Logan Clements, Defender of American Rights
Finally, something to make me smile a little.
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, because..."
The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed--where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees-- however improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.Once again, I find it disheartening that many of the quotes brought out that provide a postive view of individual liberty seem to come from the dissent.
I've been reading a lot of the reaction to Kelo online. One of the oft-repeated suggestions is to fight it at the state and local level. I'm all for that, but I didn't quite know how. My position on eminent domain is so far off the charts that it doesn't even register. Any solution I would propose is probably counter-productive.
However, Virginia Postrel points out the text of what a city in Texas did to limit their eminent domain authority. I think it's a hell of a good first step, and something that you should consider trying to get passed in your community. The Castle Coalition has lots of good info as well.
Her post also points out the lack of a well-defined theory of when externalities justify government intervention. That's an interesting subject that I'm not sure is subject to a simple test.
The Houston Gay Pride Parade was this past weekend. Paul has photos. We don't have photos because someone left the camera in the car and nobody wanted to walk back and get it.
One addition this year was the crowd control barriers freakin' everywhere. In years past, the only place with the metal fences was the actual corner of Montrose & Westheimer. The first year J and I went, we ended up on opposite sides of Westheimer. She finally found me because I was standing on one of the barriers at the corner. It's hard to miss a six foot tall guy standing on a five foot tall crowd barrier, even in the madness that is the Pride Parade.
We were standing in front of Sliders this year and the barriers came down at least that far. I guess the HPD mounted cops got tired of shooing everyone back onto the sidewalk every 30 minutes or so, which used to be what happened. The parade itself seemed to last longer than usual this year, too. I have no insight as to why, since I didn't see some floats from years past.
Anyhow, a fun time was had by most, it seemed. You should go next year.
It's difficult to distinguish interstate commerce from intrastate commerce and commerce from non-commerce, and it's difficult to distinguish public use from private use.Well, no, it’s only difficult if you’re confused and/or a lawyer. Interstate commerce is commerce that crosses state lines. No matter what people in the legal profession have argued, if the exchange of goods or services does not cross the boundary of a sovereign state, it’s not interstate. If the commerce is conducted entirely within the boundaries of a state, it’s intrastate. This is not complicated, although the legal profession has made it so. Similarly, commerce is distinguished from non-commerce in that there is an exchange of goods or services. If I give you a watermelon and receive nothing in return, it’s not commerce. Similarly, if I grow a plant in my backyard and consume it myself, it’s not commerce. The concept of exchange is basic to the idea of commerce. No exchange, no commerce. If you give me 20 bucks for some weed, it’s commerce. (Note to constitutional scholars: The concept of "affecting the market" is crap made up by weasels to justify abrogating the Constitution, mmkay?)
Something has gone seriously awry with this Court’s interpretation of the Constitution.Gee, you think? Too bad 5 of your less-than-esteemed colleagues don’t agree.
Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded - i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public -in the process.Does anybody want to argue eminent domain is a good idea anymore? The Supreme Court said the government can take your stuff if somebody else can use it better. The road to serfdom apparently runs right through the middle of fucking SCOTUS.
So once again, PETA is whacking out the animals. I remain ignorant of the ethics of throwing corpses into dumpsters, except to note it is apparently illegal. What makes PETA's slaughter and dumping of animals anymore or less ethical than someone else's? If PETA feels free to kill and discard animals simply because said animals are inconvenient or costly, why is it bad for me to eat animals? Can someone explain this to me in some fashion I can understand? How does "Ethical Treatment" translate into euthanized and thrown in a dumpster? Admittedly, I skipped most of catechism as a child. The only philosophy class I took I snoozed through. (Pass/fail, baby!) So my grasp of ethics is a tad simplistic, running mostly to Kant's Universal Law version of the categorical imperative and the golden rule.
Or can I just call it hypocrisy and be done?
H/t to Darth Apathy.
Well, I guess one of the fun things about following politics right now is watching and betting on the imminent collapse of the Democratic Party. The donks have been around in one form or another for a very long time. They are, however, pushing themselves ever closer to the brink of extinction. There is a huge disconnect between the angry left, which appears to dominate the party, and the average voter.
John Conyers, et al, are setting up make-believe impeachment proceedings in the basement of the House. Are these the actions of people trying to convince people they're serious? They're pandering to the people who are already convinced that Bush should be impeached. The average voter isn't in that group.
Similarly, Sen. Dick Durbin (D – Overwrought) has made some statements calculated to whip the fringe lunatic faithful into an orgiastic frenzy. Unfortunately, his statements and subsequent refusal to apologize for them has made most people think he and his party are lunatics.
Finally, there's Howard Dean. I'm sure he's capable of opening his mouth and not inserting his foot. I'm also sure he hasn't done it lately. Again, he is pandering to the party faithful and MoveOn wing of the donks.
The problem here, as many have pointed out, is that elections are won in the center. The crazy talk coming from the donk party is alienating the center. Somehow, the donks think that's a good idea. I don't see it as winning elections for them.
Zayenko, a mousy young man from Kharkov, disdained killing his victims with his own hands. He had a knack for artistic flogging and would end his part of the performance by skinning his victim's hands. The actual killing was left to his assistant, Eduard, who made it a point of honor never to shoot before telling the practically dead man a funny story.Hmm. Out of all the stories I've read about this, I have yet to hear of US troops skinning anyone. Somebody needs to clue in Newsweek if that's the case.
In the newsroom faith that I have been describing, Watergate is not just a big, big story with a knock-out ending. It is the great redemptive tale believers learn to tell about the press and what it can do for the American people. It is a story of national salvation: truth their only weapon, journalists save the day. Whether the story can continue to claim enough believers--and connect the humble to the heroic in journalism--is to my mind a big question. Whether it should continue is an even better question.The idea of a religion of journalism explains a lot of the reaction from professional journalists to media criticism from the general populace. We are questioning their deeply held faith and trying to destroy the temple from without. Of course they're going to react poorly.
Gershenfeld writes that it's possible to do a surprising amount of general-purpose personal design and manufacturing work by combining existing off-the-shelf components in new ways, and he spends a lot of time talking about the results of his experiments in that direction. His discussions are very interesting, but to me the most interesting thing was his discovery that lots of people want this kind of capability -- not because they hope to make money out of it, necessarily, but because they want to be able to make things for themselves that they can't buy elsewhere.There’s a gaping hole in the argument here that should be familiar to everybody that does product design for living. There is an old story about a manager at Black and Decker walking into a conference room and asking the assembled group why people bought drills. A variety of reasons are proposed, but none strike him as correct. The reason people buy drills, he points out, is not because they have an intrinsic need for a drill. They want a hole. A drill, like all tools, is a means to that end.
Walker, 48, stormed out of her home with a potentially lethal Walther CP88 gas-powered pistol in her hand and fired six shots at the feet of one of the terrified gang.Yes, she shot at the ground with an air pistol and for this she gets 6 months in jail. No mention is made of her actually hitting anyone, for which I'm sure she would have been sentenced even more harshly. I find this story almost completely laughable.
In a third of Houston’s 30 high schools, scores on standardized exams have risen as enrollment has shrunk. At Austin High, for example, 2,757 students were enrolled in the 1997–98 school year, when only 65 percent passed the 10th-grade math test. Three years later, 99 percent of students passed the math exam, but enrollment had shrunk to 2,215 students. The school also reported that dropout figures had plummeted from 4.1 percent to 0.3 percent. Rather than a sudden 20 percent drop in enrollment, the school had used a strategy of holding back low-scoring ninth-graders and then promoting them directly to 11th grade to avoid the 10th-grade exam.
Turning messy fact into orderly fiction necessarily entails simplification; turning it into artful fiction demands as well that this simplification acknowledge the full complexity of human nature and human experience. These seemingly contradictory requirements can easily be fumbled by the artist whose principal goal is to persuade an audience of the rectitude of his cause. We do not expect him to portray the world creatively, but to tell us the unadorned truth about things as they really are. Yet propagandists are rarely prepared to tell the whole truth and nothing but. They alter reality not in order to "make everything more beautiful" but to stack the deck.Or, to be slightly less verbose (for once), the artist feels compelled to sacrifice the integrity of the piece to make a point. Mr. Teachout focuses primarily on the failures of progressives to make quality art to express their beliefs, but the situation exists on both sides. How many horrible country songs about freedom and America are there? I still retain a special bit of loathing for Lee Greenwood, all because of this. I don’t mean to suggest that you can’t be extraordinarily successful pandering to your base. However, successful doesn’t mean good. (For a concrete example, look at the entire career of Britney Spears.) I guess it depends on your personal approach to your art. If creating the best work you can is important, ditch the ideology. If not, go for the cheap seats. I would think it makes you just as much of a sell-out as anybody ever was.
Baby boomers, many of whom seem to have trouble accepting the fact that time has passed, often seem incredulous that the major formulating events of their lives simply aren't that interesting to everyone else.My only change to that sentence? The phrase “seem to have trouble” needs to read “are incapable of”. The world has moved on, and yet the boomers refuse to move with it. This is part of why the entire press corps seemed to orgasm last week over the revelation that some senile old man broke the law 30 years ago. (The other part, of course, being the validation of the journalist as noble culture-hero myth, which has taken quite a beating lately.) The boomers are still fixated on Watergate as the seminal event in journalism and politics.
Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.No, really? The Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers? Clarence Thomas is 57 years old. Surely at some point before now he noticed the tendency of the Federal Government to take more and more power under tenuous justifications at best. Maybe not. He might have been napping. For his entire freakin’ life.