Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Every once in a while I'll sneak in something interesting, puzzling or humorous that has noting to do with CL or J. (Warning: I some times have a twisted sense of humor). Anyway, I was leafing through the classifieds to get to the crossword puzzle and "Jumble." I got a quick glance of a classified ad in the autos section that was headlined "COMPLETELY REBUILT, NEW, NEW, NEW, EVERYTHING." Expecting to see an ad for a really neat classic or hot car (e.g, '57 Chevy Bel Air, 2dr hdtp or 68 Plymouth Hemi-Cuda) I went back to the ad. Guess what the vehicle was? 1984 Ford Bronco II 4x4. WT *#$@%! Am I missing something here?
Monday, November 29, 2010
Liberals and Dems were screaming like stuck pigs when the Supreme Court found in Citizens United that parts of the federal campaign spending act violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has agreed to review another campaign finance law Although this AZ law is different, it still, IMHO violates one of the basic commands of the First Amendment which is that government should stay out of the marketplace of ideas. J. Kennedy will, as usual, be the swing vote. Look for a 5-4 decision no matter who wins. LINK
One of the biggest stories breaking over Thanksgiving vacation was that Tom DeLay, former U.S. Rep. and House majority leader for the Republicans, was convicted in state court of money laundering related to violation of state campaign funding laws. He plans to appeal. LINK
Monday, November 22, 2010
OK folks, it's time for everyone to once again to look at their lives and focus on the half of the glass that is full. Even if it's not half-full, be thankful you at least have a glass with a little in it. Things could always be better, but nature and fate owe us nothing! Death, pain, frustration and tragedy are a built-in part of the human condition. Let's all try to focus on some of the happiness that is also occasionally a built-in part of the human condition. HAVE A GOOD ONE!
Lost in the election and California marijuana initiative news was the fact that Arizona, usually thought of as a conservative state, approved medical marijuana by a slim margin. As you might imagine, Calif. was the first to approve (in 1996). D.C. has also jumped on board recently. Stay tuned! LINK
The latest uproar over intrusive search procedures by the TSA at airports is just another step in a possibly irreversible trend in America and other societies. LINK Thanks to the Enlightenment, Civil Rights, and other movements, human beings came to be viewed as individual beings entitled to rights and to be treated with dignity and respect. Authoritarian government was rejected. Obviously, some intrusions can be justified. However, the cumulative effects of both justified and unjustified intrusions will have dire consequences. Because of a number of factors, including mass culture, mass society, fear of crime and terrorism, huge, paternalistic governments and unethical corporations, those values are being lost. The individual will no longer be valued as a citizen, voter and taxpayer. Individuals will come to be viewed by government as clients, people in need of help and protection against bad choices such as diet, recreation, etc. Increasingly everyone will be viewed as a potential criminal or terrorist.. Freedom of choice in important matters will disappear. Mass processing and the assembly lines will be how most individuals are dealt with. Welcome to the cattle pen and the cattle prod! 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 will no longer be viewed as scare tactics.
Certainly the U.S. deserves lots of criticism, but many Europeans are self-righteously critical of the U.S. Some people need to look at the European Union before throwing stones at others. Many left-leaning Americans look on Europe as a model we ought be emulating. There is lots of criticism of U.S. immigration and border policies from both Americans and Europeans. It might be informative to look at how the EU is handling their Muslim and other immigration problems. LINK
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We almost always hear about officers who are killed by suspects. However, there are often as many officer killed in accidents, usually automotive. This Texas DPS officer died in an accident while serving us. RIP. LINK
Lower courts and public officials are expected to follow Supreme Court decisions. Sometimes, however, perhaps unavoidably, these decisions do not provide clear guidance. This article is a good discussion of this problem. LINK Hopefully you can access this without having to subscribe.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
During the Texas legislature's prior session, bills to allow those with valid Texas concealed carry licenses to carry on public college campuses never got up for a real vote. This will be an issue again in the new session which starts in January. You can make a good argument that a ban on concealed carry on public college campuses is a violation of the Second Amendment. Let's be clear on this. There is no requirement that licensees do so. The bills only give them freedom of choice on the issue. I know my libertarian bias is showing, but one would think that a society that labels itself free would welcome freedom of choice among law-abiding, trained, citizens who have cleared the legal and practical hurdles of getting a license to carry. Bill White would have let college Presidents make the decision. That was a cop-out. Decisions effecting freedom of choice for law-abiding licensed citizens should be made by politically accountable officials, mot politically unaccountable bureaucrats. One of the few (and far between) positive things about Rick Perry was that he would not leave the decision to the bureaucrats, but to politically accountable officials. IMHO, many liberal Democrats will be tip-toeing gingerly around this issue in the coming months. We can probably anticipate delaying and other tactics against the bill from some of these reps. LINK
There are too many right and left-wing ideologues in public school classrooms. I sometimes shudder at the frequency of reported cases of strip searches, and other constitutional violations in our public schools. LINK
Supreme Court Justices Steven, "the Huckster" Breyer and Antonin, "The Originalist" Scalia, had a public debate recently. One of the topics was the 17th Amend. The debate appears to be pretty-much a draw. LINK However, in Court opinions, IMHO, Scalia usually demolishes Breyer.
Monday, November 15, 2010
A police officer, a bystander and the son of Dallas's Police Chief were killed in the shootout. The son was allegedly high on PCP and had a long history of mental illness. Appears to be another suicide by cop. Tragically, he took two other with him. LINK
Thursday, November 11, 2010
It doesn't seem to matter who's in the White House. Unfavorable data and research results will be spun, misrepresented, and distorted. This time it's the Obama administration and studies on the Gulf Oil Spill. Other than a distinct shift to the far-left, nothing has changed about the integrity of our politicians in charge. If you voted for change, you got a lot of ideological change--but not much else. So much for campaign promises. When are the two main political parties going to come up with some candidates who deserve our votes? LINK
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Law enforcement frequently uses traffic spikes to stop suspects fleeing in vehicles. Here, the suspects used the spikes against the police. What else are the bad guys going to steal from the police bag of tricks? LINK
Monday, November 08, 2010
Anthony Graves spent 18 years in prison, 12 years of it on death row. He's now been exonerated. As is often the case, prosecutorial misconduct was to blame. We've got to get better people in the DA's offices across this state. First LINK Longer article link from Texas Monthly LINK
Saturday, November 06, 2010
More than 150 people were arrested during protests Friday night over the perceived leniency of the 2-year prison sentence given to former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Oscar Grant. Mehserle could have gotten up to 14 years. lINK
Friday, November 05, 2010
Media airheads like Diane Sawyer and others are bemoaning the potential "gridlock" in Congress following Republican gains in the most recent election. I guess if you believe in the Nanny state and that everyone who is "hurting" needs a government program, gridlock is bad. However, some economists think that the economy has a better chance of recovering if left alone for a while. Wall Street saw a surge after the election results were in. Further, reckless programs like Obama care, a 2500 page bill rushed through Congress that was probably not read completely by anyone in Congress, (and is probably loaded with special interest goodies), become less likely when there is "gridlock." House Speaker Pelosi said Congress needed to pass the bill so the people could find out what was in it. Contrary to Obama's promises, the bill was not available on the internet before he signed it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against health care reform. I prefer a more careful, thoughtful approach. Further, deficit spending is not always bad. Up to a point it can stimulate the economy. Gridlock may also slow the relentless assault on privacy and Fourth Amendment rights. Contrary to what you may hear, the sky is not falling. LINK
The California initiative to legalize small-scale pot use and production failed at the polls. Mexico's President was against it. It might have been an interesting experiment, but it would have been contrary to federal law and may never have gotten off the ground anyway. Backers may try again in 2012. LINK
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Plain and True talk about huge budget deficits at both the state and federal level: Ralph Martire, head of Illinois' liberal-leaning Center for Tax and Budget Accountability,” stated “Politicians promise more services but won't raise taxes to pay for them, Martire said. They depend on budget games and shortcuts instead and wind up blowing holes in the budget. Voters then get used to the idea that they can have services without any pain, and they reject politicians who say otherwise. "That's nonsense, but they believe it because that's the track record. Eventually, you run out of those games you can play," Martire said.” LINK