Thursday, July 27, 2006

And here I thought PARENTS were responsible...

... but in Philadelphia, apparently the school districts are.

Vallas said after the press conference that, while schools are safer under his watch, the district should take responsibility for the well-being of all school-age juveniles, regardless of whether they are in school or not.

File under: Nanny State

The definition of fascism

Privately owned, state controlled.

"The measure requires mega-retailers with more than $1 billion in annual sales and stores of at least 90,000 square feet to pay workers at least $10 an hour in wages plus $3 in fringe benefits by mid-2010. The current minimum wage in Illinois is $6.50 an hour and the federal minimum is $5.15."

File under: US Politics, Nanny State

Guns only hurt you and people you care about

Collective gasps were heard Wednesday as gruesome photographs of gunshot victims flashed onto a screen before dozens of teenagers and their parents. “Y’all look. Don’t look away,” the speaker said. “This is where the fascination of guns gets you.”

Guns are made to kill, Davis said, so carrying one – even if it’s to have a sense of protection – doesn’t change its purpose. “You just made a decision you’re ready to die or kill someone,” he said.

I only partially disagree with the last paragraph. Guns ARE for killing people. People carry guns to AVOID dying for lack of defense, not because they've "made a decision you're ready to die".

NY columnist is anti gun!

Yeah, big news huh? It's good practice reading through drivel like this and pointing out all of the fallacies. Here are a few:

One proven way to reduce urban crime is to choke off the supply of guns on the street. [Proven? Where?] And one sure way to do that is for police to track where the guns are coming from. For example, studies in New York have shown, again and again, [then it ought to be easy to cite them...] that a major source of cheap Saturday night specials [made up name] can be traced to Virginia. That information helps law enforcement target black market and rogue dealers. [how about arresting criminals, not lawful business owners?]

But in 2003, the gun lobby succeeded in persuading Congress to prohibit public disclosure of gun tracing data -- an insult to the the [sic] people's right to know. [Where did he get this idea that people have a right to know about the spending habits of other people?]

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of the most outspoken critics of the proposed legislation, and for good reason. He estimates that 82 percent of guns used in crimes in his city come from out of state. [I estimate that 94% of New Yorkers are ignorant fools.]

And the grand finale: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the International Association of Police Chiefs and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers have all voiced opposition to the proposed legislation. How can Congress, in good conscience, not listen?

Gosh, you mean there are THREE small anti-gun groups (two of which are "international" so what should they have to do with our laws?) against it and the only ones supporting it are regular citizens and the 4 million members of the NRA? I just can't figure it out...

File under: Media bias/ignorance

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Undercover cops at your next 4-H/church/homeschool meeting

A group of people decided to have a parade without a permit. The cops sent undercover agents to "infultrate" the group and determine whether or not it posed a threat. If they can do that, why not any other group?

As a country, we have to decide what we want. Do we want to monitor anyone who might possibly commit a crime, or do we want to get all crazy/radical/constitutional and only have our right to privacy invaded when there's a court issued warrant complete with probable cause and all the rest?

Sadly, it seems many prefer the former. Remember, it's for your own good.

File under: Big Brother

Monday, July 24, 2006

26 shots - Now THAT'S professional.

Multiple police officers (at least four) fired 26 shots inside a narrow hallway in an apartment complex in order to subdue a dog that was defending its owner's door while the police beat on it. Holes were left in doors and walls. Of course, it was justified. And I guess if someone else had been hurt or killed (besides the four officers who were hit), that would have been justified too.

File under: Only Ones

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pro Choice vs Sex Selection in the UK

Via Vox:

Sex selection of babies for non-medical reasons is set to be outlawed in the UK under Government plans for a shake-up of embryology regulation. Health Minister Caroline Flint told MPs she was minded to introduce a "clear and specific ban" on the use of new techniques to choose one gender of baby.

Allowing parents to pick sex for reasons such as "balancing" the make-up of their family could be the start of a "slippery slope" to designer babies, she warned.

Wow, could you really be more rationally inconsistent? A commentor sums it up nicely:

You can hear the conversation now:
Woman - I really want a boy, Dr. Can you tell me the sex and then if it's a girl abort it.
Dr - Sorry ma'am, I'm not allowed to do that by law.
Woman - So you can abort it for no reason but not for a reason?
Dr - That's right - It's all part of being a Dr.....and being British.
Woman - Oh, ok, well just abort it then. Wouldn't want to take a chance, now would I?
Dr - Jolly good and all that sort of rot!

Police tie jump in crime to juveniles

Although guns are mentioned quite a bit, I'm surprised to find that they're not directly blamed for everything in this article in the USA Today. What is to blame? Gangs. It's as simple as that.

Minneapolis police estimate that this year, juveniles will account for 63% of all suspects in violent and property offenses there, up from 45% in 2002.

In Boston, juvenile arrests for robbery rose 54% in 2005; weapons arrests involving youths rose 103%. "Kids are jumping into this violence," police Superintendent Paul Joyce says. "We're very concerned."

So what's the root of the problem of kids in gangs? Home life? Culture? Lack of meaningful and consistent sentencing? Nope.
Localities often complain they don't have enough money; now the chorus is getting louder. Tight budgets and an emphasis on terrorism have shifted federal and state money from police and programs for youths. "It should be no surprise that the streets are more violent," Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says. Since 2003, he says, Minneapolis has lost at least $35 million a year in state funding for city programs.

Right. If only we could extort more money from the citizens to fund the public programs, all these problems would just go away.

Drive-by shooting at sex offender's home

"Whether or not a person is guilty or has received the right punishment is not up to the police or the neighbors, it is up to the court to decide. "

This is why I don't support the registration and publication of personal information of "sex offenders". If they're so dangerous that they can't live near schools or they need their name on a publicly accessible list, then they're dangerous enough to keep locked up away from the rest of us. If they've been sufficiently punished and are trustworthy enough to be set free, then set them free. All I'm asking for is consistency.


I didn't really do it justice.

The ridiculous intimidation of a peaceful anti-illegal immigration rally in Morristown, TN needs a little more attention than I gave it in the post below. You can still read the news story at the link provided there, but I think the pictures say much more than can be described there. Here's a sample, and keep in mind that this is a pre-arranged, peaceful rally with all the necessary permits, et. al.

Other pictures at the site include shots of the tracked armored vehicle, helicopter, two mobile command units, a fire truck with hoses unrolled, and a parking lot full of squad cars (that coincidentally forced anyone who wanted to attend the rally to park several blocks away).

This is Tennessee, but you'd think it was China.

For what it's worth, I don't care what kind of group is having a rally - this kind of 'prior restraint' is a blatant infringement on the right to free speech. I'd be just as upset no matter what kind of group was being stifled like this.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

J&G Sales in trouble over endorsing a politician

..because they're not "authorized journalists". If you think we really have free speech, read the story.

If you still think we do, read this story, where protestors aren't allowed to have their flags on flagpoles because they're "considered weapons". The unbiased (but pictureless) story is here.

Fox and Friends - Kilmead Calls for Office of Censorship

On June 29, during Fox News Radio's "Brian & The Judge," co-host Brian Kilmeade (also co-host of Fox News' "Fox & Friends") suggested that the U.S. government should "put up the Office of Censorship."

Kilmeade noted that, during World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt instituted an Office of Censorship.

Kilmeade then (rather incoherently) justified reviving the idea:

KILMEADE: See, I'm more into the ends justifying the means. And what they do is, you can sunset this... The same way they have the Patriot Act sunsetted. You put up the Office of Censorship. You get a consensus to journalists to analyze and then you realize what FDR realized early. Winning is everything. Freedom is -- you don't have any freedom if the Nazis are the victors.

You see, we have to "suspend freedom for just a little bit" while we get this ugliness worked out. Honest, the feds will give it back when they're done with it. Sure thing. We'll go back to normal just as soon as the "war on terror" is over. When do you think that will be? I suppose it'll be right after we declare victory in the "war on drugs" and the "war on poverty". Then you'll get your freedoms back.

File under: Big Brother

Blago must be worried

At least, that's the only reason I can come up with as to why he's pulling this sort of stunt. He's trying to appeal to down-staters with tripe like this:

"Had my dad immigrated to the southern part of the state, instead of being a steelworker, he'd have been a coal miner, and I probably would have grown up instead of shooting hoops at the playground, shooting rifles and hunting," said Blagojevich, appearing in casual dress outside the state-funded $50 million World Shooting and Recreational Complex that his administration championed.


"A guy in my neighborhood with a gun, that's a gang-banger, and he ain't hunting deer or quail. That guy's up to no good. It's a lot different down here," Blagojevich added, stressing that he understands the distinction. "It's law-abiding, it's legitimate, and it ought to be celebrated."

So my US Constitutionally guaranteed right (which extends to me even in your state through the 14th amendment) is nothing but a regional preference? The only reason everyone in Chicago who has a gun is a criminal is that (people like) you have made it a crime to be in Chicago with a gun.

If I'm reading his sentence right, he's saying that "a guy down here with a gun is legitimate and ought to be celebrated". Is he proposing some kind of "Southern IL Gun Fest"? Somehow I doubt it.

I would happily let Chicago succeed from IL and leave us the heck alone. Sadly, the reason is that with all their voting power, they're able to trample my Constitutional rights.

Codrea on Education

David departs ever so slightly from the norm and has a great snip at Publik Skools:

As for at the state level, separation of school and state would suit me just fine--right now, with confiscatory taxes to pay for educating others and sustaining collectivist teachers union monopolies, and with comnpulsory [sic] attendance in mandated Second Amendment-free zones, the entire corrupt system is inevitably one big inmate-conditioning hive.