Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

To my first mate and mother of our four children whose hard work has made our relationship better than ever. BFF. More and better dear. Love ya!

And of course good wishes to all my readers. The comments and page views make blogging so much fun. Thank you!

And the kids wouldn't like it if they didn't get a mention. So here is to #1 son, #2 son, #3 son, and #1 daughter. BTW my daughter's real name is Barbra Ann. But my mate wanted to call her something else. So of course I deferred to superior forces. Discretion being the better part of valor.

And my mother, at 91, is still a joy. So happy to have you with us. The #3 son and #1 daughter have been visiting her for the holidays.

Happy New Year!!!

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, December 30, 2010

He Had A Gun

The good stuff is in the last 30 seconds of the video.

Ending Abortion

Breitbart has a post up on abortion. They are against it. Well I am too. But I worry about things like vagina police (with sovereign immunity) or God forbid the militarization of enforcement.

But I have an idea. If we paid women $100,000 a year (inflation adjusted) from conception until age 21 we could nearly end abortion. I don't know why the idea is not popular. I mean really, what would it be worth to end such a practice? We could just tax the rich to pay for the effort.

So who is having an abortion?

During that period, the proportion of abortions obtained by women younger than 20 dropped steadily, falling from 33 percent in 1974 to 17 percent in 2004. For those younger than 18, it fell from 15 percent of all abortions in 1974 to 6 percent in 2004. At the same time, the proportion of abortions obtained by women in their 20s increased from 50 percent to 57 percent, and the share done for women age 30 and older rose from 18 percent to 27 percent.

Although abortion rates have declined among all racial and ethnic groups, large disparities persist, with Hispanic and black women having the procedure at rates three to five times the rate of white women.

In 2004, there were 10.5 abortions per 1,000 white women ages 15 to 44, compared with 28 per 1,000 Hispanic women of that age and 50 per 1,000 black women. That translates into approximately 1 percent of white women having an abortion in 2004, compared with 3 percent of Hispanic women and 5 percent of black women. Jones attributed that to the focus on reducing teenage pregnancy and on increasing contraceptive use.

"We've made the most important progress in reducing teen pregnancy and abortion rate, [rather] than reducing unintended pregnancy in older women," Jones said.

The proportion of all abortions performed for white women decreased from 45 percent in 1994 to 34 percent in 2004, while the proportion for Hispanics increased from 16 percent to 22 percent and the proportion for black women rose from 35 percent to 37 percent.

"We know from other research that having lower income makes a woman more likely to get an abortion. Women of color tend to be lower-income, and so in turn when confronted with an unintended pregnancy are more likely to have an abortion," Jones said.
If the poor are having more abortions wouldn't it be a good idea to subsidize them to end the practice?

In Israel there is a group that does just that.
Inside an office about the size of a three-bedroom apartment, the walls are covered with pictures of babies and letters from grateful mothers.

In a warehouse a few blocks away, three workers pack boxes with essentials—diapers, baby wipes, formula, matzo for Passover in the spring—alongside stacks of pint-sized mattresses and rows of strollers.

Meet the unlikely face of Israel’s “pro-choice,” anti-abortion movement: Efrat, a no-frills effort to dissuade Israeli women from having an abortion.

There are no religious arguments or political lobbying at Efrat, where volunteers offer a year’s worth of services and supplies to women who choose—that’s the “pro-choice” part—to carry their children to term.

“Women on the whole, they don’t want to do this abortion,” said Ruth Tidhar, an assistant director at Efrat. “They feel like they have no choice. Our aim is to give the woman a choice.”

For a country obsessed with demographics, abortion in Israel is a surprisingly uncontroversial topic. Unlike in the United States, where it’s a perennial wedge issue, there is a consensus in Israel on making abortion accessible, if rare.

Efrat isn’t trying to change abortion laws. Instead, it hopes women will seek its support rather than have an abortion for economic reasons.

“We’re not against abortions,” Tidhar said. “We’re for women.”

Efrat President Dr. Eli Schussheim said the organization is built around former clients who, having seen that it’s possible to have a child in spite of harsh economic realities, will then counsel other women against abortion.

“This is the unique approach,” he said. “We don’t need to change laws because we don’t believe that laws can educate people.”
In America the anti-abortion crowd is for women too. From informal surveys I have done here from time to time the consensus among the anti-abortion (by force of law) crowd favors what amounts to misdemeanor manslaughter for the "provider" and the woman (who contracted the "hit") goes free. Why? Well evidently women don't have a will of their own and the "providers" are coercing women into doing something that they would rather not do. i.e. like drugs it is all about "pushers" and women and babies are innocent victims of the pushers. I expect an Abortion War will turn out a lot like the Drug War. A corrupt failure at every level.

I (like the Israelis in the story) favor private initiatives. In America we have Rockford Pro Life. Some of my readers are not entirely happy with Rockford Pro Life. There is a simple answer to that. This is America. Take the initiative. Start your own group. Me? I'm nearly full up fighting drug prohibition. I have another 5 or 10 years to go with that. But if you start a group I WILL give you publicity. Or if you know of other anti-abortion groups in America who don't have faith in anti-abortion laws - let me know. I'll give them publicity.

A history of attitudes towards abortion with a focus on the United States:

Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not Possible

Watts Up With That is looking into complexity and finds prediction in complex situations difficult according to the IPCC.

Third Assessment Report: “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”
It all starts from the simple idea that increasing internal radiation reflection (Greenhouse Gas Theory) increases temperature. Fine so far. But there are complications. The climate system is not simple physics. For instance: surface water absorbs energy. And the Earth's surface has a LOT of water. Well the water evaporates and you get clouds. Clouds are very complicated. Sometimes the water vapor precipitates out of the atmosphere and you get rain, or snow, or sleet, or hail. This is part of an energy transport system (heat pipe)in the atmosphere. Clouds also complicate the radiation picture. They reflect from both sides. Which matters day AND night on Earth but only day for incoming radiation. And that is just one aspect of the system. Vegetation varies radiation depending on type and amount.
The simple and not so simple physics of a number of climate parameters, are programmed into the climate computer models. Many of these parameters, it is acknowledged, are not completely understood or that there is serious contentious debate about in the scientific literature. ie aerosols, clouds, solar pacific and atlantic oscillations, volcanoes, etc,etc

Engineers (or economists now, perhaps) will advice climate scientists, model are not reality, reality is often more complicated than any computer model. Take a step back, view with hindsight with respect to risk in the financial markets. At the trouble the cream of the last few decades of science graduates – turned computer modellers – left the world’s economy in, following the modelling of credit risk amongst many other economic assumptions.
Engineers have always been the biggest sceptics (I prefer the Brit spelling) of the CO2 causes global warming hypothesis.

Engineers spend decades in efforts to match simple deterministic systems to complex environments.

Back in the 80s I (electronics engineer) used to worry about second order effects (deviations from simple laws) caused by the non-linearity of materials. We are now in third order territory with occasional forays into fourth order effects. Climate is like 14th or 40th order stuff. And very non-linear. It is possible (not likely) for 12th order effects to have first order results (chaos).

Is it possible to do decent predictions in short time frames? Maybe. I saw Piers Corbin on Nightline the other day and he has claimed to have predicted much recent weather and predicts a cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
Piers Corbyn’s presentation showed the major advances in power and skill now achieved by his Solar-Lunar-Action-Technique (SLAT) of weather & climate forecasting which now includes the ability to predict from months ahead extreme events all over the world and changes in the Jet Stream such as those which caused the West Russian heatwave and the Pakistan super-deluges and floods and marked their ending in mid August 2010. In his presentation Piers showed a film of the double sunspot superfast solar coronal ejection on 14th August and the consequent Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance and the predicted jet stream disruption – See:

For WeatherAction summer forecasts 2007, 08, 09 and winter forecasts 2008/9 and 09/10 which beat all-comers see:
He seems to be doing OK so far. BTW he is a "CO2 causes global warming" sceptic.

Some urls:

And some books:

Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed

The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change

Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


A US Navy Officer has committed suicide over a no drug drug bust.

A U.S. Navy officer jumped to his death at Manila's airport after he was arrested with what was thought to be cocaine, Philippine officials said Tuesday, but tests later showed the white powder wasn't an illegal drug.

Lt. Cmdr. Scintar Buenviaje Mejia died of head injuries after jumping from a second-floor staircase Monday while a security guard escorted him to the bathroom, aviation police chief Pedro Desuasido said.

The 35-year-old Mejia, a U.S. citizen of Filipino descent, was arrested a day earlier at an airport X-ray machine after security officials found a plastic packet containing what was suspected to be cocaine in his bag, Desuasido said. He was about to board a flight to Los Angeles.

Desuasido said Mejia shouted and threw the packet at security officials. He denied the packet was his and claimed he was set up.
That is always a problem with status crimes like drug possession. You are effectively guilty until proven innocent. And all it takes is a police officer who takes a dislike to you.

Mexico has a different problem. The police there are getting the very short end of the stick. American drug prohibition is very hard on the Mexican police.
The last remaining police officer in the Mexican border town of Guadalupe has disappeared, and prosecutors in northern Chihuahua state said Tuesday they have started a search for her.

Twenty-eight-year-old officer Ericka Gandara held out despite the desertions and resignations that left her as the only officer in the Juarez Valley town, which was served by eight police a year ago.

But Gandara hasn't been seen since Dec. 23. While some local media have reported Gandara was kidnapped, prosecutors' spokesman Arturo Sandoval said her relatives have not filed a kidnap complaint.

Sandoval said the search was started Monday as a missing-person case.

The same day she disappeared, assailants also set fire to the home of a Guadalupe town councilwoman.

The Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels have been battling for control of the Juarez Valley, leading many residents to flee across the border to Texas or to other Mexican cities.
All my prohibitionist friends need to get together and yell continuously at the top of their lungs, "It can't happen here." It may be utopianism but the energy expended in shouting makes sleep come easier. Which is all to the good. If you don't count what has likely happened to Ericka Gandara.

And another question for my prohibitionist friends: were the alcohol wars of the 1920s caused by a desire for alcohol or a desire for prohibition? Which appetite is it easier for society to abandon? Clue: alcohol is still with us. Alcohol prohibition is not.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, December 27, 2010

Stumble Bums

It looks like a number of Republican aspirants to the Republican nomination for President have stumbled in December. Mike Huckabee is emblematic of the stumblers.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee didn't have an easy December, either. Writing about the much-debated proposal to "cap and trade" greenhouse gas emissions, Huckabee said, "I never did support and never would support it, period."

But at an October 2007 meeting of the Global Warming and Energy Solutions Conference in New Hampshire, Huckabee said: "I also support cap and trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon-counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap and trade."

Addressing the contradiction, Huckabee said it is fine for companies to voluntarily engage in cap and trade. "But I was clear that we could not force U.S. businesses to do what their Chinese counterparts refused to," he said.
They did give Palin an honorable mention for "doing nothing" in December.

One candidate not mentioned at all is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. I must say I like Gary's domestic policies (see video below). But a geopolitician he is not.
Gary Johnson opposed the war in Iraq as Governor of New Mexico and believes that the United States should withdraw our troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as effectively possible, believing that neither country poses a current threat to the US.

The United States should not be borrowing money to build roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure in foreign countries, especially when such help is currently needed at home. Non-military foreign aid around the world is something we can not currently afford.
Well Gary, who exactly do you foresee filling the power vacuum when the Americans leave? And building roads and bridges in other countries? Bribery by America of foreign powers is as traditional as Jefferson paying off the Barbary Pirates to leave American ships alone. And we didn't have much money then either. Oh. Well. It appears that the reality of office and immersion in the global situation changes a person's views about the wisest course of action. Better to come in with the right framework to begin with though. But eventually circumstances master opinions. Just ask Winston Churchill.

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. - Winston Churchill

And now for the video:

I was a Libertarian before it was trendy (I voted Ron Paul for President in '88) and I left the Libertarian Party for the Republicans (libertarian branch) post 9/11. And I joined the TEA Party as soon as I heard Santelli's Rant.

Tea Party Difference

Click on the above image and learn how to spread it around.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, December 26, 2010

DRAM Prices Will Fall in 2011

If you are planning RAM (memory) upgrades for your computer wait until the second half of 2011 to buy. Prices will be dropping drastically.

There are four phases in the semiconductor cycle. During a shortage, prices stabilize and manufacturers become profitable. They invest these profits in wafer fabs, avoiding steep taxes on retained earnings. Invariably, this level of investment is too high and results in an oversupply two years after the company’s original commitment to add capacity. This oversupply drives prices into a collapse, evaporating profits.

As long as manufacturers are unprofitable, they can’t expand production to meet the needs of a steadily growing market. This creates a shortage a couple of years later, and the market enters another period of stable prices and profits.
So the reason the market is so unsteady is taxes. Just another entry in "the power to tax is the power to destroy" file. The smart investor takes advantage of these known cycles - when he can.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

And Seasons Greetings to my more secular friends.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ron Paul Will Be Auditing The Fed

I'm a little late to the party (this is from 12 Nov.) but it is true.
Ron Paul will be keeping an eye on the Federal Reserve.

Ben Bernanke has had his hands full since his first day on the job as Federal Reserve chairman nearly five years ago. It's about to get even tougher.

His harshest critic on Capitol Hill, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, is about to become one of his overseers.

With the Republicans coming to power, Paul, who would like to abolish the Fed and the nation's current monetary system, will become the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy.

If you've never heard of the committee before, you're not alone. But Paul promises you'll be hearing a lot more from it.

"It's basically been a committee that's dealt with commemorative coins. I'm going to deal with monetary policy," he said.
Another site described the move this way:
The greatest critic of fiat currency perhaps anywhere in the world is about to take control of a congressional panel that would conduct oversight on the US Federal Reserve bank.

This could get interesting.
Yes it could.

A book by a well known libertarian author on the subject:

The Case Against the Fed

Here is part of a review from 2000:
This book, written by Murray Rothbard, an economist and historian of fairly well known repute, is a scathing attack on not only the Federal Reserve, but the interests that created this institution. Rothbard is an adept writer, as he takes a concept that can be fairly daunting and makes it accessible to the those readers without an economics background. I considered trying to earn a degree in Economics, but abandoned it when I found out that most of it is tied to higher mathematics. I'm more interested in the conceptual side. Rothbard cuts out math and focuses on the real meat of the issue, the concepts that govern money supply and inflation.

The book starts by discussing the biggest problem with the Federal Reserve system, which is fractional reserve banking. Rothbard explains how this system is only functioning because people believe that it works. If there was a run on banks tomorrow, the entire financial system would collapse, because there isn't enough "real" money in reserve to cover all of the bank notes in circulation
How far are we from such an eventuality? Probably too close for comfort.

Of course metals are no panacea. A flood of precious metals from the new world in the 16th century caused severe inflation in Spain. Now a days it would take a gold asteroid to do the job. But that is a possibility that is not out of the question.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'

Pat Robertson thinks the war on marijuana is bad for family values. I have been saying that for decades. I have been posting this link often: Demographics. It runs down what mass incarceration does to family values.

BTW Pat says he is "not exactly for the use of drugs". I'd love to find what exactly he is for.

I also wonder what his real motivation is. Why now? Why not 5 years ago? Maybe he is a secret user of med pot. Or he has some one close to him who uses med pot. Or perhaps news of things like The Mutiny In Montana have filtered in to him. Or maybe it really is what he claims - his prison ministry opened his eyes.

Well any way Pat. Welcome aboard. I hope you bring a few of your friends with you.

I think I'm detecting the beginnings of a tectonic shift in attitudes towards the War On Marijuana. A long time friend (in Internet Years) who is deeply religious threw in the towel on pot prohibition about 6 months ago in a private communication to me. I wonder if Pat's "coming out" will embolden my friend to go public? In any case the last major pocket of resistance to the end of Cannabis Prohibition (those who favor prohibition on religious grounds) is beginning to crumble. The end is nigh.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pill Outbreak

Southern Ohio is in the midst of a public health emergency. There is a serious outbreak of pills in the area.

Nearly one in 10 babies were born addicted to drugs last year in southern Ohio's Scioto County. Rehab admissions for prescription painkiller addictions were five times the national average. In a rare step, the health commissioner declared a public health emergency, something usually reserved for disease outbreaks.

The culprits putting the rural county at the forefront of a burgeoning national problem are not only the people abusing the painkillers, officials say. They blame at least eight area "pill mills" — clinics or doctors that dole out prescription medications like OxyContin with little discretion. At least two health care providers are facing criminal charges.

"I would describe it as if a pharmaceutical atomic bomb went off," said Lisa Roberts, a nurse for the health department in Portsmouth, an Ohio River city of about 20,000 with falling population and high unemployment.

Health officials say nine of every 10 fatal drug overdoses in Scioto (pronounced sy-OH'-toh) County are caused by prescription drugs. Of those drug deaths, nearly two-thirds of the individuals did not have prescriptions, meaning they bought the drugs illegally or got them from friends or family.
Obviously since 2/3rds did not get their medications legally the "pill mills" are at fault.

There are other "pill mills" around the country that are getting attention.
By publicly defending Stephen and Linda Schneider, a Kansas doctor and nurse accused of running a “pill mill,” pain treatment activist Siobhan Reynolds irked the prosecutor assigned to the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway was so annoyed that in April 2008 she sought a court order telling Reynolds to shut up. Concluding that such an order would be an unconstitutional prior restraint of speech, U.S. District Judge Monti Belot said no.

But by the time Belot sentenced the Schneiders last month, he was so irritated by Reynolds’ advocacy on behalf of the couple that he could not contain himself. He said he hoped the harsh sentences—three decades each—would “curtail or stop the activities of the Bozo the Clown outfit known as the Pain [Relief] Network, a ship of fools if there ever was one.”

Reynolds, who founded the Pain Relief Network (PRN) in 2003 to highlight the chilling effect of drug law enforcement on the practice of medicine, evidently has a talent for getting under the skin of people in power. But that is not a crime. By treating it as such, Treadway has used grand jury secrecy to cloak an unconstitutional vendetta.
The previous link leads to the PRN in case you want to learn more.

Of course I have written about the war on pain patients before. Just another advantage of having a war on pain relievers. What is the new motto in American jurisprudence? "Better 10,000 in pain than one additional drug abuser." You have to look at this in a positive light though.If you are in pain there is a thriving black market if you can afford it.

Here is a book that addresses current policy:

Pain Control and Drug Policy: A Time for Change

Here are some short reviews:
"A captivating and a powerfully expressed condemnation of the mindless folly of drug policy. Its great strength is the clarity of thought and power of expression." Paul O'Mahony Ph.D., Criminologist, Trinity College, Dublin.
--Book Review

"A dispassionate and multifaceted analysis of the harmful effects of drug policy in the US and abroad [that calls for] re-legalizing all illicit drugs." Jeffrey A. Miron, Ph.D., Harvard University, Cambridge, MA --Book Review

"Faguet's book is the latest classic in a growing literature on the divisive and counterproductive nature of drug wars. In passionate terms, he describes the history and development of current legislation and reveals that, far from protecting society, current drug policy undermines the fragile social, political, and legal infrastructures of producer countries and penalizes millions of petty offenders and pain sufferers in consumer countries. Strongly argued and uncompromising, this is essential reading for anyone with an open-mind, and an interest in drugs and drug legislation." --John B.Davies BA., Ph.D., C.Psychol., FBPsS., FRSM, Professor of Psychology, Director, Centre for Applied Social Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
I have to agree with the reviews. A well working prohibition (yeah a logical prohibition - a novel idea) should keep drugs from those who supposedly don't need them and get them (through legal markets) to people who do. Instead our policies insure pretty much the opposite. Not to mention that for 30 years it has been considerably easier for kids to get an illegal drug than to get a legal beer according to government surveys. What is the point of that?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Switch Hitters

This is not about proper strategy for baseball team managers. It is about legislator going from Democrat to Republican. Here is sme news from November 4th.

The Republicans’ 60-seat pickup in Congress – the most by any party in a half-century – appears insignificant when you consider that in the New Hampshire state House, Republicans appear to have gained at least 120 seats.

All told, Republicans gained at least 680 state legislative seats nationwide on Tuesday night, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, an outcome that could have far-reaching implications for both parties.

Preliminary results indicate that the GOP gained control of at least 19 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers, while holding others where they were already in the majority. Heading into the election, Democrats controlled both houses of 27 state legislatures, while Republicans held both in 14, and eight were evenly divided.

The result is devastating for Democrats in this respect: Many state legislatures control the decennial process of redrawing state legislative and congressional district boundaries. The NCSL now says Republicans have unilateral control of the boundaries of 190 congressional districts.
And that was just November 4th. Since then there have been a lot of defections.

Some of them are chronicled at the below links:

Like Rats from a Sinking Ship: Yet another Democrat Rep. switches to Republican in Georgia

BIG NEWS!! Another Party Switcher - Dem Rep. in Kansas goes Republican

Small-town Mayor in New Jersey switches to Republican; inspired by Chris Christie. From the link:
Since the election dozens of local elected officials and state legislators have switched from Democrat to Republican in the States of Maine, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, South Dakota, and now New Jersey.
Yet another Georgia Democrat State Rep. switches to Republican

Two more Party Switchers to join Republicans: This time in the Lone Star State

Three more Democrats switch to Republican in Georgia From the link:
Seven Democrat state legislators in Georgia have switched to Republican since the election. Now the Democrat switchers includes Democrats who are not legislators.

Meet the Georgia GOP's three newest members.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Two black Democrats bolt party for GOP"
Two African-American Democrats [Actually three] on Thursday announced that they were joining the Republican Party.

Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell and former state executive committee member Andre Walker said the Democratic Party had grown too liberal and they are finding a new home with the Republicans.

Athens, G - A going Republican?

South Dakota State Senator & World Famous Vineyard Owner switches to Republican

Well you get the idea. Maybe my post Socialism has died - it has not gone to heaven v2.0, was just a bit premature. The November election is going to hurt Democrats for at least a decade and maybe decades.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mutiny In Montana

The Missoulian reports on a marijuana case in Montana that went bad for the prosecution. They couldn't seat a jury.

A funny thing happened on the way to a trial in Missoula County District Court last week.

Jurors – well, potential jurors – staged a revolt.

They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a couple of buds of marijuana. Never mind that the defendant in question also faced a felony charge of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for some members of the jury panel.

No, they said, one after the other. No way would they convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce.

In fact, one juror wondered why the county was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all, said a flummoxed Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul.

District Judge Dusty Deschamps took a quick poll as to who might agree. Of the 27 potential jurors before him, maybe five raised their hands. A couple of others had already been excused because of their philosophical objections.

“I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t know if we can seat a jury,’ ” said Deschamps, who called a recess.
No jury was seated.

Evidently public opinion in the matter of marijuana prohibition is changing.
“Public opinion, as revealed by the reaction of a substantial portion of the members of the jury called to try the charges on Dec. 16, 2010, is not supportive of the state’s marijuana law and appeared to prevent any conviction from being obtained simply because an unbiased jury did not appear available under any circumstances,” according to the plea memorandum filed by his attorney.

“A mutiny,” said Paul.

“Bizarre,” the defense attorney called it.

In his nearly 30 years as a prosecutor and judge, Deschamps said he’s never seen anything like it.
The question of course is an interesting one. If juries are empaneled only with people who support the marijuana laws are you really getting a jury of your peers? It does look as if that question may be becoming moot.

And who was in the jury pool that forced this action?
“I think it’s going to become increasingly difficult to seat a jury in marijuana cases, at least the ones involving a small amount,” Deschamps said.

The attorneys and the judge all noted Missoula County’s approval in 2006 of Initiative 2, which required law enforcement to treat marijuana crimes as their lowest priority – and also of the 2004 approval of a statewide medical marijuana ballot initiative.

And all three noticed the age of the members of the jury pool who objected. A couple looked to be in their 20s. A couple in their 40s. But one of the most vocal was in her 60s.

“It’s kind of a reflection of society as a whole on the issue,” said Deschamps.

Which begs a question, he said.

Given the fact that marijuana use became widespread in the 1960s, most of those early users are now in late middle age and fast approaching elderly.

Is it fair, Deschamps wondered, in such cases to insist upon impaneling a jury of “hardliners” who object to all drug use, including marijuana?

“I think that poses a real challenge in proceeding,” he said. “Are we really seating a jury of their peers if we just leave people on who are militant on the subject?”
Jury nullification has a long tradition. It is one of the last recourses of the people from a legislature intent on making bad law. There is in fact an organization devoted to it. FIJA - Fully Informed Jury Association. And there are books. This one got a 5 star rating.

Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine

From the product description:
Juries have been delivering independent verdicts in the interest of justice for over 800 years, and many legal historians and scholars believe the value of juries is their power to act as the "conscience of the community," serving as the final check and balance on government in the moment of truth. If juries are nothing more than rubber stamps, they are no limit on government's power to pass unjust, immoral, or oppressive laws, and citizens are entirely at the mercy of sometimes jaded or corrupt courts and legislatures. This was what the Founding Fathers feared, and this is the reason why they guaranteed trial by jury three times in the Constitution -- more than any other right.

In Jury Nullification, author Clay Conrad examines the history, the law, and the practical and political implications of jury independence, examining in depth the role of nullification in capital punishment law, the dark side of jury nullification in Southern lynching and civil rights cases, and the purpose and legal effect of the juror's oath. The book concludes with an examination of what trial lawyers can do when nullification is the best available defense.
Yesterday I got an e-mail from a prof. of law (ret.) which speaks to the issue. I quote it here with permission.
In 1970 when I was a baby lawyer, the MINIMUM sentence for possession of any "useable amount" of marijuana in Texas was 2 years in prison. I started practicing in Lubbock -- then, as now, one of the most conservative parts of the state.

Judges would normally summon a panel of 30-40 veniremen to get a jury of 12 for a felony trial. But the early 70s, they were summoning panels of 150 in marijuana cases, and even then they often could not find 12 people willing to send someone to prison for 2 years for marijuana possession.

By the mid-70s, the Criminal Code was changed, reducing marijuana possession to a Class B misdemeanor.

This is jury nullification at its finest.
The times they are a changin'.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wilderness Of Mirrors

David Freddoso at The Examiner thinks that a story claiming that Wikileaks is a government plot is a tin foil hat theory. I'm not so sure.

Document dumps with lots of verifiable facts plus a few ringers is a standard and very old way to plant false information where it will do some good (the intel folks hope).

Is that what happened in this case? Who knows?

But in tin foil hat territory it is not.

Of course if you are working with the intel folks calling such a theory "tin foil hat" territory is a very good move.

Which just gets you into a Wilderness of Mirrors. There is a book by that name that I highly recommend:

Wilderness of Mirrors: Intrigue, Deception, and the Secrets that Destroyed Two of the Cold War's Most Important Agents

Another very good book on the subject dealing with intelligence and counter intelligence in WW2 that I can also highly recommend is:

Bodyguard of Lies

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nothing To Say

As you can tell I haven't had much to say the last couple of days. I'm doing holiday stuff with my family and having seasonal fun. Plus I'm having the time of my life with the one I love. Hope you are having the same.

I'll probably be back tomorrow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On Strike

There is a prison strike going on in Georgia (the American one).

Inmates at six major prisons in the state of Georgia have begun a strong yet peaceful protest against inhumane conditions in the facilities in which they live. The protest is unique because it represents a coalition of Black, Brown and White inmates, jumping the line of racial segregation so prominent in prisons across America.
Those running the prisons are not letting the prisoners get away with it.
Thousands of inmates stayed in their cells Thursday, Dec. 9, leading to strong and swift retaliation by the prison guards. According to those familiar with recent events, inmates have been beaten and had their personal items destroyed. Inmates also say that the authorities have cut off their hot water and shut off the heat when outside temperatures were in the 30s.
And what exactly do the prisoners want?
Demands by prison inmates include, among other things, decent living conditions, educational opportunities, just parole decisions, the end of cruel and unusual punishment and better access to their families. Currently, inmates’ families cannot send money orders and are instead expected to send funds through a company that takes a large percentage of the money sent. Also, the companies that provide short, 15-minute phone calls for inmates charge massive amounts of money to families, many of whom are in poverty due to missing a primary breadwinner in the home.

Most prisons in Georgia don’t allow for hardly any educational opportunities beyond the GED. This is inconsistent with the notion of preparing inmates for re-entry into society upon their release. If someone is both marginalized by the criminal justice system and uneducated, their likelihood of going back to prison is very high.
So how did the prisoners get organized?
When state prisoners went on strike last week to protest what they called unfair conditions, they used smuggled cell phones to get their message out.

It's a security breach the FOX 5 I-Team first reported last month.

One former inmate shared his cell phone secrets.

The original investigation looked into what the I-Team called Facebook felons, Georgia prison inmates who somehow managed to set up their own Facebook pages behind bars.
I wonder if the cell phone smuggling has anything to do with the high cost of making phone calls to inmates?

And just think of trying to find an outlet where you can charge the phone batteries under prison conditions.

But this brings up an important point. If you can't keep contraband cell phones out of prisons how in the heck do people think a drug free America is even possible? And how is the TSA doing in keeping contraband off airplanes? Not well. Not well at all.

This book seems relevant:

Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons

From a Publishers Weekly review:
...Elsner uses a conversational tone in recounting the aspects of day-to-day life for American inmates: drug and alcohol abuse, rampant disease, rape, murder and racism. Prisons, Elsner writes, are fertile ground where the worst aspects of society take root and blossom, and the majority of his book, drawing on data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, court cases and interviews with current and former inmates, paints a stark picture of a seedy world where guards rape inmates without fear of recourse and inmates can be left in lockdown for weeks as a budget cutting initiative. Instances of the sadistic creativity exhibited by inmates (generally with the aim of violating prison regulations) and guards (to punish inmates who have creatively violated prison regulations) pepper Elsner's sobering reportage, much of which concerns itself with figures and statistics so staggering that Elsner, clearly an advocate of prison reform, hesitates to even hint at solutions until the final chapter, when he outlines three elements of prison reform: reducing the number of new inmates, lowering recidivism rates and eradicating the "worst abuses within the system."
I also found this bit from the product review sobering. more than 2,000,000 Americans came to be incarcerated; what it's really like on the inside; what it's like for the families left on the outside; and how an enormous "prison-industrial complex" has grown to support and promote imprisonment in place of virtually every other alternative. Reuters journalist Alan Elsner shows how prisons really work, how race-based gangs are able to control institutions and prey on weaker inmates, and how an epidemic of abuse and brutality has exploded across American prisons. Readers will discover the plight of 300,000 mentally ill people in prisons, virtually abandoned with little medical treatment. They'll also meet the fastest growing segment of the prison population: women. Readers go inside "supermax" prisons that cut inmates off from all human contact, and uncover the official corruption and brutality that riddles jail systems in major cities like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York. Finally, they'll learn prisons accelerate the spread of infectious diseases throughout the broader society--just one of the many ways the prison epidemic touches everyone, even if they've never met anyone who's gone to jail.
Prisoners are no longer people but commodities i.e. slaves. But under our Constitution such slavery is permissible.

From the XIIIth Amendment:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

It may be permissible, but is it wise? Think about this: when the innocent (there are some) and guilty get out you have a very hardened cadre suitable for making revolutions. (see Prisons, Czarist Russia).

H/T A friend.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Welcome Instapundit readers. And if you would like to read something different may I suggest Sex Machines in which I discuss my work on a high powered sex toy.

Believing His Own Press Releases

I wonder if Obama didn't get in all this trouble by believing the public rhetoric: "Bush is stupid". And secretly thinking "but I'm smart."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sex Machines

I just came across an interesting book at Amazon:

Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews

It is about the inventiveness of Americans when it comes to sex. Or to put it it in a somewhat more social context: men designing power tools for women.

From the product description:

Through astonishing images and the surprisingly touching words of its subjects, Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews explores the new sex machine underground in America and the homespun inventors and users who propel it.

After contacting an active but intensely private Internet community of sex machine inventors, photographer Timothy Archibald eventually won their trust and was invited into workshops and homes. The resulting book is a powerful document that is by turns thought provoking, humorous, and always fascinating.

Sex Machines celebrates the American spirit of invention while exploring the desires and confusions that exist between men and women in our changing culture. Many of the inventors seen within these pages are otherwise ordinary family men who were inspired to help repair strained relationships or simply enhance their wives’ sexual pleasure. Some inventors have expanded their hobby into thriving cottage industries, selling their creations on eBay and adult stores online.

Archibald covers the broad spectrum of the makers—from the elusive creator of the Sybian, the forefather of sex machines, to lesser-known inventors like Paul Gaertner, who, laid off from his job in the high-tech industry, founded a new business by transforming a thrift store pasta maker into a high-powered sexual appliance.
And there in lies a tail.

Some how or other in the mid to late 80s I got to know the designer of the Sybian. I think it was through one of the precursors of the internet. I happened to know a lady at the time who did free lance advertising copy and introduced the designer to her. He decided to hire her for his ad copy. Very tasteful and upscale. She needed to interview the designer for the ad copy and so we met him at a swingers convention. I went with the lady to give her moral support. We talked with the designer and then went home. No sex before, after, or during. Bummer. I did get to see what appeared to be a 300 lb. lady in a mumu (otherwise referred to as a tent) walking to the elevators with five guys on her arm (so to speak). I guess it is nice to be wanted.

Later I got access to a Sybian and computerized it. One joystick instead of two knobs for control. And the movement of the joystick could be recorded so playback of the best bits was possible. I thought it was a great idea. I only ever got one woman to try the contraption (no, she didn't let me watch) and she was not impressed.

So all that effort and engineering was wasted from my point of view. The devices are not seduction machines in any way. ("Come visit and try out my sex machine" is NOT romantic in any respect.) But mechanically I thought it was quite ingenious with a rotator and thruster each conjoined but controlled by different motors. And for the six months I worked on it my fantasies ran wild. So there was that. Plus I got to tell my engineering compatriots that I had worked on a computerized sex machine. Which at least boosted my standing among that cohort.

And now there is a book about the sex machine underground.


In a discussion of welfare and child nutrition a commenter makes this point about how people on welfare should live.

Ok I'll got for the program as long as the parents don't:
Have cable tv
dine out
have a cell phone (Feeding Your Child Is More Important)
take vacations
and are LEGAL citizens or residents
To which another commenter responds:
It's a pretty strange form of charity when you want to make sure that the people you help are as miserable as possible
Welfare of course is not charity but I think the point still stands.

Similar sentiments are expressed about drug users: "Of course I have no objection to making alcohol legal as long as alcohol drinkers can't get any government benefits." Wrong era. Today we should be talking pot heads.

The question should be dealt with on its main merits. Not on secondary effects. i.e. Prohibition makes it easier for kids to get an illegal drug than a legal beer. So is prohibition a good idea or stupidity squared? And if government spending is the issue: will the savings from lower criminal justice and prison costs plus fewer fathers in prison out weigh any other effects or at least be a wash? No one knows for sure. What we do know for sure is that ending alcohol prohibition pretty much ended the public school's problems with kids coming to school drunk.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Anyone who attempts to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin. John von Neumann

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting The Finger

Getting this kind of finger is a good thing.

The results of numeracy and literacy tests for seven-year-old children can be predicted by measuring the length of their fingers, shows new research.

In a study to be published in the British Journal of Psychology, scientists compared the finger lengths of 75 children with their Standardised Assessment Test (SAT) scores.

They found a clear link between a child's performance in numeracy and literacy tests and the relative lengths of their index (pointing) and ring fingers.

Scientists believe that the link is caused by different levels of the hormones testosterone and oestrogen in the womb and the effect they have on both brain development and finger length.

"Testosterone has been argued to promote development of the areas of the brain which are often associated with spatial and mathematical skills," said Dr Mark Brosnan, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, who led the study.

"Oestrogen is thought to do the same in the areas of the brain which are often associated with verbal ability.

"Interestingly, these hormones are also thought have a say in the relative lengths of our index and ring fingers.

"We can use measurements of these fingers as a way of gauging the relative exposure to these two hormones in the womb and as we have shown through this study, we can also use them to predict ability in the key areas of numeracy and literacy."
I had first heard about this some years back and when I told my daughter about it she immediately checked out her fingers. She definitely had "math fingers". It made her happy to hear that. Currently she is a second year student in chemical engineering. So maybe there is something to the finger thing.

But fingers don't tell the whole story - just the relative strength of the influences. You can do well at language and math. It is how you get an 1600 on the SATs. Some people do it. Me? I have "math fingers" but did better on my verbal SAT than on the math/science part (not by much). I wound up being an engineer. I can assure you my reports are well written.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, December 12, 2010

25% Off Lingerie

The first mate says that if you want to get the other 75% off you have to do it yourself.

25% Off Women's Intimate Apparel

My mate also notes that the equipment being sold at the above link is not particularly stylish. From a man's point of view I must say that after looking at the provided pictures there was only one properly filled bra in the whole collection.

You have to wonder why Instapundit is pushing this stuff. No woman I ever knew was the least interested in saving 25 per cent on stuff that didn't make her look good. Maybe it has to do with Instapundit's sex obsession. Of course he has me looking at this stuff. So maybe the obsession is mine as well.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, December 11, 2010

But What Has It Got To Do With Politics?

S.M. (what a great set of initials) McCain is blogging about a blogger busted for incest. Since it is a political hit piece you know how it runs. The miscreant is a left wing blogger who was a big Obama supporter.

It is just a matter of time (human nature being what it is) until some prominent R gets found with a 15 year old and the Ds will claim moral superiority because "at least an 18 year old can consent." Yeah. The cad waited until his daughter was of age.

Of course the incest loving blogger could go all biblical on us and say that he liked her a Lot.

I don't think these kinds of stories say anything one way or another that is useful about politics. I'm reminded of one of Reagan's best friends and big money boys dying in the arms of his mistress while RR was President. Bloomberg I think - something like that.... (some one remind me if you know)

Gossip is no doubt interesting (Larry Craig?) but what does it have to do with politics? Well it does draw eyeballs. And since it is Christmas time I'm going to get in the spirit and sell something.

Song (comedy bit?) #11 (Green Chri$Tma$) on this compilation is particularly relevant.

Dr. Demento Presents: Greatest Christmas Novelty CD

H/T Instapundit who seems to have quite in interest in sex which allows me to indulge while claiming a smidgen of moral superiority. Which of course if found out will automatically make me morally inferior. But by outing myself on the subject.... Well it never ends. But it isn't, except in the crudest precincts, politics. A certain A.S. - take note.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, December 10, 2010

Here And There

"A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money." - Everett Dirksen, Congressman

Except Ole Ev never said that.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Instapundit Says: Buy This Book

The man's sex obsession is on view for all to see. My kinda guy. The book:

Lube Jobs: A Woman's Guide to Great Maintenance Sex

If you buy the book from the above link it is almost $2 cheaper than the Instapundit link. I wonder why? And if I use this link the price is up $1.

Lube Jobs: A Woman's Guide to Great Maintenance Sex

Interesting. Further: I just checked again and the first link is now the same price as the Instapundit link and the second link is now $1 less than either price. A real time market to be sure. Well. Maybe. Oh yeah. If you buy from one of my links I get a cut at no cost to you.

From the review section:

Some 20 suggested scenarios include creative manual, oral, toy-enhanced, and coital approaches, including body shots (a porn staple), front-seat fellatio, backseat bonking with porn on the laptop, bathtub blow jobs, and closet canoodling. While the constant servicing-a-car wordplay may annoy some readers, the advice is sound and fun. Lighthearted illustrations would have been a nice touch, but the book does quite well as is. Most people spend the largest part of their adulthood slogging through committed relationships, and they need books like this. Recommended for public libraries."
--Library Journal --
The library was never that exciting when I was growing up. Except for the National Geographic. Other wise known as "Half-Naked Savages". Of course with my Dad's box of Playboys in the basement (I kid you not) I didn't visit the library nears as often as I might otherwise have needed to.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Social Issues Fight

The position keeps getting posed that social conservatives of the Republican persuasion should give up on social issues.

Give up the fight on social issues? Not on your life.

Enlist government guns in that fight? Not on your life.

Faith In Force

Punishing sinners. A thankless pass time. A LOT of money in it though.

According to Judeo/Christian philosophy punishing sinners is reserved for the Maker. Punishing disturbers of the peace is allowed.

Where our "religious" friends go off the rails is in conflating the two. Vice may be unseemly. It is not crime. Vice is to be regulated. Crime punished.

You can't stop people from doing damage to their immortal souls - called in some cases "a learning experience". You can create quite a bit of crime by trying to suppress vice though.

Who are the disturbers of the peace?

Well fashions in vice abatement change over time. For a long time in America alcohol was the favored target. Now we have new ones. And even those are on the verge of passing in the next 10 to 20 years. I wonder what/who we will be hating in 2030? Since every society needs something/someone to hate I propose the Andromeda Galaxy. It is sufficiently far away so that it is probably safe for a while.

Of course part of the problem here is the fragmented nature of the hate market. Some hate bankers, some politicians, Jew hatred is coming back to more normal levels, and some people are even so picky as to hate only Democrats or on the other side only Republicans. Such a very interesting dichotomy in America. The Democrats want to force you to do one thing. The Republicans another. They are united in their belief in force. Which is rather far from a belief in the Maker.

Me? Like any human I have my petty hatreds. I refuse to elevate them to the level of principle.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

War Baby

I would like to thank the Japanese and Germans for starting WW2. Without the war my mother would not have met my father and I would probably be some one else. If I was anyone at all.

On Dec 7th, 1941 my Dad (God rest his soul) was in the Coast Guard. Not long after the attack he was in the Navy for the duration. He was a Chief Petty Officer (Damage Control) on the AOG-27 USS Escatawpa a gasoline tanker that was involved in the Battle of Okinawa.

AOG-27 USS Escatawpa

* Mettawee class Gasoline Tanker:
* Displacement: 2,280 tons
* Length: 221'
* Beam: 37'
* Draft: 14'
* Speed: 9.5 knots
* Armament: 1 3"/50 DP, 2 40mm, 3 20mm
* Complement: 62
* Cargo: 1,228 DWT
* Diesel engines, single shaft, 720 hp.
* Built at East Coast Shipyard, Bayonne, N.J., and commissioned 18 August 1944
BTW the 9.5 knots is the top speed. The economical speed is 8.5 knots. Cruising the Pacific in such a ship must have been daunting. I served on a frigate, the USS Bainbridge. When I was on it we had TWO Dual 3" 50s aft. And a top sustained speed (nuclear powered) of above 30 knots. Although I was in a combat zone for a while the only time we ever went to general quarters was for drill. I had nothing like kamikaze attacks to deal with. Of course being in engineering I would have been the last to know. Unless we took a hit. My general quarters station was damage control central.

My dad and I used to swap sea stories when he was with us. All because of WW2. Which started for America today. 69 years ago.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Climate Justice

I'm trying to figure out what a Just Climate™ actually is. But there is no doubt that what ever it is, we need it. Well I need it. For sure. Which is why I’m all for Climate Justice. How much will it cost to move the climate of Central America to Northern Illinois? It is unjust that my heating bills are so high this early in the season.

I do have a proposal that will reduce the cost of justice some. The move only need be done during the months of Dec., Jan., Feb., and March. That should reduce the costs by 2/3rds over a year ’round solution.

An Enemy Of The State

Ted Turner favors a global one child policy in order to (you know what is coming) Save The Planet™.

Mr. Turner – a long-time advocate of population control – said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time. He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce.

“If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people,” Mr. Turner said.
With four children I am right up there in the ranks of future enemies of the State and certainly a current enemy of Mr. Turner.

I wonder if Mr. Turner has given much thought to enforcement? What will be done to children that the parents want and the State doesn't? Of course if the parents don't want them and the State doesn't either I'm sure some mutually acceptable solution can be worked out to keep immediate and future consumption down.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Hating Democrats

R.S. McCain is looking at the Jew hating faction of the Democrat Party. And like any good reporter he picks a particularly ugly example for our entertainment and enlightenment.

But history intrudes.

Nazi Germany is now history. And so is the interregnum it brought to Jew hating. Jew hating in America peaked in 1944. It was so virulent among Republicans that my mother has never forgiven them despite the train wreck that is the current Democrat Party.

Which is why, despite Jews earning like Episcopalians, they vote like Puerto Ricans.

Hatred has consequences that often far outlive the hatred. "Unto the tenth generation....." I believe is the rule of thumb.

A well rated DVD on the subject:

The Longest Hatred: A Revealing History of Anti-Semitism

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bomp Faction Of Do Wop

The Marcels do Blue Moon.

No Other

And now for a moment of reflection.

You shall have NO OTHER GODS before me.
How about after?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Practice Run

I was reading Beyond The Nanny State which was discussing the TSA and other outrages and came across this comment:

I’m not even in a position to go flying, but I must say, why is each and every frequent flyer being treated like a drug-runner in a car in Jersey
You don't get it do you? The Drug War was the prototype for all this. Beating up on dopers was just a practice run. And fine practice it was.

Now that everyone is a suspect (contraband doncha know?) the government has well established practices for dealing with just such a situation. Effective? Of course not. But neither is the Drug War. And ineffectiveness has led to no widespread outcry against the practices endemic to that little war on contraband. Let alone serious complaints on civil liberties grounds. Excepting for a few of us cranks.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, December 03, 2010

Good Lovin

The Best Dead version of Good Lovin I've heard on YouTube.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Family Values

I love discussing the wedge issues between libertarian Republicans and Christian Conservatives. Evidently it is a subject that interests Instapundit who sent me to Dana Loesch. Who is hot on the subject. Since they brought It up I'm feeling a few words coming on.

First a redefinition of sorts: Uh it is not Christians vs Libertarians. It is Statists vs Libertarians. On the Right Statists manifest mostly as Christians On the left they are Socialists. I see no value in choosing between Secular Socialists and Christian Socialists. It is rank bias of course that I do not care to rank the factions.

A commenter said:

There is no doubt that the Left Wingers would LOVE to drive a wedge between the various factions in the Tea Party movement, especially between Libertarians and Christian Conservatives.
According to my rough surveys about half the Christian "Conservatives" are really liberals. i.e. "It is not The State that is the problem. It is who is in charge. Put good Christians in charge and all will be well. And BTW the dopers deserve it. I don't care about no durn Prohibition Amendments."

And why do I call Christian "Conservatives" liberal? Because like all liberals they believe that there are a lot of things that can be fixed with a liberal application of government. They believe in the Daddy State. Liberals are more inclined to the Mommy State. Family values.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hard Drugs

It is rich, but Raich has come back to haunt those hoping for a legal answer to Obama Care. Just as I predicted in Letter to a Friend.

Reason Magazine has the news.

According to a federal judge in Virginia, ObamaCare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance is constitutional under the Commerce Clause because, under precedents set by previous cases, “Congress has broad power to regulate purely local matters that have substantial economic effects, even where the regulated individuals claim not to participate in interstate commerce.” The ruling, which was released yesterday, dismissed an argument by Liberty University, a Christian school based in the state, that the law should be invalidated because, among other reasons, it unconstitutionally requires individuals to purchase health insurance.

The section of the decision dealing with the mandate leans heavily on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Gonzales v. Raich, a case in which the Court decided that, under the Commerce Clause, Congress could criminalize growing marijuana at home for personal use because failure to do so would upend a legitimate regulatory activity. Yesterday’s ruling by Judge Norman K. Moon quotes Raich to argue that Congress may regulate “purely intrastate activity that is not itself ‘commercial’...if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity."
With the previous understanding the government was merely leasing the taxpayers. It now owns them. But you have to admit the dopers got what was coming to them. And now the rest of us are going to get it. Good and hard.

The Raich case was about pot. So maybe Marijuana is a hard drug after all. Evidently in aggregate it will be hardest on those who don't use it. A very peculiar drug to be sure.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Culture For Libertines

I was over visiting Stacy McCain's thanks to Instapundit where there was a discussion going on about a Muslim gang that raped white women and girls - some as young as 12 - in the UK. So of course the question of culture comes up. And of course the decline in morals in the West. And how we still have a slut/madonna duality. It just seems these Muslim boys had it worse. Evidently the difference between mutual agreement and force was lost on them. Which may have had to do with their Muslim culture. Especially its attitude towards non-Muslims.

One of the commenters said:

This issue is a symptom of the degradation of the West
The double standard Re: women is not Western, it is human. Personally I prefer the "girls just wanna have fun" attitude of Western women.

Every culture has its pitfalls. I'll take ours. The range of acceptable possibilities is wider. i.e. we are more adaptable. A survival trait.

Another commenter said:
-The behavior of the Royal Family is nothing new. Such activities have been the norm for all such families ever since the first king was crowned.
And why is it so prevalent in the West? We are richer. With wealth comes the "diseases" of wealth. i.e. human nature is what it is.

I like it. But I always did like strong independent women. Rich cultures have more of them. I liked strong women so much that I married one. Twenty eight years and four children ago.

#1. An artist
#2. Fulbright Scholar - teaches American Culture at a Russian University.
#3. Electrical Engineering student - drummer and drum teacher.
#4. Chemical Engineering Student

It is possible to raise strong families without "Victorian" attitudes. Our current situation is difficult because we don't have "rules" that correspond to the current situation. Over the next 100 years - if we remain rich - we will develop the cultural tools needed. In the mean time - as in any learning situation - there is going to be a lot of wreckage. Rule of thumb: if 50% of your experiments are not failures you are not learning fast enough.

Girls who are not dependent on men are going to be more sexual generally. Girls who can control their "fertility" are going to be more promiscuous. When there are not enough suitable men around women will be more promiscuous. In America we like sending a lot of men to prison. Especially dealers in dried plants and plant extracts. This contributes to our family problems.

Ironically you find that the folks who most hate "cultural breakdown" also really like putting the hammer down on the dealers in dried plants and plant extracts. It is a wonder to behold.

Humans is some very funny animals.

Maybe some one needs to write Cultural Rules For Aristocrats. "Or How to Get By With Loose Morals In An Age Of Plenty." Exhibition vs discretion could be one of the Chapters. It is all about etiquette. Americans don't have any. Jerry Springer? The Gong Show? The $1.98 Beauty Contest? And how do you write an etiquette where people's ideas of proper decorum are so divergent?

Could this be the basis for a Right and Proper Moral Panic? I hope not. If we are lucky this will all pass before some one gets the bright idea that what we need is a law, or twenty.

It will all pass if we give culture and wealth time to work. I remember the Christmas tree bomber lamenting that his culture was losing its his hard edge in soft America so he had to act fast. Before he didn't want to act.

Cross Posted at Classical Values