Monday, June 27, 2005

It's Official: Cops Legally Allowed to be Useless

We all knew that they were anyway. In my life the only thing they do is tell me how to drive and come over to my house after they fail to stop a crime, so that they can write up a report.

Anyway, since cops are useless to normal people, my suggestion is to arm yourself - preferably legally, but let's face it - a fine and a record is better than being dead.

The Kid Handsome

Link via the Bitch Girls - check out their site.

Kelo leads to first (credited) seizure

Freeport is building a new private marina. One of my problems with the Kelo case that I haven't seen mentioned in the vast coverage of the case is that it supports this strange notion that a city must grow and expand. Is the role of a government really to genereate revenue for itself?

Believe it or not, there is a market for quiet little towns that aren't trying to get the latest and newest department stores to come to town. If towns were people, I'd tell them that it's okay to be small. The Kelo case just makes me feel as though too many town councils are trying to build a legacy that their residents don't want. I understand that this may well be an issue for the electorate, but I stopped trusting and believing in the electorate a long time ago. It seems that voters have less and less power these days. Part of that is because governments, even local governments, have gotten uncontrollably large, and there seems to be something inherent in governments that make them grow larger - in order to do that, and to justify their growth, these governments must manage and micro-manage larger and larger areas that impact the lives of individuals. Thus, the electorate must be more and more informed about which group, council or other government controls their lives.

I know from dealing with my local government on a zoning issue two things: 1) My councilman does not tell me the truth - I'm not saying he lies, but he plays both sides in such a way that it is difficult for me to truly know what's going on; 2) All they do is pass the buck - "it isn't the City, it's the State; it's the Council; it's the ____ Board; no, actually it is the City." Round and round we go.

Anyway, back to my main point - sometimes it's fine to have a city or a neighborhood that does nothing more than quietly and satisfactorily house its citizens or residents. What Kelo represents (in addition to the issue of collectivism and goverment's ultimate ownership of private property) is the notion that people must be producing something tangible at all times or become valueless to society - apparently, this is even true of home purchasing decisions.

As I've joked for years, someday we'll all live in Wal-Partments. That way, the cities can bleed as much tax revenue out of us as possible.

Really, really saddening decisions by the Supreme Court lately.

Kid H.

P.S. Boortz also has a good round-up of this issue today.

"Sometimes you can gauge the value of a Supreme Court decision by the company it keeps"

A hilarious and informative post from "Protein Wisdom." I really love this blog, but have never linked to it because many find its humor too escoteric. Still, give it a try over the course of a few days and see if you don't laugh your way to becoming better informed.

Kid H.

P.S. the link to Protein Wisdom's main page is here.

Lindsay Lohan Lacks Class

File this post under the category of trying to entice Otter into - well anything. (He "loves" Lohan).

Kid H.

Check out SCOTUS Blog

Updating all the Supreme Court's ridiculous decisions. Note the Court's strange cop-out decision on the 10 Commandments case. We need term limits on the Supreme Court - the constitution never anticipated the manner in which Marbury v. Madison solidified the Courts as the single and final arbiter of what is constitutional, and the Court simply has too much unchecked power.

Perhaps what we really need is a new Constitutional Convention with the purpose of re-establishing, expanding and redefining the Bill of Rights. I'm getting tired of our nation's descent into collectivism.

Kid H.

More on the Kelo case

From Virginia Postrel.

Link via Instapundit

Kid H.

Let's fire the Supreme Court

They just overruled the 9th Circuit in the Grokster case. This is the worst Court ever. Once again, they have sold out the little guy, and, in the sense that they continue to make you responsible for the actions of others, have stomped on the notion of individual responsibility.

Anyway, it's becoming a bummer to be a "free" American these days.

Just so you know, next, Gun manufacturers will again come under attack - and the fast-food madness will continue.

Kid H.

Too much respect for the law

An interesting article over a Tech Central Station about how Americans may have too much respect for the law. As I have argued on this site, there are many occasions where I believe that Americans should flout the law. Laws are made by men, and there have been many times throughout history that we have seen laws that were wrong - even evil.

Moreover, as Otter wrote - or, rather, linked to (before he apparently quit posting), we are turning small, societally harmless crimes, into felonies - and tying in huge penalties. Often there is no real purpose to these laws, in my mind, other than to placate a small number of people and to promote the continued expansion of government.

Anyway, this issue is particularly relevant in light of recent Supreme Court cases that have relegated individual liberties to the trash heap - or at least put them right next to the trash heap.

Kid H.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Quick Question

To care about a work of art and really love it, do you have to care about the artist? My view is that I don't. I've never been a fan of historical interpretations of art - meaning that its significance is tied up in "what the artist was going through."

For example, I doubt I agree with the politics of most of the people who craft the music I listen to, and that is certainly true of the film industry. Is the Wizard of Oz any better or worse because it is really a political commentary on bimetalism. I can certainly appreciate the fact that Dryden's Absolam and Achitophel mocked the attempt to make the Duke of Monmouth the successor to the throne, but despite my love of mockery (especially the political sort), the poem was pretty good on its own - that is before my professor started in on the political implications of the poem.

I just think that once I see a work of art it, on some level, belongs only to the individual (me). Certainly, I appreciate that the artist shared the work, whatever it may be, but it no longer belongs to him or her.

I only ask this because I overheard someone say today, outside my office window, "I have to meet the person that created that [work of art]." See, I'm not that type of person. I am just as happy to never meet that person.

Kid H.

I'm Still not letting this go

Here's a nice post from David Bernstein on the Volokh Conspiracy.

Kid H.

Update: Just look right below the Bernstein quote (in the Volokh archives and see where a court got it right with respect to self-defense).

Update: Still more from Protein Wisdom.

Now that we are just leasing our land from the

vaunted and all-knowing government, to whom do I send my rent checks?

*** No, I'm not going to let this go. ***

Kid H.

Update: Here's a link to a good article about the ever continuing expansion of government.

Also: "This was the worst Supreme Court term for the cause of liberty in a very long time."

My New Campaign

Seriously, I'm going to start a movement to seize the homes of the majority justices in the Kelo case and replace them with Wal-Marts.

Who's with me. I imagine we'll have to lobby municipalities in D.C., MD, and VA.

According to their logic, the cities know best what's good for the community. By the way, "good for the community" now ranks up there with "for the children" in the annals of the all-time phrases that are most odious to the concept of freedom.

Kid H.

Not that anyone cares . . .

but you stupid F****** liberal *$&#*s have decided that the government can take your property for any use, even private use, if they think they can make more money from another property. Guess who this benefits - 'cause it isn't society and it isn't poor people or middle-class wage earners. Way to go - your crusade to turn America into a socialist wonderland is really quaint. Just note that I have just added all Democrats to my instant punch list. (Oh yeah, yes it is your fault - even if the Republicans are gleefully complicit.)

The Supreme Court is quickly moving itself towards enforced reform from the outside. Their obvious disregard for individual liberties is driving the U.S. towards an EU-like existence. Who said the E.U. failed - it's alive and well right here in America - the Supreme Court is making certain of that.

Hey Supremes - just try reading the damn Constitution at least once.

While the idiot Congress is trying to keep people from burning our flag, our flag is being rendered meaningless by the Courts. It's time to enumerate our rights under the 9th Amendment.

Oh yeah, here's the commie decision - KELO et al. v. CITY OF NEW LONDON et al.

Michelle Malkin comments here.

Kid H.

P.S. If I were a government official, I would immediately seize all property from the Supremes under the eminent domain laws and turn them into Wal-Marts, Targets, or McDonald's restaurants. Then we'd see how they'd rule.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I know we don't have a whole lot of readers . . .

but please read this (link above). If nothing else, maybe this little blog can spread this story to other little blogs and get it out to people who don't read blogs or political blogs.

Anyway, donate here.

Kid H.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin (though I would have read IMAO eventually anyway :)

UPDATE: It looks like this story is getting out there - as MSM sources like USA Today have picked up on it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Click it or Ticket

Walter Williams makes a good point. It is a liberty issue. The government has no cause to tell me what risks I can and cannot take.

However, the socialist (Williams' term) aspect of the argument is a stupid one to me. I don't see how you are more likely to create a social cost if you get into an accident without a seat belt than you would be if you were wearing a seat belt.

Without a seat belt (according to the logic) ,in the very bad accidents you would die (no cost - I love how socialists only value life with respect to how it impacts society, as if it has no intrinsic value outside of it.) In the not so bad accidents you may or may not die, and you may or may not end up costing society money.

With a seat belt, you would likely survive, but have the potential to have serious injuries (cost to society). In more minor accidents, there may or may not be a "cost to society."

Anyway, you should wear your seatbelts. Your passengers should wear their seatbelts. And, you should make safety a major factor in your automobile purchases. However, the government should not be able to require seatbelt use. (Cynicism alert - the government only cares to the extent that they receive money when they issue a citation).

Kid H.

Reader Poll - Your Favorite Firefly Quotes

I'll start (some of them will be paraphrases until I'm corrected):

"That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth" Jane

"Jane ain't a girl." - Jane

"In some places they juggle geese" - Wash

"You know they say never to hit another man with a closed fist, but it is, on occasion, hilarious." - Mal

"That's what governments are for, to get in a man's way." - Mal

"I can kill you with my brain" - River

"Are you alliance?" - Simon "Am I a lion" - Juble Early (who has a lot of good quotes)

"A very special Hell. One reserved for child molesters and them that talk in the theater." - Book

"I'M RIGHT HERE!" - Mal (to the alliance)

"I'm just waiting to see if I pass out . . . it's a long story" - Mal

"Yo-saf-bridge" - Mal

"Shiny" - All

I have plenty more, but I'll leave some for you even though I'm really tempted to quote almost all of "Our Mrs. Reynolds" - correct these if they are wrong and let me know what your favorites are.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A couple of good quotes from The Agitator

Just some of my standard smaller government fare.

Kid H.

An Interview with the FEC Commissioner

I found an interesting article on Tech Central Station wherein Nick Schulz interviews FEC Commissioner Brad Smith. Smith is the kind of politician (or at least government official) that I can respect. He has been warning everyone recently that the stupid McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law is threatening the free speech rights of bloggers. Read the link above.

Also, this goes further towards confirming, in my mind, that there aren't many more frightening things than a John McCain presidency. Too bad because, until a few years ago, he seemed like a promising candidate. However, in my mind he is as big-government as they come.

Kid H.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Interesting Post & Comments on Hit & Run about Punk Music

As always read the comments. This would probably better fit Bob's Blog, and there is probably some similar discussion (or probably was at some point), so if this post interests you check out his site.

My personal view on this topic is that I am a pretty big fan of bands like The Clash and similar bands of that period, as well as some later hybrids like My Drug Hell (who, while not classically punk, seem to be composed of elements that I really dig). However, I hate so-called modern* punk which includes everything by Green Day (I can't lawfully express how much I hate this band) and every piece of crap band they spawned like Good Charlotte, My Chemical Romance, and Blink 70038, et. al. -------------> Seriously, even if they somehow managed to put out something that didn't grate on my very soul, I would figure out a way to despise them - now that's Punk.

Kid H.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Freedom is Dying

You remember those meetings about reigning in the PATRIOT Act - well they've led a committee (operating in private) deciding to expand the powers arbitrarily awarded to the government, and almost without fail supported by the courts even though to my mind, most government expansions are blatantly unconstitutional. Here's a link to an article (in addition to the one above).

Sadly, no one seems to care. They came for my guns, but I didn't have any so I did nothing . . . . you know the rest.

Kid H.

More Stupid Government Naming Conventions

I was just reading through this otherwise bland article on the FBI's IT problems and I couldn't help laughing at what they name some of their programs.

Here's an excerpt:

"As the FBI develops each phase of Sentinel, it will replace corresponding legacy systems, the most significant being its Automated Case Management System. Other applications to be retired include the Criminal Informant Management System, Bank Robbery Statistical Application, and Financial Institution Fraud and Integrated Statistical Reporting Analysis Application. One predicted benefit of Sentinel is its support for XML standards, which can ease information sharing within the FBI and with other agencies."

It always humors me. They name their departments these frightening and big-brotheresque names and wonder why some people think they have too much power (none of those people are on the Supreme Court). I swear, they just get their names straight from X-Men - shouldn't Marvel Comics get some sort of license fee?

Kid H.

A Little Socialized health care blogging

I know it's pretty cheap to just blatantly steal stuff from other people's blogs and still somehow pretend that you are blogging, but I linked above to Michelle Malkin's blog entry that discusses some of the health care problems in Great Britain and Canada. She links to this article about Canada and to this article about Great Britain.

I took a class in Scotland in my law school exchange program on comparitive health care systems and laws, so it's a point of interest to me. My very quick over-simplified discussion of the problems with health care in the U.S. and in socialized countries is this: The problem is with the third party payor systems. In the U.S. that is insurance companies (who do a better job than the government does, but are strangely both over-regulated and under-regulated at the same time - How 'bout we just say that the focus of regulations tends to fall in the wrong areas). In the socialized countries, they just really do a terrible job of dispensing the proper health care, so, while it may be "free" on an individual level, it is generally not especially high quality and the waiting can be deadly.

Also, socialized medical systems tend to be less innovative in discovering new treatments - probably because they have a lower profit incentive (they will only get so much from the nationalized health system). They also have made claims that they do a better job of preventive medicine, but I have never seen anything that supports their position.

Anyway, let me know what you think. I don't want the U.S. to go this route, but I am a little concerned that we are headed that way if we don't do something to drive health care costs down (I think the answer is less regulation and more competition).

Kid H.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Three Cheers for Governor Ehrlich

It seems that someone actually cares about individual rights and abhors Big-Brother government tactics.

Link via: Hit & Run

Kid Handsome

More Raich v. Ashcroft (now Gonzales)

Click link above for an excellent article about how this case represents our continuing descent towards a nation of liars.

Kid H.

Link via: Hit & Run

The New Math Teachers Don't Teach

California Senator pulls out his calculator and does a little math. After reading this, it looks like we CAN give Americas kids a better public education WITHOUT more cash.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What I don't want to happen to the old WTC 9/11 site . . .

is happening. I don't want our memorials dominated by organizations with larger political agendas.

Kid H.

Kerry = dumber than Bush

Apparently, John Kerry didn't do as well at Yale than did President Bush. This would seem to undermine all the "George Bush is an Idiot" stuff that I constantly hear from dems and greens. Anyway, grades tend to measure a person's drive and ambition moreso than their actual intelligence, but it's interesting to note that the so-called intellectually complex Kerry did no better than that "idiot" Bush.

The funny thing about this whole issue is that the "Stupid" insult is so unimaginative. Democrats, in calling every Republican I can remember since Gerald Ford stupid, absolutely undermine any credibility that can be had on this topic. (OK, they didn't call Dole stupid - he was just a doddering old war vet who was too stuck in his ways to think any new thoughts - They also didn't call Bush senior stupid, but they did say he was controlled by his old cronies in the CIA - besides, they had Dan Quayle to call stupid).

Anyway, the constant labeling by the democrats of all republicans as "stupid" just gets on my nerves. As I said before, it's unoriginal and not especially insightful or intelligent. Further, it irritates the hell out of me because I don't even really like George Bush that much, but I still end up defending him against petty attacks in the hope that someday I might get to discuss the actual problems that I have with both parties.

Kid H.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

Raich v. Ashcroft was handed down today . . .

Another blow to state's rights and yet another expansion of federal power to regulate. I'm not sure this is what our framer's intended - it's certainly not square with my view of the constitution.

Anyway, some thoughts from David Bernstein over at the Volokh Conspiracy are linked above.

UPDATE: Here's more from Neal Boortz today - excerpt:

"This case is a dramatic victory for the concept of big government. It is the Supreme Court's notice to all Americans to abandon any ideas they might have about returning government to the local level."

Not a good decision, but it's at least nice to see that Clarence Thomas was consistent with his more originalist view of the Constitution - too bad Scalia is a hypocrite (only originalist and anti-federalist when it suits his interests)

Kid H.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Open Source or Charges Dropped...

"So how do you know I commited a crime?"


Well That's not good enough in Florida. Every once in a while we get to hear stories that let me know personal freedom and rights are not just fantasty. Plus it's another incentive for Open Source.

Way to go Judge!

- Otter...just Otter

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Superman Video (The New Movie - Not me silhouetted against a sunset)

Monkey Business

So on Sunday, I was sitting with the Right Wing Extremist and his wife, when his wife tells me that she hates monkeys (but she likes polar bears because, "they swim around" [which doesn't seem like a very good reason to like anything]). Apparently, when she last went to the zoo or wherever else she could have encountered monkeys, monkey's screamed mean things at her - yeah, I know, but I'm just reporting what was told to me.

I'm guessing that whatever it was they screamed made her uncomfortable and she does not like to be uncomfortable. Anyway, for no apparent rational reason, she hates monkeys. I think it's wrong to hate monkeys for no reason and so do the monkeys themselves. I bet Lindsay Lohan doesn't hate monkeys.

Well, crazy lady, the monkeys are praying for you.

Kid H.