Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ron Paul for President?

Congressman Ron Paul (TX-R) is considering a run for the presidency. He previously ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian. He is noted for being a Republican who voted against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. If Paul wins the GOP nomination and Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, 2008 will be a contest between an anti-war Republican and a pro-war Democrat. This will really make a lot of people switch parties, and it will be even more divisive than 2004.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Prisoners have lower death rate than general population

A recent study indicates that prisoners have a lower death rate than the rest of us. It doesn't suprise me, frankly. Prison officials go out of their way to make sure that prisoners have good health care, good food, and lots of exercise. Plus, prisoners do not drive and are that much less likely to die in a traffic accident.

We can draw one conclusion from this study. Freedom kills. Prison is the one place in this country where people have the fewest rights. Without liberty or the pursuit of happiness to get in the way, life in prison can last a long time. Arguably, most of those in prison are better off there.

We continue to lose freedoms in the name of promting health and safety. How long before people are sent to prison on the grounds that they would be healthier and safer there?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Some comments on the State of the Union Address.

Troop Surge- Wasn't the objective to find the WMD's? Haven't it been established to everyone's satifaction that there aren't any? Doesn't that mean that the objective has been completed? Is there any point in staying?

Healthcare- I agree that health insurance should be tax deductible for individuals. It is not fair that neither corporations nor their employees pay taxes on their health benefits while a guy with his own landscaping business cannot deduct his health insurance premiums.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

New anti-spanking law in California

I don't think spanking kids is a good idea, since a lot of the time they start hitting back when they get big enough. But I don't have any kids yet, so I really do not have a leg to stand on when it comes to me telling you how to raise your kids.

The California state legislature does not have a leg to stand on either, yet a new bill is being proposed that would outlaw the spanking of small children in that state. Parents could face up to a year in jail if they are caught.
Whatever your thoughts on spanking are, to arrest an otherwise fit parent for a single spanking incident would be more traumatic for the child than the spanking itself.

Plus, have they stopped to consider the economic consequences? You can be sure that quite a few Disneyland vacations have been canceled already. I'm not that much worried about the welfare of kids in this case. How can they expect to enforce this law unless the spanking occurs in public? I'm worried about the poor guy who has to wear the Mickey Mouse costume in the desert heat.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Amendments to smoking ban struck down.

At the start of the year, I thought for sure that the smoking ordinance would pass. I think now that it might not pass. Three different amendments were proposed that would allow certain establishments to be exempt. These amendments were all struck down. There will be no exceptions made for private clubs, restarants with partitions, or VFW halls.

Either they will all be allowed make the decision on whether or not to permit smoking, or none of them will. In the end, there are no shades of gray in this debate. Either a business belongs to its owner, or it doesn't. Either time, toil, and treasure spent on an enterprise gives one the right to determine its direction, or politicians with no stake or stock in a company can dictate policies on a whim.

There are no exceptions made with liberty, either. Either you own your property or you don't. Either you are free, or you are not.

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Fireworks law proposed.

Remember when you could buy legally buy out-of-state fireworks as long as you signed a waiver stating that you would set them off in another state? The law was a blatant joke, since Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan outlawed the same fireworks. For years, people celebrated our nation's independence by violating state law.

State Representatives Win Moses and Phil GiaQuinta have announced that they are sponsoring legislation that limits use of fireworks to just five days out of the year:
When they annouce this, GiaQuinta set off some fireworks. That's like introducing a bill reinstating Prohibition while chugging a six-pack.

I understnad many of you do not like hearing fireworks go of while you are trying to sleep. I personally do not like finding other people's bottle rockets in my yard the morning of July 5th. But if you have your own field out in the middle of nowhere, you should be allowed to set off anything that doesn't violate the Geneva Conventions. Local governments and home owners associations should set restrictions on fireworks usage, not the state.

(Regular readers of this blog would remember that I ran against GiaQuinta last year. The house that I just bought lies in the 81st district, so Win Moses is my state rep now.)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Want a lot? Just ask for more?

You know how on Star Trek Kirk always needs something fixed within 30 minutes but Scotty always need an hour to fix it. In the TNG episode "Relics", Scotty admits that he always asks for more time than he needs to fix something so that he gets a reputation as a miracle worker.

I think Graham Richards had a similiar strategy when he asked for a 30% raise. He knew City Council wasn't going to give him all the money that he asked for. If he asked for 10% they would have given him 8%.

This is also why FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson is asking for $995 million dollars, so that people feel more comfortable forking over $300 million.

Whether you're selling a car, asking for a raise or budget increase, or fixing a warp coil, asking for more than you need or deserve is a common tactic.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Have You Been Pardoned By Ford Lately?

Pardon me for making a bad and outdated joke around an old advertising slogan. Pardon me for speaking ill of the dead. But too many people have been eulogizing the late president by calling him a healer, and insisting that the pardoning of Nixon was the right thing to do.

There is a thing called forgiveness and a thing called justice. This is, or at least used to be, a nation of laws. Everyone from plumbers to presidents were to be held accountable for their actions. The Watergate scandal tested whether or not a president could be held criminally liable for abusing his office. America failed that test, and every president since then has been secure in the knowledge that the worst possible punishment they face is losing a relection.

No President should be allowed to grant a pardon or any form of clemency, with the possible exception of commuting a federal death sentence to life without parole. It is simply one more way in which too much power is placed into the hands of a single individual. There are people who are unjustly imprisoned, but there is an appeals process to rectify that. There are also legislative pardons for rare and exceptional circumstances.