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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Friday, August 26, 2005


Stupid Article, Interesting Topic

At London Zoo, Humans Are Ones on Display

Caged and barely clothed, eight men and women monkeyed around for the crowds Friday in an exhibit labeled "Humans" at the London Zoo.

"Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment" read the sign at the entrance to the exhibit, where the captives could be seen on a rock ledge in a bear enclosure, clad in bathing suits and pinned-on fig leaves. Some played with hula hoops, some waved.
"Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals ... teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate," Wills said.
"A lot of people think humans are above other animals," he told The Associated Press. "When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we're not that special."
The bias of the author of this piece of 'news' (and I use the term loosely) is painful. There are two types of people who would make the statement that we're "just another primate"...a total and complete atheist or one totally and completely incapable of rational thought (although the two conditions are not per se mutually exclusive).

Such statements are, in my opinion, inconsistent with the very existence of God, so we'll leave that alone and engage these atheists on their own turf. From a purely secular, naturalistic point of view we are most certainly not "just another primate". We are way smarter than any animal on the face of the earth. Hands down, no question. The purpose of any living creature (from this 100% secular standpoint) is to pass its genes on to the next generation to the greatest extent possible. This means that if a male tiger were able, he would wipe out every other male tiger and become the tiger equivalent of Adam (oh, this is supposed to be secular, sorry) that person way back when in Africa. Where he able to accomplish this ambitious task, he would be the most successful tiger ever.

Further all species seek to dominate an ecosystem. Wolves multiply as they hunt and kill deer until the deer population dwindles and the wolves start starving to death. If, however, the wolves devised a way to wipe out the deer and survive, they would have a lot more free time and wolf reality shows would not be far behind.

The point of this rambling is that humans, by virtue of our extremely large and complex brains, have become the uber-organism. We have developed (or been endowed with, depending on your POV) an organ that enables us to survive in all climates, terrains and against all other creatures (...usually). We are not, in fact, "just another primate" because we could, in principle, wipe out most other organisms and yet devise a way to survive (the fact that we do not do so is a testament to that other aspect of rational thought, morals). If we were "just another primate", then we would have to give even chances to the possibility that gorillas would wipe our out habitat before we wiped out theirs.

Anybody worried?



While I am the furthest thing from a fan of cycling I am, like so many, extremely impressed by Lance Armstrong. I just hope he's not trying to 'Palmeiro' us:

Armstrong Suggests He's Victim of 'Setup'

Lance Armstrong suggested Thursday that he's the victim of a "setup," saying he doesn't trust the French lab that released test results leading to blood doping allegations against him. Armstrong's comments came after Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said officials had received the lab results and would review them.
Armstrong questions the validity of testing samples frozen six years ago, how those samples were handled since, and how he could be expected to defend himself when the only confirming evidence _ the 'A' sample used for the 1999 tests _ no longer exists.
"For the head of the agency to say he actually doesn't believe in the code .... if your career is riding on the line, wouldn't you want a B sample?," Armstrong said. "The French have been after (me) forever, and `whoops!' there's no B sample? The stakes are too high."
I don't have any particular reason to believe either side. Both the French lab and Lance himself have at least potential motives to lie.

I will, however, stick with Lance until far better evidence comes to light condemning him if for no other reason that we're talking about samples from 6 years ago. Since that time, I would imagine he's tested negative for EPO. Worst-case scenario, he took EPO the year he won his first and/or second Tour but has managed to win the rest without it. Best case scenario, he never took any banned substance and 'The French' are a bunch of whiny losers.*


*No offense to any who would consider themselves among 'The French' and are not, in fact, whiny losers. They have been proven to exist, I just don't know any personally.


Gun Ships, Then?

Rocks Thrown at Border Patrol Chopper

Hey, if criminals want to engage government helicopters, I say we respond with rockets...but that's just me.


Thursday, August 25, 2005


Limits To Free Speech And Assembly

I am absolutely disgusted by how amazingly egregiously this crosses the line of Free Speech:

Washington (CNSNews.com) - The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the current home of hundreds of wounded veterans from the war in Iraq, has been the target of weekly anti-war demonstrations since March. The protesters hold signs that read "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton."
Shame on these bastards and shame on the DC Police Department for issuing them permits to protest.

Our wounded soldiers deserve a quiet place to recuperate. These sons and daughters of bitches should be removed and arrested every time they set foot within three blocks of Walter Reed.

These pieces of trash can't think of anything except their (or their parents') heyday in the Vietnam War era. They will do anything, sink to any depths, to undermine our country. What is destroying the lives of honorable warriors if it accomplishes their ghastly political aims. Nothing at all. These filth do not deserve to call themselves Americans and fellow citizens of those they so callously insult.



I'm having trouble loading the video, but check it out when you get a chance.

(via Drudge)


I just managed to get the video to play. First off, there were a maximum of 4-5 protesters in any one camera shot, and it didn't look like there were any more just off camera. Second, what a bunch of losers (just watch the video, I'm thinking of "Luke" in particular). Third, I'm glad to see that people from the DC chapter of the New Republic where there to counter the anti-war losers.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Casey Sheehan

Blackfive has the story we should all be focusing on.

(via Michelle Malkin)


"Unacceptable Behaviours" In The UK

I guess the 1st amendment really doesn't stretch across the pond, huh:

Acts of hate: full list of 'deportation' acts

The Home Office today published a list of "unacceptable behaviours" which will lead to the deportation or exclusion of any foreign national who commits them from the UK.
Hopefully it helps. I have my doubts. I hope I'm wrong.


The Canadian What Now?

Huh. I had no idea...

Canada is sending its navy back to the far northern Arctic port of Churchill after a 30-year absence.
Canada has a...navy? Hum. I thought they had sold all their ships as scrap metal to finance other aspects of life far more important to socialism.

Guess not. Will wonders never cease?

As long as we're not this article, there's a question I'd like answered having to do with this oft heard environmentalist refrain:

They [environmentalists] say the Arctic is one of the last of the earth's relatively untouched pristine frontiers and that a rush to exploit it will have a devastating impact on marine mammals and the rest of the fragile eco-system there.
Could someone please point out an eco-system that has ever been identified by environmentalists as 'robust', 'resilient' or otherwise capable of coexisting with human beings?

Seriously. Just one.

It's sort of like grade inflation. When it's not possible to earn less than a C, A's and B's are devalued. Similarly, the rhetorical device claiming an ecosystem is in danger of being irreversibly disrupted is rendered impotent when every single ecosystem is labeled 'fragile' and must be 'protected' lest we run the risk, nay the certainty of 'devastating' it (including cute, fuzzy animals) in our rush to 'exploit' every dang square inch of spaceship Earth.

Just wondering.

(via The Command Post)


Pat Robertson

While I may agree that a dead Hugo Chavez would not be a bad thing, I also don't think that his comments are quite as big a deal as most people seem to be making them out to be.

Here's what he actually said:

"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson told viewers on his "The 700 Club" show Monday. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."
Now, I don't really buy Pat's attempt to soften the blow by saying:

"I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP [Associated Press], but that happens all the time," Robertson said on "The 700 Club" program.
Look, Pat. You said the word "assassinate" followed by "we really ought to go ahead and do it". Hate to tell you, man, but that sure sounds like you're advocating his murder.

However, there are a few other issues that have come of this I think are not getting enough attention from the press. First:

Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel accused Robertson of inciting violence and challenged the White House to take action against him.

"What is the U.S. government going to do about this criminal statement made by one of its citizens?" he asked.
Actually, Mr. Rangel, Pat's statement may have been ill-advised and plain old stupid but it was not criminal. You see, we have this little thing called Freedom of Speech which is guaranteed in the 1st amendment to our very founding document. Sorry, there's just no "criminal statement" to "do" anything about.

Ironically, with all the fuss being made in this country, Hugo seems to be the only one taking the 'mature' course:

In Havana, where he had met with Cuban President Fidel Castro to discuss ties between the two countries, Chavez told reporters he had never heard of Robertson.

Asked about the broadcaster's call for his assassination, Chavez said, "It doesn't matter to me."

"I don't know who that person is," he said. "As far as his opinion of me goes, I couldn't care less."
Of course, he's also got billions in oil money to buy his personal protection...but that's beside the point.

Then there's their ambassador:

But Venezuela's ambassador to the United States, Bernardo Alvarez, said Robertson was "no ordinary private citizen" and demanded the White House strongly condemn the remarks.
You know Bernardo, President Bush does not need to respond to every nutjob, crackpot (amazing that she's now listed, huh?) or loser who manages to say something controversial. His job is to run the country, not fill his day with speeches telling people that he's not going to assassinate this or that 3rd world thug.

That's what the blogosphere is for =).


Just ran across this at Wizbang. Double standard, what double standard?


Tuesday, August 23, 2005


New London

Michael Cristofaro confirmed to me today that this story was, in fact, the motion that the IJ had filed and was hoping to be heard in February.

A more complete story is in The Day (you may need a subscription). It sounds like the NLDC is in the threatenin' mood:

“The moratorium is voluntary compliance,” Michael Joplin said. “There was no action taken by the legislature. The governor simply asked that we voluntarily comply, and the whole thing kind of slowed down while the legislature and the executive branch had the opportunity to review this.

“While NLDC said we would comply with the moratorium, it is not the case that we don't feel free to revisit that decision,” Joplin said. “We feel that it's our responsibility and our right to go back and decide that enough court action has been taken for a justifiable action on our part in the future. I'm reserving the right to reconsider our participation in the moratorium.”
To that Michael says:

Joplin's response about negotiating with the property owners - He dosn't get it -WE ARE NOT LEAVING PERIOD!
We are all heading to the State Capitol on Thursday to speak at the public hearing on this abusive power. I hope they get the message and stop New London from destroying its history.

Just a side note. I'm painting the house to show them we do not plan on leaving. If they show up- I'll hand them a paint brush.
I, for one, and glad to see spirits are still high.


What Country Is This Again?

Last time I checked, it was the United States of America...but then I read this:

(CNSNews.com) - The federal agency that regulates U.S. gun dealers stands accused, along with at least three Virginia law enforcement agencies, of trying to shut down legal gun shows through alleged intimidation of gun buyers and sellers. The law enforcement organizations also allegedly broke the law by sharing gun buyers' information with members of the public.
According to the complaints he received, Van Cleave said officers were dispatched to the homes of the prospective gun buyers to speak with family members, asking for example: "Gee, did you know your husband was going to a gun show today? Do you have his cell phone number? Did you know he was buying a gun?

"If people weren't home they, in some cases, went to neighbors" to ask the same questions, Van Cleave said.
Title 18 Section 923 of the U.S. Code concerns the licensing of gun dealers and appears to support Van Cleave's position. It contains the following restrictions on the information collected during the process of a gun purchase:

"(g)(3)(B) Except in the case of forms and contents thereof regarding a purchaser who is prohibited by [federal law] from receipt of a firearm, the department of State police or State law enforcement agency or local law enforcement agency of the local jurisdiction shall not disclose any such form or the contents thereof to any person or entity, and shall destroy each such form and any record of the contents thereof no more than 20 days from the date such form is received."
Your Papers! Show me your Papers!

This is absolutely beyond the pale. The ATF has apparently taken upon themselves to abuse their stature as 'law' enforcement to intimidate people who were acting not only within the law, but within their Rights. Whomever is responsible for this breach of trust needs to be canned. Simple as that.

When will people wake up and realize that all of our rights are important, not just the ones in the 1st amendment? I hope it's before we complete the ongoing transformation into slaves of the State.


Somebody Get A Backhoe To London

Now that the London police have dug down to shoulder level, they're going to need some serious machinery to continue. And, they've apparently found it:

Police and Tube firm at odds over CCTV footage of innocent Brazilian's shooting

None of the cameras at the scene of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July were working, a police document revealed.

Cameras on the platform and the train were not operational, officers told the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The submission by the Metropolitan Police, obtained by ITV News, puts officers at odds with a statement from Tube Lines, the company operating the station.
However in a statement to The Mail on Sunday, Tube Lines said: "We are not aware of any faults on CCTV cameras at that station on that day. Nothing of that nature has been reported to us." Yesterday the company refused to elaborate.

While some sources denied police had deliberately wiped the tapes, others remained convinced there was a cover-up.
All the CCTV cameras malfunctioned? All at once? Yeah. Right.

I'll tell you, this isn't going to any better for the British government. This level of (apparent) cover-up goes beyond the pale. The unanswered questions:

* If the CCTV cameras showed Mr de Menezes using his Oyster card to open the ticket barrier, why did police sources suggest he vaulted it?

* Were cameras trained on the platform in full working order? Police and Tube sources contradict each other.

* How could all four cameras around the platform have failed at the same time?

* If the cameras had failed, why did the station log book contain no details of the fault?

* Why had CCTV onboard the train been removed?


Supreme Court Stands Strong Stupid

From FoxNews:

Supreme Court Won't Revisit Eminent Domain Case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court (search), given a chance to revisit a heavily criticized ruling, refused Monday to reconsider its decision giving local governments more power to seize people's homes for economic development.
Not good news.


Monday, August 22, 2005


No Conscious In Crawford

Tarnishing the memory of her own son is apparently not enough for Cindy Sheehan. She and her band of depressed followers have not only abused the names of other fallen soldiers without their family's consent, but they refuse to stop even when a family member makes his feelings quite clear:

[Gary] Qualls' frustration with the anti-war demonstrators erupted last week when he removed a cross bearing his son's name that was among hundreds the group had put up along the road to Bush's ranch.

Qualls called the protesters' views disrespectful to soldiers, and said he had to yank out two more crosses after protesters kept replacing them.

Disrespectful, bell-crawling, traitorous, malignant, scum.


Sunday, August 21, 2005


Some Links For Your Sunday Afternoon

Lots of things to do this muggy Sunday...so why not waste some time reading and blogging the news, I ask myself?

First up...what a mess.

London police chief defends handling of shooting

I suppose this will turn into a: What did they know and when did they know it fiasco. All in all, an ugly situation. I just hope they manage to simultaneously deal with the shooting of an (apparently) innocent man while staying focused on defending themselves against further attacks.

Next, given a choice between living in San Francisco and Utah, I choose the latter (but please don't point out that I'm in agreement with none other than Dianne Feinstein, which seems to be a developing theme. I'm going to go take a shower now. So dirty.):

San Francisco Shuns Retired USS Iowa
Utah Station Refuses to Air Anti-War Ad


Saturday, August 20, 2005


I'm -glup- With The Russians

In what may be the first time ever, I find myself aligned with Russians against Britons:

Climate change sceptics bet $10,000 on cooler world

Two climate change sceptics, who believe the dangers of global warming are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet $10,000 that the planet will cool over the next decade.

The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.

The pair, based in Irkutsk, at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, believe that global temperatures are driven more by changes in the sun's activity than by the emission of greenhouse gases. They say the Earth warms and cools in response to changes in the number and size of sunspots. Most mainstream scientists dismiss the idea, but as the sun is expected to enter a less active phase over the next few decades the Russian duo are confident they will see a drop in global temperatures.
Now I'm no solar physicist, but I'd tend to think that the sun might have at least a tincy, wincy effect on the Earth's temperature. But I suppose some might just call the crazy-talk.


Friday, August 19, 2005


Shoot To Kill In London

I've been meaning to get to this since I heard about the new information that has come to light in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot and killed by London police. It would seem that the powers-that-be in London decided to make the unforgivable mistake of covering up the truth. The thing of it is that the truth has a way of making its way to the light, and when it does those involved in the cover-up should not be forgiven (a la Richard Nixon).

So, I will say this: Given what I know of the video footage (via news reports) the London police where apparently wrong to shoot and kill Mr. Menezes. This mistake, while awful and tragic could very well have been an honest one. However, even if we give them the benefit of the doubt this is obviously not a mistake that should be taken lightly or in any way accepted. The officers who took part in shooting this apparently innocent man should be held accountable for what they did given what they knew at the time.

As for the powers-that-be who decided to cover it up and put out misinformation...they should be removed from whatever office they might currently hold (again, a la Richard Nixon). This is a mistake not of judgment in the heat of the moment, but of the cold, calculated variety that must not be condoned, overlooked or otherwise gotten away with.

The people involved in the cover-up have done major harm to the efforts of the London police (and police in other cities and countries, for that matter). Police officers are now more likely to hesitate when observing someone whom he might legitimately shoot-to-kill (i.e., someone actually wearing a big coat, actually refusing to stop when ordered to do so and actually vaulting a turnstile) for fear of the backlash if s/he turns out to be wrong.

As to the two tuff guys who commented at my earlier post, I say this...I do not back down one iota from my position that the police should shoot-to-kill anyone wearing a bulky coat in warm weather whom fails to stop when ordered to, jumps a turnstile and runs towards a structure that was successfully attacked just the other day. The facts of this case do not change a thing about the actions we should take to defeat terrorists. But since neither of you had the cyber-guts to leave a first name, let alone an email address, I don't suppose you'll even be reading this. Too bad. You sounded really tuff.


Thursday, August 18, 2005


Find A Nice, Tall Tree...

...and hang him from it:

The Government is facing demands to close down a London-based radio station broadcasting calls for attacks on British troops in Iraq.

Al-Tajdeed Radio, which is run by a prominent Saudi dissident, has close links with a website carrying films of terrorist bombings and beheadings. It also carries songs calling on Muslims to join the holy war against coalition forces.
He has lived in London since first seeking asylum there in 1994. He has frequently declared that British troops in Iraq are legitimate targets.
If the death penalty is not on the table then at least deport him back to Saudi Arabia. I'm sure he'd have a very nice time discussing his 'dissent'.


File Under: Duh!


Poll: 40% of Mexicans want to move to U.S.

More than 40 percent of Mexican adults say they would move to the U.S. if they could, and 1 in 5 say they would do so illegally if necessary, according to surveys released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center.
"Contrary to what people might expect, the inclination to migrate isn't contained among Mexicans who are poor or poorly educated or with limited economic prospects," says Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington. "They're distributed across the whole breadth of Mexican society."
Actually, it's really not all that surprising. The standard of living in the US (read: freedom and a lack of kidnappers) applies to all people, not just the poor.

Funny, though. If you ask the left, we're a horrible, horrible county filled with hate and intolerance and lead by a terrorist who needs to sign his two girls up for the Army because he's baaaad. Interesting that we still need to build walls to keep people out. Not a problem in socialist countries, now is it?


Texas Restricts Use Of Eminent Domain

Sounds good. Haven't had a chance to check out the details, hopefully it'll be effective.

Texas legislators pass eminent domain bill

Texas lawmakers approved legislation that would limit the government's ability to take property from private owners through eminent domain.
The Texas bill restricts local governments from using their eminent domain authority to take privately owned property so they can turn it over to retail, industrial or residential developers.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Oh Canada

I'm sure this will decrease crime:

Store guns in central depot
mayor: No reason to have a firearm at home, Miller says

Gun owners in Toronto may soon be prohibited from keeping their firearms at home even if they are properly licensed and registered, Mayor David Miller said yesterday.
Ah yes. Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens is the last remaining step before we reach fully, crimeless, utopia. Right?...Right?

(via Packing.org)



Can this be for real? I'm not falling for it quite yet.

It's almost too much to believe. Almost.

(via Day by Day)


Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Letter To The Day

I have two questions about this one. First, what is this guy thinking? Second, what is The Day thinking, publishing this piece of crap?

By way of brief setup, I'm referring to a Letter to the Editor of the The Day (in New London, CT) that, the best I can tell, is arguing for eminent domain takings. I will admit, however, that it is so poorly reasoned and written that I had to read it twice to make sure I hadn't nodded off part way through. Here's a bit:

Items have noted there was a sewage smell so overpowering that a resident has said it might take two years to become accustomed to it. The Day quoted columnist George Will as defining the area as blighted. It seems a blighted area is properly subject to eminent domain or an ordinance that obligates owners to spruce up their property. Other cities have such ordinances — why not New London? If the sewage stench requires a lengthy adjustment period, isn't it possible that visitors to will object to the stench?
Tell you what, buddy. I've been there. It really doesn't stink. I don't know where this is coming from, but I get the feeling that somebody made it up.

Last, paying owners market value is not exactly stealing. Most property buyers try their best to obtain property as far below value as possible; taking property to improve the tax base and, at the same time, improving a blighted area.
Umm...what can I say? Taking property from a person against their wishes is absolutely stealing, and I don't care what is 'given' in return. It's still stealing. And let's remember, the "fair market value" that a property owner will be 'given' is coming out of the pockets of taxpayers.

In my 80-plus years I have heard of property owners knowing a buyer is anxious to acquire property, resisting selling on the grounds of family history or inheritance until the buyer offered an exorbitant offer — all family factors instantly disappeared and the sale was quickly consummated. If that is the case here, it is unconscionable exercise of individual rights and our courts.
Here's the thing: I have every right to sell or not sell my property and I do not need to justify my reason to this octogenarian or anybody else! If the assessed value of an object in my possession is $100,000 and I decide that my emotional attachment to said object is worth no less than $500,000, then yes, I will certainly sell at $500,001...and no less.

This sorry excuse for reasoning displayed by Mr. Arthur is truly scary. It's this sort of misplaced thinking that lends strength to government officials who would ride roughshod over our most fundamental Rights. Be vigilant and engage and defeat the poor, misguided social philosophers of Mr. Arthur's ilk in the arena of ideas.


Unelected And Unaccountable

This is absolutely sickening (via Libercontrarian):

Former Ohio attorney Elsebeth Baumgartner and the editor of a news blog, Bryan DuBois of Sandusky, Ohio, have been charged with intimidation and retaliation because a judge filed a complaint against them, claiming that he was intimidated by them and their charges of judicial corruption.
We don’t think it was any coincidence that they were arrested on a secret indictment the day after they served a federal lawsuit against Robert Taft, Governor of Ohio and other Ohio officials.

The two bring alleged judicial and other public corruption to the public’s view, supporting their allegations with documents and other substantiation. They have now been deemed “paper terrorists” by the special prosecutor in the case, Daniel Kasaris who regularly serves as an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor, because they had the audacity to legally challenge the public officials by legal court filings, trying to exercise the rule of law.

However, the appointment of Kasaris appears to be yet another conflict of interest in this convoluted case which has constitutional rights as its nucleus. With DA Baxter at the forefront of the controversy, case law, court and professional conduct rules would certainly prohibit him from handpicking the special district attorney to prosecute his critics but yet that is exactly what happened. Baxter personally selected Kasaris, a former employee of Baxter when he served as an assistant district attorney in the Erie County prosecutor’s office.
According to published reports, both Baumgartner and DuBois have been kept incommunicado from the outside world, with Baumgartner in particular being denied mail, phone use and visitors. A call by Erie Voices to the Cuyahoga County Jail produced this published recorded conversation:

EV: Hello. I’m calling to find out if Elsebeth Baumgartner is able to have visitors.

Officer: Pardon me?

EV: I’m wondering if Elsebeth Baumgartner is able to have visitors.

Officer: Ok….I’ll check.

Officer: Let me see……(long pause)……huh!

EV: “Huh!” what?

Officer: Well, there’s a note here. It says that she is not permitted to have visitors, phone calls, or mail.

EV: Hmmm. Is that standard? I mean, is that typical? Is this what usually happens?

Officer: No, m’am, I’ve never seen anything like this before.

EV: I mean, I could understand MAYBE if she were a serial rapist or something!

Officer: Yeah, I know. This is unusual.

EV: Can you tell who made the note? Was it Dan Kasaris?

Officer: No, it just says that it is ordered by the court that she is not permitted to have visitors, phone calls, or mail.

EV: Well, thank you very much.
Woa. While there could be more lurking under the surface to undermine Baumgartner's and DuBois' cases, it would take quite a bit to convince me that they should be held in isolation. If it turns out that the Officers of the Court are guilty as charged by this article, they absolutely need to be removed from office and given a nice new one, complete with bars and a toilet.


Monday, August 15, 2005


Things Not In The Constitution

One of my pet peeves is hearing somone proclaim this or that "Right" is enshrined in the Constitution when it is, in fact, nowhere to be found. A while back I found a great website, aptly named Things that are not in the U.S. Constitution, that discusses a good number of things at least somewhat-commonly claimed to be included in the Constitution. One of my favorites:

Judicial Review

We often hear about the Supreme Court striking down a law or a provision in a law, or, more often, reaffirming some law or provision. Take a look in the Constitution - judicial review, as this is known, is nowhere to be found. It seems like a perfectly normal action - after all, what kind of check does the Judicial Branch have on the other two branches if laws and orders cannot be declared unconstitutional. But judicial review is not specifically mentioned. So how did judicial review come to be? In the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison (1803), Chief Justice John Marshall declared a federal law, the Judiciary Act of 1789, to be unconstitutional, and thus null and void. This was the first time a Supreme Court ruling overturned a law.
Check out the others. You might just be surprised.


No-Fly List

And I thought it was bad when I was being hasseled. From Drudge:

At least 14 infants have been stopped from boarding planes in the U.S. -- because their names are the same orsimilar to possible terrorists on the government's no-flylist!
Feel safer?


AP Misses The Point

Interesting article. It really highlights the complete lack of understanding that seems to dominate the higher-ups in the news cabal:

Editors Ponder How to Present a Broad Picture of Iraq
Ms. Goudreau's query prompted an unusual discussion last month in New York at a regular meeting of editors whose newspapers are members of The Associated Press. Some editors expressed concern that a kind of bunker mentality was preventing reporters in Iraq from getting out and explaining the bigger picture beyond the daily death tolls.

"The bottom-line question was, people wanted to know if we're making progress in Iraq," Ms. Goudreau said, and the A.P. articles were not helping to answer that question.
"One of the things the editors felt was that as much context as you can bring, the better," Ms. Dardarian said. "They wanted them to get beyond the breaking news to 'What does this mean?' "
I must disagree. I do not think that the people of America are clamoring for more liberal media-types to put the news into any sort of "context". Rather, I think that people on the home front want (ready, AP?): A more balanced supply and presentation of facts. We're not stupid, we can draw our own conclusions and (gasp) even put those pesky "facts" into our very own "context". Hard to believe, I know. Just give us a shot!

Speaking for myself, I would be more than happy if for every article mentioning the deaths of brave Americans and Iraqis there was another article highlighting positive developments across the board from improvements in infrastructure to the continuing developments in establishing a constitutional republic in Iraq and (remember that other country) Afghanstan.

I hope they figure it out quick, because we're about to lose Arthur, who is one of the absolute best at doing the media's job for them.


How Old Is Farrakhan?

I hadn't realized. He must be getting up there.

MILWAUKEE -- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Mexican President Vicente Fox was right to say that Mexican immigrants take jobs "that not even blacks want."

Although Fox was sharply criticized for his remarks by some black leaders, Farrakhan said Sunday that blacks do not want to go to farms and pick fruit because they already "picked enough cotton."


Supersize This, Buddy!

Jason at Musing pointed me to this story. I've been arguing with people about my humble opinion that Morgan Spurlock is a lying idiot and I hope they'll start to see the light...if they bother to think about it, of course.

McDonald's diet works for her

There are many reasons Merab Morgan decided in April to eat nothing but McDonald's fast food for 90 days. There's her weakness for the Filet-O-Fish, slathered with tartar sauce and cheese. And there was that documentary, "Super Size Me," which she thought insulted the intelligence of fat people by implying that they couldn't resist the offer of a gargantuan portion for a few cents extra.
Since April 22, when Morgan launched her diet with a Sausage Burrito and a medium Diet Coke, she's lost 33 pounds, putting her at about 195 pounds. At 5 feet, 9 inches tall, she's dropped from a size 22 or 24 to a size 15. The size 2X and 3X T-shirts she used to wear look like dresses on her. And despite her friends' fears about skyrocketing cholesterol, she feels great.
I agree with the quoted 'expert' that she should probably take some vitamins that are likely missing in this diet. However, I would also like to see a list of pros and cons from an honest 'expert' comparing the benefits of simply losing weight vs. eating relatively unhealthy food.

Either way, Morgan Spurlock has taken advantage of people's preexisting feelings about McDonalds to make a name for himself. Just another example of an audience failing to think for themselves.


New London Update

Michael Cristofaro sent me another great update on the situation in New London. Between preparing FOIs, picketing the homes of city councilmen, setting up a website, and now even running for office it sounds like he's pretty busy. I'll let you hear it straight from him:

Just keeping in touch and to let you know what has been going on. NLDC hired a Spin Doctor to try to buff their image( they will need more than that). They hired the former lobbyist for the ex Governor Rowland and we know where he is right now. We filed an FOI to force NLDC to release his salary since they refused stating that he is paid from donations. What a way to start and buff your image - don't divulge anything to the public.

We are now starting to picket all of the Councilors homes and anyone else that supports Eminent Domain. So far it has been successful and even their neighbors have come out to support us. The Police even came one night and they just asked that we stay out of the road and then asked for a Eminent Domain sticker. How great is that. It feels so good knowing we have so much support now and that loosing at the Supreme Court level won't be for nothing.

We lost the battle but won the war on eminent domain.

On a brighter note I have decided to run for City Council and now am on the November ballot. We started a new party called One New London and they are 5 of us on the ticket. Bill Cornish, Tom Pincinch, Dr. Frink, Richard Humpherville and myself. We will have a website up soon called onenewlondon.org check it out once we have it up.

The city has basically backed off for now since the Governor issued the moratorium. So we have been enjoying our homes this summer without the threat of being thrown out. None of this would have been possible without Institute of Justice and our Nation standing behind us. God Bless all of you.
The website's not up yet, but I'll let you know when it is.


Friday, August 12, 2005



This is just depressing.

Test-tube embryos may be screened for risk of cancer

So to all you out there with cancer, be glad that you were conceived before this sort of thing became popular.


Jackson Blamed For Heathrow Shutdown

You know, Mike gets found innocent by a jury of his peers (ok, so he doesn't really have any 'peers'...but they tried, I'm sure). Then some jurors come out and claim he was guilty...and now the poor guy is being blamed for at least stealing people's bags, if not for the entire Heathrow shutdown:

"I'm too polite a lady to say what I think of British Airways," said Daphne Morley, a resident of Melbourne, Australia, attempting to fly to St. Petersburg, Russia. "Our luggage is somewhere in Neverland. There's no chance of change of clothing or anything."
When will the madness end?


Thursday, August 11, 2005


...And Counting...

Go over to Day by Day and give Chris' sister a hand...or a click, really.

Today's cartoon.



Remind me to drop the membership I think I still have with the American Medial Student Association. I just got this email today:

Apply for the UHC Leadership Institute

Wanted: Medical Students looking to become leaders in universal healthcare! From October 15-17, American Medical Students Association (AMSA) medical students from around the country will convene at AMSA's national office to learn about the basics of universal health care from national experts, improve their grassroots advocacy skills, and lobby Congress about health care access issues. If you'd like to be part of this exciting opportunity, visit http://www.amsa.org/hp/uhcli.cfm. The deadline for the application is September 15. Contact Kao-Ping Chua, Jack Rutledge Fellow at jrf@www.amsa.org if you have any questions.
Yeah, I've got a few questions...but they mostly involve language I don't post on this blog.


Jersey: Worker's Paradise


Court overturns ruling allowing ship's captain to carry a gun

A state appeals court has reversed a ruling by a Warren County judge that allowed a sea captain to carry a gun while guiding ships along the New Jersey coast.
But the New Jersey Superior Court's appellate division found that the judge erred when he determined that Atanasio met the "justifiable need" requirement to carry a concealed firearm. The appeals court noted that apprehension by people who work around potential terrorist targets is not enough to allow them to carry a firearm.

"If such were the test, then conceivably every airline flight attendant, every bus driver, every truck driver transporting hazardous materials, every person employed by or with access to potable water reservoirs or fuel storage facilities, would be legally entitled to carry concealed firearms," the appeals court wrote in a ruling made public yesterday in Trenton.

Each of those people should absolutely be allowed to carry a firearm. What, don't we trust them? Are you telling me that we trust a guy to drive a hazardous materials truck enough to be sure he won't turn the stuff over to terrorists, but not enough to let him protect himself with a gun?

Like I said, Amazing.

Man, I hate this attitude:

"I think in general, our office scrutinizes those applications to carry a weapon very intently," Ferguson said yesterday. "We felt that it just wasn't appropriate under the circumstances. When you grant an application, it often opens the door for similar applications, which potentially can cause difficulty."
Who gave you the power to "scrutinize" those applications so closely? Might I remind you:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Note that the 2nd amendment (unlike the 1st) does not state that "Congress shall make no law abridging" or any such thing. It says that the right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed", period. That means you, People's Republik of New Jersey!


Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Double Standards

Read it. Truly sickening.

If you don't catch the double standard then either: 1) you really need to stop drinking a six-pack per hour or 2) you didn't even pretend to read half the article.

(via Protein Wisdom)


Self Defense In OH

Here's a story from the Buckeye Firearms Association that you won't hear on tonight's evening news, CNN, or probably anywhere else:

An armed robber, who was about to make the largest victim-selection error of his life, entered the motel about this time, brandishing what appeared to be some type of revolver. The bad guy demanded the money, but not satisfied with how things were happening, the bad guy came around the counter in a threatening manner. Keep in mind the average size of a hotel front desk at a budget area motel....and now it was the bad guy, Publius, his co-worker, and the poor woman with a young child who was trying to check in.

Publius felt his life, and the lives of those around him, were in imminent danger of serious physical harm or death, and his training kicked in. Stepping away from the counter, he was able to take advantage of the momentary concealment this offered from the bad guy's field of vision. Drawing his own gun, Publius gave the bad guy a loud, clear authorative command to drop his gun. When the bad guy began to move the handgun towards Publius, Publius engaged him with three rounds. It is believed all three rounds hit the bad guy, who went down immediately. Keeping his gun on the bad guy, Publius moved the bad guy's handgun away from his inert form, then had the police summoned.

The bad guy was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
That's right. In the state with, arguably, the most restrictive, anti-gun laws on the books someone managed to defend himself and (unarmed/helpless) people around him. Remember, this happens every single day but you only hear about gun owners when they do something wrong.

(via Packing.org)


Monday, August 08, 2005


American Heroes

You Big Mouth, You is a great blog that, among other things, takes the time to convey stories of heroic deeds both at home (9/11/01) and abroad (Afghanistan and Iraq).

This week is American Heroes Week. Definitely check it out.


Chrenkoff Is Signing Off

I am sad to report that Arthur Chenkoff is preparing to leave the blogosphere. This is a huge loss and he will be missed immensely all around the world and at Homespun Bloggers, as he was one of the founding members.

Arthur, all I can say is 'Thank you' for all the hard work that you put into your blog. Your daily thoughts on important topics around the world will be greatly missed and, of course, where will we be without the ever-present Good News posts?

Good luck with your new job.


Thursday, August 04, 2005


Smoking Crack In Space

Seriously, either astronaut Eileen Collins is smoking crack in orbit or the CO2 scrubbers on the shuttle are on the fritz:

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Commander Eileen Collins said astronauts on shuttle Discovery had seen widespread environmental destruction on Earth and warned on Thursday that greater care was needed to protect natural resources.
"Sometimes you can see how there is erosion, and you can see how there is deforestation. It's very widespread in some parts of the world," Collins said in a conversation from space with Japanese officials in Tokyo, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

"We would like to see, from the astronauts' point of view, people take good care of the Earth and replace the resources that have been used," said Collins, who was standing with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi in front of a Japanese flag and holding a colorful fan.
"The atmosphere almost looks like an eggshell on an egg, it's so very thin," she said. "We know that we don't have much air, we need to protect what we have."
Ah yes, Commander Eileen Collins, on this her 4th trip into space, is just now realizing that "we don't have much air" down here on Earth. How much did NASA spend for this insight? Amazing. Oh, and Commander, just exactly how should we "replace the resources" we use? Should we melt down the guardrails on our highways and stick the metal back into the ground? Oh, but that would require burning the remains of many, many dinosaurs. Ah, I know. The answer is so obvious.

Putting the absurdity aside from just a moment...Why didn't she (or the article, depending) mention where this environmental damage could be seen? I'll bet it wasn't in the Koto-less US of A.


DC Anti-Gun Meeting 2

Kris (Reflections of a libertarian Republican) has a first hand account of the meeting held by Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C. Delegate to the US House) that I referenced here.

Give it a read.


Monday, August 01, 2005


Homespun Best Of And Symposium

This week's Best Of and Symposium are up at Homespun. Check 'em out!


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