car, I explained. Of course he had a badge, a uniform, and some sort of “law” on his side, so I, not he, was the criminal. Heaven help me if I’d tried to defend my property. Self-defense would have been an even more serious offense. By submitting to force, I confined the evil to a mere nuisance. This time.

Carjacking or impoundment? We now have two vocabularies for wrongs, depending on whether private persons or government agents commit them. This is the difference between mass murderand national defense. Between extortion and taxation. Between counterfeiting and inflation. And so on. Other examples will occur to the astute reader.

Like "stopping for a speeding warning" vs. "forced detention for inane discussions about the presumed capabilities of law officers"?

Thanks, Billy.

Now we know why Ray Nagin won:

Howard Dean and the DNC were backing Landrieu.

Bolshoye joke: Lenin comes to Piscataway...

...to celebrate liquidation of last kulak in town.

I am laughing so hard at street theater of capitalist running-dog Logan Darrow Clements I am peeing my pants.

Site also sells Politburo-approved Rubiks Cube in all red, so all peoples can be success.

Many thanks to condemmed counterrevolutionary William J. Beck III, who is not laughing.

Blackwell bails on the TEL

To mend fences, Kenny is supporting a legislative echo of the TEL that will be in state law rather than the Constituion and will only effect state (not local) government. But he'll need to stab his fellow activists in the back, and pass a new law to do it.


Before lawmakers could enact the new TEL, they had to find a way to remove Blackwell's plan from the November ballot.
Once that hurdle is cleared and the new plan is approved, Blackwell said he will contact the four-person committee that helped get the original TEL on the ballot and encourage it to withdraw the amendment.

And if they refuse?

AL AG candidate denies Holocaust

He obviously didn't get the memo. Anti-Semitism is a core Democratic Party value, but it must always be discussed in terms of "anti-Zionism" and opposition to support for Israel. Denying historical facts is not permissable. Nor is discussing "white racial awareness" as it tends to scare other people in the Big Tent. (Don't white Alabamans own mirrors, that they need to be racially aware?)

What an embarassment for them! But then, the asshat ran last time as a Libertarian, so I'm embarassed too. I'm just glad he found a party more in line with his thinking.

Shut up, peons; it's not your money anymore

High court blocks Ohio taxpayer lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taxpayers have no right to challenge nearly $300 million in tax breaks that Ohio's elected officials used to entice DaimlerChrysler Corp. to build a new plant in Toledo, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday.


In a 9-0 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said, "State taxpayers have no standing ... to challenge state tax or spending decisions simply by virtue of their status as taxpayers."

Tie one on with George

Vox Day proposes a drinking game for tonight's speech on border-crashers:

Derbyshire doesn't grasp the possibilities:


I shall run screaming from the room if the President utters any of the following words or phrases:

jobs Americans won't do
nation of immigrants
compassionate
family values don't stop at the Rio Grande
good-hearted people
path to citizenship
my good friend Vicente Fox
this is not amnesty


I, on the other hand, am happy to interpret this as the required list for Dear Jorge's Immigration Speech Drinking Game. One merely slams a shot of one's chosen poison or a healthy slug of beer - chug the whole can/cup if you're in college - upon hearing any of these phrases.

My docs won't let me drink much, and I leave the house at 6:30 AM. But you young guys be sure to tune in.

Britain's NHS: Obey or suffer

Edward Atkinson, a 75-year-old anti-abortion activist, was jailed recently for 28 days for sending photographs of aborted foetuses to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. That draconian sentence was not deemed punishment enough: the hospital has banned Mr Atkinson from receiving the hip replacement operation he was expecting.

Yeah, that'll teach the old crank! Pain like childbirth every time he tries to walk!

After we get Hillarycare or some reasonable facsimile (and we will get it, because we are raising a generation of idiots who think there is a "right" to health care, somewhat like plantation owners who thought they had a "right" to get their cotton picked for free), I suppose I'll have to quit writing this blog in order to get the medications I take.

Thank you, Mr. Taranto.

Maw, call the lawyer; we're gonna be RICH!

Phone companies that shared their call records with the government may have violated federal law and could be on the hook for billions of dollars in civil liability, some of the nation's top experts in telecommunications law said Friday.

That's because Congress made it illegal 20 years ago for telephone companies and computer-service providers to turn over to the government records showing who their customers had dialed or e-mailed.

In the first legal action to result from the disclosure that the National Security Agency may have obtained the calling records of tens of millions of Americans, two New Jersey public-interest lawyers filed a suit Friday demanding up to $5 billion from telecommunications giant Verizon.


YES!!!!!

Phone spying in a free market

A loonyterian from a Yahoo list (name withheld to protect the guilty) wrote:

Concerning the telephone records, this should be a contractual
matter between consumers and telephone companies. The Feds
should have to pay for the records, thus enabling companies
that shared their records to offer lower rates. If only a few
companies didn't share their records (with the Feds),
that would concentrate suspicious characters in such
companies, which would be one factor in getting probable
cause search warrants.

So it's OK to sell me down the river, as long as the sales happen in a free market? Uh-uh. Let me describe your free market, as it is. I have ONE choice of land line/internet at home: Verizon. That hurt going in, long before this, because of the way they treated Jeffrey Jordan. I've got Net at work, but my wife doesn't; she has cell, and I don't yet. So it's no phone, or play with Verizon. I could switch our LD carrier to Qwest, but it's scarcely worth it: our plan has 30 minutes of LD per month, and we usually don't use it all.

Now, let's look at "Feds paying for the records". Yeah, right. The Feds alone aren't going to make a market in phone records. They'll eminent domain them, or pay some lowball figure. If they're going to pay a competitive market rate, that will be established by ALL KINDS OF OTHER NOSY PEOPLE wanting to know who I called. And if they DO buy the info instead of stealing it, it will be because they STOLE MONEY FROM ME to do it. In short, I'm screwed out of info that is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. And why would they offer me lower rates to sell me, when most Americans DON'T CARE that the Feds are tracking their calls? Did the 1001 companies who ALREADY trade in my consumer habits ever ask permission or offer me a better deal for saying Yes?

No, this is what needs to happen: Americans need to QUIT PAYING THEIR PHONE BILLS until an independent party can verify that the corporations are not being NSA's catamites. Having their cash flow come to a screeching halt will show them who their bosses really are. It won't happen, because most don't care, and Gods forbid they might get their credit rating affected or their blab service disconnected.

And if the Commies are right and business owns the government, why did the telcos bend over anyway?

This reminds me so much of the Reagan years, when Reason magazine printed stories about all the benefits that could accrue from black boxes in our cars enabling time-sensitive pricing of toll roads. Now we've got Oregon experimenting with it to collect road taxes, and any idiot can see that the government knowing where you drive is A Bad Idea.

Ilana Mercer v. Kitty Mackinnon: nude mud wrestling

And Mercer wins.
Her most damning critique? That Mackinnon fights like a girl in the courtroom:

Women Mackinnon views as a besieged class of helots, men as members of a ruling elite that refuses to let go of patriarchal privilege and power. The former must fight to unseat the latter. And fight Mackinnon does – she hasn't stopped fighting since her first major legal victories in the 1980s. Unfortunately, she fights just like a woman: underhandedly, her weapon of choice being the civil law with its lower burden of proof.

I'll consider giving my alma mater a contribution when they develop some taste in law professors.

Scott Savage censored again

The American Leninist Library Association had agreed to publish Scott's side of the OSU Mansfield kerfuffle, as written and printed here. Suddenly, they decided it had to be cut by 50%. You read it, and tell me if there's 50% worth of cuttable content. Scott's a librarian; it's assumed that he can express himself succinctly in writing. But then self-expression (of his response to the ALA's incredible lameness) was the problem. So he took it to WorldNetDaily.

If any member of ALA leadership is so bored as to be reading this, kindly tell me:
1. Just what did you want cut from Scott's piece? (I know...I just want to hear it from your lips).
2. Why should I join your little club anyway, given that I dropped my AAA membership for lobbying against my interests?

UPDATE: Here's what happens when a librarian is really thrown to the dogs.

Eight months

That's all it took for Hawaii's legislature to conclude that gas price caps are a bad idea.

All kinds of folks told them that 8 months ago.

Sauce for the goose

Eminent domain is wrong.
That being said, it's hard to cry when one of its leading beneficiaries (Wal-Mart) becomes a target for a change.

Giving the Zoning Board a swirly

The Zoning Board in Anderson Twp. near Cincinnati decided to deny a variance to build a privacy fence. "Look and feel", and all, ya know?

Now Anderson has a new look and feel.

Cincy's been going down the toilet for a long time. If they can turn these commodes into a fence, maybe they'll stop circling the drain, tee-hee!

Chip the migrants?

Colombian President Alfaro Uribe suggested that microchipping Colombians working in the US might be a way to track them. This didn't go over real well with his citizens, but isn't really surprising, as governments generally treat citizens as possessions. What's really appalling is this:

"It sounds rather Orwellian," said John Keeley, spokesman for the Center for Immigrations Studies in Washington. "In a Star Trek-kind of future, 20-40 years down the road, we might need to consider this, but it's not germane to the contemporary immigration debate."

Like it won't be Orwellian in 20 years?

The gang that couldn't shoot straight

We captured some outtakes of Abu Musab Zarqawi's recruiting video:

The blooper tape has Zarqawi, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq and organizer of mass-death suicide bombings, clumsily trying to move a machine gun into rapid-fire mode.
"He looks down. Can't figure it out," Gen. Lynch said, identifying the terror master's footwear as New Balance tennis shoes. It was obtained in a raid of a foreign fighter safe house.
Finally, a lieutenant walks over and unjams the gun. Zarqawi fires into the open desert. The shot over, he hands the smoking gun to a group of subordinates. As they walk away, one grabs the hot muzzle, burning himself.

This may help explain why the weapon of choice in Iraq is the RPG..."where close is good enough".

Freedom Tower free of tenants

The projected Freedom Tower (on the former World Trade Center site) is having trouble lining up tenants. Apparently private companies aren't lining up to put their employees in NYC's terrorist target of choice. The Federal government is taking up some of the space (enhancing its attractiveness as a target in the process), but local government isn't interested. Federal employees who used to work there (or the there that was there before the Recent Unpleasantness) are petrified. And posh private industry considers it slumming to work in the some building as government offices. Plus, there just isn't that much demand for office space in NYC.

Here we have a building which is basically being built as a monument and polical statement. The building it replaces was an economic disaster as well. Why are we doing this?

James Taranto had an idea : made the top floors into a supermax prison for convicted terrorists. With human shields at the top, this should also help the vacancy rates of lower floors.

A modest proposal on Mexican migration

Lots of Mexicans want to come here illegally to live and work, because of lack of good jobs at home. The Mexican government is not interested in stopping them. Neither, really, is our own. Since both governments agree that the border is a sieve, why not some turnabout? We have people here too, who say they can't find a good job.

We'll find a bunch of unemployed Americans. This shouldn't be hard; just check the welfare rolls. We'll tell them about the great jobs to be had in Mexico, the inexpensive living, the cheap marijuana....anything to get them to sign on, including cutting off their benefits. If we need to dig deeper for recruits, we can free our petty drug criminals. This worked for Castro in the Mariel boatlift of the early 80s, and Castro is highly respected in most Latin American countries. England used us as a penal colony and made Georgia what it is today; we can pass the favor on.

Next, we'll have to get them across the border. The coyotes should be able to help with this. Any trucker can tell you how uneconomical one-way truck trips are. They can smuggle Mexicans, then turn around with a load of Americans.

The "undocumented workers" need to be carefully trained to do the same task they do here: suck public services. And they can stand around downtown waiting to get picked up as day labor. Of course, they will bring their colorful local customs with them, like Saturday Night Specials (guns are practically illegal in Mexico). To stop them would be disrespectful of a unique culture.

Now, it's a fair bet that if a couple thousand illegal American immigrants showed up in Mexico, they would find themselves in the hoosegow in short order, because we're the only country that is expected to not enforce its own laws. And our government would complain, because of course you don't lock up undocumented Americans. They might even be moved to crack down on undocumented Mexicans. This will lead to a Dialogue. And Dialogue is always good, right?

Note that there is nothing racist or nationalist about this proposal. It is simply proposing that Americans should have the same functional rights as Mexicans. Surely that's not too much to ask.

FORMER leading GOP candidate

McCain stepped in it, on Imus:

"He [Michael Graham] also mentioned my abridgement of First Amendment rights, i.e. talking about campaign finance reform....I know that money corrupts....I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."

Of course, his handlers will spin this out of the universe. And really, it's a pretty unexceptional statement, given that Son of Cain's previous actions have spoken much more loudly. But such candor is refreshing in DC.

Now, would you vote for somebody so stupid as to think you can have "clean government" (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) without a vigorous 1st Amendment?

Lawyers union files a grievance

The Cleveland Bar Association is threatening to fine the parents of an autistic boy $10,000 for not hiring a lawyer when they brought, and largely won, a court case on their son's behalf four years ago.

Representing themselves was not the issue; that's still legal, for now. But they represented their CHILD, successfully, yet. This must not be allowed to happen again...no scabbing allowed.

I guess I'll have to import a shyster from out of town, if need arises.

Senate to blow FEMA away?

OMG! Could a Senate panel actually be calling for the abolition of a useless (nay, counterproductive) Federal bureaucracy?

Well, maybe not:

The recommendations conclude that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is crippled beyond repair by years of poor leadership and inadequate funding. They call for a new agency - the National Preparedness and Response Authority - to plan and carry out relief missions for domestic disasters.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Stirring the pot on Scott Savage kerfuffle

A librarian at Virginia Tech alerted WorldNetDaily to the existence of WorldCat. And the numbers are not good:

"only 188 libraries worldwide report owning a copy of 'The Marketing of Evil.' I'm pleased that Virginia Tech is one of only eight libraries in Virginia that reports owning the book. I had requested it because I wanted to read it. One of my colleagues saw to it that it was purchased. We are now pleased to see that it is currently checked out."

"But," he added, "could we be at risk for recommending the book and adding it to the collection? We'll have to get more books like this to find out."

Actually, it's now 194 of the WND edition, and 8 of the Cumberland House edition. But same deal. Let's put this into prespective by looking at books published in 2005 by "the other side". Michael Moore would be perfect, but his last big book came out in 2004, and the extra collecting time will skew our comparison. Maureen Dowd's Are men necessary is held in print form by 1104 institutions, and as audiobook by 311. Or, to get very topic-specific, a search of "Gay rights" and "2005" brings up 66 records, 8 of which have more holdings than the Kupelian book.

The pot-stirring part is that this is the topic of WND's daily poll.

Now, there is an unavoidable subjective element in collecting. We strive for balance and broadness, but we're more interested in some things than others. And it's OK (within reason) for a collector's work to reflect his own thought...IF he is among a diverse group of collectors. Unfortunately, librarians in general, and academic librarians in particular, are not nearly diverse enough, and so some viewpoints don't get thought of or fought for. It's not so much that librarians are censorious, perish the thought. It's just that money, time, and space are limited, so not everything can be included. So the curatorial function is invoked, so that only the important things are included. And the epidemiological history of the moral relativity meme is not important.

The thing that has really MADE OhioLink has been the addition of public libraries. There are NO academic libraries in the OhioLink system who are holding Kupelian, only public libraries. And I find increasingly that the things I want to read and ideas I want to explore are from public-library books. Does that mean that the academy is irrelevant? I report; you decide.

ALA: librarians shouldn't co-operate with Boy Scouts

From Fidel's cheering section for the closing down of independent libraries in Cuba:


RESOLUTION ON THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
WHEREAS the American Library Association (ALA) has had a long official relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), currently in the form, among other things, of a designated ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children liaison; and
WHEREAS ALA and units may provide bibliographies and other material and services to any organization with or without formal or official affiliation and therefore can continue to do due diligence; and
WHEREAS the BSA continues to exclude persons from membership and leadership on the basis of religious ideas and/or sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS ALA Policy 9.5 specifically prohibits ALA or its component units from having formal relationships with organizations which violate ALAís principles and policies regarding human rights and social justice; and
WHEREAS ALA policies 54/17 and 60.2 declare the Associationís support for gay rights and against creed-based discrimination; therefore be it
RESOLVED that the American Library Association calls upon ALA to suspend formal or official relations with the Boy Scouts of America until such time as the Boy Scouts of America ends its exclusionary policy on the basis of a personís religious beliefs or sexual orientation; and be it further

RESOLVED that the ALA once again strongly urges the Boy Scouts of America to change its membership practices so that they demonstrate a commitment to human rights, inclusiveness and mutual respect before prior relations with us can be restored.

From Mark Rosenzweig, formerly an official archivist with the U.S. Communist Party.

I suppose this tangentially does have to do with libraries. But I'm not convinced that's the driving force. Funny too how Rosenzweig makes a big deal of the Mormon influence in the BSA, when he's busy encouraging peopple NOT to help the BSA. They have to go somewhere, don't they?

RFID industry on the run

The RFID industry is afraid that the peasants are revolting:


Signorino said the political climate in New Hampshire has made it especially difficult for the industry to make a case for itself. The Granite State has been particularly active on the ID front. House lawmakers there last month passed a bill to reject a 2005 federal mandate for standard driver's licenses.

"We're scared to go to New Hampshire," he said. "They have gun racks on their motorcycles. They don't want anyone telling them what to do."

Live free or die, Signorino: choose one.

Richard Varn, the president of RJV Consulting and a former chief technology officer, said smart-card advocates should focus on convincing lawmakers to punish bad behavior instead of banning technology. He said lawmakers throughout the country need to "beef up" cyber-crime efforts.

Some technologies are designed for bad behavior...radar detectors for instance...or RFID.

And this shows why we aren't going to get effective protection from politicians: RFID to them is like whiskey and car keys to a 15 year old boy:

He said lawmakers have complicated measures to limit RFID usage because they have tried to make too many exemptions for uses they enjoy, such as smart cards for accessing highway toll lanes. "The legislation ends up looking like Swiss cheese," Signorino said.

Hat tip to Claire Wolfe.

The great and almighty FDA has spoken:

marijuana is not a medicine.

Steve Kubby(inter alia) would repectfully disagree.

Purportedly MPP says they were put up to this by Rep. Mark Souder, R-IN (but I couldn't find a relevant press release here).

The problem is not marijuana. It's that a government agency will, by the nature of the beast, be politicized, as it evidently has been in this case. And that people are not biochemical clones of each other, and if it's my body and my life I'm fighting for, I have a right to try whatever I rationally think will help...even if millions of others use it to ruin their lives.

About damned time

AP: 6 Branch Davidians to Leave Custody

Happy 13th anniversary. They aren't supposed to talk to each other, adding violation of freedom of speech to that of freedom of religion.

So, can Janet Reno have one of their cells?

Just how it should have happened.

A phlebotomist had her office decked out in patriotic regalia. There was a management shakeup, and the new management wanted all the offices to look a certain way. So she quit.

LabCorp of America had every right to tell her how her office must look. She had every right to articulate the conditions under which she'd work.

This isn't about "patriotism" or lack of same, but about workplace micromanagement. I hope they lose a few more valued employees.

Texas JBTs lay off bars.

I discussed one of these incidents here.
Now it seems the TABC are backing off. They aren't apologizing or admitting that their interpretation of the law is wrong, or saying they won't do it again sometime. But they've been feeling the public heat. Texans take their beer seriously (lots of Germans and Czechs)...so don't mess with Texas!

How much blood can a leech suck?

Boorts spells it out, just in time før April 15:

Total federal income taxes collected last year: $932 billion. That works out to $6,650 per employee.

In addition to income taxes, the federal government collected another $1.286 trillion in taxes, mostly Social Security taxes.

The total state and local tax burden amounts to $1.14 trillion.

The grand sum here -- paid by employees and proprietors -- is $3.358 trillion. That's $3,358,000,000.00

This works out to $24,000 per employee.

In terms of Federal expenditures you have:

* $495 billion for national defense.
* $272 billion spent by the federal government for the purchase of goods and payment of employees
* $1.69 trillion sent to someone else. $1.69 trillion in income redistribution.

Put another way, if everyone paid their fair share in taxes, many Americans would have incomes in negative figures.

Awwww

DEA Agent Who Shot Self In Foot Sues U.S.

I really really don't feel sorry for this guy. There's no such thing as an accidental discharge; the proper term is "negligent discharge". And a ND in a room full of children probably should be career-ending. Paige should be thankful that Cheech and Chong are no longer performing together; I don't remember Sgt. Studenko ever having a ND.

Why I haven't flown since 9/11

Karen DeCoster gets felt up for having a drivers licence with a trimmed corner.

Really, I wouldn't even have had her patience.

Oh yeah, we're so hostile...SNORE

So New Hampshire is hip and we're not?


In her closing speech, Bisconti ripped open her jacket and revealed an "I love lesbians" t-shirt. After this semester, Bisconti will be returning to her home state of Ohio, with her partner, to teach at the University of Akron and she told the crowd how hard it was going to be to go from a blue state to a red one.

She told the crowd members, sitting at round tables surrounded by pink, purple, and blue balloons, that she is not afraid to wear the shirt around campus. Ohio, she says, will be a different story. When someone yelled from their seat, "Make it blue," Bisconti replied, "That's what we're going to do."

Oh? Bet me.
And why does she think that Ohioans really care who she plays snugglebunnies with?

Tip o'hat to Taranto.

Judge tells IRS: "Open up"

SEATTLE -- A federal judge has ordered the Internal Revenue Service to resume providing enforcement data to a noted tax researcher, two years after the Bush administration stopped making the information public.

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman told the agency Monday to turn over the data within two weeks to Syracuse University Professor Susan Long. The judge also awarded her attorneys' fees.

She's been collecting data since 1976, but made some embarassing findings about Bush's collection priorities in 2004. We can't have the American people believing that the IRS doesn't practice fair-n-balanced plunder.

If they don't come up with the data on time, I hope they get slapped but good.

Law-by-wiki

How neat! Of course, it presupposes that laws should exist...whereas I tend to think that "Congress shall make no law" would have been a good place for the Constitution to stop. However, if you're sick enough to want to tell other people what to do, this might be a socially-acceptable way of dealing with that. The Constitution rewriting has been interesting; the 2nd Amendment was nicely cleaned up, and the 1st sharpened. Some of the added amendments are asinine (Proportional election of Senators? What's the point of having them?), but there's one clarifying the right of secession.

Tip o'hat to Wolfesblog.

Detroit sold for scrap

The Onion nails it:

"This is what's best for Detroit," Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick said. "We must act now, while we can still get a little something for it."

Once dismantled and processed, Detroit is expected to yield nearly 14 million tons of steel, 2.85 million tons of aluminum, and approximately 837,000 tons of copper.


We need to sell the Hon. Mr. Kilpatrick for scrap too (and everyone else responsible for trashing Detroit).
How much are the chemicals in the human body worth?

A bit on the anti-Latino fit

My fellow academic at RightWingNation NAILS the Mexican problem and its solution...and the fallout for the Repugnicans.

"Certain elements" are starting a fight that doesn't have to exist...and who those "certain elements" are is exposed by the call for a nationwide "Day without Latinos", NOT on May 5, but on May 1.

Kelo on the Cuyahoga

Give us more money or we'll revive Flats ourselves, owners say.
That's just what the headline says. Make my day?

The deal is that Wolstein wants to have the Port Authority steal the Flats through eminent domain, and the owners are complaining because the offers have been insultingly low. So they're talking about having their own collective.

Lack of common ownership has hurt the Flats, [Nancy Lesic, a spokeswoman for Wolstein] added.

Funny, back in the heyday of the Flats, nobody was talking about making a COMMUNEity out of the Flats.

Investigating the investigator

What do cops do when they are caught acting corruptly? Why, act even more corruptly, of course.

Who has a real need to be in South Florida anyway?

Ex post facto, anyone?

It seems that the Ohio legislature has joined the Popular Movement to Ban Catholicism:

The day got off to an emotional and bizarre start as people who said they were sexually abused by priests as children lined the main doorway into the House chamber, shouting and calling lawmakers names like "coward." They were upset that House Speaker Jon Husted had removed a provision in a bill that would have allowed victims a one-year window to file lawsuits seeking monetary damages against clergy for alleged abuse from up to 35 years ago.

Most lawmakers ducked through another door behind an area where lobbyists and media were standing. Husted, Republican of Kettering, avoided the area altogether, taking a side door into the chamber.

Following passionate and personal speeches from legislators, the bill passed, 77 to 16. Most said that despite the tweaks from a version unanimously passed by the Senate a year ago, the bill was still strong.

The statute of limitations for suing clergy for sexual abuse - currently two years after reaching age 18 - would be extended to 12 years. The Senate wanted to extend it to 20 years.

And for cases where the statute of limitations has expired, the House version would allow the state attorney general, local prosecutor or victim to sue a priest - but not for monetary damages. If guilty, the priest would be listed by the state as a child-sex offender.

Now, far be it from me to put in a good word for pervert priests; I am sure that the Christian God created a Hell just for them. But the image of a legislature at the mercy of an angry mob, appeasing it by boosting the statute of limitations...that does not instill confidence that an answer has been found. And indeed, the only people this bill will really benefit are lawyers.

Email to Borders

"It was nice being a customer, but your choice to not carry the April issue of Free Inquiry makes it impossible for me to do business with you any more. Such censorship and pandering to Islamofascists is unacceptable in America, particularly from a store that has a near-monopoly on physical retail books. There's nothing you carry that I can't get at Amazon."

UPDATE:
A nice letter in response, saying...nothing:

Dear Jeffrey:

Thank you for your expression of concern about our decision not to carry the issue of Free Inquiry magazine featuring cartoons depicting Muhammad.

Borders is committed to our customers' right to choose what to read and what to buy and to the First Amendment right of Free Inquiry to publish the cartoons. In this particular case, we decided not to stock this issue in our stores because we place a priority on the safety and security of our customers and our employees. We believe that carrying this issue presented a challenge to that priority.

We value your thoughts and sincerely appreciate that you invested your time to tell us how you feel about the issue. I can assure you that our management team gave careful deliberation to this decision and considered all sides of the issue before reaching this conclusion. As always, we are interested in customer feedback about our choices and while we know you do not agree with our position, we hope you can understand the challenge of balancing the needs of our customers, employees and our communities.

Your comments will be duly noted in our customer service records for corporate executive review. Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Dan
Customer Resolution Specialist
www.BordersStores.com

Cynthia McKinney gets physical

A Capitol cop made her obey the same rules as the little people, and got hit for it.

She'll get away with it, of course. Would you?

Hat tip to Neal Boortz.

Halle Orchestra bails on US tour plan...

...citing the ridiculous difficulty in getting into this country.

New visa procedures have been introduced to protect the US against terrorists. Most visitors with machine-readable passports can still use the visa waiver scheme, but performers intending to work in the US cannot do this. They have to arrange an appointment at the US embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, via a phone line charged at £1.30 a minute, and then appear for an interview and fingerprinting. The fee is $100.

"It's not a level playing field," said Russell Jones, director of the Association of British Orchestras. "Journalists and sports people do not have to go through these hoops."


That's mind-blowing given that journalists in general tend to be less patriotic than the population at large (for good reason).
And our excuse?
John Caulfield, the US embassy's consul general in the UK, said statistics showed the new rules had not led to fewer performers going to the US. Since the start of 2004 all US visas had incorporated a print of the right and left index fingers. "We cannot go [to Manchester] because the equipment is linked into our computers and [goes] back on high-speed lines to Washington to check the biometric data against databases. We are all paying a cost because of terrorism."


I can't believe the spin on this. This is Britain after all, not some Turd World hellhole; surely a fingerprint reader could be attached to any computer hooked to a T1 line, to do the comparison. As for the disincentive, we don't know how many performers WOULD have gone to the US. And there have been a number of concerts in Cleveland cancelled at the last minute due to visa problems.

We used to have freedom to travel. People will some day drop their jaws in amazement when I tell them that I used to go to Canada to research high school papers, or to get from Detroit to Boston. I have not flown since 9/11, because I refuse to be treated like a criminal because I won't stay in my cage.

This is so like the USSR, or China, or Berlin. Those people who want to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out should be careful what they ask for; walls work both ways.

Today's question for the pro-lifers

Would the removal of fetus-in-fetu be banned under the language of any abortion law you are currently supporting?

Sharia prom

Fordson High in Dearborn MI is 90% Arab Muslim. They hired a new principal, who went to the prom, freaked...and cancelled the next one.
A reinstatement was negotiated...long dresses, suits, no dirty dancing.

I'm of two minds about this. Class is good, community standards are good.

But these don't seem to be the community standards of the students or even their parents. It's alleged that parents don't know what's going on. Perhaps, if they just got off the plane. But Stuff Happened After Prom when I was a student, and when my parents were students. Keeping the inmates from running the asylum is a good thing, but they're going to get wild and crazy.

"Vot ken you makh? Es iz Amerike!"

Jurors swept up in 'CSI Effect'

TV makes them expect too much, prosecutors say

Here we have law enforcement whining because jurors are expecting every possible test, and for everything to wrap up in an hour.

But it's the job of the jury to be skeptical...indeed, more skeptical about the law itself than they generally think to be or are allowed to be. We have this legal principle: "innocent until proven guilty". And given how many cases are bullshit non-crimes (black-market retailing of psychoactive drugs, for example), sparing a few people from prison because the prosecution didn't make its case isn't such a bad thing.

Cop shows are infomercials for the justice system. It would be interesting for once to see a cop show where the cops, prosecutors and judges are all corrupt, and the only suspense was in how badly the accused was going to get shafted. Don't they run a show something like that at 6 every evening?

Hey, Mike!

You voted for this.

You want to tell us again that you "literally look at every piece of legislation and ask, “How will this impact kids?”"

Jandre had two mommies...

...and knew it. Now he's dead.

Why was a womyn so obsessed with being addressed by a patriarchal title that she would behave like an abusive husband? Ms. de Nysschen was seriously off-message here. Or maybe just seriously off.

Don't get drunk in a bar in Texas

And you thought Texas was a party state?

These folks were drinking in a hotel bar, and many of them were staying at the hotel, which meant they weren't driving anywhere...which is the only even remotely valid reason I can think of for the cops to play Carry Nation.

There's some bacon that needs to be fried.

The deer hunter hunter

From the Cleveland Journal of Bourgeois Marxist Studies

The man who is taking care of Solon OH's deer problem is being stalked by a diabetic woman with roached kidneys. I've got kin like that, so I should be sympathetic. But when I read about this woman boxing the guy in with her car, all I can think is: here is somebody being productive, and you want to stop him. Who is paying for your dialysis and your disability checks?

Blackwell needs Biology 101

In an article about Summit Co. Republican boss Alex Arshinkoff:

In the governor's race, Arshinkoff backs Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a strong opponent of same-sex marriage, who once told the Columbus Dispatch: "Farmers know if you want eggs to eat you don't produce them with two roosters or two hens. You need a rooster and a hen."

I assume that he also thinks that human females quit ovulating when there are no men around.

The smart farmer will of course have 2 hens, unless he's planning on incubating his own eggs. And if he has 2 roosters, from the 7th or 8th week on they will probably reside in his freezer.

And this is the guy who will get to appoint the Secretary of Agriculture if elected? Oy!

Mike DeWine blogs

The PD guys seem to think that working in their pajamas will give them credibility, so they have blogs. And they decided to share their blogs with RINO Mikey DeWhine. Now Mikey, being a politician, can't say what's on his mind, assuming he has one. So a blog for him is about as useful as a bicycle for a fish. Still, a free spot to campaign is free (at least until his good comrade John Son-of-Cain makes it illegal for the PD to provide one). In the tradition of blogger commentary, let's analyze his statements, shall we?


My Work in the US Senate

I wish to first thank the Cleveland Plain Dealer for the opportunity to blog this week. Today, I want to share a few highlights from my work in the Senate.

• I am proud to be the author of legislation that has literally saved the lives of children and improved the quality of life for them and their families;

Did he think we'd assume that he'd figuratively saved the lives of children, by voting to reduce the Federal debt maybe?

• I am proud to consistently vote for and support legislation that creates and protects Ohio jobs;

Oh? Has government ever "created" a job? And if it's Mikey's job to create jobs for Ohioans, I wouldn't brag about it, given that OH unemployment in Jan. was .6% above the national average (5.3 to 4.7). And last June, the number of jobs in Ohio was 300,000 below its mid-2000 peak. That's probably more due to Gov. Daft and the rest of the clowns in Columbus than anything Fedgov has done, but if DeWhine wants to take responsibility and wear that albatross around his neck, so be it.

• I am proud of my work on the Senate Intelligence Committee to protect America from our enemies;

Wasn't he on that when our intelligence got blindsided by 9/11?


and
• I am proud to have fought in the Senate for our most vulnerable citizens.

Isn't he supposed to fight for ALL the citizens?

Throughout my career in public service my main focus has always been on protecting children – I literally look at every piece of legislation and ask, “How will this impact kids?”

He literally looks at every piece of legislation? You mean, he was the only guy in the Senate who actually read the USA Patriot Act? I guess that makes him especially culpable then. Or does he just glance at the binders?

I’ve been the author of a great many bills that, this very day, are protecting and improving the lives of children.

Which ones? Numbers and years would be nice. Real bloggers use these things called hyperlinks, which would take us straight to Thomas and those bills that DeWhine literally looked at with his own eyes.

Perhaps the most important of those bills was the one that gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to test the safety of medications that children use – it’s called the “pediatric drug rule.”

Funny, that phrase doesn't generate anything in Thomas. so whatever the law was, it's not called that.

When I first learned that nearly 80 percent of drugs on the market were not tested for use in children, I was astonished. Personally, I would rank that law, which marked the beginning of the end for a dangerous, senseless problem in America, as one of my proudest achievements in United States Senate.

So, he's proud that he's added anopther level of bureaucracy in getting life-saving drugs to children. How many children have died because drugs weren't approved for their use? And how many children are autistic due to government-mandated, thimoserol-preserved vaccinations?

A real charmer here. I think he's posted again; maybe we can tear that one up tomorrow.

Kevin Trudeau is a punk

It says so in this book, p. 374:

The government should allocate money directly into funding research organizations that can look at everything EXCEPT drugs and surgery as a way to cure and prevent disease.

He's not happy with where the tax swag is going; he wants it to go to HIS friends. Gods forbid it should stay in your pocket.

This in a 572-page book of which, at best, 100 pages is useable content, the rest being rants about how the FTC won't allow him to say anything substantive so you have to go to his (subscriber) website.

Nobody sane denies that the FDA and FTC are FUBAR. Since this turkey was a best-seller, people are willing to spend money to support the notion. And much of the health advice (such as there is) seems reasonable.

But Kevin wants it both ways. The government which is in thrall to Big Pharma and transnational food companies is going to be an objective voice when placed at the service of the alternative care industry? I don't buy that for a moment. Let's see what we'd get: legitimate drug-oriented treatments would languish, as alternative therapies do now, acetamenophin would be illegal (it's killed many times more people than ephedra), when somebody misdesigns a colonic irrigator and it tears somebody's guts apart, there will be government protection.

If the government has the power to steal from us to benefit another, it will screw up the recipient, guarenteed. And all things being equal, if somebody gets screwed (and, really NOBODY needs to be screwed; a free market would have room for both AMA quackery and Hoxeyan quackery) I'd really rather it be the alternative health sector.

Craigslist: screw your way to better housing

Finally, something both the Left and Right can bunch their panties over:

MIAMI – Want ads are getting new meaning in the Internet Age, with men posting advertisements for female roommates who can live virtually free, as long they're willing to have sex with them.

One recent posting in the Florida area on the popular Craigslist.com states: "Upscale executive seeks beautiful female 18-24 to live in his luxury condo in Coral Gables for $1/month in exchange for some light duties. Help take care of dog, cook occasionally. Sex 2x/week. Serious inquires only. Please email a picture for consideration."

Now, the only thing novel about this arrangement is that it's being advertised on the Internet...leading to the usual calls for Net censorship....and the usual whines about "enticing young girls who may be strapped for cash" (Miami-Dade Police Dept.) and "offensive and disturbing" (Women's Movement Now).

Now, I would not think much of a woman who accepted such a relationship. A whore is a whore, even if she limits her client base and accepts payment in-kind. But these people don't need protecting from evil men. They enter into these relationships with open eyes. Women (and other humans) ALWAYS have an option to act according to principle, to share run-down slum housing. And if they have the additional option to live in luxury for sex twice a week, well, options are good, are they not?

I don't like these men's behavior, but I absolutely support their right to do what they are doing.

Extreme Makeover, Ethical Edition

Lovely Spouse (who will have been Lovely Spouse for a year come tomorrow) is not an Objectivist, or any other kind of philosopher. She'd never make it through Atlas Shrugged; she just doesn't read that fluently. But she THINKS, and doesn't blank out in the way so many intellectuals do when faced with inconvenient realities.

She used to be a faithful watcher of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". And I'd watch too, just because it was something to do together, a rare enough thing given our work schedules. But she's been getting away from it.

She clicked it on tonight, just after the bus got moved. And after a minute or two, she asked, "What did they do to earn such luxury?"

Earn? Earn?! The word was like a slap in the face.

But in the moral system of EMHE, it was accurate enough. One "earns" Ty's help by having Needs. Or, better yet, by helping the needy while having Needs oneself. The neediness is generally not self-inflicted (the show isn't THAT sick). But the solution to the need is generally so overdone as to make the initiating tragedy seem like winning the lottery. The beginning of Lovely Spouse's awakening was a show where she said, "But there's nothing wrong with that house!" Indeed, it was better in some respects than where we live.

Yes, folks, you thought it was just an hour-long commercial for Sears. It's an hour-long commercial for altruism, with happily ever after guaranteed (Has anyone ever LOST an Extreme Makeover house?). It's prepping you for government-supplied housing, as surely as Commander in Chief is a prep job for President Hillary Goddam Clinton.

What's the deal about poor people and banks?

Somebody help me...I really don't get this.

I've always had a bank account. And I've been poor. I've worked punch presses next to illiterates. I've been threatened with eviction. I've even (please forgive me, fellow Americans) been on food stamps. But maybe once in my life have I been to one of those pits of usury who charge an-arm-and-leg to cash your check (and even more to give you money before you get the check).

So this woman gets a check from FEMA because she was a victim of Hurricane Katrina. A BIG check, $18K or so. Does she go to a BANK (which I'm sure would be more than happy to open an account for that kind of money)? No, she goes to the local check cashery. Of course, they make a big fuss about cashing such a large check, probably quite loudly, taking their own good time. She walks out with $17,975 in cash, takes it home and hides it (only smart thing she did). She comes home from grocery shopping...and there are three masked gunmen, who take all the money.

This being the San Fran Chronicle, we're supposed to feel sorry. Yes, I feel sorry - sorry that the government blew $18K on this idiot. At age 42 with 5 kids, she's been around the block once or twice. She knows the morals of her peers and sub-peers.

So what's the deal about banks and the poor? It's a serious question to my readership.

Kuwait: find some more oil so we can steal it

Whoops! Kuwait is runnng dry. But they have a plan:

The country's natural heritage has been solely in the hands of Kuwaiti companies since the government nationalized the oil industry in the 1970s. Foreign energy companies continued to play a role but served only as hired hands. Now with some of the country's most precious oil fields quickly becoming exhausted, Kuwait is considering throwing open the doors and handing over power - albeit limited - to foreign oil companies that have the technical know-how to help stretch what remains and develop what's yet to be discovered.

Let's see: they stole ("nationalized") the oil fields, and now that they are going dry, they want help from the people they stole them from. It sounds like they've been attending the Robert Mugabe School of Development and Diplomacy.

Now I'm wondering why our boys bled and died to get "their" oil fields back from Sodamn Insane.

Peggy Noonan wakes up

..to Lyndon Baines Bush.

The question has been on my mind since the summer of 2005 when, at a gathering of conservatives, the question of Mr. Bush and big spending was raised. I'd recently written on the subject and thought it significant that no one disagreed with my criticism. Everyone murmured about new programs, new costs, how the president "spends like a drunken sailor except the sailor spends his own money." And then someone, a smart young journalist, said, (I paraphrase), But we always knew what Bush was. He told us when he ran as a compassionate conservative. This left me rubbing my brow in confusion. Is that what Mr. Bush meant by compassionate conservatism?

That's not what I understood him to mean.

She didn't understand it because she didn't THINK. Conservatism, as a political philosophy, is concerned with justice, not compassion. It doesn't consider charity to be a function of government. ConservaTIVES, individually, may be compassionate (and generally are). But "compassionate conservatism" is as much an oxymoron as "tax-and-spend libertarianism" or "Free market socialism". I saw through the scam from the beginning, arguing with my dad about his primary choices. (I didn't have much credibility, given that my party doesn't even have primaries, and my convention choice would have been Gary Nolan.)

What I can't believe is that it took her four, count 'em, FOUR debt ceiling raises to figure it out. What is it with the folks Vox Day calls "three-monkey Republicans"?

Black separatism gets its own Prussian Blue

Unlike the whining sisters, this little girl has talent. Too bad it's being misdirected and exploited (as are the Gaede girls).

Tip 'o hat to Malkin.

"Do you want guns on campus?"

Some anonymous troublemaker asked, in response to the last entry
"Do you want guns on campus?"

That's a loaded question as stated. I want Case students and employees to be allowed their natural and constitutional right to self-defence. Actually, I don't "want" guns anywhere. If I could wave a magic wand and make them all go poof, I think that would on balance be a good thing. But it ain't gonna happen. There has never been a case in human history that I'm aware of, where humanity has given itself amnesia about a technology. So guns are going to be here, and that being the case, I would like to have them in the hands of the law-abiding and moral, since they will in any case be in the hands of those who are not. Do you think there are no guns on campus now? (I'll even ignore for a moment that campus is split by Euclid Avenue, and you KNOW there are guns there.) Do you think current policy has ever stopped anyone determined to bring a gun to campus? Do you think that Bizzy Halder said to himself, "Oh, Case has a no-weapons policy; I'll have to attack the Lewis Building with Redi-Whip."?

Now, Case, as a private institution, has a right to specify under what terms its property will be used. It has a right to ban weapons. But, as we are constantly reminded by those who understand neither, with rights come responsibilities. And if you are going to prevent people from defending themselves, you have obligated yourself to keep them safe. If Norman Wallace had been a CCW holder (yes, I don't think we had the law yet then, but indulge my hypothetical), I think his family would have had a clear legal case to sue the university for putting his life at risk. They would have had a moral case in any event, but the CCW would have shown that he was normally ready to defend himself. The problem with a third party assuming that responsibility is that equivalent protection can't be provided, and to the extent that it could be, it would be a gross invasion of privacy and ruinously expensive to the University, because equivalent protection would be assigning an armed guard to every student. Would YOU like a shadow?

Further, guns equalize differentials in body mass and strength. Samuel Colt and John Moses Browning did more for women's equality than most suffragettes of their time. And I'm not willing to see women raped by some big guy with a knife, when his libido problem could be cured by psychosurgery with a high-velocity lead probe.

I'm sure this will piss off all kinds of people. Oh well. Just don't get violent with me over it, because you don't know for a fact that I'm NOT carrying. And I really like my job, and would hate to lose it, especially over losers who think that violence is a form of intellectual debate.

Welcome to D. C. West

San Francisco, future crime capital of the US

...or is that "Case Western Reserve University, California campus"?

More on raw milk story

As I should have guessed, the Weston A. Price Foundation has much more on this story. It's worse than we thought; evidently the D of A is determined to shut down cow shares too.

Would someone plese explain to me how somebody who flunked the basic lessons of kindergarten ("What's mine is mine, what's your is yours") can make it to high office in Ohio?

Casio: preferred watch of terrorists

So says our esteemed gooferment.

After all, it's not like "those dirty Ayrabs" ever want to be on time to somewhere.

What's next? Rounding up the smokers for carrying incendiary devices?

Thanks the Gods that I'm so cheap as to buy $10 Wal-mart watches instead of anything as good as Casio, else I'd be in Gitmo for sure.

Amish farmer victim of raw milk sting

From Cleveland's Journal of Bourgeois Marxist Culture:

Meet Millersburg farmer Arlie Stutzman, who's had a Grade B dairy license for 12 years, allowing him to sell milk to local cheese factories. On September 20, an undercover ag agent visited his farm and asked to buy a gallon of milk.

It's a no-no for a farmer to sell milk directly, so Stutzman offered to just give it to the man if he were truly in need. But the guy insisted on leaving two bucks. The agent then fetched an unmarked container from his car and had Stutzman's son fill it with milk.

For the sin of selling in an unlabeled container, Stutzman had his license yanked. At an administrative hearing, he argued that the Amish faith taught him to share food with anybody in need, and asked that his penalty be reduced to a 60-day license suspension. His plea was rejected by department director Fred Dailey, who's also mean to baby deer and people in wheelchairs. Stutzman now faces additional fines if convicted at an April 17 hearing.

"I never realized that being generous and sharing food is a crime in Ohio," says Stutzman.

I met Arlie last year, at a meeting on free-range poultry sponsored by Geauga Family Farmers. He didn't seem "quite there", though that might have been his soft-spokenness. (How do you know when an Amish man is losing his temper? He's not whispering.) Certainly, he should have seen this sting. "Well, sir, since you have $2, I suggest you go to the store if you need milk." If he had $2, he wasn't in need, and nobody "needs" raw milk; just ask the State of Ohio.

But...as abuse of government power, this one takes the cake. Let's start at the beginning: it's Arlie's cow, and the consumer's body. If somebody wants raw milk, by what right does the State of Ohio tell them they can't trade? A lot of consumers are figuring this out, and a brisk trade is developing in "brucellosis, listeria etc."...except we aren't seeing a lot of sick people. I don't know if Arlie was suspected of being part of that trade; possibly he was singled out for being Amish, a group known for low tolerance for bullshit laws, and for being, let's face it, a little naive. "We gotta show those damn Weston Pricers and other granola-munching hippie types who's boss." So they had A STING. Yes, a non-law-enforcement agency tempted somebody to break the law. And to top it off "an administrative hearing" yanked his licence. So here's this guy who is probably going to have to sell his herd and take a loss, maybe lose the farm, and his fate is being decided by a bunch of bureaucrats, ALL of whom work for the D of A. What happened to his right to a trial by jury?

Fred Dailey (another lovely Taft appointee) might need a wake-up call.

Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-3399
Main Line: (614) 728-6200
Toll Free: 1-800-282-1955

Administration (614) 466-2732
Fax 614-466-6124
administration@mail.agri.state.oh.us
(This is Fred's office number, but there's an "administrative assistant" who in 8/04 was Connie Ellis.)

Dairy Division (614) 466-5550
dairy@mail.agri.state.oh.us

Enforcement (614) 728-6240
enforcement@mail.agri.state.oh.us

Neal Boortz, nerf libertarian, on Mexico

Today, he's a Democrat:

...In a very real sense we are at war with Mexico. We're being invaded. The Mexican government is sending waves of its citizens into the United States for the specific purpose of draining money from the US economy and having it sent back to Mexico. The Mexican government has some real problems with funding needed social services. Every dollar that an illegal worker in the US sends back to his family in Mexico is a dollar that the Mexican government doesn't have to spend to provide needed services to that family.

(emphasis mine)
While we agree that open borders are problematic (which doubtless makes ME a nerf libertarian in some eyes), I'm not the one shaming Mexico for not robbing its productive citizens enough.

Kofi needs to get out more

UN staffers heckle Annan.

When asked by a staffer if U.N. jobs will be farmed out to Kinko's from now on, Mr. Annan showed how out of touch he has become from his underlings and from his fellow New Yorkers. "What is Kinko?" he asked.

One clue, Kofi: it's not what UN "peacekeepers" do to the populations they, uh, service.

Be careful what you name your band

This Bike is a Pipe Bomb is a folk-punk trio, so I've been told.

Some OU student put their bumper sticker on his bike. Now he's out one bike and up one misdemeanor charge of inducing panic. Funny how the only people to panic were the cops. Do Ohio police go to a special school to get that stupid?

Thanks to Billy Beck, chronicler of the Endarkenment.

Why the Left should cringe at Hugo Chavez

Why The Left Should Cringe at the Mention of Hugo Chavez
February 27, 2006
Alvaro Vargas Llosa

10 things the US is routinely criticised for, which Chavez is also guilty of. But then, consistency is a bourgeois affectation, isn't it?

Linked by Karen DeCoster, in a discussion of the Chavez-Sheehan romance.

Massachusetts promotes healthy eating

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/2-51.htm

The General Laws of Massachusetts

PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT

TITLE I. JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS OF THE COMMONWEALTH, THE GENERAL COURT,
STATUTES AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

CHAPTER 2. ARMS, GREAT SEAL AND OTHER EMBLEMS OF THE COMMONWEALTH

Chapter 2: Section 51. Donut of commonwealth

Section 51. The Boston Cream Donut shall be the official donut of the commonwealth.

I donut know whether to laugh or cry...

Tip o' hat to Scott Jordan.

UPDATE:
"DOC", via email:

It is for promoting public safety.

We all know what the police use for sustenance and energy.

Harry Browne RIP

From www.downsizedc.org:

The world has lost a wonderful human being. Harry Browne passed away last night after a long illness. Harry was a joy and inspiration to all who knew him. We offer our condolences to his family, and especially to his wife Pamela.

No AP obit that I can find, yet.
Harry was an author, and two-time Libertarian Party candidate for President. On the times I encountered him personally, he struck me as a true gentleman.

UPDATE:

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060302/dcth068.html?.v=25
gives the cause of death as Lou Gehrig's disease.

See also: Lew Rockwell
Reason

WHAT freedom of speech?

Re the cartoon crisis:

But on one point European leaders were united and bluntly clear: they would not tolerate any limits on European newspapers' rights to publish. "Freedom of speech is not up for negotiation," declared Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, summing up a consensus that has only grown stronger as the cries of outrage from the Muslim world grow louder.

It's not up for negotiation, because it was negotiated away after WW II. If it's illegal to goodmouth Hitler, why shouldn't it be illegal to badmouth Mohammed? If papers really want to test press freedom, they should print cartoons of Mohammed with swastikas for eyes. It's easy to be brave in the face of rioters in other countries, but hard when it's your own government you're fighting.

Tom Monaghan builds Catholicville

Pizza Magnate Seeks Catholic-Governed Town

Tom Monaghan (former Domino's Pizza owner, now turned Catholic philanthropist) is constructing the town of Ave Maria to surround Ave Maria University, the Catholic college he is building. He is selling residential properties, but holding on to all commercial real estate...on which there will be lease restrictions: no abortions, no birth control, no pornography. Predictably, the ACLU (among others) is crying foul. But this takes the cake:

Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice, likened Monaghan's concept to Islamic fundamentalism.

"This is un-American," Kissling said. "I don't think in a democratic society you can have a legally organized township that will seek to have any kind of public service whatsoever and try to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens."

Leaving aside for the moment that "Catholics for a Free Choice" is an oxymoron, and that nowhere is the Constitution is there granted a right to abortion, birth control, or pornography, what about the basic human right of using your property as you see fit?

We're talking about 5000 acres here. Most people who live there will be working for or attending Ave Maria, and thus theoretically not interested in these products. If they are, it's no big hardship to go into Naples.

I'm as pro-abortion/contraception/smut as the next guy, but it's really very simple: the right to property is the right upon which all other rights are founded. Even the right to privacy (upon which "the right to abortion" is founded) is based on the ownership of yourself. If you don't like life in Monaghan's company town, don't live there. It's as simple as that.

UPDATE:
Ave Maria sets the record straight.

I don't know if the negative press on this was deliberate distorion, or if Ave Maria is backpedalling. In either case, my main point about property rights stands.