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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Private Property -- R.I.P.

The Supreme Court shredded the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment today.

You can save up for years to buy property, and if a developer comes in and wants to build on an area that includes your property, and the local governing body decides that this private developer's plan is "in the public interest," it doesn't matter if you don't want to sell and have to move and purchase another place, or that you might not even get replacement cost for your property.

Now they are allowed to declare that "emminent domain" and spurring economic development justify taking private property from one person/family (private entity) and giving it to another person/corporation (private entity).

Corporate Welfare, indeed.

Some "Modest Proposals" for President Bush

In the spirit of Johnathan Swift, Johnathan Morris has some "Advice for the President":

George Bush needs help. Fast. And I’m going to give it to him.

I am thoroughly convinced that if things keep going the way they’ve been going, the end is near for this president. All signs are pointing directly towards impeachment. His poll numbers are sinking faster than a ship off the coast of the Isle of Lies. Every aspect of his war on terror is falling apart. Republicans are now joining Democrats in calling for troops to come home from Iraq. Left and Right are uniting in their criticisms of Gitmo. And just last week, House Republicans helped vote down a part of the Patriot Act.

... let’s start with Gitmo. ... Nuke Gitmo. That’s right. Just nuke it. Detainees included. This way, you won’t have to worry about releasing the prisoners, and your opponents won’t have to worry that you’re denying the prisoners their rights. After all, they’ll be dead if you nuke them. And dead people don’t have any rights.
Next, let’s talk about the Patriot Act. The provision the House curtailed last week was the one allowing the FBI to seize library records. Opponents of this particular police power say it’s a clear violation of civil liberties. Proponents, however, say that to rescind it is to make libraries a “safe haven” for terrorist research activity.

Once again, let’s look at the true heart and soul of the problem. Let’s get creative. Did you ever think maybe the real issue here isn’t terrorists, or civil liberties, but the simple act of reading? Think about it. We put such a premium on reading in this country. Reading is fundamental, we say. But why? The only thing reading is good for is making people smarter. And as any smart person will tell you, the fewer smart people, the better—less competition.

So there’s your solution. Repeal the No Child Left Behind Act. Get rid of RIF. And above all else, Mr. President, stop teaching kids how to read. Who needs the Patriot Act? In five to ten years, terrorists will be the only ones even entering libraries. At that point you could simply arrest ‘em, ship ‘em to Gitmo, and nuke ‘em to a 451 degree crisp.
Finally, Iraq. ... critics are saying we should end the war. People are dying for no good reason. Things are a mess. It’s not worth the costs. But the White House worked very hard to make this war happen. They’re committed to it. They say we should stay till we finish our objectives.

So what’s the solution? Easy: Outline our objectives. Plain and simple. Let people know what the hell troops are dying for.

Read the full article.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Pregnant woman 'Tasered' by police is convicted

Remember, Law Enforcement officers are looking out for the public, "Protecting and Serving."

Welcome to life in Amerika the Police State.

Pregnant woman 'Tasered' by police is convicted

She was rushing her son to school. She was eight months pregnant. And she was about to get a speeding ticket she didn't think she deserved.

So when a Seattle police officer presented the ticket to Malaika Brooks, she refused to sign it. In the ensuing confrontation, she suffered burns from a police Taser, an electric stun device that delivers 50,000 volts.

Why do so many "liberals" want to ensure that only criminals and the government have guns?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Spending, not Taxes, drive the Federal Deficit

Again and again I hear that Bush's tax cuts are responsible for the exploding Federal Deficit, and that tax cuts for "the rich" need to be repealed.

Unfortunately, many of the people who repeat this meme have no background or even study of economics, and have never heard of the Laffer Curve.

It's spending (projected to rise 3.6% in the 2006 budget, after a 33% rise during the Bush Presidency). [source: Cato Institute]

The tax cuts have brought in a 29% increase in tax receipts over the previous year. [source: NRO]

Larry Kudlow writes:
...the news of higher tax payments is big. And the real story behind the numbers is the successful supply-side experiment that began in the middle of 2003, when investment tax rates were slashed on capital gains and dividends. With new incentives to counter the deflation of investment during the 2000-02 period, both capital formation and economic growth came back from the dead.

Real GDP since the tax cuts has averaged 4.3 percent at an annual rate, whereas growth was only 2.4 percent during the anemic recovery that preceded the tax cuts. The latest government data on tax collections for calendar-year 2004 confirm a tax-cut-led recovery through the explosion of tax receipts at lower tax rates. Once again, the Laffer curve is working.

With more people keeping more of what they earn and invest, after-tax, a major new economic boom has been launched. Enormous wealth creation from real estate, stocks, and small-business formation is the backbone of this entrepreneurial recovery. Despite the rantings of the naysayers in the mainstream media and on parts of Wall Street, strong economic expansion will continue for many years to come.

Something to think about.

Democrats are "soft on the military"

Isn't that what the chicken hawks are always saying?

Take a look at this list from Comments From Left Field:

Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V Purple Hearts.
John Edwards: did not serve.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star &Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
Chuck Robb: Vietnam
Howell Heflin: Silver Star
George McGovern: Silver Star &DFC during WWII.
Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received 311.
Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
Wesley Clark: U.S. Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart, and Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
John Dingell: WWII vet
John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea

Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom Delay: did not serve.
Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, had more important things to do.
John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Vin Weber: did not serve.
Richard Perle: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
Christopher Cox: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as aviator and flight instructor.
George W. Bush: six-year Nat'l Guard commitment (incomplete).
Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
Phil Gramm: did not serve.
John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross.
Bob Dole: an honorable veteran.
Chuck Hagel: two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Jeff Sessions: Army Reserves, 1973-1986
JC Watts: did not serve.
Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
G.H.W. Bush: Pilot in WWII. Shot down by the Japanese.
Tom Ridge: Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam.
Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
Clarence Thomas: did not serve

Pundits and Preachers
Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Paul Gigot: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.
Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
Michael Medved: did not serve.

You decide.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Just Remember, there are No Documented Abuses of the (anti-)PATRIOT Act

Well, that's the party line, any way.

Of course, considering it's illegal to challenge the demand for records or even to tell anyone about it (can't even tell your lawyer), it would be pretty tough for there to be any "Documented Abuses," because anyone trying to document them would be violating the gag order, and of course, our cherished "American Freedoms" require compliance with government officials at all times, and government agents would never even think about violating anyone's rights.

Here's what my friends over at 2PoliticalJunkies had to say about it.

And here's an article from today's New York Times:

Libraries Say Yes, Officials Do Quiz Them About Users


WASHINGTON, June 19 - Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government's counterterrorism powers.

In some cases, agents used subpoenas or other formal demands to obtain information like lists of users checking out a book on Osama bin Laden. Other requests were informal - and were sometimes turned down by librarians who chafed at the notion of turning over such material, said the American Library Association, which commissioned the study.

The association, which is pushing to scale back the government's powers to gain information from libraries, said its $300,000 study was the first to examine a question that was central to a House vote last week on the USA Patriot Act: how frequently federal, state and local agents are demanding records from libraries.

We now bring you back to your regularly scheduled reality show. Remember, don't forget to watch the Runaway Bride interview and other important events that affect your life like I want to be a Hilton. We wouldn't want to actually open your eyes and see what's happening.