Wednesday, October 31, 2007

California's 2000 foot rule has put sex offenders on the streets:

Hundreds of California sex offenders who face tough new restrictions on where they can live are declaring themselves homeless - truthfully or not - and that's making it difficult for the state to track them.

Jessica's Law, approved by 70 percent of California voters a year ago, bars registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children gather. That leaves few places where offenders can live legally.
And this is a surprise? I'm glad Kenosha didn't pass a similar ordinance over the summer, because, just as I told them, this would be the result.

Since August, the number of offenders with no permanent address rose by 560 to 2,622.

"This is a huge surge," said Deputy Attorney General Janet Neeley, whose office maintains the database. "Any law enforcement officer would tell you we would prefer to have offenders at addresses where we can locate them."

Offenders who declare themselves homeless must tell their parole officer each day where they spent the previous night.

I can argue that this kind of gratuitous draconian punishment is not only unethical, but unconstitutional. Many politicians would agree, but are afraid to be seen as "weak on crime." That is what makes me sick: that not only is government perverted and corrupt, but they are fed by perverted and corrupt people.

I understand fully the heinousness of the crimes, but as a society we need to choose punishments that for one, are not excessive and cruel, and two, that will lessen the chances of recidivism. Obviously, these measures fail both.

Westboro Baptist church sued for 10.9 million

Via CNN:

Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania, sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned later in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.

The church and three of its leaders -- the Rev. Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, 46 -- were found liable for invasion of privacy and intent to inflict emotional distress.

First Amendment rights ought to be protected for all parties, no matter how abhorent they may be. However, they have no right to intrude on a private ceremony. I am not sure as to whether or not it was a private funeral, but I would suppose that it was.

That being said, I am so glad those maniacal idiots finally got what they deserved. I think the amount might be a little ridiculous, but I hope it puts them in the red. I am so sick and tired of these idiots prancing around like as if they represent the values of God. If they have an issue with the Iraq War, or homosexuality, then they can take it to a public forum. But to purposefully inflict emotional suffering in private ceremonies not only shows their misguided sadism, but their blatant disrespect for the value of human grievance and the right to privacy.


Once again, a Communist knows nothing.

From "The Truth by Scott:"

So what's the controversy? Well, Capitalism doesn't work as a political system. It's not a political system. It can't be a political system any more than you can smell the color blue. You might have political systems that work well with Capitalism or you might not. But if you try to replace our Republic with Capitalism, you will end up with what is commonly called, "Anarchy". Anarchy, by definition is the absence of political authority.
And so what? Capitalism is not a political system, although politics and economics are inevitably intertwined. Capitalism is the absence of government control (or at least minimized control) over the market, not complete anarchy. This is a false dichotomy. Government still exists with or without capitalism, it's just smaller and yields to individual FREEDOM. If freedom is not your bag, fine. But don't take away mine.

On how capitalism doesn't work in all cases:

Here's a recent example of something Capitalism doesn't work for. There is a potential for a severe flu pandemic in the next few years based on reports coming out of southeast Asia.
The best way to combat a reappearance of this disease is to eliminate it at its source - birds. But where is the Capitalist incentive to do that? Poor farmers don't get paid for birds they kill, unless their government intervenes (a Capitalist no-no). The idea of individual property rights would preclude outsiders from killing those birds. And in any event, it only takes a few infected people to start the chain reaction that would spread disease across the world at the speed of a 747.
Wrong again. As long as individuals desire protection from a disease, a market will arise. Maybe not in the form of pegging any bird you see, but then again, this would be unethical, wasteful, and ultimately inefficient. However, let's assume that it is better for government to step in and take care of it. Is it not the role of government to protect it's citizens? Is this not why we pay taxes? But who is it that comes up with your antibiotics and treatments, and develops immunizations? More often than not, these innovations come from the private sector. Once again, he is failing in assuming that with capitalism, there is no government. He is confused.

The answer here is that Capitalism doesn't work for these situations because Capitalism has nothing to do with them. As human beings, we have recognized this fact for thousands of years, which is why we create binding associations. (We call them governments.) Capitalism is swell at selling excess flu vaccines. But if we want to protect grandma from the flu, we need government intervention. We need government intervention to kill sick birds in Indonesia. We need government intervention to vaccinate our children. What the government looks like is up to us. But one thing is for sure - it won't be Capitalist.

Well, he is really good at getting things half right, at best. Yes, it is the role of government and not capitalism to provide security. However, what makes you think that government will do better at immunizing than the private sector? And good luck hunting down every last sick bird in Indonesia. There is a way to pass restrictions and regulations so that birds with Avian Flu do not find their way here, or to limit travel from affected areas, but once again this is why we have government. And hes right: Government is not capitalist. Why? Because government will always get a steady paycheck no matter how badly they perform. Capitalism provides an INCENTIVE to excel. It is the ultimate form of democracy, because we vote with our money.

Yes, in extreme cases, government intervention is warranted. But this is why we pay for those services. This is no case against the value of capitalism.

And now, if I may present to you a video of my favorite Capitalist economist, Milton Friedman:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't Protest: Your Government Hates a Challenge

Apparently, Andrew Meyer, the student who was tazed after confronting Sen. John Kerry at a forum at the University of Florida, has issued an APOLOGY and will not face charges so long as he stays out of trouble for the next 18 months.

From the AP:

"I stepped out of line at the Kerry forum," Meyer wrote. "I violated the rules of the forum and was disruptive. I now realize that in order to be heard, one must act within the appropriate time, place and manner."
I can understand that he should have had more prose, and cut his questions reasonably short, but what is the problem with asking pointed questions in a democratic country? Where is liberty in this day and age? He shouldn't have been treated the way he was, this is obvious, although he really did exacerbate his situation. Let's revisit that day:

"I'm so sorry that I lost my control in that auditorium," he wrote. "I went there to ask an important question. The question of voter disenfranchisement in America cuts to the heart of our democracy, and my failure to act calmly resulted in this important town forum ending without the discourse intended. For that, I am truly sorry."
So what, it's illegal to be PASSIONATE about anything in this country? The problem was not with what he asked, but apparently with how he composed himself. I didn't know that this was a crime. What makes me even more sick is that the people around him just stared or even worse, laughed at his misfortune.

They wont be so quick to laugh when it's them.

President Colbert??

In nine days, more than 1m users joined an online group set up after the Colbert Report host announced his bid.
Wow, and I thought Ron Paul had the Internet on lock down! Seriously though, is it any surprise that in an era in which more people vote for the next pop idiot than their own president, with growing cynicism over politics in general, that we would instantly jump to support someone who represents the exact antithesis of American politics?

I will not vote for Colbert. He will not win. However, his appeal ought to be noted. It is definitely time for a change in politics. We can point the finger of blame at ourselves though, for allowing government to capitalize on our labor, our apathy, and grow to such a level that there is not even an illusion of legitimacy and honesty, but the illusion of TRYING to be honest and legitimate.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rumsfeld On the Run!

Out of Alternet:

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the U.S. military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

Hahaha. All I can say is, "Karma."

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.
Apparently, some protesters made a complaint, U.S. Diplomats made of with him, and now France is looking for him. This could get really interesting...

Federal Reserve Cutting Rates...AGAIN?

Treasury 2-year note yields rose 0.03 percentage point to 3.8 percent as traders reduced bets the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by more than a quarter-percentage point this week.

``It's very important that the Fed cut rates,'' said Bruce Bittles, the Nashville, Tennessee-based chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co., which manages $74 billion. ``The market's expecting it. Any disappointment there would lead to a harsh selldown.''

Probably trying boost the coming Christmas season. If we have a bad showing, investments might slip and stocks will tumble. In our wonderful centrally planned economy, Christmas is a good indication of market health. Sure, we might get past X-mas with a good showing, and sure, stocks will boom on Wall Street after the rate drop, but how long will that last? In an instable credit market, do we really want to encourage more borrowing just as the economy tries to fix itself? To put this off anymore is only going to bring greater inflation and possibly recession.

The New York Times has a bit on it as well:

Oil prices rose 1.8 percent today, adding to the 3.7 percent increase last week and raising the specter of inflation one day before the Federal Reserve governors meet to consider whether to adjust interest rates.

Crude oil futures rose above the $93 mark in overnight trading and were up to $93.53 a barrel at the close of exchange trading today, up $1.67 from Friday.

What did they expect? Keep lowering interest rates and liquidating money, and you'll keep seeing the dollar drop, and naturally oil will go up as well.

Many investors expect a rate cut by the Fed that, they say, will ease financial fallout from the ongoing housing slump and uncertainty in the credit market. Investors are almost certain that the central bank will cut its benchmark interest rates when it meets this week.

But Fed bankers, who are wary that an aggressive cut could be inflationary, might see surging oil costs as a harbinger of higher prices. Expensive energy can pinch consumers’ pocketbooks and eventually lead to a downturn in overall spending, which is a major component of domestic economic growth.


Bill Entered in the House to Limit POTUS's War Powers

From the Sun Journal:

WASHINGTON — Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina has introduced a bill to prevent the use of U.S. military force in war without the consent of Congress.

The bipartisan legislation would amend the United States War Powers Resolution of 1973, which was passed in response to the extended Vietnam War.

For all you Ron Paul fans, he is also a cosponsor of this resolution. You can find information on the original act here, or Wiki it here.

The bill specifically prohibits presidential entry into future hostilities without congressional action except to repel and retaliate for an attack on the U.S. or U.S. troops, or to protect and evacuate U.S. citizens.

It would strengthen requirements for presidential reporting to Congress to keep members better informed, improve congressional oversight, and tie the purse strings of operations initiated without compliance.

The arguments for this are damn near axiomatic. If you are going to go to war, declare it, and only the Congress can do that (although it never happens). The POTUS does not have the authority to wage war at will (sorry Neocons, its true). If anything, this is a liberal allowance if you actually read the Constitution:
Article 2, Section 2:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;
However, Congress could make it really easy and avoid all Constitutional conflict by simply CUTTING FUNDING. Do they not fully fund the Iraq war and hold the power of the purse?

First blog

Howdy. You can call me Dave. I'm the creator and writer for this blog. This is my first blog, so we'll see how this goes.