Libertarian Commentary on the News, 29 July - 04 August 2007
to defend ourselves:
Forced to kill
At least four times this month, would-be crime victims in Charlotte
fought back against people trying to rob them. Two suspects were killed,
two injured. The latest occurred Monday, police said, when a clerk killed
a man trying to rob her northeast Charlotte store. Prosecutors havent
decided whether to charge her. But she is emotionally devastated
by the decision that she was forced to make, her lawyer said in
a statement. Four Charlotteans say they understand how she feels. All
fatally shot someone while trying to protect themselves. None was charged.
But all four say the killings altered their lives. (07/29/07)
Liberty and I discussed this, two things are clear. One, why should the
police be delaying so long in deciding not to charge her? Second, why
should she be devastated in a situation where if she hadnt
shot him, shed most certainly be dead herself?
Note: Seems to me that this "devastation" is a PC reaction -
or something. I hope I never have to harm or kill anyone, but I don't
think I'd lose any sleep over it if I had to do it to save my own or someone
else's life from a violent attack. We just have to make up our mind which
life is more precious: ours, or that of a criminal who would kill us.
to defend ourselves:
man holds thieves at gunpoint
24 year old Timothy Darnell Maynor and 20 year old Shaun Christopher
Holley targeted the home of a disabled Limestone County man, apparently
trying to steal the aluminum cans he collected for supplemental income.
The men didnt get the cans, but they did get a big surprise. Robert
Shoulder proved that he may be down, but certainly dont count him
out. To supplement his income, he does get out and try to collect
cans for resale, says Captain Stanley Mcnatt. Shoulder says the
night before the incident, sacks full of cans turned up missing. The
next day I come back by there and I caught these boys stealing my cans,
says Shoulder. He immediately called the Limestone County Sheriffs
Department. Well I was out there in the yard. They thought we had
gone. I was sitting in the truck and they walked back up, cause they were
going to try to get in the car and get away, says Shoulder. The
one guy, he started towards me and I told him to stop and he kept coming,
so I pulled my gun out on him and he was made to lay down on the ground.
fired, but justice will be done (assuming the courts do their job). I
would hope that the judge and jury would decide that a most appropriate
sentence would be spending, oh, 2000 hours collecting aluminum cans for
Mr. Shoulder. Each. (Or maybe do it by piecework, say, 20,000 cans each?)
to defend ourselves:
meet with gunfire
Salt Lake Tribune
A landowner greeted trespassers with gunfire in Piute County
on Sunday. No one was injured. About 6 p.m., nine people entered a gate
with a no trespassing sign and proceeded toward the Kimberly
Mill, according to the Piute County Sheriffs Office. As they rounded
a turn to the mill, a man who owns the property fired a .40-caliber pistol,
said Deputy Mike Gayler. Gayler said it is unclear whether the man was
trying to harm anyone or just scare away the party. The party fled to
the main road but along the way one man stopped and fired five pistol
shots into an unfastened padlock, the sheriffs office said. Gayler
said the man appeared to fire at the lock out of spite. The sheriffs
office is referring the case to county prosecutors. (07/31/07)
If I had
been the owner, I would have shot the lock-shooter down in a heartbeat.
What a stupid act!
to defend ourselves:
Store owner shoots suspect
Police said Raheim Michael Badger, the owner of the F.A.M.E.
clothing store on Wrightsboro Road, told them he was spending the night
in the store because of recent burglaries. At about 4 a.m. Monday, he
said, he awoke to a crash in the front of the business and saw a figure,
later identified as Mr. McNair, stealing clothes. The burglar fired a
handgun at the owner, who returned fire, Investigator Beckman said. Mr.
McNair was later found at University Hospital, where he had been dropped
off for treatment of a gunshot wound, Investigator Beckmam said.
by his buddies.
to defend ourselves:
ID: ATF drops harassment charge against
War on Guns
[From Ryan Horsley] Our attorneys have spoken with the US Attorneys
office and they have agreed to neutralize the Third Status Concern in
which they claim that I harassed and intimidated them. Although an apology
would be nice, this will suffice. We are pleased with this decision and
with the response that we have received from supporters across the nation
who have been following this case. (07/31/07)
doesnt cause cancer? It isnt like, you know, casting a spell
against them, or hexing them?
Note: The BATFeces outfit is rapidly losing what little credibility they
had on this deal. Later in the day - or the next day - the charges were
reinstated because they didn't like the fact that Horsley continued to
talk about it! I suspect - and hope - that any such charges will be thrown
out if ever brought to court, even if simply because of the BATFE waffling.
to defend ourselves:
Homeowner shoots, kills robbers
An overnight robbery went awry when a North Dallas homeowner
came out shooting. Police said four men broke into a home in the 9000
block of Woodshore Drive in a robbery attempt. The men approached the
homeowner and demanded cash, according to police. The homeowner pulled
out a gun and shot two of the robbers, police said. One man died before
police arrived and the other was taken to the Baylor Medical Center in
critical condition. (08/01/07)
times will be it take for criminals to learn?
Note: If they were capable of really intelligent thought or learned from
such things, they probably wouldn't be criminals to start with. This one,
at any rate, learned the lesson and won't be doing it again.
to defend ourselves:
NC: Home invasion
marks fourth in eastern NC
Stephen Mason says the intruder entered his home through the
back porch. Mason says he was getting ready to go to bed. He turned off
all the lights inside the home then he heard a loud bang. When he went
to check it out, he says he was hit in the head by the intruder. Mason
says he had his gun with him so he fired twice. Police dont know
if the suspect, who got away, was hit. This latest home invasion follows
two in Greenville. In one, a homeowner shot and killed an intruder. And
in Wilson, a man was killed when someone broke into his house.
seems to be a bit slow on the uptake he put himself unnecessarily
in harms way. But as in Texas, I have to ask: how long before these
thugs learn? One out of four isnt good odds when bullets are involved.
Note: I'm not worried about the criminals. It's the homeowners and everyone
else that need to learn more about self defense. The man in Wilson died
tragically, probably because he had no way to defend himself.
Army censures general for deception
in Tillman death
Calling him the captain of a ship that ran aground, the Army
Tuesday announced it has censured a retired three-star general for misleading
investigators probing the controversial death of Cpl. Pat Tillman. It
also ordered a grade review board to consider whether Retired Lt. Gen.
Phillip Kensinger should be stripped of a star. (07/31/07)
needs to punish its own, but it also needs to make sure that the punishment
fits the crime, and the reason for the crime.
Army child abuse more likely during deployments
In Army enlisted families with at least one incident of child
abuse, the children are far more likely to be abused during deployments,
researchers have found. And the type of abuse is likely to be child neglect
at the hands of their mothers, according to a study to be published in
the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association by
researchers at RTI International and the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. The study looked at Army families
with at least one substantiated report of child abuse and had at least
one combat-related deployment during the 40-month period between September
2001 and December 2004. Within those families, the rate of child abuse
during soldier deployments was 42 percent higher than when the soldier
was not deployed. (07/31/07)
both parents are not available, the stress on the one parent is ALWAYS
greater at least as regards the care and feeding of the little mons
excuse me, the beloved offspring. But deployments are NOT going to be
the only factor, by any means, and this study is flawed for not evaluating
that. However, to the extent that this study is true, it vindicates long-standing
military custom that junior enlisted and junior officers should NOT marry
(and not have children remember, those two things USED to be connected);
and also that the salary of the soldier was enough to support the entire
family so that the spouse did NOT have to work outside the home. Stress
is especially high in single-parent families when the single parent has
to work a full-time job.
tricks and insane thugs:
Dems vote to add six million kids
to welfare rolls
City Daily Record
House Democrats pushed through legislation Wednesday to add 6
million lower-income children to a popular health insurance program while
making deep cuts in federal payments to Medicare HMOs, defying a veto
threat from President Bush. On a 225-204, mostly party-line vote, the
House passed the legislation, which would add $50 billion to the decade-old
State Childrens Health Insurance Program and roll back years of
Republican-driven changes to Medicare. (08/01/07)
The deal works like this. Government "insurance" replaces most
private insurance. The government insurance pays less and less, so more
and more doctors, hospitals and clinics either go out of business or quit
accepting the "insurance." Then government accuses them of being
"greedy, selfish," etc. and the people "demand" that
all health care be "nationalized." Private pay is outlawed and
doctors are paid like hotel bellhops... and told every move to make. Those
doctors and other professionals who refuse to play the games go somewhere
else or find something else to do... and then there is NO real health
care, at any price, for ANYONE but the very privileged few who exempt
themselves from all the rules they make for everyone else... Sound familiar?
think I got out of western medicine just in time... The Canadians are
so bad off with this insanity that they're talking about DRAFTING retired
doctors and nurses and forcing them to go back to work - for the state!
We are seeing the beginning of this in Colorado, where a blue ribbon
commission rejected the only true free-market proposal for reform
of Colorado medical systems and will choose between one of four or five
systems ranging from Hillary-extreme to Hillary-light
MA: Antibias effort stirs anger in
As far as town proclamations go, the one that declared Watertown
a No Place for Hate community in July 2005 seemed like a pretty innocuous
one. The goal was to celebrate diversity and challenge bigotry. And the
program, in place in 67 Massachusetts communities and hundreds of others
nationwide, has generated very little controversy elsewhere. But that
has not been the case in Watertown. In recent weeks, the town that bills
itself as No Place for Hate on a sign outside Town Hall is abuzz with
anger and frustration, especially among the large Armenian population.
At issue is not the program itself, but the group behind it, the Anti-Defamation
League, and in particular the ADLs refusal to acknowledge the Armenian
genocide at the hands of Turks during World War I. (08/01/07)
of this type inevitably seem to cause more trouble than good-will, and
are therefore counterproductive: one side resents the other, or drags
up old insults and items NOT addressed (either directly or indirectly)
and the fight is on. This sort of thing should NOT be the business of
wars human-caused global warming:
Study links hurricanes to climate
Sydney Morning Herald
The number of Atlantic hurricanes in an average season has doubled
in the last century due in part to warmer seas and changing wind patterns
caused by global warming, according to a new study. Hurricane researchers
have debated for years whether climate change caused by greenhouse gases
from cars, factories and other human activity is resulting in more, and
more intense, tropical storms and hurricanes. The new study, published
online in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, said
the increased numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes in the last 100
years is closely related to a 0.72 degree Celsius rise in sea surface
now explain where all the hurricanes are THIS season and demonstrate
the validity of your models that you used to make these claims. Anyone
with a semester credit in Probability and Statistics knows a dozen ways
to twist the data around to prove whatever they want: the real proof is
in the pudding where are the big storms?
Foreclosures rise 58 percent
in first half of 07
The number of U.S. homes facing foreclosure surged 58 percent
in the first six months of the year, the latest sign of mounting problems
in the mortgage industry, a data firm said Monday. In all, 573,397 properties
across the nation reported some sort of foreclosure activity in the first
half of this year, including receiving notices of default, auction sale
notices or being repossessed by lenders, Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc.
It is numbers
like this that seem to cancel out new Dow Jones highs and other supposedly
good economic news and point out deep problems with the economy.
However, for many people, who were NOT foolish enough to assume that real
estate values would continue to climb, this sort of news will
have little impact.
Note: Those who have saved and kept out of debt may well find themselves
in a great position to buy property cheap pretty soon. The losers will
be those who were mortgaged over their heads and some of the bankers.
woes ripple across globe
Christian Science Monitor
Its a good thing that the world economy had a head of steam
going into this summer, because it now faces financial headwinds made
in the USA. On Monday, shares of the German industrial bank IKB plummeted
as the bank announced its earnings would be hit hard by the rising default
rate of American subprime home loans. The news served as a reminder: Politics
may be local or national, but the realm of banking and finance is international.
In fact, when concerns about a tighter flow of credit sent stocks tumbling
in the United States last week, the phenomenon was really global. Borrowing
is becoming more difficult and more expensive worldwide. And stock markets
fell as much last week in Europe and developing nations as in the US.
with a nervous stock market and real estate and automotive disasters and
foreclosures and all, everyone is getting nerves.
fined half-billion for price fixing
British Airways was hit with almost $547 million in fines on
Wednesday as it reached settlements with U.S. and UK authorities for price
fixing on fuel surcharges. Archrival Virgin Atlantic Airways (VA) blew
the whistle on BA last year after individuals at the two carriers discussed
proposed changes to fuel surcharges for long flights. The U.S. Department
of Justice fined BA $300 million as part of a wider investigation that
also resulted in a fine for Korean Air Lines and notice that Virgin and
Germanys Lufthansa would have to pay restitution to customers. This
resolves the OFTs and the DoJs (U.S. Department of Justice)
investigation of British Airways, BA said in a statement to the
London Stock Exchange. Virgin was not available for immediate comment.
large firms often succumb to the temptation to work together in unfair
ways usually BECAUSE government regulations allow them to take
advantage of their customers.
Note: In a free market these folks could charge any price they want, for
any reason they want, any time they want. The only legitimate feedback
is from the customers. If they get together and decide to jack up the
price beyond what the customers are willing to pay (the true market price),
then they wouldn't sell any tickets. The chances all the airlines would
stay in such an agreement is slim to none because without government subsidies
of tax money, these airlines couldn't afford to be anything but as competitive
as possible. And that includes no TSA or unarmed pilots!
New German airline to cater to smokers
At the international airport in this western German city, smokers
are restricted to a handful of bars in the terminal, or else stuck puffing
on the dingy street outside. Soon, however, tobacco lovers from around
the world could be beating a path to Duesseldorf. A start-up airline based
here plans to offer long-haul luxury flights that cater to smokers, countering
a decades-long global trend that has made it impossible to enjoy a cigarette
on most passenger flights. The founder of Smokers International
Airways Smintair for short is a local entrepreneur who promises
a return to the days when air travel was considered glamorous, stewardesses
were happy to bring you a glass of scotch, and smoking in the lavatory
didnt risk criminal prosecution. (07/29/07)
this to be cut off very quickly by nanny-state do-gooders: health, gender,
and any other excuse will be used.
will tight credit hit?
Christian Science Monitor
The era of easy money is drying up hitting Wall Street
and its dealmakers first. Last week, the prospect of fewer mergers and
acquisitions caused the stock markets sharp drop. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average fell 585 points for the week, the largest weekly point
loss in five years. Even a positive report on the gross domestic product
in the second quarter up at a 3.4 percent pace failed to
stem the stock sell-off. Now, economists are watching credit markets carefully
to see if tighter lending standards for wheeler-dealers will spread to
Main Street, where credit is still readily available. According to the
Federal Reserve, consumer credit grew by 6.4 percent in May.
theories generated by this half-kilo drop! A lot of people are claiming
that this is the beginning of the end and others are saying that it is
the final nail in the GOPs 2008 coffin.
Note: I've watched a hundred such "corrections" over these many
years, and this may just be another one - but the pitcher can only go
to the well so many times before someone finally drops it and smashes
it on the rocks. I don't think it can be predicted. All we can do is live
frugally and save as much as we can for the hard times that are sure to
come. The only ones who win with debt in the long run are the bankers.
Study: Floridas voting machines
Floridas optical scan voting machines are still flawed,
despite efforts to fix them, and they could allow poll workers to tamper
with the election results, according to a government-ordered study obtained
Tuesday by The Associated Press. At the request of Secretary of State
Kurt Browning, a Florida State University information technology laboratory
went over a list of previously discovered flaws to see whether the machines
were still vulnerable to attack. (07/31/07)
Note: How about if we just forget the whole thing and all mind our own
business? Voting is simply an advanced sale of stolen goods...
Report: Ohio trashed
2004 election records
In 56 of Ohios 88 counties, ballots and election records
from 2004 have been accidentally destroyed, despite a federal
order to preserve them it was crucial evidence which would have
revealed whether the election was stolen. Ohios Secretary of State
and Attorney General are engaged in settlement talks in the neighborhood
association suit, suggesting the voter suppression claims have merit.
In contrast, the case for Republican vote count fraud in the rural areas
has been much harder to prove, even as the certified vote count is problematic
in some counties. Compared to Ohios Democratic urban core, turnout
in the Republican districts was higher than the 2000 election. Moreover,
in a handful of counties there were vote count anomalies that made post-election
observers question whether Bushs vote was padded. (07/31/07)
killed in struggle with police
Arizona Daily Star
A man died after what Phoenix police described Sunday as a struggle
in a house where officers went in response to a report of an exorcism
being conducted on a young child. Officers arrived at the house on Saturday
in response to a check-welfare call from a relative of the family that
lived there, and police entered when they heard screaming from a bedroom,
said Sgt. Joel Tranter, a police spokesman.
[Ronald] Marquez was
placed in handcuffs after a struggle. He initially appeared normal but
then was observed to be not breathing, Tranter said. Efforts by police
and Fire Department personnel to revive him failed, and he was pronounced
dead at a hospital. His cause of death was not immediately known, and
autopsy results probably wont be available for several weeks, Tranter
said. He added that the relative who called police said there also had
been an exorcism attempted on Thursday. (07/30/07)
and twisted tale, indeed. And another victim of tasers, apparently. While
this sort of thing is hard on the police, was it really necessary for
them to intervene? And in this way?
Bush: Surveillance law needs to keep
up with technology
President Bush on Saturday pushed Congress to modernize a law
that governs how the U.S. intelligence community monitors the communications
of suspected terrorists. This law is badly out of date, Bush
said in his weekly radio address. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act also known as FISA provides a legal foundation that
allows the U.S. Intelligence community to collect information about terrorist
suspects communications without violating the civil liberties of
a simple solution to this problem: repeal the FISA completely and write
a law that FIRST implements the Bill of Rights and makes it clear that
violations of the Bill of Rights are to be more seriously taken than ANY
foreign terrorist threat.
MN: At least nine dead in bridge collapse
The evening commute in Minneapolis collapsed into a charnel house
of death and destruction Wednesday when a heavily traveled bridge broke
apart and sections of it fell into the Mississippi River, killing at least
nine people and injuring up to 60 more, six critically. At least 20 people
were reported missing, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported in its online
edition. The death toll was expected to mount through the night as more
victims died in hospitals and as rescuers recovered bodies from the of
the Interstate 35W bridge wreckage, near the heart of Minneapolis, and
the river. At least 50 vehicles were reported thrown into the river, some
from a height of more than 60 feet, when the 40-year-old bridge collapsed
shortly after 6 p.m. Central time.
It wasnt known Wednesday
night why or how the bridge collapsed, but Minnesota and Minneapolis officials
said the likely cause was structural failure. Local, state
and federal officials said neither foul play nor terrorism was suspected.
nears 50 as I write this, and it was obvious from photos and early reports
that there were a LOT more than just nine dead. What I find totally baffling
is that people are coming out of the woodwork blaming the Bush Administration
for this. Never mind that it is STATES that design, build, and maintain
highways, and only receive some aid from the Fed DOT to pay for it, which
(of course) the feds steal from us via gasoline taxes, and of which perhaps
as much as fifty cents on the dollar stick to the feds fingers.
Someone may have goofed, but it is likely something that happened more
than 40 years ago when it was built, based on the inspection data. What
was very good is that dozens if not hundreds of people went without benefit
of emergency training, government licenses, permission slips, orders,
or guidance, and started rescuing hundreds of people, instead of following
DHS guidance to wait for qualified, official response to do
anything except flee from the scene. If this can happen in the Scandinavian
Socialist Democracy of Minnesota, it might even happen in SF or DC!
Secret ruling restricts surveillance
A secret ruling by a federal judge has restricted the U.S. Intelligence
communitys surveillance of suspected terrorists overseas and prompted
the Bush administrations current push for emergency
legislation to expand its wiretapping powers, according to a leading congressman
and a legal source who has been briefed on the matter. (08/01/07)
only a few days for the congressional thugs to work around this court
action, apparently, and despite some loudmouths, they pretty much gave
the president what he wanted.
Madeline Byrne was making a quick trip to the grocery store to
buy some cheese when a sheriff approached her car in the parking lot and
slipped something through her open window. Byrne didnt get the cheese,
but she did get a jury summons. The 64-year-old woman was ordered to report
for jury duty a little more than an hour later at the Lee County courthouse
in Sanford, N.C. When Byrne protested, the sheriff told her: Be
there or youll be in contempt. I wasnt too happy,
said Byrne, one of at least a dozen people handed summonses at random
in March outside a Food Lion and Wal-Mart. (07/27/07)
the world? This is insane. I suppose if the trial was to be held at the
Food Lion in the next hour, for someone who had just been caught shoplifting
and they wanted to get the trial out of the way quickly and go for the
hanging or the stocks (I shoplifted at this store, and all I got
was this lousy rotten fruit), maybe. But this brings a whole new
aspect to conscript fathers.
CA: Farmers negotiate
The U.S. government appears poised to turn over the rights to
billions of gallons of water to a politically connected group of farmers
in California, where most people are being asked to conserve. Landowners
in the Westlands Water District would gain the rights to 1 million acre-feet
of water under a proposed settlement federal regulators are likely to
present Wednesday. An acre-foot translates to the amount needed to cover
one acre with a foot of water. (07/31/07)
news about this story isnt what it purports to report on, but the
way in which it attacks a minority (farmers) for the purposes of pushing
its agenda (environist, in this case).
Big health risk seen in some laser
San Francisco Chronicle
If you work near certain models of laser printers, you might
be breathing the same amount of ultra-fine particle pollution as if a
smoker were puffing away in the next cubicle, according to a study by
Australian scientists. In one of the first studies of laser printers in
a work setting, researchers found that some models are sources of ultra-fine
particles that contribute to indoor air pollution. Breathing tiny particles
can cause respiratory irritation and more severe illnesses such as heart
disease and cancer. (08/01/07)
be nothing more than a scary tale, but I suppose it is worth investigating
further. Anyone who works around any sort of equipment, however, is always
wise to provide good ventilation and housekeeping.
Note: More stupid hysteria. Some people won't be happy until the few remaining
people on earth have returned to caves and hunting with sticks. We don't
hear them warning about the dangers of breathing the smoke from the peat
moss and wood fires we'll need to cook and keep our cave semi thawed...
will always be some risk in living, regardless of the technology or where
you live. Smart people will study the risks, find out the best way to
deal with them, and then go on living. Good ventilation and cleaning is
certainly a good part of that.
minimally conscious patient to eat, drink and talk
A man who spent more than six years in a near-vegetative state
after a horrific assault has made a dramatic recovery following a pioneering
treatment to stimulate his brain with electrical pulses.
who was confined to a bed in a specialised nursing home, very rarely opened
his eyes, occasionally tried to mouth words and move his head, but was
otherwise unable to communicate and had to be fed through a tube. Following
the new treatment the patient, who cannot be named, is able to recognise
and talk to his doctors and family, eat and drink normally and perform
basic movements, such as brushing his hair. It is the first time the technique,
called deep brain stimulation, has been used to treat a patient in what
neuroscientists refer to as a minimally conscious state. It is also the
first clear sign that it may be possible to rehabilitate people with such
severe brain damage that they have previously been considered untreatable
by modern medicine. [Editors note: Anyone want to bet
that Michael Schiavo is heaving a sigh of relief that his insurance fraud/spousal
murder scheme succeeded before this became available? - TLK] (08/02/07)
people like him were allowed to wither away and die as vegetables because
no one had thought of this?
Note: This kind of therapy has been possible for a long time. This isn't
really new technology, just something someone took a look at from a different
angle. There are lots of things like that in medicine, and there may be
as many old techniques lost as new ones found. That's just part of life.
The real fun is waiting around for government to "approve" things
so they can be used to help people. I hope this isn't delayed for another
10 or 15 years while the FDA "studies it" to make sure it's
safe. Sort of like not giving morphine to a dying patient because he may
Chief justice OK after seizure
Doctors say a seizure suffered by Supreme Court Chief Justice
John Roberts on Monday is little reason to worry, even though he had a
similar unexplained episode 14 years ago. Roberts, 52, had the seizure
at his summer home in Maine. He remained overnight as a precaution at
the Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Supreme Court spokeswoman
Kathleen Arberg said. (07/30/07)
I am amazed at the response to this from an amazing number of people,
who use a mans illness as another excuse to spew venom and hate
towards the man who nominated him (and not equally to the thugs in the
Senate who voted their acceptance).
WA: Judge halts logging in owl habitat
St. Paul Pioneer Press
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday to
stop Weyerhaeuser Co. from logging in spotted owl habitat on four parcels
of private land in Washington. U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman did
not grant, however, an additional request by the Seattle Audubon Society
to stop the state of Washington from granting permits to log in spotted
owl habitat. (08/01/07)
land ownership rights in owl territory, eh? But government can continue
to jerk peoples chains.
Blogger fest a magnet for liberal
San Francisco Chronicle
The second annual gathering of the Daily Kos political blog starts
this week in Chicago, and heres all you need to know about how influential
the YearlyKos convention has become: Five top presidential candidates
are going including front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, even
though the KOs bloggers dont like her that much. Analysts say the
community of liberal online activists the netroots
has become not only a coveted constituency for the left but a legitimate
threat to conservatives, who trail Democrats in online campaigning and
fundraising. Another sign of the growing power of the Daily KOs convention
is that none of the attending Democratic hopefuls including Sens.
Barack Obama and Chris Dodd, former Sen. John Edwards and New Mexico Gov.
Bill Richardson are scheduled to appear at the Democratic Leadership
Council gathering this weekend in Tennessee. (07/29/07)
to DailyKos and was able to stomach it for, oh, 5-10 minutes. (Of course,
it takes about the same time on FreeRepublic for my stomach to rebel,
as well.) These are hatemongering sites attacking those people who are
hatemongering, I guess, and anyone else that they can spew their venom
at. More than ever, it is sites like these that reinforce my distaste
for ad hominem attacks, for they seem to contain little else. As for being
a threat to conservatives, well, beauty is in the eye of the
beholder, and the Chron knows what it wants to happen. I suspect the net
presence will cancel each side out, except for very rare and small advantages.
journalism website gets multi-million-dollar boost
NowPublic announced Monday that the fast-growing citizen journalism
website has scored 10.6 million dollars (US) in financing to fuel its
drive to become the world's largest news agency. The Vancouver-based startup
says it is growing at a rate of 35 percent monthly and has nearly 120,000
contributing "reporters" in more than 140 countries. In part
of a trend referred to as "citizen journalism," NowPublic lets
anyone with digital cameras or a camera-enable mobile telephones upload
images or news snippets for dissemination via the Internet.
for the MSM, or just an extension? See my comments about bits and pieces
of this New Media FreeRepublic.com and DailyKOS.com,
and ask yourself if we arent just trading the frying pan for the
fire. At the same time, except for a local paper and hourly radio news,
I dont bother with newsprint or TV much at all: today I watched
about 10 minutes of local TV news at nine for the first time in six months:
the news on-line may be slanted and biased just as much, but I know that
enough sources are out there to help balance each other a bit.
Wikipedia founder launches Google
Jimmy Wales, the founder of the hugely popular online encyclopedia
Wikipedia, has outlined his plans for a new search engine service to rival
Google. Waless new startup firm Wikia has bought up a web crawling
technology called Grub from LookSmart, and released it under an open source
licence. Like the famous SETI project, Grub relies on users donating their
personal computing resources as well as human editors. Wikipedia Founder
Launches Google Rival WikiaSpeaking at the OReilly Open Source Convention
in Oregon, a decidedly tigerish Wales reckoned that his new service could,
change the balance of power from the search companies back to the
politics and favoritism make this welcome news to a lot of folks, but
I dont know if even Wales can swing it.
a murdering slug
Che Guevara, who aided Fidel Castro in his rise to power in Cuba in
the late 1950s and early 1960s, is today an icon of liberal culture worldwide.
His picture and image adorn countless products, from posters to t-shirts
to CD cases to bikinis.
Yet the liberal-left and Hollywood are perpetuating
myths, if not outright lies, about Guevara, according to author Humberto
Fontova in his book, "Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful
Idiots Who Idolize Him."
of liberty realize this, but there is still the temptation to idolize
people like Dr. Ernesto Guevara.
reach North Pole in race for Arctic oil and gas
An expedition aimed at strengthening Russias claim to much
of the Arctic Ocean reached the North Pole yesterday afternoon, as preparations
began for two mini-submarines to drop a capsule containing a Russian flag
to the sea floor, a spokesman said.
The voyage, led by the noted
polar explorer and Russian legislator, Arthur Chilingarov, has some scientific
goals, including the study of Arctic plants and animals. But its chief
aim appears to be to advance Russias political and economic influence
by strengthening its legal claims to the gas and oil deposits thought
to lie beneath the Arctic sea floor. (08/02/07)
It is sad
that Russia (and other countries) are spending their effort claiming resources
on earth and ignoring the potential wealth of the Solar System.
government tricks Russian front:
Russia: Sex for the motherland
Daily Mail [UK]
Remember the mammoths, say the clean-cut organisers at the youth
camps mass wedding. They became extinct because they did not
have enough sex. That must not happen to Russia. Obediently, couples
move to a special section of dormitory tents arranged in a heart-shape
and called the Love Oasis, where they can start procreating for the motherland.
With its relentlessly upbeat tone, bizarre ideas and tight control, it
sounds like a weird indoctrination session for a phony religious cult.
But this organisation known as Nashi, meaning Ours
is youth movement run by Vladimir Putins Kremlin that has
become a central part of Russian political life. (07/29/07)
but exactly the sort of thing you find in the annuls of the National Socialist
Dritte Reich, the former (?) Soviet Unions Marxist-Leninist Socialism,
and Francos Falange. Its presence in modern Russia is a warning
to us all.
Cities sue gangs in bid to stop violence
Fed up with deadly drive-by shootings, incessant drug dealing
and graffiti, cities nationwide are trying a different tactic to combat
gangs: Theyre suing them. Fort Worth and San Francisco are among
the latest to file lawsuits against gang members, asking courts for injunctions
barring them from hanging out together on street corners, in cars or anywhere
else in certain areas. (07/30/07)
As I remarked
to Mama Liberty, these remind me of those so-called patriots who believe,
with all their souls and pixie dust and clapping three times, that if
they say the right words to the Nazguli, that the Income Tax will vanish
in a puff of old paper and red tape particles, and that the IRS, FBI,
DEA, and BATFE will all bow down and worship the Constitution because
a judge signed another piece of paper telling them to do so. Who enforces
this stuff? Funny, its the same cops, pretty much, that cant
keep the shootings, dealing, and painting from happening in the first
prompt shutdown at DC Metro
Two Metro train stations were closed Sunday while hazardous materials
crews investigated a number of dead birds and a substance at one that
was identified as a commercial rat poison. The Greenbelt station on the
Green Line in suburban Maryland and the Takoma Park station on the Red
Line in the city were closed, said Cathy Asato, a spokeswoman for Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. There were as many as 20 dead birds
outside the Greenbelt station and one to three outside other stations,
Asato said. The Anacostia and Naylor Road stations on the Green Line also
were affected. Investigators determined the substance at the Greenbelt
station was d-Con rat poison, said District of Columbia Fire and EMS spokesman
Alan Etter. We suspect very strongly that its the same chemical
at the other stations, Etter said. (07/29/07)
smell of panic in the morning. I suspect that somebody finally could not
take the stupid birds any longer and decided on a personal campaign to
reduce the population. And of course, government panicked, creating massive
problems for a lot of people.
FBI drug standard lowered for hiring
Aspiring FBI agents who once dabbled in marijuana use wont
be barred from getting a job with the elite crime-fighting agency, which
has loosened its drug policy amid a campaign to hire hundreds of agents.
The bureaus pot-smoking standard, in place for at least 13 years,
was revised after internal debate about whether the policy was eliminating
prospects because of drug experimentation, said Jeff Berkin, deputy director
of the FBIs Security Division. (08/01/07)
it right the first time: Gee, do you mean that pot use in youth doesn't
cause dementia, permanent brain damage, psychosis, paranoia... Oh wait,
that's the kind of person the FBI seems to WANT to hire in order to jail
all those filthy pot smokers... never mind...
White House: Rove is above the law,
The White House has invoked executive privilege to keep President
Bushs top political adviser, Karl Rove, from having to testify Thursday
about the firings of at least eight U.S. attorneys. Rove, as an
immediate adviser to the president, cant be ordered to testify
and has been told not to appear, White House Counsel Fred Fielding told
the Senate Judiciary Committee. (08/01/07)
the headline, this is nothing more than the way relations are supposed
to go between the three branches of government. Congress is NOT the same
as the modern-day House of Commons: it does NOT dominate.
Note: That would be wonderful if ANY of them had the integrity of a cockroach.
shape up for work
Jobless Germans are being helped to get fit for work by being
sent to the gym. They have to work out for five hours a week to continue
to qualify for benefits. German job centre spokesman Joerg Kraeker said:
Being off the job market does make people ill. Chronic unemployment
can make people prone to illness, but can also lead them to be pessimistic
about their future job perspectives. He added: Keeping them
fit helps against this. It also increases their social contacts and boosts
their self-confidence. (07/31/07)
is the governments responsibility how?
Note: No, not at all, but it's no surprise. My German mother in law used
to wash the empty tin cans before she put them in the trash! They are
obsessive about so many things...
US Attorney was targeted after rebuffing
The night before the government secured a guilty plea from the
manufacturer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin, a senior Justice Department
official called the U.S. attorney handling the case and, at the behest
of an executive for the drugmaker, urged him to slow down, the prosecutor
told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. John L. Brownlee, the U.S.
Attorney in Roanoke, testified that he was at home the evening of Oct.
24 when he received the call on his cellphone from Michael J. Elston,
then chief of staff to the deputy attorney general and one of the Justice
aides involved in the removal of nine U.S. Attorneys last year. Brownlee
settled the case anyway. Eight days later, his name appeared on a list
compiled by Elston of prosecutors that officials had suggested be fired.
or bad, right now, political pressure is how the system works, and to
suddenly attempt to criminalize it is nothing but another example of (1)
the usual tug-of-war between branches (more severe than usual, admittedly),
(2) Congress trying to claim that it is dominant, and (3) the incredible
incompetence of the current administration in so many area.
For this club, life begins at 50 (%)
When David Ludlows wife died in a climbing accident 11
years ago, her death transformed him into a multimillionaire: He inherited
Vanda Sendzimirs share of her family fortune, a $5 million trust
that generates an annual interest of about $300,000. Then a freelance
photographer with a passion for social justice issues, the Jamaica Plain
man was plunged into a swirl of shock, guilt, and confusion. Ive
always been very left-wing politically and all of a sudden I was living
incredible inequality, said Ludlow, 64. Suddenly I was in
the upper 1 percent of the population in terms of wealth, and I felt terrible
about that for a long time. So he did something radical, and something
that many people might consider insane: He decided to give away half his
annual income. [Editors note: In a truly free society,
these folks could choose to do this, and know that NOTHING else would
be taken from them by force (e.g., taxes, going to fight wars and otherwise
disempower people); more likely, others would be donating voluntarily
by the fistful to ADD TO their efforts! - SAT] (07/29/07)
he was in the upper 2% - whoopee! Recalling the story of the widows
mite, it is not the value of what is given as much as why it was given
and in what spirit. He gave to assuage his guilt (funny that he didnt
have that guilt while his wealthy wife was alive), instead of giving to
China: Sweaty man electrocuted by
Shanghai Daily [China]
A 20-year-old student was electrocuted by his computer this morning
in Shanghais Yangpu District, Eastday.com reported. The young man,
who was identified as Wu, reportedly opened the external casing of the
computers CPU to prevent it from overheating because he didnt
want to switch on the air conditioner in his home. According to the report,
his sweaty legs came into contact with the computers wiring, which
might have caused a short circuit. The computers internal voltage
is as high as 380 volts, enough to give a deadly shock. An initial investigation
by police officers and medical staff found Wu was electrocuted. They found
bruises on his legs as well as blood from his nostrils. (07/31/07)
Note: Pardon me... but it's one less damned fool underfoot.
Oil spill cleanup threatens coral
Middle East Times [Cyprus]
Israeli scientists have discovered that oil spill cleanup agents
are significantly more toxic to coral than to the oil that they are used
to disperse. In a setback for efforts to protect endangered coral reefs
from oil spills, Baruch Rinkevich, Shai Shafir, and colleagues at the
Israeli Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute discovered that
oil dispersants - the best tool for treating oil spills in tropical areas
are endangering coral reefs and associated ecosystems.
words, once more the conservationists and environists have
been doing more harm than good. Examination of coral reefs around the
world after the mayhem of WW2, in which millions and millions of gallons
of petroleum were spilled into the oceans (many around coral reefs in
the S. Pacific) show that untreated oil spills for the most part were
cleaned up by natural processes in a matter of 5-10 years, and recovered
quite well. Even locations with wrecks from which small quantities of
oil leaked for years seemed to be able to compensate for them. This reminds
me of the "Prevent Forest Fires" effort: a century of preventing
all forest fires has done more to destroy the critical ecological processes
than the fires themselves ever did.
Online underworld: Internet bots enslaving
San Francisco Chronicle
A worldwide group of criminals has infiltrated the Internet in
recent years. Using computer automation, they find unprotected personal
computers and zap them with software that turns infected PCs into law-breaking
zombies - without their owners being aware. Security officials in
industry and government have dealt with hackers, viruses and similar aggravations
for decades. But what makes this wave of computer break-ins so alarming,
they say, is its scope, sophistication and criminal intent. In this social
network of crime, errant programmers brazenly sell the Internet equivalent
of burglars tool kits while rogue network administrators create
gangs of software-drugged, sleep-walking PCs. (07/30/07)
we supposed to quake in fear about this? Or immediately rush to government
to save us from it?
Note: One possible advantage of using a slow dial-up, perhaps. I doubt
someone trying to take over my machine would put up with the rotten connection
for more than a few minutes. <G>
OH: Judge scolds city over land theft
Cincinnati must pay $335,000 in attorneys and witness fees
to the owners of two fast-food restaurants in Clifton Heights who successfully
challenged Cincinnatis right to use eminent domain to take their
properties. Thats the ruling by Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge
Ralph Winkler, whose written decision included a stern scolding of Cincinnati
for the way it used eminent domain.
the city tried to use eminent
domain to seize the property of the owners of former Hardees and
Arbys restaurants for the proposed $270 million redevelopment along
Calhoun Street in Clifton Heights. A study of that redevelopment area
commissioned by the city and the developer, the Clifton Heights Community
Urban Redevelopment Corp., called many of the properties blighted
or deteriorating. All the property owners except the owners
of the two restaurants, located side by side, agreed to sell to the developer.
change, I admit, but still, a fresh breeze in a dirty state.
Note: Unfortunately, as always, it is the taxpayers of the city who will
pay, not those who committed the crime.
NY: Owners receive theft
notices in corporate welfare scam
New York Sun
The state is pushing forward with its plans to use eminent domain
in preparing for the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project, the future home
to a Nets basketball arena and more than 6,000 apartments in the Prospect
Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. Since late last week, property owners
in the footprint of the project have been receiving letters from the state
asking for financial information relating to property appraisals, an initial
step in the land-taking process. A spokesman for New Yorks Empire
State Development Corporation, Errol Cockfield, said the use of eminent
domain was a ways off. The state will not proceed while a lawsuit challenging
eminent domain procedure law is pending, and other suits could potentially
delay the process as well, Mr. Cockfield said. (08/01/07)
want to outlaw guns because they can be used to kill innocent people
so what should we do about government that can be used to rob and steal
from innocent people? Seems the best thing these people could do would
be to get together and find an honest attorney to work for them, and give
HER the letters fishing for information.
FCC approves rules for airwaves auction
San Francisco Chronicle
The Federal Communications Commission approved rules Tuesday
intended to give consumers more choice in their cell phones and wireless
devices after a pivotal new airwaves auction is held next year. The vote
clears the way for the auction, which is expected to raise as much as
$15 billion. The commission approved a much-debated open access
provision, pushed by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, a Republican, and supported
by the two Democrats, that will allow customers to use whatever phone
and software they want on about one-third of the network to be auctioned.
A more ambitious provision, that would have required a licensee to sell
access to its network on a wholesale basis, was not included in the rules,
making it unlikely that Google Inc. will bid. (07/31/07)
know that the airwaves are limited. Last time I checked, so was land and
artichokes. But while government tries to corner the market on land, it
completely ignores artichokes: just because something is limited and valuable
does NOT mean that government needs to ration it and jerk people who want
to use it around claiming it is for the public good.
More in GOP want Iraq [sic] military
Republicans increasingly are backing a new approach in the Iraq
war that could become the partys mantra come September. It would
mean narrowly limited missions for U.S. troops in Iraq but let President
Bush decide when troops should leave. So far, the idea has not attracted
the attention of Democratic leaders. They are under substantial pressure
by anti-war groups to consider only legislation that orders troops from
hear the squeaks of their mousy little souls as they see the supposedly-inescapable
jaws of the electorate-cat closing on them? Their livers are yellow
those that arent pickled in alcohol. And yes, I guess that is an
ad-hominem attack on them. But it is clear that once more Congress is
proving its highest morality is ballot-based.
FBI searches US Senators home
amid corruption probe
FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents searched the Alaska home
of veteran Sen. Ted Stevens Monday amid a corruption probe that has already
snared two oil-company executives and a state lobbyist. Dave Heller, an
FBI spokesman in Anchorage, Alaska, confirmed that agents entered Stevens
home Monday afternoon, but he referred further comment to the Justice
wife must be seen as pure and guiltless right. IF Stevens had any
respect for the Constitution and his State, hed explain exactly
what was happening and either fight it openly or resign. Instead, he hides
behind his office and whines.
House votes to embrace ethics overhaul
Naples Daily News
The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to make lawmakers disclose
more details of their efforts to fund pet projects and raise money from
lobbyists, responding to a rash of recent scandals. The Democratic-drafted
legislation followed cases that sent two GOP lawmakers and a big-time
lobbyist to prison and saw a House Democrat charged with bribery.
ho! After this, let's pass a law requiring drug dealers to file details
of their sales and distribution networks, and burglars to file Neighborhood
casing and robbery plans every year.
drops tougher auto fuel economy
After weeks of uncertainty, House Democrats have decided against
a confrontation over automobile fuel economy when they take up energy
legislation later this week. Two proposals to boost the required mileage
for new automobiles were submitted Wednesday for consideration as amendments
to the energy legislation, but they were withdrawn by their Democratic
sponsors. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., sponsor of a proposal to boost vehicle
mileage to 35 miles per gallon by 2019, said he decided not to pursue
the matter after consulting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi in
a statement said she supported requiring automakers to make more fuel
efficient vehicles but that the issue was deferred in the interest
of promoting passage of a consensus energy bill. (08/01/07)
off again, no doubt.
Senate panel OKs FDA control of tobacco
A Senate committee Wednesday embraced legislation that would
for the first time allow federal regulation of cigarettes. The agency
also would be given the authority to set standards for products that tobacco
companies advertise as reduced risk products. The bill has
broad bipartisan support in the Senate, where more than 50 senators have
signed on as cosponsors. A similar bill passed the chamber in 2004 but
was blocked in the House. The tobacco legislation was crafted through
several years of negotiations led by Kennedy and former Sen. Mike DeWine,
R-Ohio, with input from health groups and tobacco giant Philip Morris
USA, which broke from its competitors to endorse FDA regulation. The committee
adopted an amendment by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., that would ban clove cigarettes
in the U.S.
Philip Morriss competitors are strongly opposed
to the overall bill, saying it would lock in Philip Morriss dominant
market share. [Editors note: Thats the whole POINT,
guys you didnt really think this legislation had anything
to do with health or consumer protection, did you? - TLK] (08/01/07)
off here, too, but by the anti-industry side.
Note: It's very frustrating to see a Senator from Wyoming engage in this
kind of tyranny.
CA: Most vote machines lose test to
San Francisco Chronicle
State-sanctioned teams of computer hackers were able to break
through the security of virtually every model of Californias voting
machines and change results or take control of some of the systems
electronic functions, according to a University of California study released
Friday. The researchers were able to bypass physical and software
security in every machine they tested, said Secretary of State Debra
Bowen, who authorized the top to bottom review of every voting
system certified by the state. Neither Bowen nor the investigators were
willing to say exactly how vulnerable California elections are to computer
hackers, especially because the team of computer experts from the UC system
had top-of-the-line security information plus more time and better access
to the voting machines than would-be vote thieves likely would have.
and you think this is news to the makers, sellers, buyers, or even users
of these systems? Political machines have ALWAYS made sure that they had
one or more ways to make sure that critical votes come out the way they
want them to. Electronics have possibly made it a bit easier and cheaper,
as electronics have many things.
CA: E-vote vendors
attack critical state review
San Jose Mercury News
Voting machine vendors and election officials at a hearing Monday
assailed Secretary of State Debra Bowens top-to-bottom
review of electronic voting systems for failing to consider real-world
responses to potential hacking and vote-rigging. Voting-rights activists,
meanwhile, urged her to scrap all e-voting systems and return to paper
A report filed last week showed that all three systems
Sequoia, Diebold and Hart InterCivic were easily hacked
by a team of computer experts Bowen had commissioned to probe the machines
for weaknesses. (07/31/07)
for once, with the activists. But even paper ballots can be abused and
turned into bought and paid-for elections. Ultimately, it is the power
of government that needs to be reduced, in order to restore the power
of the ballot box.
Note: I'd like to have someone attempt to prove, honestly, how "voting"
or the "power of the ballot box" is in any way compatible with
individual liberty. I have never seen or heard of such a situation. The
"majority rule" is tyranny for the minority in every case, regardless
of what was voted on or how it was done. Voluntary association and the
free market do not require any "vote" except that made with
personal choices for individual situations.
Cannabis users are 40% more likely than nonusers to suffer a psychotic
illness such as schizophrenia, say UK experts. Writing in the Lancet,
a team led by Dr. Stanley Zammit from Bristol and Cardiff Universities
said young people needed to be made aware of the dangers
they said they could not rule out the possibility that people at a higher
risk of mental illness were more likely to use the drug. (07/27/07)
old saying goes, it isnt paranoia if they really ARE out to
get you. That might hold true as well is the psychosis due
to the drug use, the drug use due to the psychosis, or is the illness
due to being an outlaw? The High Chancellor, of course, uses this study
as an excuse for making marijuana MORE criminal, reversing recent UK policy.
Funny you would think hed WANT a doped-up electorate. This
wasnt the only study
worse than tobacco
A single cannabis joint could damage the lungs as much as smoking up
to five tobacco cigarettes one after another, scientists in New Zealand
have said. The research, published in the journal Thorax, found cannabis
damaged the large airways in the lungs causing symptoms such as coughing
or a legitimate study? The methodology as explained in the article (always
a chancy thing) doesnt sound quite right, but this will clearly
be used by the drug warriors just as the UK study is.
2 Click HERE Link checked!
Lots of other good stuff on page 2!
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scent of liberty, and the sound of the pines or the pinions is the sound
of freedom. For thousands of years, people have fought and died for the
liberty that Americans in the great spaces of the West enjoy, and he writes
these commentaries in the hopes that continued generations will be able
to do so, until the end of Time.
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