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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)

Monday, October 31, 2005



I don't know much about him, but if Pattrico is right, I think he's a great choice. Here's what he wrote in his dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Whether the legislature’s approach represents sound public policy is not a question for us to decide. Our task here is simply to decide whether Section 3209 meets constitutional standards.
That sounds like a guy who understands the limited role of the judiciary — wouldn’t you say?
Although the plaintiffs and supporting amici argue that Section 3209 will do little if any good and will produce appreciable adverse effects, the Pennsylvania legislature presumably decided that the law on balance would be beneficial. We have no authority to overrule that legislative judgment even if we deem it “unwise” or worse. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board v. Fritz, 449 U.S. at 175, 101 S.Ct. at 459. “We should not forget that ‘legislatures are ultimate guardians of the liberty and welfare of the people in quite as great a degree as the courts.’” Akron v. Akron Center For Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. at 465, 103 S.Ct. at 2511 (O’Connor, J., dissenting), quoting Missouri, K. & T.R. Co. v. May, 194 U.S. 267, 270, 24 S.Ct. 638, 639, 48 L.Ed. 971 (1904).

[emphasis in the original]



This is just plain unfair! Who does this guy think he is? All he's doing is holding up progress. Hasn't anybody told him that he doesn't have the right to keep his property if rich people want it? Why doesn't the city just take it? You know, like they're trying to do here.


Friday, October 28, 2005


The Strength Of Conservatism

In short, we can be honest about who we are. When we disagree we can say so and come out swinging. When the debate is over, we can all go back to loving each other.

Any questions?

If so, a bit longer (and infinitely more interesting) version can be found in Ann's column this week.

At the end of the day, I'm just happy to be a Conservative in America. I'm pretty sure I'd be politically depressed if I had to claim the Democrats as the party closest to my own ideology. To paraphrase Matt Stone (co-creator of South Park), "I slightly dislike Republicans, but I really don't approve of Democrats."


Thursday, October 27, 2005


Miers Withdraws

Since this is going to be all over the place, I'll just add one thought about a bit of misrepresentation in this article:

The nomination drew fire across the political spectrum and caused a rebellion among the conservative core of Bush's supporters who doubted her qualifications and wanted a nominee who they felt would be a reliable vote against abortion, affirmative actions and other hot- button issues.
Yes, it is true that many Conservatives "doubted her qualifications". However, while there were likely some Conservatives who wanted a "reliable vote" on their pet issues, real Conservatives were and are far more interested in getting a nominee who will exercise judicial restraint.

I know that a lot of people see the Supreme Court, and the entire Judicial Branch, as just another means to the end of attaining policy goals. That outlook is 100% wrong.

The Judicial Branch of our government should be in the business of strictly interpretating the laws and Constitution as they are written. If there really were, for example, an explicit right to abortion enumerated in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or any other amendment, then there would be no room for argument. As there is not, I would like to see the Supreme Court, and entire Judicial Branch, take the time and have the intellectual honesty to just read while refraining from inserting their own values into their rulings.

A dream? Perhaps today, but if Bush manages to find a worthy nominee, maybe I'll live to see a US Supreme Court that has rediscovered it's Constitutionally defined role in our Federal government.


Great Question

Here is a really good question from post-hurricane Florida:

"This is like the Third World," said Claudia Shaw, who spent several hours in a gas line. "We live in a state where we suffer from these storms every year. Where is the planning?"
Well Ms. Shaw, let's see what your good governor has to say on the matter.

Mr. Bush, is it FEMA's fault?

"Don't blame FEMA. This is our responsibility," [Jeb] Bush said at a news conference in Tallahassee with federal Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who oversees the agency.
Guess not.

Was it the state's fault, perhaps?

"We did not perform to where we want to be," Bush said.
Fair enough, but does the state bear sole responsibility?

The governor added, however, that people seeking relief should have done more to prepare for the storm.

"People had ample time to prepare. It isn't that hard to get 72 hours worth of food and water," said Bush, repeating the advice that officials had given days before Wilma hit.
Dang Jeb, I like your attitude on this one.

You act like a leader (i.e., not passing the buck to the feds (are you listening Blanco?)). Admitting that the state could have been better prepared and then talkin' the truth that individual people in the state of Florida: 1) know dang well they live in the hurricane belt and 2) had plenty of time to prepare.

I guarantee that for every unprepared, whining Floridian waiting in a 5-hour line for gas there is at least one prepared, non-whining Floridian kickin' back at the homestead with a cold one in one hand, an MRE in the other and a generator humming away outside.


2 Great Posts

Here are two posts that are great for different reasons. One will make you laugh and the other may bring a tear to your eye but don't be fooled, they most certainly share a common thread.

Reflexive Wussism... from The GeekWithA.45


Twenty three years ago from Toys in the Attic


Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Sense Of Humor

I'm not sure I do, but I sure hope I manage to measure up to this great combination of self-confidence and sense of humor.


Movies Made Worth Watching

Well, maybe they really would be more boring, but I could go for a dose of reality every now and again:

A lot of movies would be pretty short when practical, real-world gun usage came into play. Consider the lack of suspense and drama if proper gun usage was depicted in the following movies:

Cujo: "Oh no, I'm trapped in my car by a large, rabid dog. Where did I put my Glock?"
Fargo: "Oh no, two men have broken into my house and are trying to kidnap me. How will I get their bloodstains out of my carpet???"
Friday the 13th: "If I can't actually kill Jason, he's going to look pretty damn funny walking around after I blow his head off with a 12 gauge."
Silence of the lambs: "Clarice, the man you are looking for is dead. He was shot by his last intended victim. Do you have any fava beans?"
The Fugitive: "Good thing my wife was able to shoot her one-armed attacker. He was trying to murder her and frame me for it."
And while we're on the topic, some good news today. Now let's see how effective the law really is. We'll see.



Triggerfinger is right on.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005


War, 2000 Deaths and Prespective

Today we lost our 2000th warrior in the Iraq War. For all those who serve our county loved ones they left behind, whether for a year or forever, I will forever grateful.

Although the media would like you to forget it due to its overwhleming success, let us also take a moment to remember the fallen as well as those who have and contine to serve in Afghanastan.


I think that remaining true to the purpose of this war and seeing that the job gets done is the only fitting tribute to our fallen warriors. So, I am more than just a little incensed by the article Drudge linked. It presents us with an Orwellian historical prespective:

The grim milestone was reached at a time of growing disenchantment over the war among the American public toward a conflict that was launched to punish Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for his alleged weapons of mass destruction. None were ever found.
Really? Is that why we invaded Iraq? To "punish [I might add 'former'] Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for his alleged weapons of mass destruction"?

Maybe I'm confused, but I seem to remember a little thing called the "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq" (and remember, it's called "Joint" because it passed both Houses of Congress). Take a gander at the document. You'll notice that while WMDs play a central role, there are plenty of other reasons given for going to war. Had the AP article simply added the phrase among other peace treaty violations they would have been accurate. As it is, they focus on the one thing we (probably) got wrong and ignore other things.

I will, however, give them credit for quoting Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, spokesman for the American-led multinational force (even if they just couldn't bring themselves to actually write anything positive about the US's efforts in Iraq):

"I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq," Boylan said in an e-mail. "The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."
"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve," Boylan wrote.

And, to close, prespective.

Horrible, but true. Each and every death is a tragedy, but so is every day that a tyrant brutalizes people, whether they be his own countrymen or not.

Even in the face of causalities, remember that these brave young men and women have volunteered to go to far flung corners of the world to take the battle to the enemy so that we might not face him here at home. Be ever mindful of their sacrifices and enjoy the sweet taste of freedom bought at such a terrible price generation after generation.

Honor our warriors.


Closing The Loopholes

I just ran into a great piece outlining a few mistakes that pro-2nd amendment types make when arguing with anti-2nd amendment types. I have made of few of these mistakes myself, and I've recongized a few others when I heard them. Check out the whole list and you'll be better prepared to defend your views. Here's an example:

THEY SAY: “We’d be better off if no one had guns.”

WE SAY: “You can never succeed at that, criminals will always get guns.” (FLAW: the implication here is that if you could succeed at eliminating all guns, it would be a reasonable plan.)

WE SHOULD SAY: “So, you want to institute a system where the weak and elderly are at the mercy of the strong, the lone are at the mercy of the gang. You want to give violent criminals a government guarantee that citizens are disarmed. Sorry, that’s unacceptable. Better we should require every citizen to carry a gun.”
Lots more where that came from.


I Wonder How He Feels About Slingshots

I can see it now. The blond James enters the room and slams the bulletproof door in the bad guy's face. He strides confidently across the room to the damsel in distress, swoops her off her feet with one arm and with his other, draws his...slingshot.

Oh, and this also goes a long way towards explaining why Roger Moore sucked as James Bond.


Homespun Bloggers Radio: Edition 10

The 10th edition of Homespun Bloggers Radio is up and running.

Special thanks goes to Doug of Considerettes for putting the show together and setting up no less than three ways to listen to HBR. Just head over to the Homespun Blog and check it out!


Monday, October 24, 2005


Serious Wisdom Of The Protein

Every now and then Jeff hit's them so squarely on their pointy heads all I need do is quote. Thus:

Dean claims to worry about the ayatollahs of the right wing; but whereas the right wing occasional gets it virtue glands pumping over video game violence and potty-mouthed rap music, it is the “progressive” base of the left that has given us “free speech zones” and tolerance codes on college campuses, a culture of political correctness constantly on guard against giving offense—even as it has managed to divide society into warring, self-interested grievance groups who by virtue of their individual authenticities can dismiss criticism and assume a uniqueness worthy of special dispensation.

And Dr. Dean is worried about right-wing ayatollahs? Physician, heal thyself.


Leah Charlene Beyer, 1997-2005

I received this from Mike Cristofaro this morning. I don't know the family personally, but I wanted to add my condolences in what must be the worst time a family can face.

Leah Charlene Beyer, 8, daughter of Richard, Pataya Flooring & Stone Supply and Monica Beyer, housewife of 8 York Avenue, Niantic, passed away Friday, October 21, 2005, from Asthma at Yale Children’s Medical Hospital in New Haven, CT.

Born at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT on May 13, 1997. Leah enjoyed dancing to her favorite music with her friends, being a “little mother” to younger brother Richard, drawing pictures for friends and family, she was a great helper to Mom, Monica and was an excellent roller skater. Leah especially enjoyed her yearly visits to her Grandparents in California, this year she learned to swim under water. She could hardly wait for Halloween to wear her new diva witches costume. A favorite was the Niantic Light Parade where she participated with dad, Richard.

She was a 3rd grade student at Niantic Center School. Her “favorite” teachers were, Ms. Fain and Mrs. Angel McCabe where she acquired many “best” friends.

In addition to her parents, a sister Samantha Marie and brother Richard Anthony Beyer survived her. Her maternal Grandparents William and Charlene Kacer, Thousand Oaks, CA, Great-Aunt Renee Baugher, Westlake, CA, Uncle Mark Goertemiller, Thousand Oaks, CA. Her paternal Great-Grandmother Betty Pitts, New London, CT; Grandfather Larry Pitts, East Granby, CT; Grandmother Valarie Peach, New London, CT; Uncle Daniel and Aunt Lisa Cavallo, Mystic, CT; Aunt Annie Beyer, Old Lyme, CT; Aunt Wendy Beyer, Quaker Hill, CT; and many cousins. Leah’s also enjoyed her special friends “Neighbor Bill” William Passero and George & Mary Hayden, Niantic, CT.

A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m., on Thursday, October 27, 2005 at Christ Lutheran Church, 24 Society Road, Niantic, immediately following a reception will be held in the hall at the church.

The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to a foundation to be established in Leah’s name at the Niantic Center School 7 West Main Street, Niantic, CT 06357 (860) 739-3961.


Saturday, October 22, 2005


Roe v Wade

Well said.


Friday, October 21, 2005


Evolution In Progress?

Since I posted a few evolution related items yesterday, I thought I'd point out this news item from the most recent issue of Science (subscription required):

New Migration Route Could Lead to New Species of Bird
On page 502, Stuart Bearhop, an animal ecologist at Queen's University Belfast, U.K., and his colleagues report that even though all the blackcaps gather each year at the same mating sites, they tend to reproduce with those from their particular wintering ground--a phenomenon called assortative mating. Moreover, the birds that stay north are reproducing more than those taking the southern route, which may improve the chances of the birds forming two species.
Assortative mating is a matter of timing, Bearhop says. The birds from Britain and Ireland have shorter migrations to their summer mating grounds in Germany and Austria and, prompted by the more dramatic changes in day length at their home locations as winter becomes spring, those more northern migrants leave about 2 weeks earlier than those wintering in Iberia. "Because [these birds] mate with whoever arrives first, they have tended to remain isolated from the later-arriving historical population," say Keith Hobson, an ecologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Saskatoon, Canada.
Still, Hobson and others question whether the north-based birds are becoming a new species. They argue, for example, that there is not yet enough information about the fate of hybrids between the two bird populations. Nonetheless, says Peter Marra of the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., "this study provides us with a scenario of how [separate migratory] patterns may evolve and should stimulate some good discussion among students of migration ecology."
It should be interesting to hear what happens to the 'hybrids' between these two populations as the years go by. I don't honestly expect that I'll actually witness a speciation event in my lifetime, but then again you never know.

Just for fun, here the title and abstract of the reserach paper refernced in the article above:

Assortative Mating as a Mechanism for Rapid Evolution of a Migratory Divide

Stuart Bearhop,1* Wolfgang Fiedler,2 Robert W. Furness,3 Stephen C. Votier,5 Susan Waldron,4 Jason Newton,6 Gabriel J. Bowen,7 Peter Berthold,2 Keith Farnsworth1

There have been numerous recent observations of changes in the behavior and dynamics of migratory bird populations, but the plasticity of the migratory trait and our inability to track small animals over large distances have hindered investigation of the mechanisms behind migratory change. We used habitat-specific stable isotope signatures to show that recently evolved allopatric wintering populations of European blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla pair assortatively on their sympatric breeding grounds. Birds wintering further north also produce larger clutches and fledge more young. These findings describe an important process in the evolution of migratory divides, new migration routes, and wintering quarters. Temporal segregation of breeding is a way in which subpopulations of vertebrates may become isolated in sympatry.
Wasn't that fun?


Friday Morning New London Stuff


I received an email from Tom Picinich this morning who is one of the homeowners in New London under threat of eviction. He asked me to let you all know about the Free New London website he's setup to help get the word out about alternatives to the current New London leadership in the coming election. Drop by and check them out, especially if you happen to live in New London and have a chance to voice your displeasure with the current leadership. (Related: see also the 1 New London site linked on the sidebar.)


Mike Cristofaro sent along the link to an article that expands on yesterday's undumping of the NLDC:

Hartford — Bowing to pressure from state officials, the New London City Council will rescind its motions severing ties with the New London Development Corp., but not before receiving assurances that the agency's leadership will change.
State officials, taken aback by the council vote, immediately asked the city to reconsider and apparently offered new assurances that the state supports the city in its effort to force a change in the NLDC's leadership.

The council will back off its earlier motion, City Law Director Thomas J. Londregan said, “with the expectation that the concerns and demands and regrets of the city will be addressed.”

If those are not addressed, Glover said, the council would consider voting on the same motions at the regular meeting of Nov. 7.
Whatever. Regardless of what happens with the NLDC I stand by my earlier fallguy comments. Time will tell and until it does I'm not going to get too excited about any bureaucratic haggling.


Mike gets on TV, again.
(You'll need RealPlayer to watch the clip.)


Thursday, October 20, 2005


Goldstein On Language

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom has been developing a bit of a theme that boils down to the seemingly simple concept: Language matters. The concept is so simple, methinks, that we tend to not notice when someone (or some group) hijacks the very words we use to express our thoughts (paging Mr. Orwell). Here's a bit of his latest post on the subject:

As regular readers of this site know, I’m of the mind that the battle for liberty—indeed, the battle for classical liberalism itself -- is being lost structurally, and that our linguistic assumptions, which have moved away priviliging the utterer (and so has moved away from intent and animating agency), have much to do with the errant thinking behind both our policy decisions and the philosophical notions that animate contemporary politics, and so set the stage for the soft totalitarianism of speech codes, thought crimes, proportional representation statutes, and other manifestations of pernicious identity politics disguised in the ameliorative language of “diversity” and “tolerance.”
Complex language, but it basically boils down to what I stated above: Language matters. The reason I'm posting on this topic (aside from thinking that it's important) is that I find myself bowing to just the pressures he identifies. I write, and say, things like: ...that's not to say that all ___ are ___... and ...not that there's anything wrong with that... and ...not to be mean, but....

Such phrases are an attempt to avoid offending someone who might take my words to mean something other than what I intended. I think Jeff's onto something in the sense that the onus is now on the speaker to not accidentally offend the listener, as opposed to (the way it used to be(?)) the latter giving the former the benefit of the doubt and endeavoring to understand the actual intent behind some seemingly-offensive remark.

So, I am going to do my best to get away from those sort of qualifying remarks. If I believe/think something, I'm going to just state it as best I can. If someone gets offended, we can discuss it, but I'm not going to take preemptive action to avoid such confrontations.

Secondly, I am going to address the other half of (what I see as) the problem. That other half is the co-opting of certain historical/social events/things by specific groups. Jeff points to Jews claiming to 'own' the Holocaust, blacks claiming to 'own' slavery, etc. Another good example is the Chickenhawk label. (Usually) Liberals will attack a hawkish Conservative for supporting the war without fighting it in person. Guess, what? I can have an opinion about something without being personally involved in it. Whether it's the Holocaust, slavery or war, the very fact that I am a sentient being endows me with the right to have an opinion on anything I like. You may dismiss it, but you will absolutely not stop me from expressing it in an appropriate forum.

There, I've said my piece. What thinks you?


Evolution In silico

Seriously cool (subscription):

If you want to find alien life-forms, hold off on booking that trip to the moons of Saturn. You may only need to catch a plane to East Lansing, Michigan.

The aliens of East Lansing are not made of carbon and water. They have no DNA. Billions of them are quietly colonizing a cluster of 200 computers in the basement of the Plant and Soil Sciences building at Michigan State University. To peer into their world, however, you have to walk a few blocks west on Wilson Road to the engineering department and visit the Digital Evolution Laboratory. Here you’ll find a crew of computer scientists, biologists, and even a philosopher or two gazing at computer monitors, watching the evolution of bizarre new life-forms.
Read the whole thing. It's a few pages long, but well worth the time.

(via Skeptico via INDC Journal)

If you want to check out the papers coming out of the lab with the longest running evolution study in history, search for Lenski R here. As an example (paying special attention to the last sentence of the abstract):

Long-term experimental evolution in Escherichia coli. XIII. Phylogenetic history of a balanced polymorphism.

We investigated the phylogenetic history of a balanced polymorphism that evolved in an experimental population of Escherichia coli. Previous work showed that two ecologically and morphologically distinct types, designated L (large) and S (small), arose by generation 6000 and coexisted for more than 12,000 generations thereafter. Here, we performed RFLP analyses using Insertion Sequence elements to resolve the phylogenetic history of L and S. Specifically, we sought to determine whether the derived S morph was monophyletic, indicating a long history of coexistence with L or, alternatively, S was repeatedly regenerated from L, indicating a series of periods with only transiently stable coexistence. Phylogenetic analysis of some 200 clones collected throughout the history of this population demonstrates that S is monophyletic. We then performed competition assays using clones of both morphs from different generations to determine whether either or both lineages continued to undergo genetic adaptation. Indeed, both lineages continued to adapt, and their continued evolution contributed to fluctuations in their relative abundance over evolutionary time. Based on their phylogenetic history and independent evolutionary trajectories, S and L fulfill Cohan's criteria for being different asexual species. [emphasis added]


NLDC Undumped

From Mike Cristofaro:

Update -

State DECD stated that NLDC cannot be fired and that they remain as the developer. All motions from Monday nights council meeting are going to be rescinded. City Council knew this would happen and that is why they pulled this stunt 2 weeks before elections in an attempt to increase their votes.

So, apparently the whole we're getting tough and kicking the NLDC to the curb thing was just a publicity stunt! What's the worst thing we can legally do to these dirtbages on the New London City Counsil? I think hanging is not an option, but I'd be up for just a good public flogging.

On a related note:

This, from Carola at Mondo QT:

On October 22nd the 9th Annual National Conference on Property Rights is
being held in Albany, New York. Among the speakers are Steven Anderson of the Castle Coalition, Craig Call, the Utah State Property Rights Ombudsman and Jim Malatras, Legislative Director for New York State Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky. Plus a number of anti eminent domain activists from around the country. Including Michael Cristofaro of the Fort Trumbull neighborhood in New London, Connecticut. For more info call the Property Rights Foundation of America at 518-696-5748. Or visit their website at http://www.prfamerica.org

Mondo QT will be there.

And, from the Castle Coalition:

Dear Friends,

Very soon, the House Committee on the Judiciary will mark-up H.R. 3135, Congressman Sensenbrenner's "Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005" (available here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?c109:./temp/~c109sacAju). This bill would respond to Kelo by withdrawing federal funds that support the use of eminent domain for private development. A mark-up is the time that language may be added or changed, so the Committee will be looking at issues like whether federal funds should be withdrawn from projects or from cities that take property for private development and also under what circumstances to allow federal funds to be used for eminent domain (utilities, blight, etc.?).

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to make your voice heard. We encourage you to call, write or visit members of the House Judiciary Committee and share your concerns about eminent domain abuse. Rarely does a Supreme Court decision generate such uniform and widespread outrage. Americans understand just how threatening the Court's decision in Kelo is for ordinary home and small business owners everywhere. Seize this momentum to make a difference at home and nationwide.

Below you will find contact information for all of the members of the House Committee on the Judiciary. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Christina Walsh
Assistant Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
If you want the contact info just drop me an email. There are just too many to list here.


Big Brother Is Watching

Through your printer.


Schumer And Feinstein Pack Heat!

This pisses me off:

Senators Schumer and Feinstein Discovered with Firearms
At the same time, there are outspoken opponents of gun ownership, such as Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who are carrying concealed weapons, according to WABC Radio's Mark Levin. Levin, a recognized constitutional expert, heads the Landmark Legal Foundation. The LLF's goal is to protect American's from unreasonable and illegal government intrusions and violations of the US Constitution, including the Second Amendment.
Also, a check of Pistol License records shows that Senator Schumer possesses an "unrestricted" pistol permit, a rarity in New York City. Licenses are distributed in different categories in the Big Apple: Target Permits allow only use of a firearm at a licensed firing range; Premises Permits allow weapons to be kept in a home or apartment; Restricted Permits allow the gunowner to carry their firearms concealed but only within the purview of their job (security, jewelers, armored car guards, etc.). So it's evident that Senator Schumer has two sets of rules -- one for Americans and one for himself.
And then we have Senator Diane Feinstein on the Left Coast who possesses something more rare than a conservative Republican in San Francisco -- an unrestricted concealed weapons permit. Apparently without shame, she participated in a citywide gun turn-in program that was intended to create some kind of statue from the donated guns that were to be melted down. One of her police body guards let it slip that she contributed a cheap model for the meltdown, while retaining her .357 magnum revolver for her own personal self-defense.
Did you vote for these elitist dirtbags? How about next time?


The Day: Letter To The Editor

Letter To The Editor:

As a former resident of Fort Trumbull, and raised as a child there, I need to speak out. I have been both happy and sad about what is going on in the Fort. The Fort, as we kids used to call it, was a place of comfort and safety. All of us kids could play safely and the neighbors cared about one another.

Over the years I moved on, always wanting to someday raise my own children there. That time came. I moved back to the Fort and there I chose to raise my daughter. When I moved back, I was told the New London Development Corp. was going to build there and my time might be limited. That time did come. I was told I would have to move.

Yes, I will miss my home and memories of the Fort, but there comes a time in life when it's time to move on. That's what I did. I really would like to stress the fact that NLDC has been nothing but compassionate and understanding to me.

NLDC President Michael Joplin, who did not even know me, has helped me with any questions I had and he never once treated me like I was a nobody. Having said that, I want to say relocation was very easy for me. I now have a great new place, which my daughter and I call our new fort, and for that I am very grateful to NLDC.

Linda Sawicki
New London
I am very glad that Linda is happy and was perfectly willing to move out of her home when she was told to do so. From this letter, we really don't know whether or not Linda owned property or whether she just rented. Either way, I think it's great that she's adjusted well.

Of course, there are plenty of issues here. The first being that she moved back to the Fort Trumble area with the knowledge that she might not be able to stay. Had that been unacceptable, she simply would not have moved there in the first place and we never would have heard from her.

Second, the fact that the NLDC was "compassionate and understanding" is great. Of course, someone as cynical as myself might ask whether that "compassion and understanding" arose from the fact that Ms. Sawicki offered no resistance.

Finally, the fact that Ms. Sawicki was willing to move when ordered has absolutely zero bearing on anything that has been going on with respect to eminent domain in New London. If anything her actions show both a disappointing lack of backbone and a disturbing willingness to be subservient to the government that We The People are supposed to control.

So, Linda. I'm glad you're happy, but please try to understand that some people believe that American Citizens should not be expected to hop when the government or some 'quasi-public entity' says "frog".


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Warrant For Delay

Texas Court Issues Warrant for DeLay

A Texas court on Wednesday issued a warrant for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's arrest, and set an initial $10,000 bail as a routine step before his first court appearance on conspiracy and state money laundering charges.
Maybe there's something I'm missing here, but doesn't the Constitution address this sort of thing?

Article 1
Section. 6
Clause 1: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. (See Note 6) They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, beprivileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
Must be there's something I just don't know because I'd assume Delay has a team of lawyers working in his defense.


Oh No You Don't

Good luck buddy:

MADRID, Spain - A judge has issued an international arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers whose tank fired on a Baghdad hotel during the Iraq war, killing a Spanish journalist and one other, a court official said Wednesday.
The Spanish judge said he issued the arrest order because of a lack of judicial cooperation from the United States regarding the case.
I'm real sorry these Spaniards died and my heart goes out to their families and country.


Damn straight they're not getting any "judicial cooperation" or any other form of cooperation for that matter. Trying to arrest American soldiers for something they did in the middle of a war? Are you kidding me?



NLDC Dumped

NEW LONDON, CT. (AP) - The New London city council has voted to sever ties with the quasi-public development authority at the center of a national debate over eminent domain powers.

The council voted 6-to-nothing last night to revoke the designation of the New London Development Corporation as the city's "implementing agency" for its Fort Trumbull development. The agency has guided the 73 (m) million dollar state-funded project since its inception in 1998.
Council members said they could no longer deal with an agency that disregarded the city's rights as a development partner and the wishes of the community.
Woa, woa, woa. Hold on just a second. Let's review real quick.

This whole mess got started because the New London City Counsel wanted to 'revitalize' the Fort Trumble waterfront (at the behest of Pfizer, perhaps?*), so they decided to designate the NLDC to head the redevelopment. They offered to buy out the residents and business owners in the area, some agreed and sold. Others said no, so the City Counsel decided to claim the power of eminent domain in order to force out the resistant homeowners and businesses. The latter two groups then sued and had their case make it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, who ruled against them. Now, the NLDC decides to go forward with the plan (and this is important) as originally instructed by the New London City Counsel.

In the mean time debates rage across not just the state of Connecticut, but across the entire country as well. In the end, the CT State Legislature (this is also important) asks the NLDC to hold off with evections for a while so they can take the matter under consideration. The NLDC agrees but eventually goes back on their word and sends out eviction notices. Everyone gets pissed and the New London City Counsel dumps the NLDC.

If you read this blog regularly, you'll know that I'm no fan of the NLDC. However, I tend to see them as the means in this particular situation (means, that is, to the end of redeveloping the Fort Trumble waterfront area). However, the real (and I use the term quite loosely) "brains" behind the operation was the New London City Counsel in the first place. So, let me put the question to you: Who should be taking the blame here?

I think this move by the New London City Counsel absolutely reeks like week-old fish left out in the sun. The NLDC was doing what any automon would do, they were carrying out their mission to the letter. They were under no legal obligation to refrain from sending those eviction notices. Should they have sent the eviction notices? In my opinion, no. Where they within their legal rights to do so? Absolutely.

So now we have a New London City Counsel who started this whole ball rolling in the first place, and a CT State Legislature who failed miserably to do their jobs and stop the NLDC with the rule of law, and who takes the fall? The NLDC. I don't particularly care that they take a fall, I just don't want them to take the only fall. I think that the New London City Counsel and certain members of the State Legislature deserve to bear the full brunt of the People's anger.

The reason for this is simple. The NLDC is a problem for a few people in New London. Getting rid of the former is definitely in the latter's best interests and I fully support the move. However, City Counsels like the one in New London and State Legislators who are willing to take my property to put up a new high rent district are the real problem and absolutely cannot be allowed to slink away from this unscathed.

If you'd like to know who enjoys power more than your Rights, take a look at the side bar under the heading "Enemies of the People". On the other side of the issue, you might want to check out this article to find the names of a few State Legislatures willing to stand up and (here's a novel idea) represent the interests of their constituents. If you happen to have a vote that might affect anyone who has taken sides against the citizens of CT and/or New London let them know that there are alternatives to their own reelection.


* Subscription


Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Oh Yeah!

I like this guy:

US security chief strives to expel all illegal immigrants

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.

"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.
Yeah! Assuming this guy (and the Administration) is serious, I love it! Finally, someone who is willing to stand up and (at least say it's time to) enforce our laws. What a novel idea.


Drinkin' On Uncle Sam

Big surprise:

Evacuees binge on Cape: Spend fed cash on booze, strippers

BOURNE – Hurricane Katrina evacuees hastily handed $2,000 in federal relief money last month have been living it up on Cape Cod, blowing cash on booze and strippers, a Herald investigation has found.

Herald reporters witnessed blatant public drinking at a Falmouth strip mall by Katrina victims living at taxpayer expense at Camp Edwards on Otis Air Force Base. And strippers at Zachary's nightclub in Mashpee, a few miles from the Bourne base, report giving lap dances to several evacuees.
Call me cynical, but should I really be shocked that a bunch of inner city types choose to buy booze when they're given $2000? Seriously? What do you think they've spent welfare checks on all their lives?

If there were any justice in the world we'd just say, Fine, hope you had a good time because you will never receive so much as another single, greening penny from us ever again. Right.

And I don't want to hear any crap about stereotypes being unfair. Don't like them? Then feel free to not conform to 'em.


Rule By The People = Peace

We all know that countries ruled by The People do not go to war with each other. Well, now even the UN admits it:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- A study issued paints a surprising picture of war and peace in the 21st century: Armed conflicts have declined by more than 40 percent since 1992, and genocide and human rights abuses have plummeted around the world.
So, even if what the Left says is true (America running around the world killing people), there are fewer people dying today than there were 20 years ago.

Now, which superpower is no more and which is still around? Humm...

Of course, none of this suggests that the potential for hugely destructive conflicts to erupt once again has completely abated (for example, if we were hit by a state-launched nuclear device), but it is certainly not bad news.

(via USS Neverdock)


Monday, October 17, 2005


Best Of Homespun

This week's Best Of Homespun Bloggers is up. Check it out.


Thursday, October 13, 2005


Proposed SF Gun Ban

Perhaps there is yet hope in the city of San Fran:

To believe that the proposed handgun ban would have an impact on handgun violence, one would have to assume that criminals would actually abide by the new law. After all, criminals are undoubtedly responsible for the high crime rates and firearm violence. Considering the very definition of a criminal, it would be hard to imagine that such enlightenment would occur. In fact, both reason and empirical research suggest that most criminals are attracted to places where they meet less resistance.
I don't know what sort of effect this will have on the ban, but at least the San Francisco Police Officers Association has their heads screwed on right.

(via Musings of a GeekWithA.45)


Wednesday, October 12, 2005



Robert McHenry makes a great point regarding evolution that I have tried to get across ever since I started arguing with people about this topic (for example h-e-r-e):

Science begins with the foundational assumption that all material phenomena have material explanations. Science does not assert this to be true, though some individual scientists may do so. This point is worth making more pointedly: There is no necessary association between science and atheism, for science takes no position on matters supernatural. (It is a pity that one source of the confusion of the two is a prominent evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, an acerbic atheist whose chair at Oxford is dedicated to, of all things, the "public understanding of science." You're not helping here, Dick.) A commitment to materialism is simply the necessary axiom upon which to build a structure of demonstrable knowledge about the natural world. What this means is that when a scientist's first attempt to explain the origin of thunder fails, he does not shrug and declare "OK, it's Thor." Instead, he looks for another material explanation. He keeps this up until he finds one that is consistent with what is already known and has predictive power that encompasses other phenomena. His tested and verified hypothesis then becomes part of the body of scientific knowledge, but -- and this is an absolutely vital point -- it remains, as all human knowledge must, provisional. The best grounded and most rigorously tested of our theories remain provisional, open to challenge on account of new observations or failures to predict. A theory thus challenged may be discarded or it may only need to be modified, but it is the essence of the method that it respond to the challenge. (emphasis added)
Thank you. I hope that people on both sides of evolution v. ID debate read that paragraph and take it to heart. Seriously, read it again. "...science takes no position on matters supernatural." Can it be any clearer than that?

(via Chaos-In-Motion)


Schoolyard Bullying

The morning DJ on my drive into work today was talking about a recent survey that found something like 60% of students report witnessing some form of bullying every day in school (perhaps along these lines, but I can't seem to find the actual 'recent' study). When I was in middle and high school there certainly was a good (or perhaps, bad) amount of bullying going on, and I'm sure it has not gotten better.

The thing that really caught my attention, however, was not the unsurprising revelation that bullying happens, but the recommendations put forward by the National Crime Prevention Council (which I think conducted the survey) to counter bullying.

Paraphrasing, the recommendations went something like this:

1) When confronted by a bully, just walk away.
2) Make a joke. Even if it's about yourself, making the bully laugh might just make him forget about bullying you.
3) Stay with friends whenever possible, don't go places alone.
4) If you feel physically threatened, ask an adult for help.

Those options might sound great, but I have at least a few problems with most of them. First off, from what I gather there are data out there regarding bullying, how much it happens, whom it affects, etc. The thing I can't seem to find (and please point me in the right direction if you can find it) are data on how effective these recommendations are at ending the bullying. And I don't mean how effective they are at getting your kid out of the immediate situation. I mean how effective are they at ending the bullying.

Let's take them one at a time, in reverse order.

#4: To me, that's the most sensible and probably safest course of action in the short term. Of course, short of physically removing the threat (e.g., expulsion from school) all this does is allow some sort of (likely) touchy-feely intervention on the part of some adult/councilor. And remember, ratting a bully out to an adult is sort of like turning in a mob guy. Even if you get him, he's got friends and the adult (or the FBI) can't protect you all the time.

#3: Safety in numbers. True. But again, you can't always be surrounded by sufficient numbers. If a bully is patient enough, s/he will eventually find the target alone.

#2: Ah yes, perhaps my least favorite. Make a joke...even if it's about yourself. What message does this recommendation send the kids who are being bullied? What will they take away from the experience? IMHO, the lesson learned by the bullied will be: my pride is expendable in the face of a threat. The lesson to the bully is: if I threaten someone, they'll make themselves look like an ass...mission accomplished.

#1: Walk away. Lesson? Bullied: It's better to disengage from a dangerous situation. I agree that it certainly is. However, the recommendation did not qualify the suggestion to "walk away" by placing the phrase "if safe to do so" afterwards. So the lesson to the bullied is really: Turn my back on my aggressor, while the lesson to the bully is: If I threaten someone and wait just a second, s/he'll turn his/her back to me and then I can strike safely.

Recommendations 3 and 4 are fine if employed properly. Number 1 and 2 are, in my opinion, stereotypical of the wuss culture that is increasingly being pushed by some in our society. I agree that we should all avoid physical conflict whenever possible, but there are times when you should absolutely fight. If we prepare kids to only consider retreat and capitulation in the face of adversity, have we really done them a service...or a serious disservice? More specifically, do we know that just turning one's back on a bully is effective? Does it lead to increased immediate attacks (while one's back it turned)? Does it lead to increased future attacks? Do we know? (Again, if anyone has found data on this please let me know).

Why is it that we are not teaching children that sometimes you don't have a choice but to fight back? Sometimes you're backed into a corner by three bullies. You've got nowhere to run and jokes just don't seem to be working. What should your child do? Should s/he refuse to fight back and have his/her head stuck in the toilet while three bullies stand there laughing?

If you answered "yes" to the last question, what have you taught your child? When faced with adversity later in life (e.g., in the work place) what will his/her response be? What if your grown child has a family of his own and his home is invaded by a criminal bent on death and destruction? Will his first reaction be to hesitate, hoping that many a joke will suffice to dissuade the bad guy to not rape and kill his family?

I remember well the 'recommendations' made by my own parents when I was in middle and high school (and even before, I suppose). They told me straight out that whatever happened, so long as I did not start a fight and told them the truth afterwards that they would stand by me. I knew they meant it and I knew that they would absolutely go to bat for me in the face of any school or law enforcement official.

Fortunately, none of that was ever necessary (at least in part because I was big enough to not be bothered by the bullies). But the fact remains, I knew with absolute certainty that I did not have to submit to the capricious will of some dirtbag just to avoid conflict. I knew then I know now that my parents would stand by me so long as I was convinced that I had acted righteously.

So ask yourself, which is the better outcome. An adult who has known all his life that he has the right to fight back when threatened and given no reasonable alternative, or an adult who has known all his life that it is never ok to fight back and that he should submit to the bully to avoid conflict at all costs?

The answer is a personal one, and all any of us can do is affect that tiny little piece of the world that ends at our proverbial fingertips. However, I have confidence that the American spirit is not yet dead. Although it requires some looking and the occasional between-the-lines-reading, it is there for everyone to see in the news every day. I just hope that there are enough of people out there who, like me, are willing to identify evil and stand up to it when given the chance. And further, I hope that those people are willing and able to raise children who place the same value on individual righteousness and resoluteness in the face of adversity, bullying and downright evil.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Eminent Domain Speical Session

Potential good news for the future (or lack thereof) of eminent domain in CT.


Alphecca - Guns In The News

Alphecca has this weeks edition of Weekly Check on the Bias posted. Go check it out. These stories don't get nearly the press they should. We must keep ourselves actively informed or allow the media to shape our impression of the world beyond our own small corner of the world.



The recent earthquake in Pakistan has obviously been a horrible disaster. Countries around the world have offered, and are currently sending, aid to the reported 2.5 million people left homeless. I feel really bad for them, and I think it is appropriate to send help.

However, this sort of BS prompts me to want to type words I promised myself I would never use on this blog:

Western governments rushed to step up their pledges for the earthquake relief effort after their initial response to the disaster was condemned as slow-moving and financially inadequate.

The United States, which was under pressure to increase a pledge of $500,000 (£280,000) considered almost derisory by many Pakistanis when it was made over the weekend, announced it intended to give $50m in emergency aid.

The gesture, intended to make up for the resentment caused by an initial pledge which, along with the British offering of £100,000, was labelled as "peanuts" by Qazi Hussain, the leader of the Pakistani opposition party Jamat Islami, was greeted as a major boost to the struggling relief effort.
Mr. Quazi Hussain. I have just two words for you. The second of which is the last word in the previous sentence and the first rhymes with 'puck'.

I find it difficult to accept, 1) the gall of this guy and 2) the complete and absolute lack of pride this statement/attitude reveals. Mr. Hussain's country is hit by a terrible natural disaster, killing at least thousands and leaving millions without the basic necessities, and there is zero humility or pride, let alone introspection.

Amazing gall is the only way I can characterize it right now. Whom do you think is responsible for this disaster, Mr. Hussain? My list would be, in order: God, your government. God because an earthquake is an Act of God and you because you and your government have not provided the conditions necessary for prosperity in your country. Had you done so, you would have a modern infrastructure that would be better able to absorb such Acts of God, resulting in a smaller death toll.

In a slightly more perfect world we would get supplies directly to the people in need. In the mean time we would be smacking Mr. Hussain and his ilk right straight across their worthless faces.

That's it. I've had enough.


Monday, October 10, 2005


Bombs At Ga Tech

Explosives Found Near Tech Dorms

Three explosive devices found in a courtyard between two Georgia Tech dormitories on the East Campus Monday morning were part of a "terrorist act," an Atlanta police official said.

One of the devices exploded, injuring the custodian who found them inside a plastic bag. Two others were detonated by a bomb squad.
Obviously it's very early in the investigation. I'm glad no one was seriously injured and hope that this and the OU incident are two unrelated, isolated and, most of all, non-pattern forming events. Time will tell. All we can do is be aware of our surroundings and stay mentally and physically prepared.


Miers To Be Voted Down?

During the past 5 years I've been a staunch supporter of Bush the Foreign Policy President. At home, on the other hand, I think I've basically agreed with him on tax cuts...and not much else.

While I wouldn't want anything to happen that would decrease his ability to prosecute the GWOT, I must admit that a very large part of me is hoping that the Senate Republicans grow a collective backbone sufficient to vote Harriet Miers down and out. Just send her packing.

I know as little about her as the next politicophile, and while I'm sure she's a very nice lady I just don't think she deserves to be a Supreme Court Justice. So, I'm more than passingly interested to see if anything comes of this early, and perhaps surface-only, discontent:

Nearly half of Senate Republicans say they remain unconvinced that Harriet Miers is worthy of being confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Times.
What's troubling for President Bush, however, is that 27 Republican senators -- almost half of his party's members in the chamber -- have publicly expressed specific doubts about Miss Miers or said they must withhold any support whatsoever for her nomination until after the hearings.
This is one of those issues that just may shine some light onto the issue of whether Senate Republicans are, in fact, ideological Republicans (and therefore capable of independent thought, obstensivly the trademark of our species) or if they're just lackeys of the ever more disappointing Republican Party (and therefore unable to force a single novel idea to congeal in their over-paid noggins).

Time will tell. But either way, I doubt that the Miers confirmation vote will be the factor determining whether or not someone retains his/her seat in the Senate. So I suppose it's really unimportant anyway. Once again (to blend two great thinkers): Democracy, worst form of government ever...except for all those others that have been tried.


Painfully Obvious...

...and yet quite true (requires subscription):

The conventional wisdom among the scientific community and the public is that the present federal US policy on stem cell research, which provides National Institutes of Health funding only for research on [embryonic] stem cell lines developed before August 2001, has significantly reduced funding for stem cell research and diminished the translation of this platform technology to important therapies. But there's another side to this argument: that the present US policy has actually increased stem cell funding and research worldwide, thus mobilizing state governments, industry, and philanthropy to fund this promising technology.
That said, the current policy has created a state-by-state movement unprecedented in medical research. Most prominently, the passage of California's proposition 71 provides $3 billion to that state's stem cell research institutes. Although lawsuits from opponents to the initiative have delayed dispersal except for a recent set of $40 million grants, other states such as Connecticut, Illinois, and Wisconsin have followed the lead and begun to provide funding for researchers. The trend continues to develop at a rapid pace.
Imagine that! When the Federal Government (FG) decides to not fund something the sky remains in its rightful place. So, you might ask, why is it that people increasingly turn to the FG for, well, everything? I've got plenty of ideas, and none of them put FG supplicants in a good light. Regardless of the root cause, I think it is noteworthy that state government and private entities are perfectly capable of ponying up the moola when the FG tells them to take a hike.

Now, how about applying this theory to, well, everything? You know, just like a few really smart guys once wrote! Come on. Just for a century? A decade? A few years?

Why don't we just give it a shot. Fire 82% of the FG's employees and see if the sky really falls.

Oh...the dreams of a libertarian -sigh-


OU Bombing

Lots more interesting info on the OU bombing complete with an annotated map.

Yeah, probably just a suicide. Right.


Best Of Homespun

This week's Best Of Homespun Bloggers is up. Check it out.


Friday, October 07, 2005


Michael Yon

Michael Yon's latest is up. Read it.

These are the people our warriors fought and died for:

Amazingly, these Iraqis continue to load up in those little trucks and go to work, knowing the odds are that they will, sooner or later, get shot or blown up. In a previous dispatch I stated that the only true martyrs I've seen in Iraq are these men, ordinary in most respects, who step forward and put everything on the line, for the idea of Iraq. But they also have a powerful example to follow now: one that gives them the courage to face these odds. In West Mosul every one of their leaders has been wounded in combat, some more than once, but they get right back into the fight—taking up positions in front.


Thursday, October 06, 2005


Want Something...

...make your own? Nope, just demand that someone else give it to you for free, I guess:

Breaking America's grip on the net

After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments
But will this move mean, as the US ambassador David Gross argued, that "even on technical details, the industry will have to follow government-set policies, UN-set policies"?

No, according to Nitin Desai, the UN's special adviser on internet governance. "There is clearly an acceptance here that governments are not concerned with the technical and operational management of the internet. Standards are set by the users."

Hendon is also adamant: "The really important point is that the EU doesn't want to see this change as bringing new government control over the internet. Governments will only be involved where they need to be and only on issues setting the top-level framework."
And if you believe that, I'd love to see you a certain bridge in NYC.

What a load. I'm sure that here is not even the possibility that some freaking country like Iran or China will ever use this governing body to cause problems. As it stands today, China can restrict the information accessed and posted by those in China.

You don't think that there's a possibility that this new governing body could ever gain such control over the entire network? Maybe not, but are we really will to subjugate ourselves to the will of other contries?

Well, some are.

Are you?


Spy At 1600 Penn. Ave.


Oct. 5, 2005 — Both the FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage in the White House in modern history.

Officials tell ABC News the alleged spy worked undetected at the White House for almost three years. Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, was a U.S. Marine most recently assigned to the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Officials say the classified material, which Aragoncillo stole from the vice president's office, included damaging dossiers on the president of the Philippines. He then passed those on to opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation.
"The information was transferred mostly by e-mails," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie at the time of Aragoncillo's arrest.
First, by email?! Idiot.

Second, now what do we do with people who steal classified documents from the US and give them to a foreign government? I know how we used to do it. But these days the 'punishment' has changed.


Michelle Malkin has more.


Never Here, Revisted

I originally wrote this as a comment in response to probligo (which was in response to this post) but decided that it deserved its own post. Here goes:


I know, cases like that are extremely difficult. I have spent time at a hospital dedicated to long-term care. The pediatric ward is possibly the most depressing thing I've ever witnessed. And, some way I can't describe, the most beautiful.

Some beds are filled with children born with severe disabilities and others with kids who were struck by a car while riding a bike. Each case is enough to make you weep.

Many will ask, as have you, what is their quality of life? I think the easy answer is to declare that their lives are not worth living and conclude that we should simply 'ease their suffering' by ending their lives. Yes, I said that is the easy answer.

The much more difficult, and in my opinion correct, answer is that I do not have either sufficient cognitive capabilities nor the moral authority to decide that another's live is not worth living.

That is not to say that withholding care equals euthanasia nor that it is always wrong. Why? As a physician, I have a duty to my patients, first and foremost. Let me say that again, my duty is first and foremost to the patient. Any responsibilities I might have to his or her family members, the community, or to anyone else except that patient are secondary. I also took an oath that requires I first do no harm. Every action, and inaction, a doctor takes has the potential to help or harm.

The best result is always to help, whether through action or inaction. The worst is to cause harm by taking action. Therefore, when there is a reasonable expectation that action will harm, inaction is a viable and often correct choice. It is for that reason that 'comfort measures only' for a newborn with no hope of survival is a viable option. Beyond the withholding of care, while a more difficult decision, the removal of active life-saving measures is also sometimes the correct choice.

The thing that I will never accept is any action on the part of a physician, or any healthcare professional, that is undertaken with the sole purpose of terminating life. Period.

There are certainly plenty of specific circumstances that will fall into a gray area no matter how carefully we define right and wrong. That does not, however, mean that we should suspend the very concept of right and wrong just to make our lives a little easier...and another's a bit shorter.


Donald Sensing has posted a great paper (pdf) on the topic of Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) from his days as a seminary student. Here, I think, is one of the keys to the argument against PAS:

We have no more right to say we are useless to our community than to say someone else is. The ethic of service and love means that we should expect the community’s embrace just as we are bound to give it.
Read the rest. It's well written and provides a very good defense against the all too seductive idea of 'just ending it all'.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Never Here

Please, never here:

AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands is expanding its controversial euthanasia policy with guidelines on when doctors may end the lives of ill infants with the parents' consent.
Absolutely not. I will never take part in anything resembling such an atroticy.

Call it aragonace of youth if you like. I call it principle.

Screw these scumbags who are directly responsible for 8% of infant deaths. This is absolutely beyond the pale.

(via One Hand Clapping)



Politics, and disaster planning, (should) be local:

1. Texas: Productive industrious state run by Republicans.
Louisiana: Government dependent welfare state run by Democrats.

2. Texas: Residents take responsibility to protect and evacuate themselves.
Louisiana: Residents wait for government to protect and evacuate them.

3. Texas: Local and state officials take responsibility for protecting their citizens and property.
Louisiana: Local and state officials blame federal government for not protecting their citizens and property.

4. Texas: Command and control remains in place to preserve order.
Louisiana: Command and control collapses allowing lawlessness.

5. Texas: Law enforcement officers remain on duty to protect city.
Louisiana: Law enforcement officers desert their posts to protect themselves.

6. Texas: Local police watch for looting.
Louisiana: Local police participate in looting.

7. Texas: Law and order remains in control, 8 looters tried it, 8 looters arrested.
Louisiana: Anarchy and lawlessness breaks out, looters take over city, no arrests, criminals with guns have to be shot by federal troops.

8. Texas: Considerable damage caused by hurricane.
Louisiana: Considerable damage caused by looters.

9. Texas: Flood barriers hold preventing cities from flooding.
Louisiana: Flood barriers fail due to lack of maintenance allowing city to flood.

10. Texas: Orderly evacuation away from threatened areas, few remain.
Louisiana: 25,000 fail to evacuate, are relocated to another flooded area.

11. Texas: Citizens evacuate with personal 3 day supply of food and water.
Louisiana: Citizens fail to evacuate with 3 day supply of food and water, do without it for the next 4 days.

12. Texas: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State
officials provide accessible distribution points.
Louisiana: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State officials prevent citizens from reaching distribution points and vice versa.

13. Louisiana: Media focuses on poor blacks in need of assistance, blames Bush.
Texas: Media can't find poor blacks in need of assistance, looking for something else to blame on Bush.

14. Texas: Coastal cities suffer some infrastructure damage, Mayors tell residents to stay away until ready for repopulation, no interference from federal officials.
Louisiana: New Orleans is destroyed, Mayor asks residents to return home as another hurricane approaches, has to be overruled by federal officials.

15. Louisiana: Over 400 killed by storm, flooding and crime.
Texas: 24 killed in bus accident on highway during evacuation, no storm related deaths.

16. Texas: Jailed prisoners are relocated to other detention facilities outside the storm area.
Louisiana: Jailed prisoners are set free to prey on city shops, residents, and homes.

17. Texas: Local and state officials work with FEMA and Red Cross in
recovery operations.
Louisiana: Local and state officials obstruct FEMA and Red Cross from aiding in recovery operations.

18. Texas: Local and state officials demonstrate leadership in managing disaster areas.
Louisiana: Local and state officials fail to demonstrate leadership, require federal government to manage disaster areas.

19. Texas: Fuel deliveries can't keep up with demand, some run out of gas on highway, need help from fuel tankers before storm arrives.
Louisiana: Motorists wait till storm hits and electrical power fails. Cars run out of gas at gas stations that can't pump gas. Gas in underground
tanks mixes with flood waters.

20. Texas: Mayors move citizens out of danger.
Louisiana: Mayor moves himself and family to Dallas.

21. Texas: Mayors continue public service announcements and updates on television with Governor's backing and support.
Louisiana: Mayor cusses, governor cries, senator threatens president with violence on television, none of them have a clue what went wrong or who's responsible.

22. Louisiana: Democratic Senator says FEMA was slow in responding to 911 calls from Louisiana citizens.
Texas: Republican Senator says "when you call 911, the phone doesn't ring in Washington, it rings here at the local responders".

What if state and local elected officials were forced to depend on themselves and their own resources instead of calling for help from the federal government? Texas cities would be back up and running in a few days. Louisiana cities would still be under water next month. Republicans call for action, Democrats call for help.
(via JYB)



I think not:

First, The Daily Oklahoman is reporting authorities found a large cache of bomb-making materials in Hinrichs' apartment. The cache is so big that the Oklahoman reported one of the officials on the scene estimated a full 24 hours would be required to cart away all of the material.
I thinks it's becoming painfully obvious that this was no suicide. It's only a matter of time folks. Take a good hard look at this young man. What makes you so sure his ideological brother is not living next door to you?

Terrorists will strike this country again. All we, as private citizens, can do is prepare mentally and physically for the attack and the aftermath. Be ready, don't panic and defend yourself at all times.

(via Michelle Malkin)


Tuesday, October 04, 2005


An American Soldier

Setting: Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt, after being injured by an IED.

No commentary required

(via The Smallest Minority)


Carnival of Liberty XIV

Carnival of Liberty XIV is up at Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave. Check it out.


14th Amendment

This is a very interesting article on the 14th amendment and the concept of incorporation by the courts. It's not short, but if you have any interest at all in the relationship between the federal government that that of the "several states", you won't be able to stop reading.

For example:

This means that not only have certain amendments from the Bill of Rights been selectively incorporated by the Supreme Court, but certain parts of amendments have likewise been incorporated. This results in three problems. One, how does anyone know what the law will be from one day to the next? Which part of which amendment will be the next to be incorporated? Two, this is not the rule of law; this is government on a whim. The Constitution means what five members of the Supreme Court say it means – the Congress, the state legislatures, and the people be damned. And three, the Supreme Court that has the power to incorporate has the same power to unincorporate.
The more I read, the most disturbed I find myself with the state of our government. The Founders are spinning in their graves.


Need I say more?


Monday, October 03, 2005


Harriet Miers???

Lots of moaning about this nomination. I don't know anything about her except that she is apparently unqualified...but it all depends on whom you believe.

Anyway, while I don't think Bush hit this one out of the park JYB has some prespective.

We'll see. The fact is that for my money Bush was the better choice. Unfortunately, I think that the two-party system in this country is both failing to provide quality candidates and, very unfortunately, not going away.

What's a voter to do? Vote Libertarian. No way (foreign policy wusses). Neo-Libertarian? Maybe, but if they ever get around to running a real candidate they'll be so watered down and beholden to special interests that they won't be much of an alternative, sound familiar?

Anyway, nothing anybody can do about the nomination now. She'll get confirmed and then we'll be stuck with her regardless. Yeah.


What If...

George Orwell's haunting 1984 may have missed the mark in terms of a timeline...but we see more and more of his horrifying world around us every day. The same can be said for this disturbing essay written in 1996.

The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012

The letter that follows takes us on a darkly imagined excursion into the future. A military coup has taken place in the United States--the year is 2012--and General Thomas E. T. Brutus, Commander-in-Chief of the Unified Armed Forces of the United States, now occupies the White House as permanent Military Plenipotentiary. His position has been ratified by a national referendum, though scattered disorders still prevail and arrests for acts of sedition are underway. A senior retired officer of the Unified Armed Forces, known here simply as Prisoner 222305759, is one of those arrested, having been convicted by court-martial for opposing the coup. Prior to his execution, he is able to smuggle out of prison a letter to an old War College classmate discussing the "Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012." In it, he argues that the coup was the outgrowth of trends visible as far back as 1992. These trends were the massive diversion of military forces to civilian uses, the monolithic unification of the armed forces, and the insularity of the military community. His letter survives and is here presented verbatim.
Read it an be aware. These things are happening.

(via One Handing Clapping)


Rally In Jersey City

If you're in the area drop by and show your support for property rights:

Tuesday Night Rally: Property Rights, Doug Forrester

There will be a Rally on Oct. 4th at 7.00 PM at the Golden Cicada Tavern. Please let all concerned citizens know about this.

Doug Forrester, Republican Gubernatorial candidate will be the main speaker and he will focus on property rights.

This is your opportunity to attend and air your concerns and make him give us his campaign pledge to stem out this injustice on eminent domain.

Golden Cicada Tavern
195 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302

Directions :
Take the NJ turnpike north and get off at exit 14C..Follow directions on Grand street and go East to 195 Grand Street.Cross Street is Marin Blvd

From NYC 1) Take the PATH train and get off at Grove Street station and walk South for four blocks to Grand Street and Marin Blvd.

2) Take the Holland Tunnel, make the first available left BEFORE the Shell Gas station and head straight to Grand Street


Best Of Homespun

This week's Best Of Homespun Bloggers is up. Check it out.


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