Tom Allison's Blog
Friday, October 31, 2003
P. J. [Patrick Jake] O’Rourke (1947-)
Journalist and Author
“A little government and a little luck are necessary in life; but only a fool trusts either of them.”
“The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.”
Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education:
"The Libertarian Position on: the Military Draft
History shows that free people can be counted on to defend their homes and their country. But the draft is slavery, and slaves make lousy defenders of freedom. I like knowing I'm being protected by people who are in the military because they want to be there, not because they were forced against their will to be there.
A military focused on defending America instead of policing the globe would reduce manpower needs and further eliminate any reason to have a draft or draft registration.
Let's let free people defend freedom."
Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty:
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.'' -- Thomas Jefferson
Overlawyered: Countersue? Just try it, doc
"When doctors are named in groundless malpractice lawsuits, they often want to fight back by filing countersuits or moving for sanctions. But, as American Medical News is the latest to learn, our legal system is elaborately structured to deny them any such recourse for the injury done them by the lawsuit. (Tanya Albert, 'Fighting frivolous lawsuits: Doctors engage in an uphill battle', American Medical News, Oct. 27). For a few of the rare instances in which countersuits or sanctions motions have been successful, see Sept. 6-8, 2002; Jun. 14-15, 2000; Sept. 14, 1999."
Posted by Walter Olson at October 30, 2003 01:13 PM | TrackBack
Media Research Center Home Page - 10/31/2003 12:54:23 PM
"CyberAlert: Exposing Media Bias Daily
Friday, October 31:
• ABC Finds “Talk of a 7.2 Percent Growth Rate Falls Flat”
• NPR Ombudsman Reacts to CyberAlert Item About Nina Totenberg
• On 60 Minutes II Dan Rather Raises Jennings/Toby Keith Dispute
• Letterman’s “Top Ten Things Never Before Said By Wolf Blitzer”
Main page provides links to individual articles.
Junkscience.com -- Main Page
'Enviros fan California's flames' -
'Our forests are detonating like napalm bombs. We need to remove dead and dying bug-killed timber,' said Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif.
Is this Monday-morning quarterbacking spurred by the wildfires now raging in California? Hardly.' (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)"
Mona Charen: The price of being wrong
"---Bush was hardly alone in believing Iraq possessed WMDs. All of the Democratic candidates thought so, too. As did the U.N., the British, the French (yes, the French should know, they built Saddam's first reactor back in 1981), the Russians and even Scott Ritter. He certainly possessed them in the past, and used them on the Kurds and the Iranians. And why would Bush lie about something that would so rapidly be revealed?---"
Jonah Goldberg: War: What are Dems Good for? Absolutely nothing
"---Every single good thing about liberalism in foreign policy would have the Democrats seeking more money for Iraq, especially now that the U.N. supports our efforts. In the tradition of FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Sen. Henry Jackson, liberals should be the ones demanding that we send more teachers, more doctors, more librarians and more troops to protect them. They should be standing on the tarmac helping to load another shipment of soft-ice-cream machines and Ping-Pong tables bound for Fallujah, Tikrit and Basra.
They should support it because it's the 'nice' liberal thing to do, and they should support it because any sober-minded assessment of our interests dictates that we need to do it. By not supporting our efforts for either reason, they advance the rot of their principles and resurrect the impression that liberals cannot be trusted on foreign policy.
But these Democrats don't care, or at least they don't care enough. They see each setback in Iraq as a political opportunity. And they should be ashamed. Just ask Zell Miller."
Jonah Goldberg is editor of National Review Online, a Townhall.com member group.
Another Bailout for the States? Wouldn’t be prudent - Andrew Grossman
"---$20 billion is how much Congress and the President gave the states this past May to help ease their budget woes. And now many governors want more. Bailing out the states was a bad idea then, and it's a worse idea now.
The big problem is that the states' budget difficulties are largely of their own making.---"
boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
DEMOCRATS ON SUICIDE WATCH
"Nancy Pelosi is beside herself. Yesterday's news that the economy is growing at a 19-year record pace was very depressing news for Democrats. Pelosi knows as well as anyone else that the last sector of the economy to recover after a recession is jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs. Pelosi also knows that mindless rhetoric works on Democratic voters. Yesterday she was screeching 'but where are the jobs!?'"
Freedom News & Commentary from Free-Market.Net
Freeloading free riders
Author: Ilana Mercer
'Would that the American Welfare State did not exist. But since it does and is, unfortunately, likely to persist for some time to come, it must stop at the Rio Grande.' (10/31/03)"
Freedom News & Commentary from Free-Market.Net
Source: TCS Europe
Author: Iain Murray
'If Greenpeace is found guilty of illegal accounting practices, it will be a huge moral blow to all those well-meaning people who have had 'a minute for Greenpeace.' However, it is not as if many who were there at the beginning, like Patrick Moore and Greenpeace Foundation, did not warn us.' (10/30/03)"
Freedom News & Commentary from Free-Market.Net
Trial lawyers increasing blackmail over obesity lawsuits
'This trial-lawyer front group [PHAI] now insists that companies monitor the calorie consumption of their customers and demonstrate -- before next summer -- that they have somehow made people eat less. If everyone hasn't gone on a diet, trial lawyers will sue. Actually, they will probably sue regardless.' (10/30/03) "
Freedom News & Commentary from Free-Market.Net:
South Jersey property taxes soaring
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
'[P]roperty owners across New Jersey have been stunned when they have opened this year's tax bills. Driven largely by school funding, the increase in taxes on typical homes in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties this year was far greater than the annual average increase over the previous five years ...' (10/31/03)"
Democrats Call Record Growth in Domestic Production 'Meaningless
"While economists were scratching their heads over their missed predictions and business news services were describing the phenomenon with words and phrases like 'sizzling' and 'rocketed ahead,' Congressional Democrats dismissed the largest single-quarter growth in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 20 years as 'meaningless.'---"
The truth about thimerosal - Letters to the Editor (6th letter on page) - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED
"---Because 35,000 people die from influenza each year and another 115,000 are hospitalized, physicians and nurses are concerned that if inaccurate information about the safety of this vaccine dissuades people from taking it, needless deaths and illness could result.---"
Help from above -
Fires' economic toll likely to be mixed - Recordnet.com
"The Southern California wildfires will likely have a mixed economic impact, devastating tourism in rural playgrounds like Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear but causing a temporary bump in the construction industry as homes are rebuilt, economists said Thursday.---"
The reporter talked to pretty dumb economists. This is an example of a fundamental economic fallacy - the idea that repairing or rebuilding damage to structures is an economic plus. It's called "The broken window fallacy". Run a Google search on the term. - TA
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty
"What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It's not good at much else.'' -- Tom Clancy on Kudlow and Cramer 9/2/03
ISIL -- In Pursuit of Liberty
"---The right to property - the freedom to acquire, control, use and dispose of material possessions - is essential. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Without the right to publish and read magazines and newspress papers, you have no freedom of and little freedom of speech. Without the right to own religious books and support houses of worship, you have no freedom of religion. Without the right to earn a living and keep what you earn, there is no right to life. Without the right to own and use weapons, you can't defend your life, home or family.---"
P. J. [Patrick Jake] O’Rourke (1947-)
Journalist and Author - Quotes On Power
“There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as ‘caring’ and ‘sensitive’ because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money. Well, who isn’t? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he’ll do good with his own money -- if a gun is held to his head.”
Interpreting the Constitution Contextually
"---Both conservative and liberal constitutionalism, in short, ignore essential principles of the Constitution, principles that are stated clearly and explicitly in the document itself. The conservatives' chief blind spot is the Ninth Amendment (see sidebar for this and other constitutional passages), which was intended by the Founders not only to protect unenumerated rights but also to ensure that rights provisions generally be interpreted as broadly as possible. Conservatives also tend to overlook, or to interpret too narrowly, the many provisions in the Constitution—particularly the Due Process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments—that explicitly protect property and liberty rights in all their aspects, including the so-called right to privacy and other rights of personal autonomy.
Left-liberals, on the other hand, are blind to the Ninth Amendment's companion provision in the Bill of Rights, the Tenth Amendment, which affirms a fundamental feature of the Constitution: that it creates a national government of limited, enumerated powers. By dismissing the Tenth Amendment as stating a mere truism, as the Supreme Court did in its 1941 decision in United States v. Darby, liberal constitutionalism not only ignores the importance of the Amendment (which Thomas Jefferson regarded as the foundation of the Constitution) but also tends to render meaningless the Framers' carefully crafted list of Congress's legislative powers in Article I of the Constitution. Liberal constitutionalism thus overlooks the mandate of the Tenth Amendment, which was meant not merely to protect federalism but also to ensure that the power-granting clauses of the Constitution be interpreted narrowly, in light of the document's enumerated-powers scheme.---"
Will Janice Brown face the Big Stall - Welcome to Pacific Legal Foundation
"---This unprecedented obstruction of the Senate’s advise-and-consent role has been accomplished largely because of active complicity from big media. In this case, however, “active” means an aggressive failure to cover the Democrats’ refusal to give up-or-down votes to key Bush judicial nominees. When the media isn’t ignoring the story altogether, it’s framing the controversy as mere politics as usual, nothing to get exercised about. The nasty “G” word (“gridlock”), which echoed through newscasts when a Republican Congress was declining to enact President Bill Clinton’s agenda, has gone into hibernation.
A look back brings the double standard into focus. Journalists’ ho-hum response to the Democrats’ obstructionism would startle a time traveler from the 1950s, ‘60s or ‘70s when hatred of the filibuster was a prime tenet of liberal faith. The media shared the indignation over what was seen as an illegitimate, anti-democratic relic, a cudgel used only by drawling foes of civil rights and reactionary resisters to government expansion.---"
Bill # H.R.1943 - The Liberty Committee -- Legislation
"---H.R. 1943 amends federal law to allow Amish teenagers to work
in woodworking, as long as they are properly supervised and take
reasonable safety precautions. H.R. 1943 protects the unique
Amish way of life and takes a step toward ensuring that parents,
not the federal government, make decisions regarding a child's
work experience. After all, no politician or bureaucrat can
ever know a child's unique needs, strengths and capabilities, as
well as a child's parent.
Since H.R. 1943 ensures that Amish children can learn woodworking skills and carry on their way of life free from the unnecessary intrusion of the federal government, The Liberty Committee supports this legislation."
CyberAlert: Exposing Media Bias Daily - Media Research Center Home Page
Wednesday, October 30:
• CBS: Could Fire Cause Schwarzenegger to Void No Tax Hike Pledge?
• Fineman: Newsweek’s Bush “Wimp” Cover a “Mistake” & “Juvenile”
• Young People Pro-Bush, So Are They “Optimistic or Ill-Informed?”
• Olbermann Publicizes Left-Wing Hit on NRA, Calls MRC “Wacko”
• Tina Brown Discounts the Right’s “Predictable Flap” Over Reagans
Main site provides links to individual articles. - TA
The Wizard Behind The Obesity-Lawsuit Curtain
Posted On October 29, 2003
"The Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI). It's a good name for a trial lawyer front-group that works to 'encourage and support litigation against the food industry.' And as the Center for Consumer Freedom's article in National Review Online points out, it's even less trustworthy than you thought. We shine a bright light on PHAI's executive director Ben Kelley, and detail his history of foisting false images on an unsuspecting public -- all in the interest of massive settlements for his trial-lawyer sponsors.
In 1993, as president of a different trial lawyer front group, Kelley was instrumental in staging what the Los Angeles Times called 'the biggest TV scam since the Quiz Scandals.' Unknown to viewers of Dateline NBC, model rocket engines were attached to the gas tank of a GM pickup truck and detonated by remote control, in order to ensure an explosion during a videotaped test collision. Following the Dateline episode, Kelley wrote a memo to his trial-lawyer sponsors, in which he proposed taping a second staged explosion that would be made 'available for public dissemination and litigation use.'---"
ENN Affiliate News - Lieberman-McCain Bill a Hidden Tax on Consumers
"---'The cap-and-trade approach to rationing energy use would be a hidden tax on all Americans,' said Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming Policy at CEI. 'The Lieberman-McCain bill is pointless political grandstanding and a shameless con game. They assure us that the initial costs will be low, but hope that we won't notice how expensive it quickly becomes. The Kyoto Protocol was always a dead-end approach and now it's dead, and Senators Lieberman and McCain need to get over it and move on to some other fashionable big government cause.'---"
NCPA - Daily Policy Digest - Federal Taxing and Spending Benefit Some States
"---According to Moody, federal spending on defense and other procurement dollars are often funneled to the state of powerful congressmen. Also, state governments can grab more federal grant money by skillfully manipulating their spending to comply with federal regulations."
Source: Scott Moody, 'Federal Tax and Spending Patterns Benefit Some States, Leave Other Footing the Bill,' Tax Features, July/August 2003, Tax Foundation.
For more on Effects of Federal Taxes on States
NCPA - Daily Policy Digest - Farm Subsidies are Harm Subsidies
"---Grewell argues that subsidies should be removed because they prevent competition by creating an entry barrier for new farmers, who may be more efficient. Under the current system subsidies only go to those who are already in the farming game, because they're based on the previous years' production. In addition, Grewell argues, agricultural subsidies are an obstacle to reducing trade barriers because they lead other countries to close their doors to U.S. exports."
Source: J. Bishop Grewell, 'Farm Subsidies are Harm Subsidies,' American Enterprise, October/November 2003, American Enterprise Institute.
For more on Federal Agriculture Policy
For more on Federal Spending and Budget Issues (Specific Spending Programs)
Measuring the Federal Government's Unfunded Liability
Thursday, October 30, 2003
"Social Security and Medicare have made future promises far in excess of tax revenues that will be collected at current tax rates. The difference between what has been promised to current and future generations and what will be collected from taxes dedicated to fund these programs is an "unfunded liability."
How large are the federal government's unfunded obligations? According to a new NCPA study, that depends on how we measure them.
If we confine our horizon to the next 75 years, as government actuaries have traditionally done, the unfunded liability is about $18 trillion in today's dollars -- more than six times as much as the federal government's outstanding bonds.
If we focus only on people who are already participating in the system (either as beneficiaries or as taxpayers), the government's net debt is more than $24 trillion -- more than twice our current gross domestic product (GDP).
If we consider only benefits that have been accrued so far (i.e., if we ended the program tomorrow and only paid benefits people have already earned), the debt is about $30 trillion -- about three times the size of our GDP.
If we look indefinitely into the future -- and include not only people who are participating today, but all future generations -- the U.S. government's Social Security and Medicare unfunded obligations are equal to almost $50 trillion in today's dollars.
This means that in order to ensure the government will keep its promises, we need to have $50 trillion on hand right now, invested at a rate of return of about 6 percent. Since we don't, the overall obligation will grow through time.
Source: Liqun Liu, Andrew J. Rettenmaier and Thomas R. Saving, "How Large Is the Federal Government's Debt?" NCPA Policy Report No. 263, October 2003, National Center for Policy Analysis.
For more on the Federal Debt
Medicare Trick or Treat
"Imagine this: You've worked very hard to increase your income and assets over your working life. You've been responsible, invested intelligently, and planned ahead for your retirement. You contributed 2.9 percent in payroll taxes on your high income to support Medicare Part A (the hospital program). Plus you paid thousands of dollars in general federal taxes to fund Medicare Part B (outpatient doctor visits). Now you retire and begin to collect the promised benefits, including the Medicare benefits you thought were going to be there for you.
But surprise! You and some other seniors may have to pay three times in premiums what most seniors pay for the same Medicare benefits. In other words, if you made more money and paid higher taxes, you may even have to pay higher premiums. Does this seem fair to those who have already paid higher Medicare taxes all their working lives?----"
Debra Saunders: Bush's war on chaos
"Yet the anti-war crowd argues that the best way to support American troops is to bring them home -- even though virtual surrender would make every U.S. soldier or sailor serving abroad a more inviting target.
If, on the other hand, American and allied efforts prevail, if a representative government is installed, if young men in the breeding grounds of terror see determined Iraqis survive the vicious attacks designed destroy their ability to live, work and move freely and then go on to build their own nation, then terrorism loses."
Gary Aldrich: More box cutters!
"---Does anybody besides me think we are way off the track on screening the passengers at our nation’s airports? Forget about the box cutters! Arm the pilots like we said we were going to, and you have instantly solved the problem of box cutters. But it is the passengers, not the box cutters, who are the dangerous components that must be stopped at the gate. An 80-year old woman with a box cutter does not scare me. Right now, “PC” TSA screeners are what scare me."
"Gary Aldrich is president and founder of The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, a TownHall.com member group"
Emmett Tyrrell: The left doesn't have an alternative for Iraq
"---Today the Bush administration, like the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, has no alternative but to resist terrorism and the states that support terrorism. The administration's job is made all the more difficult by the Democratic presidential candidates' cheap shots. The candidates who supported the Iraqi war resolution and now obfuscate their support and disparage our policy are shameless opportunists who will make our policy in Iraq all the more difficult and expensive.---"
Larry Elder: Bush's foreign and domestic successes - do the media care?
Great article. Too many good points to summarize. A must read! - TA
Marvin Olasky: Why hatred surrounding presidential elections grows
"---The first 20th century president to inspire big-time hatred was Franklin Roosevelt, who began our national movement to a winner-take-all system. Now, many see their future happiness as dependent on who's in charge in Washington. A man with many female friends is unlikely to become despondent if one of them marries someone else. A man who believes that his happiness depends on marrying one particular woman may hate a successful rival suitor.---"
Ann Coulter: The 'mainstream' is located in France
"The newspaper that almost missed the war in Iraq because its reporters were in Georgia covering the membership policies of the Augusta National Golf Club has declared another one of President George Bush's judicial nominees as "out of the mainstream." The New York Times has proclaimed so many Bush nominees "out of the mainstream" that the editorial calling California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown "out of the mainstream" was literally titled: 'Out of the Mainstream, Again.'---
Liberals are always complaining that they haven't figured out how to distill their message to slogans and bumper stickers – as they allege Republicans have. Though it can't be easy to fit the entire Communist Manifesto on a bumper sticker, I beg to differ. (Bumper sticker version of the current Democratic platform: "Ask me about how I'm going to raise your taxes.")
The problem is, if Democrats ever dared speak coherently, the American people would lynch them.---"
Cal Thomas: Why Democrats are wrong on taxes
"The Bush administration's prophecy that its tax cuts would produce an economic recovery is coming true. The New York Times - whose editorial page tirelessly campaigns against any and all tax cuts and sees government as our salvation from virtually every problem - carried an item last Monday (Oct. 27) that must have caused the newspaper's editorial staff to suffer the journalistic equivalent of shock and awe.
In a front-page story about the fastest pace of economic growth in four years, there was this rare (for The Times) admission: 'Most of that growth stemmed from a sharp rise in consumer spending, driven largely by a continuing boom in mortgage refinancing and checks that were mailed out as part of the recent tax cut.' (emphasis mine)---
Yet the Democratic presidential candidates are sticking to their predictable and tired themes of class warfare, dollar envy and economic stupidity as they clamor for eliminating the tax cuts and raising taxes again on 'the rich.'---"
boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
"Georgia Democratic Senator Zell Miller endorses George Bush in next year's election. To the left-wing Atlanta Journal-Constitution that makes Miller a 'maverick.'"
good things to say about the Christian religion - boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
"Now this one is really going to infuriate the left. George Bush made a speech last night at a Christian youth center. During that speech he actually had good things to say about the Christian religion and said that his recovery from drinking was directly tied to a renewal of his religious foundation."
Brown Gets Borked
Her problem is that she's too qualified--and black - OpinionJournal - Featured Article
"---But the truth is that the merits are irrelevant to the willful liberal Senate minority that has already filibustered four nominees and is headed for seven. This is about political power, and overturning the results of the 2000 and 2002 elections. The White House and GOP Senators should be embarrassed to let Judge Brown get pounded the way she did last week while barely fighting back.
Senate liberals are in the process of filibustering a rainbow coalition of conservative judges that deserves to become a major Republican campaign issue: One black, one Hispanic, three women, two Southern whites and perhaps soon an Arab-American. Let's have a 2004 election debate over which party is really the enemy of diversity, intellectual and otherwise."
boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
"Do you know why prescription drugs are cheaper in Canada? It's because the Canadian government has strong price controls on those drugs. If your next question is 'Well, why doesn't the United States do the same thing?' you don't have a clue about market forces and how the free enterprise system works."
boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
"Even The New York Times has reported that the Bush tax cuts are largely responsible for our growing economy. In spite of that, the Democrats are still talking about tax increases. Why? Because class warfare sells better than the economy when you're talking to core Democratic voters."
Australian Embassy Deals With Concerns About Religious Vilification Case -- 10/29/2003
"---In its written rebuttal to the Muslims' complaints, Catch the Fire has denied that the information provided during the seminar incited hatred.
'It cannot be regarded as controversial that there are passages in the Quran...[and other key religious texts] which could and do incite believers in Islam to violence and hatred of non-Muslims. These passages are well known and widely cited by terrorist groups,' it said.
'Exposing the roots of this problem within Islam is not the same thing as inciting hatred. Since Christians are one of the named targets of jihad fighting in the Quran, they have a right and a duty to be well informed about this aspect of Islam.'---"
GOP Senators Condemn Campus 'Thought Control' -- 10/30/2003
"Three Republican senators Wednesday joined a growing contingent of lawmakers who are concerned that America's college campuses lack the intellectual diversity necessary to provide students with a balanced education.
It's the second time in a week that members of Congress have confronted the issue. In both cases, conservatives have complained that liberals dominate college campuses, shutting out other viewpoints while also abandoning traditional areas of study.---"
Economy Expanding; Numbers Heartening - CNSNews.com -- News This Hour
"(CNSNews.com) - The latest economic numbers are very good news for the Bush administration. The government says the U.S. economy expanded at a 7.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter of the year, the strongest showing since 1984. The growth in gross domestic product (the total value of all goods and services produced in this country) was fueled by increased consumer spending and corporate equipment purchases, the government said. Analysts had been expecting a 6 percent gain in third-quarter GDP, so the number released Thursday exceeded most estimates. Analysts said higher consumer spending is spurring corporate earnings, which in turn could lead companies to hire more workers - thus keeping the economic recovery going. Economists say that consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy."
Not good news for Democrat party. - TA
Would you like cheese on that burger? - Letters to the Editor - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED
"---Dr. Barnard's group, the deceptively named Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, is allied with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The two groups have some common board members, and tax records show that the committee has received more than $850,000 in funding from PETA and an additional $450,000 from other animal-rights groups. Dr. Barnard himself sits on the board of the PETA Foundation.
The American Medical Association has formally censured the physicians committee, calling it a "pseudo-physicians group." The AMA officially considers the recommendations of Dr. Barnard's organization 'irresponsible and potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans.'
Dr. Barnard's mission is the same as PETA's: to permanently remove meat and dairy foods from our diets. It's sad that news outlets continue to treat him the way they would a legitimate, credible medical spokesperson."
Director of research
Center for Consumer Freedom
AVID teachers - sacbee.com -- Opinion -- Letters to the editor
"Re 'Look who's acing the exit exam,' Our views, Oct. 16: The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program sounds much like what my generation called study hall, a period in which we completed assignments, boned up on tests, researched new subjects and read -- i.e., studied.
This was under the supervision of a teacher with a free period in which the teacher composed class studies, corrected papers and so on, but was available for student assistance. The atmosphere was conducive to completing class work and since the teachers were there, it didn't require state funding to the tune of $10.3 million.
Seems to me an extra hour (or whatever time is a period) would be well worth considering. Of course, we attended school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. But, joy, almost no homework."
- Margaret Brookshier, Ione
sacbee.com -- Politics -- Wildfires push Senate into action on forest bill
"---The Bush administration's "Healthy Forests" legislation would permit accelerated operations, including logging, to clear the forest areas while the Senate compromise focuses at least half the effort on protecting homes and communities.
While both the House and Senate approaches relax environmental and judicial processes to speed up thinning activities, the Senate compromise is less restrictive and gives the public an opportunity to submit alternatives to the thinning operations proposed by the federal government.
But the biggest difference is that the Senate version would add permanent protections for old-growth forests that are the most likely to survive wildfires because of the size of the trees."
Initiative would tax businesses to pay for preschool - By Ed Fletcher
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Thursday, October 30, 2003
"Hoping to speed California toward the goal of universal preschool, the state's largest teachers union and movie director Rob Reiner plan to ask voters next year to increase education spending by hiking commercial property taxes by 55 percent.---
But so far, opponents are not buying the help-the-economy-by-taxing-business theory.
'This is an economy killer,' said Rex Hime, president of the California Business Properties Association. 'By doing this, they are going to have a lot of unintended consequences.'
A coalition of groups -- including the business properties association, the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association -- quickly denounced the plan Wednesday.---"
Another socialist plan to drive businesses and jobs out of California. - TA
A ticket to happiness -
Recordnet.com - Third letter
"A better title for Roberto Radrigan's Oct. 19 column ('What about compassion closer to home?') would have been 'Nothing is right in the USA.'
He finds defects with the federal government, cries about Arnold and California cutting budgets, talks about recession, everything is going badly in Iraq and even complains about the way George W. Bush got to be president.
Why, with so many things he finds wrong with this paradise, aren't people leaving it by the thousands?
It must be awful for Radrigan to endure such unhappiness while he makes a living wage, raises a family and lives in comfort and peace.
Any airline company would sell Radrigan a one-way ticket to anywhere in the world he can find the happiness and perfect government denied him here."
By Rosasco F. Araya
Valley Springs "
Setting some practical limits - Recordnet.com
"---Californians have only to look at the dysfunctional nature of the state's Legislature to see the damage term limits have done.
Gov. Gray Davis might have been the one recalled, but the election results represent a growing dissatisfaction with elected officials unable to lead the state out of its financial wilderness.
'The answer lies somewhere between the excesses of those intoxicated with power and those shoved out before they learn how to be effective."
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Wesley Clark's Tinfoil Beret
- OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today
"---Goodness, Clark is threatening to tell us "again and again and again, until the American people understand," that the cause of Sept. 11 was decisions made in the White House, but only in the 233 days between Jan. 20, 2001, when Bush took office, and Sept. 10, 2001.
This is delusional stuff; Clark is in Michael Moore or Cythia McKinney territory. But while they may believe the things they say, it's hard to imagine that Clark doesn't know better. His viciousness is a sign of panic in the face of declining poll numbers, and the particular form it has taken shows just how far off the deep end some Democrats have gone."
Institute for Health Freedom: Medicare Trick or Treat: Why Make 654,000 Seniors Pay More for the Same Medicare Benefits?
October 29, 2003
"Imagine this: You've worked very hard to increase your income and assets over your working life. You've been responsible, invested intelligently, and planned ahead for your retirement. You contributed 2.9 percent in payroll taxes on your high income to support Medicare Part A (the hospital program). Plus you paid thousands of dollars in general federal taxes to fund Medicare Part B (outpatient doctor visits). Now you retire and begin to collect the promised benefits, including the Medicare benefits you thought were going to be there for you. But surprise! You and some other seniors could have to pay three times in premiums what most seniors pay for the same Medicare benefits.---"
The Triumph of Leviathan -- Objectivist Center -- Reason, Individualism, Achievement, and Freedom
By Herbert I. London
"Communism is dead; long live capitalism. Surely there is some truth to this claim, as even diehard advocates of communism are now in retreat. The second part of it, however, is questionable.
If by 'capitalism' one means the application of free markets and limited government, in which public spending is a relatively small portion of private assets, then something is askew.---"
The Endangered Species Act: A Growing Question of Whose Ox is Gored - Welcome to Pacific Legal Foundation
"---Yet, for people living, working, and owning property in the nation’s rural regions and smaller communities, the ESA has an entirely different image. Residents of rural America view themselves as social and economic victims of an oppressive, “species-first, people-last” statute that, more often than not, is enforced in an unreasonable and increasingly abusive manner by federal bureaucrats who are influenced by hardcore environmental activists.---"
Living In Post-Constitutional America - Toogood Reports Commentary: W. James Antle III
"Last week we were again reminded that Americans are living in a post-constitutional era. The doctrine of enumerated powers, which holds that the federal government is limited to those functions delegated by the American people through the Constitution, has been discarded and relegated to the outer fringes of our nation´s political dialogue. The challenge for con-cons (constitutional conservatives) is how to confront and correct this radically reshaped regime.---"
The Looting Process by Rep. Ron Paul
"appropriate(v): to take possession of or make use of exclusively for oneself, often without permission
~ American Heritage Dictionary
Every fall Congress goes through what is known in Washington as the “appropriations process.” The term really is inaccurate, as it should be called the spending process. After all, your money has already been appropriated, which is to say taken, through taxes. Once taken, Congress spends the autumn months doing what it does best: spending money.---"
Naysaying the Nanny State
by Garry Reed, The Loose Cannon Libertarian - www.freecannon.com - Liberty's Voice at Liberty For All - Online Magazine
"We all practice civil disobedience. We have to. It's the only way to live in a world where every snaggle-toothed snot-nosed gecko-skinned legislator in the nation just has to pass a few thousand more laws to show us how superior they are.---
Increasingly, however, civil disobedience has become an organized community event. Never mind the WTO demonstrations or genetic crop burnings. Here, culled from various cyber sources over the past year, are edict-defying acts that libertarians can eagerly wrap both of our Invisible Hands around.---"
AmericanDaily.com - Socialism Threatens Property Rights In America ! - Gordon Bishop
"More and more I get the feeling that New Jersey’s judges and politicians are moving toward the mind-set of socialists and communists.
The issue is property rights.
Who owns your property: You or your government?
Of course, you do. Our Constitution says so. This is America. Not the communist People’s Republic of China, or Cuba, or the old Soviet Union. We are a free and independent nation.
In more and more court decisions, judges are willing to confiscate your property under the “eminent domain” rule that permits the taking of property for such public uses as transportation corridors (highways, rail lines, bridges, etc.).---"
AmericanDaily.com - Only True Rights Have Responsibilities - A. E. Huggett
"---The United States of America is particularly blessed in that it has a written Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Clearly written and easily understood, America's Bill of Rights limits governmental power and its control over the people. It is, in a sense, a negative document in that it tells the government what it cannot do. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom to the people but it is up to the people to guard, protect, and defend their rights from governmental encroachment.---"
U.S. Senate to discuss speech codes
''For the first time in ten years, the U.S. Congress will consider the menace to free speech caused by campus speech codes. The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions has invited Greg Lukianoff, director of legal and public advocacy for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), to testify ...' (10/29/03)"
Overlawyered: Fast. fast, fast relief from forum-shopping
"In Philadelphia, Common Pleas Judge Norman Ackerman 'has begun tossing out lawsuits by people who said they suffered strokes after taking Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold medicine, saying the claims should be dealt with in other states. ... 'Most of those cases, like this one, involve out-of-state plaintiffs who chose to file (in Philadelphia) for no apparent reason other than the fact that their attorneys have their offices here,' Ackerman wrote in the case of Larry Hunter, of Seattle.' (Another apparent reason might be the city's famously generous juries.) For background on suits blaming phenylpropanolamine (PPA) for strokes, see Apr. 6-8, 2001. ('Alka-Seltzer Suit Thrown Out', WPVI.com, Oct. 1)."
Posted by Walter Olson at October 28, 2003 11:27 PM | TrackBack "
CyberAlert: Exposing Media Bias Daily - Media Research Center Home Page - 10/29/2003 11:29:05 AM
Tuesday, October 29:
• Moran: Bush “Dodged” Query; O’Donnell Errs, Yet Corrects Bush
• Hume Notes Some Things Media Skipped Over at Anti-War Protest
• Only Newsweek Devotes a Page to Partial-Birth, a One-Sided One
• Reagan Friend Merv Griffin Blasts CBS for “Cowardly Act”
• Ted Danson: George W. Bush a Drinker, Clark “Inspires Hope”
Main page provides links to individual articles
Media Reality Check - Media Research Center Home Page
"Lobbying for More Government
Confirming once again that the producers and editors at ABC News see the world through a liberal lens, the network spent all of last week campaigning for universal government financing of health care. In the network's heavily promoted series, 'Critical Condition: Health Care in America,' ABC ignored conservative ideas and no story explored how a centralized, single-payer system might degrade the high quality of U.S. health care."
The man who mistook his bathtub for a hockey stick - 2003 October - NumberWatch.com
"Well, well! The pontiff of eco-theology, who has been choreographing the assault on infidels who doubt the true religion of global warming, has himself come under examination. He has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. A new paper by McIntyre and McKitrick of Ontario has probed into the inner recesses of the data that gave rise to the notorious hockey stick. What they found, in a masterly essay in academic understatement, is a considerable can of worms. Amid all the omissions, substitutions and amendments, however, there is one act of subreption that is so stark that it has all the appearances of downright fraud. Mann et al simply censored the data at the beginning of the series, which belong to the mediaeval warm period. Reintroducing them gives the lie to the claim, so forcefully prosecuted by the IPCC, that the past decade was the warmest in history.---"
USATODAY.com - Researchers question key global-warming study
By Nick Schulz
"An important new paper in the journal Energy & Environment upsets a key scientific claim about climate change. If it withstands scrutiny, the collective scientific understanding of recent global warming might need an overhaul.---"
Albert Gallatin (1830-1864)
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and Congressman
“Government prohibitions do always more mischief than had been calculated; and it is not without much hesitation that a statesman should hazard to regulate the concerns of individuals, as if he could do it better than themselves.”
Eliminating Waste - Heritage Daily Briefing
"Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback recently deliverd a Heritage lecture entitled, A Strategy to Eliminate Wasteful Federal Spending---, in which he said 'the use of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on duplicative, inefficient, and failed federal agencies and programs is a serious problem facing our nation today. Over and over, we see congressionally authorized programs become institutionalized, and then--although no longer necessary--they become permanent fixtures receiving more taxpayer dollars year after year.
' ... It is my hope that we will be able to see the enactment of the Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (CARFA) Act in the 108th Congress. If we do, it will certainly send a positive signal to the American people that the federal government is serious about fiscal accountability and responsibility, and it would set a good example for others to follow.'---"
Minority Rules: Filibustering the Constitution - Cato Daily Dispatch for October 28, 2003
"In 'Minority Rules: Filibustering the Constitution,' former Cato Senior Fellow James Swanson writes that 'when the filibuster is being used not to debate, but to kill their nominations by denying the majority its right to consent to them, serious constitutional issues arise.'
'Yes, the Constitution permits the Senate to set its own rules,' Swanson writes. 'But that is hardly a blank check entitling the Senate to amend the Appointments Clause by raising the confirmation bar from simple majority to super majority, to aggrandize power by upsetting the balance between the congressional and the executive branches, and to threaten the independence of the third branch, the federal judiciary. The conclusion is inescapable. Whenever Senate Democrats, a minority of the body, filibuster judicial nominations, obstruct an up or down vote, and deny the majority its right to consent to the appointments, they subvert the Constitution.'---"
CBS: Stumbling Through the Dark Side in Home-schooling Report
"---We expect a more considered reaction, though, from journalists, who are supposed to make objectivity paramount and put facts ahead of feelings. It is a standard that the CBS reporter failed to uphold; he chose instead to exploit the emotions of the story, seizing on the first sign that inadequate government controls might be to blame for the abuse of home-schooled children. It is not a conclusion based on readily accessible facts -- facts that should at least have received some mention in CBS's report. Consider just a few, both anecdotal and national---"
Cato Scholar to Testify on Spam Controls The Cato Institute: Public Policy Analysis, Limited Government, Free Markets
"Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., Cato's director of technology policy, will testify before the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Oversight at 10:00 am Thursday in the Rayburn House Office Building. Crews will recommend that the private sector beat the federal government to the punch by voluntarily implementing spam controls. A government-mandated solution would do nothing to prevent spam from pouring in from overseas, and it would undermine legitimate commerce, communications, and free speech.
Visit Cato's research website on Internet governance."
Ben Shapiro: Environmentalists fan the flames of hell
"---As of Tuesday, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace Web sites contained no mention of the forest fires raging out of control in California.
Ironically, environmentalists oppose clear-cutting and promote forest fires even though forest fires are the sources of materials most dangerous to air quality -- far more dangerous, in fact, than the smog environmentalists fret over ad infinitum. The California government has issued a health alert for the Southern California area.---
Meanwhile, some Senate Democratic pawns of the environmentalist movement continue to stall President Bush's Healthy Forests Restoration Act. At the start of October, Senate Democrats threatened to filibuster HR 1904, forcing advocates to find 60 votes in order to pass the bill. The prospects for passing HR 1904 look good. Unfortunately, it's too little too late for those in California who tensely wait and watch as the wall of smoke draws ever nearer."
Brent Bozell: Bush's 'Mess,' Clinton's Free Pass
"The cover of Newsweek screams from the mailbox and the magazine rack: "BUSH'S $87 BILLION MESS." In case that rhetorical punch isn't strong enough, it adds the promise of uncovering "Waste, Chaos and Cronyism." Today's task for deniers of liberal media bias is set. Please find a Newsweek from the Clinton era with the words "mess" or "cronyism" next to a picture of that president.---"
Kathleen Parker: Pursuing happiness is not only fun but necessary
"---How could I enjoy indulging myself - pursuing happiness - in a time of war?
That's a question many of us asked ourselves, and now Carl Cannon, White House correspondent for the National Journal, has answered it in a book - "The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War" - that is not only scholarly, well-researched and delightfully readable, but possibly the best explanation yet for how and why we got here.---
Writes Cannon: 'Chasing dreams, pursuing happiness, and even achieving material success, are not embarrassing by-products of American freedom; they are the essence of American freedom.'
It is also what our enemies, contemptuous of what they see as our self-indulgence, fail to comprehend. They see our material pursuits as a sign of weakness, when in fact, our materialism combined with our free market and other expressions of freedom - as well as our pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge - constitute our strengths.---"
Thomas Sowell: Spinning education
October 29, 2003
"You want to know what liberal bias and media spin are? Try a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle of October 25th: 'California School Rankings Improve.'
According to education officials quoted in the story, an 'unprecedented rise' in test scores has been achieved by 'shifting away from a nationally normed test and toward exams that measure what children are being taught in the classroom.'
In other words, when school children in California were taking the same tests as children in other states, their results were lousy. But, now that we have our own test, results are much better.---"
Bryant Rape Case Puts Victims' Rights on Trial
"When Kobe Bryant goes to court on rape charges, he will not stand trial alone. Society's view of 'victims' rights' will also be under scrutiny. A growing belief that false accusations of sexual assault have become commonplace has prompted a demand for fairer treatment of those accused, especially from the media.
Critics of the media coverage seem particularly bitter about the standard policy of extending anonymity to accusers but not to the accused. They believe the double standard stigmatizes the accused, who should be presumed innocent, and encourages false accusations. The criticism assumes that false reports are widespread. Estimates vary wildly.---"
Advertisers Urged to Preview Reagan Movie Before Sponsoring
"---Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell Tuesday sent a letter to each of the nation's top 100 advertisers, urging them to preview the movie before making a sponsorship decision because it is what Bozell called a 'partisan political attack against one of America's most beloved presidents.'
A review of the script by New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg noted the two-part mini-series, scheduled for broadcast next month, makes no mention of the significant economic expansion that took place during Reagan's presidency, and Bozell called the program 'a blatantly unfair assault,' on Reagan's legacy.---"
Taxpayer Groups Urge Congress to Scrap Prescription Drug Plan
"More than three dozen taxpayer advocacy groups are urging lawmakers to scrap the Medicare prescription drug plan now working its way through Congress.
Critics say taxpayers will be 'trampled in the rush to create a new entitlement program.'
In an effort organized by the National Taxpayers Union, 38 organizations sent a letter to all members of Congress on Tuesday, warning lawmakers that the new prescription drug entitlement would be 'the height of fiscal irresponsibility,' coming as it does on top of large increases in federal spending and in light of the looming Medicare and Social Security crises.---"
A Note on Labels: Why "Libertarian"? - by David Boaz
"---Libertarianism may be regarded as a political philosophy that applies the ideas of classical liberalism consistently, following liberal arguments to conclusions that would limit the role of government more strictly and protect individual freedom more fully than other classical liberals would. Most of the time, I use liberal in its traditional sense; I call today's misnamed liberals welfare-state liberals or paternalistic liberals or social democrats. And I should note that libertarian ideas and the libertarian movement are far broader than any political party, such as the Libertarian Party. References to libertarianism should not be taken to indicate the Libertarian Party unless that is made explicit.---"
Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty
"Government is not compassion ... Government is nothing more than structured, widespread coercion ...'' -- Glen Allport
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
High Price for Protectionist Labels on Meat - Foundation for Economic Education - Home
“A federal law backed by U.S. farm groups to require country-of-origin labels on meat, seafood, produce and peanuts could cost American food producers up to $3.9 billion in its first year, the Agriculture Department said yesterday.... Consumer advocates and some farm groups say the labels will distinguish meat produced in the United States from competitors at the grocery store.” (Washington Post, Tuesday)
"Trade impediments on behalf of American farmers are nothing new."
FEE Timely Classic
“Protectionism and Agricultural Price Supports”
by E. C. Pasour, Jr.
Post Office to Require Sender ID - Foundation for Economic Education - Home
“Sending an anonymous love letter or an angry note to your congressman? The U.S. Postal Service will soon know who you are. Beginning with bulk or commercial mail, the Postal Service will require "enhanced sender identification" for all discount-rate mailings, according to the notice published in the Oct. 21 Federal Register. The purpose of identifying senders is to provide a more efficient tracking system, but more importantly, to ‘facilitate investigations into the origin of suspicious mail.’” (Washington Times, Sunday)
"What would we do without this government monopoly?"
FEE Timely Classic
“The Post Office as a Violation of Constitutional Rights” by Wendy McElroy
The Over-Criminalization of Social and Economic Conduct - OVERCRIMINALIZED.COM - Overview
"The origin of modern criminal law can be traced to early feudal times. From its inception, the criminal law expressed both a moral and a practical judgment about the societal consequences of certain activity: to be a crime, the law required that an individual must both cause (or attempt to cause) a wrongful injury and do so with some form of malicious intent. Classically, lawyers capture this insight in two principles: in order to be a crime there must be both an actus reus (a bad act) and a culpable mens rea (a guilty mind). At its roots, the criminal law did not punish merely bad thoughts (intentions to act without any evil deed) or acts that achieved unwittingly wrongful ends but without the intent to do so. The former were for resolution by ecclesiastical authorities and the latter were for amelioration in the tort system. In America today, this classical understanding of criminal law no longer holds.---"
Palo Alto v. Liebrand - OVERCRIMINALIZED.COM
"On April 3, 2002, Kay Leibrand surrendered to the police. She was fingerprinted. They took her mug shots. The 61-year old grandmother and software engineer was told that she had broken the law. She might go to jail or perhaps she would get off with just a fine. On May 30, 2002, she was arraigned. Her crime was allowing street-side xylosma bushes to grow more than two feet high.---"
OVERCRIMINALIZED.COM - Fighting against the current trend to criminalize everything!
"Overcriminalized.com is devoted to challenging and ultimately reversing the harmful trend by government to criminalize more and more ordinary activities. Some of the conduct that is being criminalized is really socially and economically beneficial conduct. Some of it, though undesirable, is more appropriately regulated through the tort system, civil sanctions, or other administrative action. To this end, overcriminalized.com is also devoted to exposing current abuses of the criminal justice system that are unjust and in need of reform."
"Not related to this website despite its name, Overcriminalized.com is a new site from the Heritage Foundation 'devoted to challenging and ultimately reversing the harmful trend by government to criminalize more and more ordinary activities.' Among the case histories presented: Palo Alto v. Leibrand, in which a 61-year-old homeowner was fingerprinted and booked (complete with mug shot) on charges of letting the street-side xylosma bushes near her bungalow grow more than two feet high (her site); and cases of alleged federal overzealousness in enforcing the False Claims Act (U.S. v. Krizek, alleged overbilling by psychotherapist); and environmental law (Hansen v. U.S., manager of bankrupt chemical plant sentenced to 46 months despite critics' questions as to both mens rea and his practical capability to rectify the various violations). For a sampling of similar themes aired on this site, see Aug. 6 (drowsy driving), Jul. 22 (corporation's vicarious criminal liability for acts of employees and agents), Jul. 14 (U.K. seaweed-picking); May 14 (sexual harassment); Aug. 3-5, 2001 (cloned human cells); Dec. 8-10, 2000 (gun sale); Oct. 20-22, 2000 (product liability); May 18-21, 2000 (public morality laws) and Dec. 20 and Aug. 2, 1999 (injury to animals)."
Posted by Walter Olson at October 28, 2003 12:07 AM | TrackBack "
CyberAlert: Exposing Media Bias Daily - Media Research Center Home Page
Tuesday, October 28:
• Washington Post Whitewashes Protest Which Featured “F*** Bush!”
• Poll: Most Think Media Portraying Iraq as Worse Than Reality
• Cronkite: Liberals “Humane,” Conservatives “Less Sensitive”
• Fox Replaces Snow with Wallace, an ABCer with a Liberal Record
• MRC Study: “Censoring the Partial-Birth Abortion Basics”
Main page provides links to individual articles. - TA
GMOs with a kick - Food Navigator - Ingredients, Food Additives & Nutrition (fibers, proteins, enzymes, food safety, science, ingredients)
"28/10/03 - Can the trend for foods with added health benefits turn the tide of consumer cynicism towards genetically modified foodstuffs? US researchers hypothesise that shoppers might just pay a premium for GMOs if they are told of the potential health benefits they may receive from eating those foods.---"
TCS Newsflash: Important Global Warming Study Audited -- Numerous Errors Found; New Research Reveals the UN IPCC 'Hockey Stick' Theory of Climate Change is Flawed
"WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 27, 2003--Canadian business executive Stephen McIntyre and economist Ross McKitrick have presented more evidence that the 20th century wasn't the warmest on record. In their article for the journal 'Energy and the Environment,' McIntyre and McKitrick cited numerous errors in data used in Mann, et al. (1998), a temperature record that has been frequently cited by global warming alarmists.---"
The Heritage Foundation: Policy Research and Analysis
"It is not too late for Congress to target seniors in need without hurting those who are not.
This new online exclusive details how House and Senate Medicare conferees are scrambling to find a solution to the problem of senior dumping -- which will occur when former employers drop current retirees into the proposed new government entitlement."
More Taxpayer Subsidies Will Not Correct Congress’ Medicare Drug Miscalculation by Derek Hunter
Recent Research Confirms that Seniors Will Lose Coverage Under New Medicare Legislation by Derek Hunter
The Crucial Elements of an Acceptable Medicare Bill by Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D.
Reform the United Nations
by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., and Baker Spring
October 27, 2003
"President George W. Bush's major address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23 was a powerful wake-up call for an organization that is in danger of becoming an outdated irrelevance on the world stage. At the dawn of the 21st century, the United Nations looks more like a glorified debating society than a serious global body designed to confront the world's growing threats and problems.
The inability of the U.N. to deal with the Iraqi dictatorship was symbolic of its broader failure to address the rising global threat posed by international terrorism and rogue states. The credibility of the United Nations was largely shattered by the Security Council's failure to address the Iraqi threat.1 Instead of acting as an effective mechanism for advancing global security, the Security Council became a barrier to progress and was used as a tool by European nations such as France and Russia to try to limit the ability of the United States to act on the world stage.---"
Brownback lecture - Heritage Daily Briefing
Monday, October 27
"U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas recently delivered a Heritage lecture on eliminateing wasteful federal spending.
The use of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on duplicative, inefficient, and failed Federal agencies and programs is a serious problem facing our nation today. Over and over, we see congressionally authorized programs become institutionalized, and then—although no longer necessary—they become permanent fixtures receiving more taxpayer dollars year after year. ...
It is my hope that we will be able to see the enactment of the The Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (CARFA) Act in the 108th Congress. If we do, it will certainly send a positive signal to the American people that the federal government is serious about fiscal accountability and responsibility, and it would set a good example for others to follow."
The link will be available soon.
Free Speech? Not on Campus
by David E. Bernstein
"David E. Bernstein, a professor of law at George Mason University, is the author of 'You Can't Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws' (Cato Institute, 2003).
Is it a no-no for students to satirize affirmative action at the University of California-Irvine? The answer is a resounding 'Yes!' Last week, the university administration shut down an 'affirmative action bake sale' run by the College Republicans. Members of the group offered students donuts at prices ranging from ten cents to one dollar, depending on each student's race and gender. The obvious message: It's wrong to treat people differently based on immutable characteristics. But apparently you can't say that in public.---"
Thomas Sowell: The politics of judicial nominees
"---You cannot continue to send outstanding people to confirmation hearings to be led like lambs to the slaughter without finding, at some point, that more and more good people will refuse to play that role. There will always be warm bodies available with a "conservative" label but we have learned the hard way what to expect from such warm bodies when we see what Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy have done on the Supreme Court.
Among the people who are trying to do the job of educating the public that the administration should have done is the Committee for Justice, which has put out an excellent background paper on Justice Janice Rogers Brown. It is available on the Internet at www.committeeforjustice.org."
Cal Thomas: Ronald Reagan revisionism
"When he was at full ideological and political strength, liberals couldn't lay a glove on Ronald Wilson Reagan. Now that he is in "the sunset of my life," as he poignantly wrote in his final letter to the American people on Nov. 5, 1994, the left is unleashing a distorted and inaccurate attack on Reagan in an attempt to rewrite history and smear a good man.
CBS will air a miniseries, "The Reagans," Nov. 16 and 18. If a script obtained by the New York Times correctly depicts the final product, the show will bear as much resemblance to the real Ronald Reagan as Santa Claus reflects the real meaning of Christmas.---"
David Limbaugh: A few choice Democratic debate snippets
"Did you see the Democratic presidential debate in Detroit Sunday evening? How about some choice gems from a few of the nine who would be president?
Bush's policy on Iraq seems to be their favorite subject. As a conservative my fervent hope is that the televised event enjoyed astronomical ratings. Voters need to see what these people are saying.
Indeed I think the Republican National Committee ought to consider underwriting a few more of these Bush-bashing, truth-challenged spectacles on prime time, sandwiched in between the highest-rated reality shows they can find. The only chance they have of unseating Bush is if insufficient numbers of people observe their puerile sniping.---"
Notable Quotables from the Media Research Center
"A bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous,
quotes in the liberal media."
October 27, 2003 (Vol. 16; No. 22)
In case you have any doubts about the liberal ideology of mainline media journalists. - TA
U.S. “Fails” to Offer Socialism
"Carole Simpson: “Even though the U.S. spends twice as much per person as any other developed country on health care, the U.S. is the only developed country that fails to provide universal coverage for all its citizens....”
"Tim Johnson: “We have a country that wants to believe it is the best in everything, but until all of us embrace the idea that health care should be a right, not a privilege, our system cannot be glibly described as, quote, ‘the best in the world.’”
– ABC’s World News Tonight/Sunday, October 19.
Media socialists in action. - TA
Aging With Dignity - Five Wishes
"The Five Wishes document helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it looks to all of a person's needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. Five Wishes also encourages discussing your wishes with your family and physician.
Five Wishes lets your family and doctors know:
Which person you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't make them.
The kind of medical treatment you want or don't want.
How comfortable you want to be.
How you want people to treat you.
What you want your loved ones to know.---"
Valid in most states. Check it out
Schiavo Case Spurs Interest in Living Wills
"As the plight of Florida's Terri Schiavo continues to dominate news headlines, sparking debate over end of life issues, there is also a growing interest in living wills. Even the Florida Senate, which last week passed legislation that effectively forced the re-connecting of Schiavo's feeding tube, has posted a copy of a living will, along with other documents on selecting health care surrogates on its website.---"
Standard format. Valid in most states. Check it out. - TA
New Science Curriculum Aims to Curb 'Animal Rights' Influence
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
October 28, 2003
"A new science-based educational curriculum has been launched to help elementary and middle school students appreciate the role of science in their lives and to counter the animal rights-based curriculum known as humane education.---"
Once again, the devil gets the last laugh - By Bill O'Reilly - Recordnet.com
"---Once again, I'm not coming at this from a moralistic point of view. If you're older than 18 and
want to pay $10 to watch a chainsaw guy slaughter people, then go ahead. Just don't come over to my house.
If you're an adult who wants to hear some guy rant about prostitutes jumping on him, hey, who am I to tell you you're a moron?
Children are something else. It's time for all Americans to realize your homes have been invaded by insidious forces beyond your control.
Harmful music, movies, computer images and television will
affect your kids, no matter what you do. The American media is celebrating that very troubling turn of events.---"
Libertarian Party Platform: Statement of Principles
(Via: Advocates for Self-Government.)
"We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.---"
Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty
"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence -- it is force.'' -- George Washington
Monday, October 27, 2003
Overlawyered: Update: Calif. business groups launch s. 17200 initiative
October 26, 2003
"As predicted in this space (Sept. 29), a California business coalition which includes the state Chamber of Commerce, auto dealers and the Civil Justice Association of California has launched an initiative drive aimed at curbing lawsuits under s. 17200, the state's bizarrely broad consumer-protection statute. (see Oct. 2, Aug. 27 and links from there). The coalition 'expects to spend $1 million to $2 million to collect signatures to put the initiative on the November 2004 ballot. ... Under the initiative, private attorneys or individuals would no longer be able to file a lawsuit without a specific victim or evidence of harm or financial loss. ... The right to sue on half of the public would rest with the attorney general, county district attorneys and other local prosecutors.' (Gilbert Chan, 'Ballot drive targets lawsuits', Sacramento Bee, Oct. 23). More: Law.com coverage (Jeff Chorney, 'Tort Reformers Want Voters to Remake Calif. Unfair Competition Law', The Recorder, Oct. 27)"
Posted by Walter Olson at October 26, 2003 12:39 PM | TrackBack
Overlawyered: Bin Laden's gift to lawyers
October 26, 2003
"'Say what you like about Osama bin Laden. He's done wonders for the defamation bar,' says a British barrister. A group of wealthy Saudi businessmen are engaging in 'libel tourism,' suing in British courts to silence American critics. British libel law, unburdened by the First Amendment, puts the burden on defendants to prove that their stories are true; the threat of libel suits often acts to deter journalistic inquiries, but now suits are being aimed at American publishers. The Wall Street Journal faces two lawsuits for a February 2002 report on Saudi support for terror that was reprinted in its European edition. (Michael Isikoff & Mark Hosenball, 'Libel Tourism', Newsweek Web, Oct. 22). (via Postrel)"
Posted by Ted Frank at October 26, 2003 11:22 PM | TrackBack
CyberAlert: Exposing Media Bias Daily - Media Research Center Home Page - 10/27/2003 4:29:35 PM
Monday, October 27:
• Rather Uses Staged Democratic Event to Justify Leakgate Story
• “Finally” a Prescription Drug Plan, But Rather Sees GOP in Way
• Jennings Skips Hezbollah Role in Marine Bombing, Rationalizes It
• CBS’s Reagans: Reagan the “Anti-Christ,” Ketchup as Vegetable
• “Moderate” for Good Schools & Low Crime, “Conservative” Isn’t
• Journalist With Tie to MRC Rescues Man in al-Rashid Hotel
Main page provides links to individual articles. - TA
GM may be good for you - Ross Clark says we should ignore the eco-brigade’s hysteria over genetically modified food - The Spectator.co.uk
"---Before rushing off to join Ms Tulip at the furrows, the eco-brigade might just care to study what the government scientists actually said. They have found nothing in GM food that directly harms any kind of wildlife. The reason there are fewer beasts found in GM fields is that fewer weeds grow there. By the same token, any form of farming can be said to be bad for wildlife in that were it not for crops, the land could be given over entirely to weeds. The preservation of nature is a noble aim, but not to the extent that the survival of particular butterflies in particular fields should be allowed to cast a veto over all agricultural improvement. Wouldn’t it be better if butterflies were provided with alternative habitats on field margins and nature reserves where they wouldn’t risk having their wings mangled by combine harvesters? One advantage of higher-yielding GM crops is that they would free up land for nature conservation.---"
Robert Wood Johnson Lays Food Cops' Foundation
Posted On October 27, 2003
"'Greetings, fat people,' writes Jack Gordon in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. 'It cannot have escaped your notice that you lately have been reclassified as not merely unsightly but an actual public health hazard and a menace to society.' The chunky among us, he continues, are now being blamed for 'oppressing the innocent and the svelte by exerting upward pressure on their health-insurance premiums.' And America's public health activists 'intend to put a stop to you.'
How did we get here? Part of the answer can be found in Princeton, New Jersey, where the biggest health cop in the world, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), is headquartered. As we've told you before, RWJF is applying its anti-alcohol model to burgers, fries, and apple pie -- even proclaiming that our love-handles are 'forcing what may be a cultural revolution' in which 'ideas to cut obesity that once sounded extreme are gaining public attention and moving into mainstream thinking.'---"
Obesity Statistics Seriously Flawed
Posted On October 24, 2003
"Testifying at a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing on obesity yesterday, the Center for Consumer Freedom discussed how the three most commonly used statistics associated with the so-called obesity epidemic are all seriously flawed. The three faulty statistics are: 1) that obesity causes 300,000 deaths per year; 2) that 61 percent of Americans are overweight or obese; and 3) that the economic cost of obesity is $117 billion a year. As our testimony pointed out, even the Federal Register notice of the FDA hearing cited two of these three numbers.---"
Edward Wolf: Climate change impacts Oregon agriculture and Health
"News bulletins of extreme weather events around the world tell the same story: The climate system is behaving in ways never seen since societies began keeping weather records.---"
Big example of media errors, lies, distortions and environmentalist propaganda and scare mongering. Check the facts through other sources. Also notice the inconsistencies of "fact" within the article itself. - TA
Same Old Arctic `Warming' - Still Waiting For Greenhouse
(26 Oct 03)
"A new guest article by Willis Eschenbach reveals some major contradictions in the latest media stories about `recent Arctic Warming'. What is clear is that the Arctic was actually warmer during the 1930s - before satellites were around to record every fine detail. It is also shown that the temperature numbers being quoted are quite inconsistent with each other and that the old technique of making a tiny warming look alarming in graphics is alive and well."
See the article here
Edward Gibbon (1737-1894)
English Historian and Author
“What protectionism teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war.”
National Center for Policy Analysis
"Living standards would be 20 percent higher if the tax system didn't penalize labor, say researchers.... "
Click here for more
ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE - boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
"Yup, it was another one of those Democratic presidential debates last night. Another evening of heroic Democrats telling America and the world that if they manage to get into the White House America will switch from a policy of confronting and destroying terrorists to a policy of appeasement and encouragement. With the possible exception of Joe Lieberman, this is a crowd that believes the time has come for the United States to cease being a sovereign nation and meekly accept its place as just another member "state" under the control of the United Nations.
There are many issues before the American people in next year's election. There is no issue, however, that is more important than our security and the defeat of Islamic terrorism. For the first time in over 200 years America has been attacked on our own soil. As soon as that first airplane hit the World Trade Towers there were three courses of action open to our president. Fight them here, fight them there or don't fight them at all. George Bush chose to take the fight against Islamic terrorism overseas. Those Democrats you saw on that platform last night don't want to fight them at all."
Rat Nazis - boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
"---Rat Nazis? What in the hell are Rat Nazis? The Rat Nazis are the great and exalted protectors of the kangaroo rat ... that cute little critter which inhabits the very areas that were burning over the past weekend. I can't say that this is happening today, but several years ago the Rat Nazis wouldn't let you clear an area of underbrush around your home in order to protect it from fires. The underbrush, you see, was a kangaroo rat habitat. I remember one story where a homeowner proceeded to clear a firebreak around his home anyway. Good thing he did, too, because the fire came along within days and destroyed all homes on his street --- except his. After the smoke cleared the government cited this poor SOB for clearing out a rat habitat.
Government ... gotta love it."
by K. Lloyd Billingsley
"---In September, George Will observed that California resembles Britain in 1975, when "bad government by both parties – meaning bad decisions by British voters– had brought that nation to the brink of bankruptcy. "While Britain was "the sick man of Europe," Will wrote, "California is the sick man of the Republic." The problem, in his view, is "infantilism."
"The public has repeatedly used the initiative process to mandate spending that prevents sane budgeting," Mr. Will said, "And the public has used this recall to throw a tantrum about what it, the public, has wrought." Will noted in California a dearth of the "vigorous virtues" that rescued Britain under Margaret Thatcher, and which together can be called "adulthood."
These include entrepreneurship, deferral of gratification, individual initiative, and personal responsibility in making appetites conform to resources. California needs all that, but must also shed another prevailing ethos – utopianism.---"
National Policy Analysis #492: Dioxin Shenanigans: Why the is EPA Afraid of Independent Peer Review
by Bonner R. Cohen
"If he makes it past a bruising Senate confirmation process, Utah Governor and EPA Administrator-designate Mike Leavitt will soon face an even bigger challenge. How does he deal with an entrenched EPA bureaucracy that - if it can get away with it - is perfectly willing to put its own narrow regulatory interests above those of the public it is supposed to serve?---"
Single-Payer Proposal Called ‘Politically Impractical’
"A controversial socialized medicine proposal published in the August 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests the federal government should pay all health care bills for everyone living in the United States, effectively putting private insurers out of business and health care providers on the government payroll. The proposal makes no distinction between U.S. citizens and millions of undocumented immigrants.
The proposal’s sponsors, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), claim the plan has attracted the signatures of 7,782 supporters, including hundreds of academics, medical school deans, thousands of practicing doctors, and medical students. The plan also is endorsed by former surgeons general Dr. David Satcher, who served under President Bill Clinton, and Dr. Julius Richmond, who served under President Jimmy Carter.
The American Medical Association (AMA), which publishes the journal, was quick to say it does not support the proposal. The insurance industry, which is often at odds with the AMA, also opposes the plan.---"
The road to health care serfdom. - TA
Does our Constitution fit into the governing documents of other nations:
"---The question of why Americans would want their constitutional heritage altered by the lack thereof in the rest of the world remains unanswered. Is it proper to attempt to reconcile Saudi Arabia’s complete lack of women’s rights with our Fourteenth Amendment? Does the land-grabbing dictatorial kleptocracy of Zimbabwe have something to teach us about the proper understanding of the Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment? Of course not, because for the moment those justices prone to look beyond our shores for constitutional guidance only acknowledge the parts of the globe where current legal precedent "fits with" these justices’ own – Eurocrats that prefer a centralized, economically liberal system of governance.---"
The FTC Gets in Its Licks
"The freedom of Americans to peacefully manage their own affairs has been shrinking for many decades, as government officials find more and more reasons to tell us what things we must do and what things we may not do. The pettiness of it all is wonderfully demonstrated in a recent decision by the agency that supposedly acts as a protector of the consumer: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).---"
WHAT ON EARTH HAS HAPPENED TO CANADA?
"Once called the "Switzerland of the North", as late as 1968 it was the world's second-richest country. Today, in terms of GDP per capita ($29,300), it ranks ahead of Australia ($27,500) and Britain ($26,400) but just below the G7 average ($30,100) and well behind the U.S. ($35,200). Accompanying – one is tempted to say causing – Canada's relative economic decline has been the rise of many and various interventionist schemes: high taxes, big deficits, growing debt, nationalisation of "key" industries, attempts to control consumer prices, regulation of investment, regional development and transfer payments from the wealthier provinces to the poorer ones (such as Manitoba). Alas, these policies have done nothing either to enrich the country as a whole or to narrow the gap between its wealthy and not-so-wealthy areas. (As in Australia, so too in Canada: no social program ever fails – it is simply "underfunded.")---"