Will the Nanny State Overreach?
That’s usually a good subject when the Dems are in charge. And Rasmussen gives us a little ground truth when it comes to things like "obesity taxes" and cell phone laws:Most Americans think it’s all right for Big Brother to crack down on smokers, but he better keep his hands off
Still Confused About Europe
The latest example?This is not okay:A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements.Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders made a controversial film last year equating Islam with violence and has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf."In a democratic system, hate s
Imagine ...
Back when I was a kid (yeah, we actually did have radios and TVs and good rock bands back then), there was a John Lennon song that went like this:Imagine there’s no countriesIt isn’t hard to doNothing to kill or die forAnd no religion tooImagine all the peopleLiving life in peace...[...]Imagine no possession
"Democracy" - Chinese style
China, in an apparent effort to define its form of "democracy", has decided to tell us what it isn’t or shouldn’t be:Jia Qinglin, China’s fourth-most senior official, demanded officials throw their weight behind the one-party state in an essay in the Par
"Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it"
America in 20 years?
Classic Capitalism
Does it say something about the primacy of capitalism that it’s so inextricably connected to the world’s oldest profession? Probably not.A San Diego woman who is auctioning off her virginity said she has now received a bid of $3.7 million, according to a published report.Natalie Dylan, a 22-year-old San Diego woman, said she got the idea for the auction
Ending the drug war: now a matter of national security
I see via Instapundit that a US military report warns of a danger of a possible "sudden collapse" in Mexico. The reason? ...its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels.If Obama and the Democrats want to move beyond rhetoric on their "change" m
Knock, knock - "Nanny calling"
The UK’s descent into Nanny-state hell continues apace with this new little gem:Householders are to be visited by officials offering advice on cooking with leftovers, in a Government initiative to reduce the amount of food that gets thrown away. Home cooks will also be told what size portions to prepare, taught
Question for the 21st century
How does one physically fight an ideological battle and win? The precursor to that question was asked and answered during the whole of the 20th Century The real battle is between freedom and statism— i.e. how do you physically fight an ideological battle? But the ultimate question — how do you win? — remains a mystery. Why?
Commisar Putin and the death of freedom
A new law, proposed in Russia and backed by Putin, would essentially label any criticism as "treason":New legislation backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would allow Russian authorities to label any government critic a traitor — a move that rights activists said Wednesday was a chilling throwback to times of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.The bil
How part of the cycle of government dependency works
Although I’m sure he doesn’t know it, Michael Kinsley provides the latest example. He makes a plea for higher gas taxes, because, you know, it’s the best way to forcibly wean us from our horrible addiction to oil. And, naturally, he (and government) know what is best for us and how to rescue us from ourselves.Ironically, his i
Republicans don’t want Americans to make good wages
Mark Finkelstein over at NewsBusters says, "I normally find Rachel Maddow a kinder, gentler, smarter version of Keith Olbermann". Not to mention easier on the eyes (yes, yes, I know, so stifle yourself).But he says last night, she was anything but a "kinder, gentler, smarter version of Keith Olbermann". S
Freedom, liberty and mandated "community service"
Thomas Sowell brings us face-to-face with the banality of evil. It sounds wonderful, but it is nothing more than another encroachment on freedom and liberty.One of the most innocent-sounding examples of the left’s many impositions of its vision on others is the widespread requirement by schools and by college admissions committees that students do "community
Whiffs of the Third World
This week, the horrific events in Mumbai have attracted a lot of attention. This has diverted us from other things, that deserve a bit of attention of their own.Damian Green is an MP, and is the Shadow Immigration Minister for the British conservative party. He was arrested by the Metropolitan Police—who operate under the direct authority of the Home Secretary—held for questioning for nine hours, his home and office searched, and various pap
A Little Euro News - the good, the bad and the ugly
The good:This month, the European Union voted to repeal its strict rules on the size, shape and appearance of 26 fruits and vegetables. It will still regulate 10 items, including kiwi fruit, but if one of these is now deemed too petite, or too plump, it could still be sold as long as it carries a warning label."
Jackson for Obama’s Senate Seat?
That’s who the Chicago Sun-Times would like to see Illinois Gov. Blagojevich pick to finish Obama’s term. Says the Sun-Times:Jackson also has proven himself on the national stage, serving on the House Appropriations Committee and as Obama’s national campaign co-chairman. He has pushed for universal health care and, in 2001, was the point ma
Drumbeat for Military Cuts Increases
I touched on the Netroots reaction to the Gates appointment and the implication that desired defense cuts probably aren’t in the offing.Erica Etelson doesn’t deal in implications. She pretty much comes right out and says why they should be made:
The Death of Conservatism?
In this week’s US News and World Report, Grover Norquist babbles on under the title "Conservatives Will Rise Again" about how this has all been seen before (after Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush). After each defeat, conservatism was declared dead. Norquist believes it is only a matter of time before Americans again tire of big-government Democrats and their collectivist schemes and conservatism begins to rise again.
Orwell visits Queen’s University
Don’t you dare to utter something which might offend another or you’re in for a visit from "student facilitators".Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario is enacting some rules to control speech. As with all of these rules, they’re arbitrary, addressing only that speech which is found "offensive" to groups presently enjoyi
The essence of liberty is choice
Think about it - the more choices you can freely make [key point] the more liberty you enjoy. Liberty enhancing legislation then, will usually maintain existing choices or perhaps expand them.One of the things all liberty loving people should do is examine proposed policies with that as one of their tests as to its potential to enhance their liberty (you can imagine where tax laws fall).An  
Dissent: The Highest Form of Patriotism
Ah. Well. That didn’t take long...From the cop
American Exceptionalism
Some food for thought (the chicken/egg variety):There are two versions of American exceptionalism. American-American exceptionalism is “we’re richer because we’re better.” European-American exceptionalism is “you’re better because you’re richer.” Both sides agree on exceptionalism, and just see different causes and implications. The Europeans expect us, on
Let Freedom Ring (update)
Watch this ignorant and arrogant lout (Chuck Schumer D-Fascist) use classic moral relativism to argue for "consistency" as the reason to use government coercion to reimpose the "Fairness Doctrine": 
The Looming Danger
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard outlines the looming danger if the results of this election are as expected:It is not just that the Democrats will win a crushing victory in both houses of Congress, perhaps reaching the 60-seat Senate threshold that lets them steam-roll legislation. It is also that the incoming class of 200
A question of "when", not "if"?
Another highlight, or lowlight, depending on your view, of an "all Democrats, all the time" government would most likely be some sort of legislative move to rein in the radio talk show media which is dominated by conservative talkers. It will most likely be updated to somehow put a crimp in cable news, specifically Fox and right leaning blo
Privacy? Rights?
I assume those who were so horribly upset that the US wanted to listen in on the phone calls of terrorists will be just as profoundly upset about this:"State and local officials are investigating if state and law-enforcement computer systems were illegally accessed when they were tapped for personal information about "Joe the Plumber."
"It Begins (Part II)
George Will characterizes government at both the state and federal level as recently having a number of "Willie Sutton" moments. Sutton was a famous and quite prolific bank robbers of years gone by.What caught Will’s attention is something the brain trust in Congress is dreaming up (much li
It begins ...
In anticipation of an Obama presidency and full dominance by Democrats in Congress, your 401(K) is now in jeopardy:Powerful House Democrats are eyeing proposals to overhaul the nation’s $3 trillion 401(k) system, including the elimination of most of the $80 billion in annual tax breaks that 401(k) investors receive.House Education and Labor Committee Chairman G
Marx - yeah, that’s the ticket (update)
Among the fickle and foolish in Germany:Sales of Kart Marx’s “Das Capital” have soared in Germany as a consequence of the financial crisis reported on Tuesday editor Jrn Schtrumpf from the newspaper "Neue Ruhr/Rhein Zeitung" (NRZ)."Marx is back and is fashionable again”, said Schtrumpf, director of publishers Karl-Dietz form Berlin.I&rsq
Well, this is unexpected [/sarcasm]
After all the assurances:Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
Who is the fascist here?
You’re a politician running for office. The opposition runs an ad you feel distorts your position on an issue. What are your choices:A. Run an ad that disputes the allegations in the opposition ad.B. Factually protest the alleged distortions on your website and in the media.C. Both A and B.D. Use legal intimidation, i.e. threatening the license of any broadcast media outlet that runs the opposition ad.
Interview Of The Season
Matt Welch discusses Gov. Palin with a self-described Anti-RealID activist and Democrat who lived in Alaska, leading to this picture being painted of the region in which Palin was mayor:Q: I was just talking to someone who claimed to have knowledge of Alaska to some degree, and they say where Sarah Palin comes from it’s the equivalent of Humboldt or Chico in California, like, of course, you know, she’d have a Girls Gone Wild phase, and smoking pot. Is this just wishcastin
Obama’s Acceptance Speech Vs. Milton Friedman
Overall, Barack Obama delivered an excellent speech tonight. If there is one thing that he does well, it is this. Of course, it was mostly lofty rhetoric and anti-McCain Bush barbs, but this is literally preaching to the choir so that was to be expected.The one portion of Obama’s oration that really caught my attention wa
Woe is me - America sucks (as usual)
KameraDSM of the Daily Kos is just depressed when he (or she) considers our prowess in the Olympics and a bunch of statistics he (or she) ran across when looking for negative info on the US:As we continue to celebrate the Olympics with profound pride and patriotism, I wanted to share some disheartening rankings that reflect our country’s stark decline relative to the r
No Thanks ...
Bill Donahue of the "Catholic League" is demanding that certain "credentialed blogs" covering the Democratic Convention be cut from the list for being "offensive" to Catholics.“The list of credentialed blogs include radical sites like The Daily Kos. Worse are blogs that feature anti-Catholic and obscene material. The two most offensive are Bitch Ph.D. and Towleroad.D
Misunderstanding "free speech"
Joseph Wendt makes the following claim concerning a Senatoral candidate in Kentucky that the LP dumped because of some things he said. As you’ll see, Wendt gets it almost completely wrong:Sonny Landham, a man who has worked hard to organize the efforts to get the ballot as a Libertarian has been forced to start over again as an Independent or a write-in when the Libertarian Party
No Fast Food for you!
Of course it isn’t that bad, but paraphrasing the Soup Nazi seemed perfect for this follow-up to the story I did earlier in the week about the LA City Council’s vote to save the poor fat folks who inhabit South Los Angeles.To recap, it seems they have a restaurant mix (too much fast food and not enough sit down places with "healthier choices") that is unpleasing to the Cou
Just wait until they’re your health care provider
One of the things I point out regularly is government intrusion when and where it is unwarranted, unwanted and certainly unneeded. Obviously it is a target rich environment, but one that constantly teaches a valuable lesson about where governments at all levels seemingly end up.Unfortunately it’s the nature of the beast, and it is why wise people keep on constant eye and a tight rein on the institution. It seems that whenever a collection of those c
What McCain should say, but won’t. A "tipping point" post.
Melanie Scarborough lists and discusses 5 points that Republicans, if they could truly discuss the issues as they ought to be discussed (and actually believe what they were saying), should be running on.Unfortunately - and it is one among many reasons I fear we’re near the tipping point where those
The Human Development Index
Liberty threatened by radical environmentalism
Brendan O’Neill has a piece in the UK Guardian which pretty well characterizes the threat radical environmentalism poses to our freedom and liberty. My one criticism of the article is his use of the broader term "environmentalism" as descriptive of the radical element.In fact, I consider myself an environmentalist of sorts in that I don’t want dirty a
The hell that is Zimbabwe and what to do about it
We all read the news reports about what is happening in Zimbabwe. Of course, for the most part, they’re sanitized stories which convey the crux of the big picture. Understanding the impact on the people of Zimbabwe is rarely a part of the reportage, although you are left to imagine it.If you really want to understand that impact in its most personal form, I’d recommend Cathy Buckle’s blog. I’ve recommended it before, but it is an
Iran: Death for "on-line crimes"
Meanwhile, in that benevolent theocracy (*cough* dictatorship *cough*) known as Iran, bloggers and other on-line denizens now take their lives in their hands should they run afoul of the regime’s new rules:A new law has been passed by the Iranian parliament extending use of the death penalty to online crimes. Previously, only peo
Defining racism down
The UK just continues to depress me with some of the liberty killing nonsense its bureaucracy keeps cranking out. The latest:The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery tea
Happy Independence Day
For all its warts and carbuncles, I’d still not want to live anywhere else.That’s because there’s still a will, in this great nation, to do what is right.And while we may disagree on what that is and how to go about it, that freedom to dissent, to argue, to rant and rave is more precious that you can imagine. Never do I go to bed at night concerned there will be a knock on my door and I’ll be taken away for something I
Canada: Hate-speech complaint dismissed against Maclean’s
I’d love to say "free speech 1, hate speech 0" but that’s really not the case here:The Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed a hate speech complaint against Maclean’s magazine on Friday in a decision the complainants blamed on "inappropriate political pressure."Brought by Mohamed Elmasry, national pres
Of the clueless, by the clueless and for the clueless
Our old buddy Haroon Sidiqqui is back with another op-ed in the Toronto Star trying to make the case that hate-crime laws are a "reasonable limit" on free speech.You may remember Mr. Sadiqqui from his last feeble attempt to sell this load of malarkey.His new approach? Well, it’s not
Dems and Chavez - two sides of the same coin?
Seems a familiar song, a refrain of which we heard this week from Democrats and on the Cavuto show.Seems Hugo has nothing on those folks:[Venezuelan] Minister Yubiri Ortega did not give a direct answer when asked Saturday if the government is planning to nationalize the mine
How close to the tipping point are we?
It seems each day we get closer and closer to that theoretical "51%" who will forever ensure a world of big government (not that it is so small now) and an ensuing retreat from freedom, liberty and market capitalism - the principles which have made us a great nation.The latest indicator of that shift?A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% of voters favor nationalizing the oil industry. Just 47% are opposed and 24% are not
Free speech - without it maintaining freedom is impossbile
In an op-ed found in the Toronto Star, Haroon Siddiqui defends Canada’s hate-speech laws by declaring "Free Speech Cannot be an Excuse For Hate".Of course free speech isn’t an excuse for hate. Nor is free speech an apologist for hate. And free speech certainly doesn’t condone hate.However, it doesn’t prohibit its expression.But if you
Nanny changes her mind
Yes friends, it is now again possible to eat foie gras in Chicago:Chicagoans can feast on foie gras once more. The Chicago City Council just repealed the ban on its sale that it put in place two years ago.[...]The Chicago council’s vote was 37-6, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Web site.<
The Irish say "no" to the EU Treaty
You recall the previous attempt to pass an EU constitution?When put to a popular referrendum, the people of France, the Netherlands and if I’m not mistaken, Britain, said "no". Politicians, being wily beasts, took that "no" as a mere setback, not as the final word. They knew that they would never get it past a popular vote. So instead calling it a "constitution" they decided a "treaty" was much better.A constitution would
Canada: Not a Free Country
In the province of Alberta, Rev. Stephen Boission, a local pastor, wrote a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate. In this letter, which the paper published, he made a number of statements about homosexuality, which included the following statements:My banner has now been raised and war has been declared so as to defend the precious sanctity of our innocent children and youth, that you so eagerly toil, day and night, to consume.With
When all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail
And the hammer, in this case, is government’s monopoly on the use of force:Homeowners who don’t mow their grass in this northeast Ohio city now face stiffer penalties _ including possible jail time.The city council unanimously passed a law Monday that makes a second high-grass violation a fourth-degree misdemeanor carrying a fine of up
What is in danger - climate or freedom?
Czech President Vaclav Klaus, the one politician who seems to get what is going on with the global-warming movement, on what is really being threatened by that movement: 
"Freedom is only for those who have the guts to defend it"
Something everyone should watch and think about:(HT: M
Memorial Day -2008
The following is the "Someone You Should Know" script for last night’s segment on WRKO’s "Pundit Review Radio" that I do weekly. I want to post it as a Memorial Day tribute to all of those in the US military who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.On May 5, 1868, the Grand Army of the Republic established Memorial Day or Decoration Day as the national day to decorat
This paranoid ...
Yesterday I asked "how paranoid is Myanmar’s junta"?Today they answered - this paranoid:Myanmar’s military regime distributed international aid Saturday but plastered the boxes with the names of top generals in an apparent effort to turn the relief effort for last week&rs
How paranoid is Myanmar’s Junta?
This paranoid:Myanmar’s military leaders seized aid shipments headed for cyclone survivors and told the top U.S. diplomat there Friday that they’re not ready to let in American aid workers despite warnings the country is on the verge of a medical catastrophe.Another 4 inches of rain wa
32 years ago ...
Considered by some, "the greatest play in baseball":
Hillary On Freedom
Why hasn’t this quote from Hillary Clinton gotten more press..."We can talk all we want about freedom and opportunity, about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but what does all that mean to a mother or father who can’t take a sick child to the doctor?" she asked.Via  
Freedom of Consumer Choice
Don Boudreaux posts a letter he sent to the Washington Post...Emily DeRocco complains that "The April 9 Business article ’Don’t Blame NAFTA for Downturn, Many Economists Say’ quoted politicians, economists and labor representatives but not a single manufacturer - those at the heart of this wrenching debate" (Letters, April 12). She’s mistaken. Those
Three revolutions
I’m interested in exploring an idea that we in the United States have been subject to not just one revolution, but at least three.The first and obvious one is the revolution which established our independence from England. It was a revolution which rejected the concept of monarchy and big government. It embraced freedom. The revolutionaries broke with England through the Declaration of Independence which I have always seen as the soul of our coun
Ebay, dumb laws, dumber prosecutions and bitterness
Jon talked about the intrusiveness of government today in his post about the arrest of a ’silent dancer’ at the Jeffereson Memorial, apparently for asking "why".Here’s a different example of the intrusiveness in government which, to me, just further exemplifies how off track our whole system has gotten. Mary Jo Pletz was really, re
"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
When you read about police forcefully preventing legal, peaceful assembly in a public area, arresting participants who dare to ask for justification, and stonewalling attempts to investigate their arbitrary harassment of people assembling peacefully, you would assume you’re reading about another crackdown by the Chinese
There’s a disturbance in the Force
And it is being caused by a moonbat named Richard Warman, a Canadian and apparently a professional whiner when he’s not suing someone. It would appear Mr. Warman is the most easily offended man in Canada and, having taken offense to something or other, has decided it would be fun to sue a group of conservative bloggers - ostensibly on some bogus "human rights" complaint - and shut them down.One of them is Kathy Shaidle of  
The Olympics, China and protests
I have no problem with the protests along the torch route that are taking place as long as they don’t descend into violence. But China deserves every single voice speaking out against it right now:The last part of the Olympic torch relay in Paris was canceled Monday after a day of chaos in which anti-China protesters forced authorities to extinguish the flame at l
Reason 4,598 why the UN is laughable
Eugene Volokh points us to a very recent resolution from the so-called "UN Human Rights Commission". They might as easily be called the "Human Rights Suppression Commission" if this resolution is any indication: The Human Rights Council ... 8. Urges States to take actions to prohibit the dissemination, including through political institutions and organizations, of racis
Some thoughts on Natan Sharansky’s interview
If you’re not familiar with Natan Sharansky, read the short bio at Middle East Quarterly. Sharansky talks about what is going on in the ME as it relates to freedom and democracy there. Sharansky immigrated from the USSR to Israel:Middle East Quarterly: At the Republican National Convention, on September 2, 2004, President Bush said "freedom is on the march" in the Middle East. Do you ag
Selective UN condemnation
No surprise here:U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned as "offensively anti-Islamic" a Dutch lawmaker’s film that accuses the Koran of inciting violence.Ban acknowledged efforts by the government of the Netherlands to stop the broadcast of the film, which was launched by Islam critic Geert Wilders over the Internet, and appealed for
The Welfare State: why immigrant assimilation is virtually impossible
Interesting article in the WSJ concerning Sweden’s welfare state and the effect it has on entrepreneurship and the integration of immigrants.The comparison begins with Sweden in 1950:To start with, homogenous Sweden was already an egalitarian society with few social problems before the expansion of the welfare state. It is oft
Canada’s "Blacklock Principle" soon to be the US’s?
In the past I’ve made several attempts to point out that once government has control over your health care, it will use all sorts of justifications and excuses to exert more and more control over your life as a result.As libertarian, I don’t wear seat belts because the government says I should. I wear them because I think they are a critical safety device for any rational human being who drives an automobile. I feel the same way about a moto
NY City Council - looking out for your health
First they banned transfats "for your health". Now Now they’ve decided what constitutes proper trade by restricting it, "for your health".New York’s City Council has passed a bill to issue 1,000 new permits for street vendors to sell fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce.The
Berkeley: for every action...
There is an equal and opposite reaction:People who are angry at city leaders for their anti-military stance are taking it out on businesses — canceling hotel rooms, restaurant reservations and theater tickets.They are writing letters to the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce outlining their plans to boycott the city.And they are steering clear of down
"International Crime"
The Lancet has long been one of the world’s most respectable medical journals. Although, having said that, a certain trend towards a regrettable political correctness in recent years has taken some of the bloom off the rose.That image is further tarnished by this article [registration required]. The authors are what the New York Times
The results of tax the rich? Ask CA
They may be rich, but they’re not dumb:"When California faced a Mount Everest-sized $14 billion deficit in 2003, one of the major causes for the red ink was the stampede of millionaire households from the state," says a report called "Rich States, Poor States" by economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore. "Out of the 25,000 or so seven-figure-income families
British brain drain
Britain, apparently, is experiencing a "brain drain" with highly qualified and educated Brits emigrating to other countries:No other nation is losing so many qualified people, it points out. Britain has now lost more than one in 10 of its most skilled citizens, while overall only Mexico has had more people emigrate.The reasons a multiple
Tell me again they don’t live in the 12th Century
I had to do a double-take when I read this one:Human Rights Watch has appealed to Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a woman convicted of witchcraft.In a letter to King Abdullah, the rights group described the trial and conviction of Fawza Falih as a miscarriage of justice.The illiterate woman was detained by religious police in 2005 and allegedly beat
The Libertarian Party and political utility
Reason’s Brian Doherty points to an email from "national Libertarian Party executive director Shane Cory" that calls for Ron Paul’s "supporters to support the [Libertarian Party]."The Libertarian Party is the last remaining stronghold for liberty in American politics. [...] If you have switched your party registration, allowed your membership to lapse or have put off your decision to join the LP, I now
When an obnoxious law makes an exception, take advantage of it
As have these bar owners in MN:On a night when wind chills were expected to reach minus-40 or below, revelers hunkered down for a night of drinking at Barnacle’s Resort, a popular winter redoubt for ice fishermen and snowmobilers on the north shore of Lake Mille Lacs.Helmets and jackets were stuffed everywhere. A plastic ki
Why is it the state’s business how and when Gloria decides to go?
Again, it is a question of ownership and who has the final say about your life:After reading the Personal Health column on Nov. 27 on preventing geriatric suicide, Gloria C. Phares, a 93-year-old retired teacher in Missouri, wrote:“I was healthy until 90, and then Boom! Atrial fibrillation; deaf, can’t enjo
No Fat people or dogs allowed
The new "whites only" sign. And naturally, the story is from Mississippi. From the "Junkfood Science" blog:It has actually happened. Lawmakers have proposed legislation that forbids restaurants and food establishments from serving food to anyone who is obese (as defined by the State). Under this bill, food establishments are to be monitored for compliance under the Stat
"Rejiggered", three little pigs and "suicide by tolerance"
We saw a little of it in this debate over the word "rejiggered" which was wrongly singled out as a word with racist connotations when nothing could be further from the truth. And I further touched on it here."Suicide by tolerance" is what Lorne Gunter call it in Canada’s National Post and  
All we have to fear is Bloomberg himself
And Mayor Michael Bloomberg is bound and determined to ensure the only entity which can make us fearful is his government:That’s why he and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have asked the City Council to pass a law requiring anyone who wants to own such detectors to get a permit from the police first. And it’s not just devices to detect weaponized anthrax that they w
The Authoritarian Impulse in Charity
The New York Times Editorial Board...Philanthropic contributions in the United States — about $300 billion in 2006 — probably exceed those of any other country. By contrast, America’s tax take is nearly the lowest in the industrial world. Let me save you the trouble. They don’t appear to see a connection between lower tax rates and higher private giving. Instead
The Last Founding Father: Martin Luther King, Jr.
This was originally posted in January of 2006. I think it’s appropriate to re-visit it today.It’s been 230 years since our Founding Fathers — a motley collection of intelligent, passionate and courageous men — signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring that...We hold these truths to be self-evident, th
Canada and the "banality of evil"
I don’t know if you’ve been following the case of Ezra Levant, a Canadian publisher who published the Mohammed cartoons and was called before the Alberta "Human Rights Commission" for doing so (based on a complaint by a Imam).This is what defiance and fighting for your freedom looks like in modern Canada. As Levant says:This is what an interrogation in
So much for owning yourself - at least in the UK
One of the main tenets of any rights based community is the understanding that you and only you own your life. And, one would presume, that would also extend to your body - whether alive or dead. To an extent, that will still be true in the UK, I guess, but only if you "opt out".Apparently government, in the form of Gordon Brown, has decided it
84% of us are happy, but only 27% think things are going well
Can someone explain why, if everyone is so darned happy, the majority of us seem to think that life for rest of our countrymen and women is not going so well?I use, as the basis for that question, this survey:As Americans look ahead to the new year and reflect on the year past, a recent Gallup Poll finds the public generally con
Oz gets the government it elected and gets it good and hard
That’s a real bad paraphrase of a HL Mencken quote that is actually "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."However it fits in the case of this story where the newly elected Labor government in Australia has decided its job is to decide what is or isn&rsqu
The Santa Claus society
Thomas Sowell hits a lot of homeruns with his writing, but none any better than one of his more recent articles: Senator Hillary Clinton’s Christmas commercial, showing various government programs as presents under a Christmas tree, was a classic example of calculated confusion in politics.Anyone who believes that the government can
RFID: Your privacy at risk?
One of the complaints of many civil libertarians, to include many of us on QandO, is that today’s technology and the concerns about terrorism have combined to present an opportunity, through government, to seriously compromise your privacy. For instance, Arizona, Michigan, Vermont, and Washington have added RFID chips to their
The coming health care fight - questions for the left
Dovetailing nicely with my reference to some Iowans wanting to know how government is going to "fix" their life, we have this from the Boston Globe:The stark difference between the parties is reflected in the findings of a Boston Globe poll of likely voters
Is the era of big government beginning?
Or has it never ended? Rhetorical questions. Unfortunately, I think we all know the answer, best typified by this particular quote:JESSICA YELLIN: [Iowa voters] really take this process as a legitimate experience and feel entitled to ask "how are you going to fix my life?"Oh, government will "fix" it in suc
Casualties of the Drug War
Support the War on Drugs, and more specifically the criminalization of marijuana? This one’s on you...Luther Ricks and his wife worked most of their lives at a steel foundry in Ohio. Not trusting of banks, they say they’ve lived frugal
Radical Islam - the goal
It’s probably not the clearest statement of the goal, but then many others belonging to radical Islamic factions have said basically the same thing. There is a part of Islam, a radical faction, which wants world-wide Islamic control to become a reality. Per Jihad Watch, the latest announcement of such a goal comes from our good friend President Ahmadinejad in Iran in a statement
Lakota "nation" declared to exist (update)
As mentioned on Tuesday, a group of Lakota Sioux activists planned on declaring their secession for the union. Well, it is a plan no more."We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time
Sounds more like the Taliban everyday
But it is, instead, Iran - the place where homosexuality is just not a problem:Iranian police have closed down 24 Internet cafes and other coffee shops in as many hours, as part of a broad crackdown on "immoral" behavior in the Islamic state, official media said Sunday.The action in Tehran province was the latest move
Brits booze it up more than thought
Uh oh, this can’t be good:Britons are typically drinking a third more than earlier surveys suggested, it was revealed yesterday, as the government took the unusual step of revising the way it calculates alcohol consumption to reflect stronger wine and the trend towards drinking from bigger glasses.[...]The assessment changes boosts
France: Dear Consumer - Screw you
As always, government intervention in the market always costs someone - usually the consumer:Amazon.com may not offer free delivery on books in France, the high court in Versailles has ruled.The action, brought in January 2004 by the French Booksellers’ Union (Syndicat de la
They can have my samurai sword when they pry it ...
From my cold dead fingers.Well they’ve banned guns and the criminal attacks and murders continued, so now the UK is banning samurai swords.Britain plans to ban the sale of samurai swords because the weapons have been used in a number of serious, high-profile attacks.The Home Office (Britain’s Interior Ministry) said on Wednes
The "unadjustable adjustable-rate mortgage"
Mark Steyn points out that for all our talk about the perils of the "Nanny State", it seems that when push comes to shove - especially after a good many of us have gotten ourselves into financial hot water - we’re not at all averse to the nanny coming to our rescue. And just as interesting is the fact that it is a so-called "conservative" administration
CAIR, Muslims and "Hate Crimes"
Investors Business Daily reminds us that in the "religious hate crime" business, Muslims rank a distant third, regardless of what CAIR says.Not only are anti-Islamic hate crimes way down, but they’re a fraction of overall religious hate crimes. The overwhelming majority of such crimes target Jews, something CAIR and other Muslim groups don’t seem all t
The gold medal for keeping his temper
After our "endarkenment" post where we see a policeman taser a speeder, take a look at this video and see how a pro handles something like that. Amazing professionalism (or was it the camera?).
Chavez: The dream of "high modernism"
Very interesting article in the Washington Post (RTWT) about Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez’s project to bulldoze a jungle mountaintop and build a socialist utopia. In fact, work began on this project a year ago. He envisions a "beautiful place" which will be populated by residents now living in the slums of Caracas. He is also another in a
Edwards: "You don’t get that choice"
Jay at StopTheACLU points me to this Edwards quote yesterday: “I’m mandating healthcare for every man woman and child in America and that’s the only way to have real universal healthcare.” “Evertime you go into contact with the helathcare system or the govenment you will be signed up.” Du
Time to wind down the "War on Drugs"
It has become the "War on Liberty". For those who think that the War on Terror has curtailed liberty, it can’t hold a candle to the War on Drugs. What is heartening is more and more reasonable people are figuring that out:"You can get over an addiction, but you can never get over a conviction," Jack A. Cole, who spent 14 years as an undercover narc
The militarization of our police - proper use?
While the thread for "The Endarkenment" rolls along, will someone tell me why something like this happens all too often in our country?The cops were at the right spot, but at the wrong time.A SWAT team from the Milwaukee Police Department burst into Denise Berndsen’s apartment and tur
Save the Children - Part MCvXII
In today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution, Maureen Downey, writes the editorial and decides it is time for the US to "right a wrong". A "wrong"? The point of the editorial is we, the US, are one of only two countries that hasn’t signed on to the U.N. treaty
8 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were registered to vote
We all saw or are now familiar with the recent dust-up in the latest Democratic debate concerning Hillary Clinton and her support/non-support of NY Governor Eliot Spitzer’s desire to allow illegal immigrants to get a driver’s licence.The party line for such a move is it enhances security by bringing illegals out of the shadows and making it easier to track them. Frankly, that’s a pile of cow cookies.Using info from a
Phelps smacked with 11 million settlement
This, I’m sure, will be popular. I have some real concerns about all of this. A Baltimore federal jury awarded nearly $11 million Wednesday to the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, deciding that the family’s privacy had been invaded by a Kansas church whose members waved anti-gay signs at the funeral.It was the first-ever verdict ag
Is eventual failure of the American system inevitable?
I was struck by something McQ said in this post earlier today. I started to write a long comment, and then decided to promote it to a post. His comment was about the monotonic increase in government size and power. It never seems to go down. It goes up, pauses for a while, and then goes up some more:Yet the rejection phase never seems to lead to smaller or less intrusive government. At best it seems
Heading toward the tipping point
Intrusive government isn’t the exclusive venue of the left: Parents in Connecticut might be the ones getting the report cards if a proposed plan makes the grade at a Manchester public school district.Steven Edwards, a Republican member of the Manchester Board of Education who’s up for re-election Nov. 6, wants parents to be evaluated on a handf
The best Anti-American is an American
Gerard Baker takes an interesting look at anti-Americanism and finds that the harshest critics of the US come from the US. That has some interesting and ironic implications.Anti-Americanism is on the wane at last. All over the world, Americans are being fêted once again as farsighted, liberating heroes.Al Gore has won a Nobel Peace
No Hard Choices
At National Review’s The Corner, Mark Hemingway quotes a reader...What the Democrats are saying is that nobody should have to sacrifice for healthcare, nobody should have to work for healthcare, nobody should even have have to plan for healthcare — maybe Hillary’s slogan should be HEALTHCARE HAPPENS.At  
Emotional arguments and the gilded cage
I’m not at all surprised that the SCHIP story has taken the turn it has. That’s the story about the Balitmore MD family which has come under scrutiny from opponents of the expansion of the SCHIP program after their 12 year old son was used by Democrats to make an emotional appeal for passage.The most interesting thing has been the reaction of the left blogosphere. Those of us opposing this expansion and raising questions about the family in
Fred and the Fairness Doctrine
Fred Thompson’s blog quotes an American Spectator article: Rep. Henry Waxman has asked his investigative staff to begin compiling reports on Limbaugh, and fellow radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin based on transcripts from their shows, and to call in Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin to discuss the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”
It’s "Che" time again
And we’ll see celebrations of the myth built up around this brutal murderer again as they gather to note the 40th anniversary of his death:It was a long fight, but the Cubans have finally conquered this forlorn Andean hamlet, four decades after Ernesto "Che" Guevara was executed in the adobe schoolh
Speaking of the Constitution
While it came as no particular surprise that Wesley Clark was all for throwing the 1st Amendment under the bus, it appears that he has company:As the Supreme Court begins a new term, 44% of Americans would counsel the justices to base their decisio
Why Wesley Clark should never get anywhere near the Oval Office or any other high office
I’ve have had little or no use for Wesley Clark since he was a BG at Ft. Irwin (and I’ve talked about that reason in the past so I’ll not go into it again). Nothing he has done or said since has changed my mind. Yesterday he again demonstrated why he’s politically dangerous. The man who would liked to have been president simply has no idea of the Constitutional law of the land (
Shelby Steele - illiberal liberalism a form of denial
Shelby Steel takes us down memory lane describing the desegregation of Little Rock High in 1957. I had just started school myself and vaguely remember my parents talking about it. Of course I was going to school on a military post and knew nothing but integrated schools so it seemed odd to me at the time that anyone was fighting about it.Years later, in 1964, my father
Chavez: "Society cannot allow the private sector to do whatever it wants!"
Our boy Hugo has a new sector of his country in his sights:Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened Monday to close or take over any private school that refuses to submit to the oversight of his socialist government as it develops a new curriculum and textbooks. "Society cannot allow the private sector to do whatever it wants
"All we are saying ..."
I’m not sure what to call it, but the neo-peace movement seems appropriate.Bruce Bawer, in an LA Times piece today, talks about the growing peace movement which seems to think that the time is right for eschewing the lessons of history.This isn’t some pot-fueled movement of latter-day hippies making th
MoJo: USSR fought for "liberty and freedom"?
Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones notes:In response to a question from Jay Leno about why America is so disliked worldwide, new presidential candidate Fred Thompson had this to say (transcript here): Well, part of that comes with being the strongest, most powerful, most prosperous country in the history of the world. I think that
The English Heritage of Liberty
After taking several days off to go out of town—an adventure that I will share in due course—I come home to read this from Great Britain:A pregnant woman has been told that her baby will be taken from her at birth because she is deemed capable of "emotional abuse", even though psychiatrists treating her say there is no evidence to suggest that she will harm her child
The Pro-Choice Party
John Edwards says the "right to choose and the right to privacy are fundamental constitutional rights". On the other hand, he also says you’re going to go see the doctor when he tells you to see the damned doctor if you know what’s good for you...Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his u
Another "war" is declared to justify government intervention
I’ve always thought of government as an entity whose sole reason for existing was to protect the individual rights of those who freely empower it to do so. Let me further refine that to say I’ve always considered that it’s sole legitimate function. What F.A. Hayek called the "night watchman" form of government. Obviously, that’s why you find me in the libertarian camp.Just as obviously, there a war being waged in this country in
Want to live on a sandbar? Good, you foot the bill... (update)
Yesterday USA Today had a lead article which asked the question, "Should beach towns be rebuilt again and again?"The story is about Dauphin Island, AL, a barrier island in the Gulf, or as someone characterized it, an "overgrown sandbar". Of course the story and question could be about any of the barrier islands, or frequently hit areas of the coast.
Libertarians and animal rights
James Joyner is watching a debate among libertarians about whether animals have rights.He asks two essential questions:Can libertarians justify using the coercive power of the state to take away the liberty of a few on the basis that the thing prohibited creates severe emotional distress among a great many people? Or is that a slippery
So how’s that "war on drugs" going?
Misha Glenny has spent the last 3 years traveling the world and researching that question. The verdict: The same one Harry Reid reached about Iraq. The war on drugs has been lost.Thirty-six years and hundreds of billions of dollars after President Richard M. Nixon launched the war on drugs, consumers worldwide are taking more narcotics and
International Forum shopping for libel suits
Does this bother anyone else?In late July, Cambridge University Press announced it was destroying all its remaining copies of Alms for Jihad, a 2006 book exploring the nexus of Islamic charities and Islamic radicalism. At the same time, Cambridge asked libraries around the world to stop carrying the book on their shelves. The reason? Fear of being sued in a British court by Sh
Here’s a guy who would probably welcome being moved to Guantanamo
Peter Kirsanow documents the treatment of a dissenting doctor in Cuba. Somehow Michael Moore missed interviewing this guy while he was down there filming "SICKO":Michael Moore might find it interesting that even before Dr. [Oscar Elias] Biscet was imprisoned he was barred from practicing medicine in the National Health System. Not because he was d
A Real Bush Administration Assault on Civil liberties
The Bush Administration has now approved a program that can be rightly considered a direct assault on civil liberties.The Bush administration has approved a plan to expand domestic access to some of the most powerful tools of 21st-century spycraft, giving law enforcement officials and others the ability to view data obtained
Still think "net neutrality" is no big thing? (update)
The net neutrality issue has been relegated to a background issue here recently. But AT&T managed to bring it to the fore in a big way this last weekend:Over the weekend AT&T gave us a glimpse of their plans for the Web when they censored a Pearl Jam performance that didn’t meet their standard of “Internet freedom.”During the live
John Kerry: Useful Idiot
Tell me if you’ve ever seen words similar to this:During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America’s presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Thos
Europe is becoming more and more Orwellian
More banning suggested for Europe:As European leaders move to ban Internet hate speech and seek support from the United States, civil liberties groups charge that the proposal would violate free-speech rights.The Council of Europe—not to be confused with the European Union—comprises 44 European countries, plus a handful of
Not so bright CAIR attacks free speech
Anyone else been watching this little assault of free speech develop?The Council on American-Islamic Relations is demanding that the Young America’s Foundation cancel a planned speech Thursday by author Robert Spencer.Mr. Spencer, author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam" and founder of Jihad Watch, is  
"pro-imperialist blog QandO "
Stancel Spencer has come up with new ways to excuse Hugo Chavez’s crack down on free speech. It’s always instructive to look at both the excuses and the rhetoric used by those who feel that the "correct" ideology excuses any excesses to include totalitarian oppression. The latest has to do with Chavez’s ban on criticism by foreigners:
Atrios tells us that Federalism is only a "dodge" - a way to get "rid off all that stuff we disagreed about". The American Prospect tells us Federalism is "a real luxury". Ma
Freedom and Chavez
They’re like oil and water. His latest:President Hugo Chavez said foreigners who publicly criticise him or his government while visiting Venezuela will be expelled from the country.Mr Chavez ordered officials to closely monitor statements made by international figures during their visits
A great immigrant story
Somtimes with all the vitriol that flys around about America and its place in the world, there are times when a sanity check is more than called for - enjoy the story:All Russian female names end in "A". My grandmother was Sarra, her sister Raya. My other grandma was Antonina. My mom is Nina. Her sister is Gyala. So, when people meet me and learn I was born in the Soviet Union the
America: land of the free ...
...and home of the brave:On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighb
Ted Rall’s at it again
Not that it should surprise anyone in particular, but as I said previously, these sorts of things must be made public and condemned. While I respect his 1st Amendment right to put anything up he wants to, I reserve my 1st Amendment right to call him a despicable creep and to hold him and his effort in utter and eternal contempt:(HT:  
John Stossel and a primer on the "smuggled premise"
A very good column today by John Stossel in which he takes quotes from an interview he did with Michael Moore and points out what commenter Robert Fulton would term, phrases from the "liberal narrative". Moore tells Stossel, "I watch your show and I know where you are coming from. ... ", acknowledging Stossel’s libertarian roots. Moore then smuggle
Is this the type of government you want to support?
Kathleen Parker reminds us:Yet even now, federal law enforcement agents raid the homes of terminally ill patients who use marijuana for relief from suffering in states where medical marijuana use is permitted. These federal raids have become an issue in the 2008 presidential race as candidates have been asked to take a position. A summary is av
The differences between right and left
One of them is neatly summed up in this post at Suburban Guerilla, where, talking about the death of a leftist blogger, Susie tells us that leftist bloggers are owed support (something, she says, the Democrats are woefully poor at providing) by those they support:Someone from either the Democratic party or some liberal organization showed up a few years back
Daniel Pearl, Guantanamo and Moral Relevance
Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl’s father, has a few qualms about the message "A Mighty Heart" (a movie about Daniel Pearl) might be inadvertently suggesting:At the same time, I am worried that A Mighty Heart falls into a trap Bertrand Russell would have recognized: the paradox of moral equivalence, of seeking to extend the logic of tolerance a step too far. You can se
You have to wonder if they’ll ever figure it out
Egyptian Intellectual, Civil Rights Activist Sa’d Al-Din Ibrahim has serious second thoughts about his previous support of Hamas running in Palestine’s last election. In an op-ed entitled "I Supported Hamas’s Right to Run For Election, But They Are Behaving Barbarically".Most would say that’s because of what they are. Leopard/spots.
Happy Independence Day
The 4th of July has always made me think of a particular document, or, actually, a portion of a particular document. To me it is one of the most powerful documents ever written by man. It is, as I consider it, the foundational statement - the heart and soul - of our nation’s philosophy. It comes from the Declaration of Independence:We hold these truths to be self-ev
Prison Nation?
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that we have a lot of people in prison, and further admit I think the War on Drugs is the reason (and feel that it is the WoD which should be ended).But this is simply hyperbole:America has become a prison nation. More than 2 million people are behind bars.2 million is .66% of 300 million. So that hardly makes us a "prison nation". But we do
Gearing up to pass the Fairness Doctrine
The first indicator that an attempt to revive the Fairness Doctrine was afoot was the publishing of a study on political talk radio put out by a liberal think tank which claimed the genre suffered from a "structural imbalance" that needed to be fixed by Congress.Then t
Chavez is not a dictator
Or so says this guy. If you’re interested in a perfect example of rationalizing oppression, try this post. And check out the blogroll as well. It helps explain why this young fellow wouldn’t know a dictatorship if he actually had to live under one.
The beginning of the end for McCain-Feingold?
We can only hope:The Supreme Court loosened restrictions Monday on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, weakening a key provision of a landmark campaign finance law.The court, split 5-4, upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two month
Chavez continues to militarize Venezuela
Hugo would make George Orwell proud (OK Orwell wouldn’t be so much proud, as amazed that lessons just aren’t learned by some). "Oceana" begins to rise in Venezuela thanks to dictator Chavez’s machinations and imagination:President Hugo Chavez urged soldiers on Sunday to prepare for a guerrilla-style war against the United States, saying that Wash
The new EU "treaty"
I can’t help but see this as a total sell out by the elite in Europe. When the EU constitution was rejected by the people of France and the Netherlands, the elite went to work to find a way to implement their plan and avoid a referendum. If you’re wondering what the new treaty looks like, this paragraph fairly
Extortion, Muslim-style
These sorts of examples really don’t help moderate Islam’s reputation among much of the Western world:Pakistan’s religious affairs minister said the U.K.’s award of a Knighthood to author Salman Rushdie justified suicide attacks, the Associated Press reported.``The West is accusing Muslims of extremism
Moral stamina and "the American way of war"
Robert Kaplan starts a very interesting article questioning whether we any longer have the ’will to win’ in protracted conflicts.Some truths are so obvious that to mention them in polite company seems either pointless or rude. What is left unstated, however, can with time be forgotten. Both of these observations apply today to the American way of war. It is obvious that a military can only fight well on behalf of a society in wh
Setting the record straight: Mad Cow Disease
Recently I took off after the Agriculture Department and the administration about their desire to block 100% BSE testing of cows at a small meat packing plant who desired to do so.Robert Fulton dropped by yesterday and pointed out in an off-topic comment that the reason they were arguing as they were was because most cows don’t develop BSE (mad cow disease) because the disease
Bombing themselves back to the stone age
Meanwhile, in Gaza:An Islamic group threatened to behead female TV broadcasters if they don’t wear strict Islamic dress, frightening reporters and signaling a further shift toward extremism in the Gaza Strip.The threat to "cut throats from vein to vein" was delivered by the Swords of Truth, a fanatical group that has previ
Your reading assignment for the day
If you are interested in eminent domain discussions and examples of abuse as well as examples of how citizens can beat the powerful purveyors of eminent domain, The Iconic Midwesterner has done some excellent first-hand reporting based on an interview with Phillip Klein. Who is Phillip Klein? He’s the director/producer of a documentary called "Begging fo
Tiananmen Square: 18 years ago today
This is one of the most unforgettable images of raw courage I’ve ever seen. It is a metaphor for the frailty of freedom and liberty.Gateway Pundit has a great mutimedia remembrance. Got take a look. China see
Chavez’s latest move may be the beginning of the end for him (update)
The New York Times carries an interesting analysis of Hugo Chavez’s latest move to consolidate his dictatorial powers in Venezuela. One can’t help but think he may have jumped the shark by shutting down RCTV, Venezuela’s most powerful and popular television station. It seems to have opened a lot of eyes both within and outside the country.
Overt threats (for your own good)
Seatbelt laws are as much a timeless libertarian bugaboo cliché as anything, joining bike helmet laws, trans fat bans and a thousand other instances of well-intentioned meddling. So why tread old water?Well, for one, I was slightly disturbed to hear recently, "I’m New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead." For another, it’s a bit ridiculous to see Bush chi
Hillary’s version of "Two Americas"
Or perhaps the better title would be "trying to kill the tradition of "rugged individualism" in the name of fairness".At least that’s what I got out of reading Hillary Clinton’s "economic vision":Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision Tuesday, saying it’s time to re
Getting that familiar feeling again
A reminder of days past:Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans’ graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas, authorities said Monday.Forty-six flag standards were found empty and
Who is Paul Ray Smith?
Take a minute and read this.If you still don’t know who Paul Ray Smith is, read this.
So much for freedom of speech (update)
Of course, when you are a dictator, freedom of speech is a liability, not an asset. And so, yesterday, our boy Hugo shut down the nation of Venezuela’s oldest TV station on trumped up charges of participating in the 2002 coup attempt against him.I’m still not sure why he waited until 2007 to do this ... oh, wait, the rubber-stamp National Asse
Red Tails
Our WWII generation is fast fading from this life, and, as we all know, they were a remarkable generation. The stories of their lives and their sacrifices are legend.But today, Memorial Day 2007, I’d like to concentrate on remembering a very small but significant part of that generation who truly changed the world. A small group of very dedicated men who, despite doubts about their intelligence and abilities, all because of their race, proved once
Opie, Anthony and the Nanny State
A very interesting editorial in, of all places, the LA Times:The Federal Communications Commission has been an increasingly zealous regulator of radio and TV programming, handing down recordsetting fines while pushing Congress for more control. Its eagerness to censor casts a shadow over not just free radio a
Assaulting Reason
Oh, I got that wrong ... it is Al Gore talking about "The Assault on Reason" in his new book. I had to laugh just a bit when I read the following, speaking of the alleged lack of debate in the Senate before voting on Iraq, because the irony of the statement was obviously lost on Al:"Why do reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way
It’s time to bury Affirmative Action
Eugene Robinson, in an WaPo oped, talks about an Obama interview broadcast Sunday on ABC’s "This Week" in which affirmative action came up. Ignoring the bigger issue, Robinson asks: Stephanopoulos was driving at the question of whether race-based affirmative action programs are still needed. Another way to frame the issue is whet
Fairness Doctrine moving to "front burner?" (update)
It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to find out this is true:According to two members of the House Democrat Caucus, Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have informed them that they will "aggressively pursue" reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine over the next six months. In January, Democrat presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich ann
Here comes your friendly government
The other day, on BlogTalk Radio, Dale and I were talking about the MPAA movie standards which were going to include smoking now as a part of their rating system. We certainly had mixed feelings, but since they’re a private association, hey, that’s their privilege.During the discussion we mentio
Meanwhile, in the other "Quagmire"
Life goes on as expected:A court sentenced two human rights lawyers Friday, bringing to five the number of activists convicted this week in Vietnam’s latest crackdown on dissent.Nguyen Van Dai was sentenced to five years and Le Thi Cong Nhan to four years for advocating a multiparty state in Vietnam, where the ruling communist
Jim Crow by any other name is still Jim Crow
J.R. Labbe gets it right:In a 237-180 vote May 3, the House approved a bill that would expand federal hate-crime categories to include violent attacks against homosexuals and people targeted because of gender. House Bill 1592 also would make it easier for federal law enforcement to assist local prosecutions in investigating and trying bias-motivated case
Police Militarization
Take a look at the picture Radley Balko has posted. It’s some members of the Ocala County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department, all gussied up in the Woodland BDU’s, showing off their new armored vehicle, which looks like a surplus USAF Peacekeeper like the kind I used to drive.Balko comments:I can’t really think of any SWAT operation where c
"I believe we need to re-regulate the media," says Howard Dean
George Will gives us the history of the liberal left’s favorite bit of media legislation, the Fairness Doctrine. You almost need to put "Fairness" in scare quotes when you place it conjunction with "doctrine" and cite its past. Take the time to read its history. The relevant point is when previously in force, the concern was there were very limited choices for receiving news over
UK: One camera for every 14 people
A comforting article from Britain:There are more than four million CCTV cameras in this country, one for every 14 people, and the national DNA database which was set up by police to combat crime now holds 3.5 million profiles.The surveillance society exists. Add to that: Britain is in danger of "committing slow social suicide" as such Big B
Thought control
In the wake of Va Tech and what is being learned about Cho, it isn’t at all surprising that there would be some sensitivity too and awareness of writings which are "disturbing". However:High school senior Allen Lee sat down with his creative writing class on Monday and penned an essay that so disturbed his teacher,
Asleep at the switch, or killing flies with a hammer?
Those, essentially, are the questions about radical Islam which divide the West according to Tony Blankley:Watching (and participating in) the intense Iraq War and War on Terror debate both in the United States and in Europe — and the politics that flows from it, a sense of futility is increasingly hard to resist. Our nation and Europe seem
EU: Creeping authoritarianism
This tendency in the EU continues to grow:The European Union on Thursday made inciting racism and xenophobia crimes throughout its 27 member states in a landmark decision tempered by caveats to appease free speech concerns.The new deal specifies one- to three-year prison terms be available for incitement to vio
Iranian women students protest wearing veil
I guess today is "Iran day", the place one commenter insists is showing signs of "increasing liberalization". Another example of that "increasing liberalization":Female students at Tehran Polytechnic University, where students protested against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a visit last December crying ’dictator go away&rsqu
As it should be: Muslim cabbies can’t discriminate
Glad to see this:Airport commissioners insist it’s simply a customer-service issue. But many Muslim taxi drivers say it’s an unfair new penalty that violates their religious prohibitions against handling alcohol.Both sides agree that the dispute, part of a cultural conflict in the Twin Cities that has already drawn national attention, is probably heading
Well being in the US
A revealing report has been issued by the Census Bureau, it’s first measurement of the "well being" of the nation. Naturally I found it tucked away on page C4 of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Entitled "Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States in 2003" the Census Bureau says:"The living standards of U.S. h
The Joy of the Nanny State - part 36,097
Oh boy:First, the state said you must make a special trip to the pharmacy counter to buy certain cold medicines. That was to curb production of methamphetamine.Now, a St. Louis legislator wants you to do the same thing to buy an even more common household item — baking soda — because it’s used
Hyperbole and stereotyping detract from Balko’s point (update)
I normally find Radley Balko to be a worthwhile read, but every now and then he goes off the rails:The Army is complete and utter totalitarianism. When you enter, you’re stripped of all individuality, then built back up into a proper, orders-taking, unquestioning drone. Dissent is punished. At the onset of your career, all facets of your life are dictated to you. Whatever the
Giulaini: Freedom is about authority?
Andrew Sullivan has this Rudi Giuliani quote from 1994 up:"We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authori
Redefining "rights"
Melanie Phillips discusses the trend in Britain (and Europe), driven by the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights to redefine "human rights".I think her argument has some merit. First she differentiates the differing concepts of rights she’s talking about:Real human rights — such as the
Professional protesters hurt credibility of demonstrations against war
If you’re a reader of the blogosphere, you had to be hiding under a rock to miss the coverage of the protests and counter-protests this weekend in Washington DC. Although one of our consistently wrong commenters was moved to say that the anti-war contingent in the US is much larger than that of the VN era, the protest in DC didn’t convey that impression in the least.Anyway, I’m not here to discuss the demonstrations per se, but to point
Have they all just gone nuts in the UK?
This is just jaw-droppingly misguided, but an absolutely unsurprising extension of welfare statism:Unemployed single parents are receiving free massages and beauty treatments - paid for by taxpayers.Under the Government-backed scheme, being tested around the country, they are being given the treats to &rsquo
The Swiss say "no" to Government health insurance
Something which we should heed and study:Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal for a single health insurer.In the March 11 ballot, 71% of voters were against the proposal to establish one state-run insurer to replace the 87 that now write the coverage.Voting against the proposal was heaviest in the German-speaking part of the country with opposition lighter in the French and Italian-speaking regions.
Accountability? OK, how about this?
Any chance this act, introduced by Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), will become law?"’The Enumerated Powers Act’ would require Members of Congress to include an explicit statement of Constitutional authority into each bill that is introduced. It would hold Congress accountable for its actions," said Shadegg.Wow, what a concept, no? I mean I
Civil liberties threatened in France
Imagine trying to pass a law in the US which would outlaw this:The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the
A tale of two cities ... and the ubiquitous nanny state
In our never ending quest to bring you the best of the Nanny State’s laws, we have found a couple more you might find interesting. These laws have been enacted in small ’burbs on the outskirts of Atlanta. The first city is located on the south side of Atlanta. Forest Park, GA apparently feels that leaving your car unattended while warming
The Nanny State is alive and well
Goodness knows we’ve written enough a
A primer on democracy and its dangers
This is not meant as an insult to anyone’s intelligence, but I find it useful at various intervals to remind people why we’re not a democracy (and yes, I know the term is often used to describe "free societies in the West", but that’s not what I’m talking about here).The primary reason we weren’t formed as a democracy, vi
Patriot Act: Sanctions with teeth
David Ignatius explains how a provision of the Patriot Act has given us a potent tool in the War on Terror and "rogue" nations such as Iran and North Korea:Authority for the new sanctions, as with so many other policy weapons, comes from the USA Patriot Act, which in Section 311 authorizes Treasury to designate foreign financial institutions tha
Jeff Foxworthy would be flattered..
In a variation on Foxworthy’s "you might be a redneck if ..." a satirical poem entitled "When" by reformist Saudi author and journalist Wajeha Al-Huwaider:"When
First they ban trans fats and now IPods?
The Nanny State is alive and well and further developing in New York.Walk, jog or bicycle across a New York street with an iPod plugged in your ears and you could get slapped with a $100 ticket under a new law proposed by a legislator from Brooklyn.State Sen. Carl Kruger’s bill would also outlaw the use of cell phones, Blackberries, video
The cracks in the anti-military facade start to widen
It appears that some on the left, taking William Arkin’s articles as a sign they can finally speak out against the military, are doing so. Our latest example comes from one of the Kos Kids who, like Arkin, simply doesn’t get it:The military’s place is to do the bidding of the United States citizenry .. period! It is not for them to criticize the American popul
The Tyranny of Details
A few items from the passing scene...The city of Bangor, Maine is proposing that people who smoke in their car while children are present be pulled over by the police and fined.The California legislature is considering a law that would prohibit paren
Always glad to be among the "nuts" when Taylor Marsh is speaking
Yes, apparently the post about the "Fairness Doctrine" hit home among some of the more extreme on the left:But the Fairness Doctrine is back or at least being talked about again, with Congress set to challenge the FCC. The thought is already driving conservatives nuts, with more here, here, here, here, he
Return of the "Fairness Doctrine"?
Yesterday I appealed to Europe to say "no" to a law which would make Holocaust denial a crime. Today the appeal is focused on the US. Say "no" to the resurrection of the "Fairness Doctrine":Over the weekend, the National Conference for Media Reform was held in Memphis, TN, with a number of notable speakers on hand
Say "no" to laws restricting freedom of speech
To Europe - don’t do this:Germany hopes to make Holocaust denial a crime across the EU as part of a package of laws it wants to introduce during its presidency of the bloc.Berlin is also set to outline plans to ban Nazi symbols like the swastika, which, like denying the massacre of the Jews, is already outlawed in Germany.Such moves may be seen as curtai