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Joke of the Day

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Senator Hillary Clinton recently went to a primary school in Ithaca, New York, to talk about the world. After her talk, she offers a question and answer time.

One little boy puts up his hand, and the Senator asks him what his name is.

"Kenneth," he responded.

"And what is your question, Kenneth?"

"I have three questions:
1 .... Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?
2 .... Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?
3 .... Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?"

Just then the bell rings for recess. Hillary Clinton informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess.

When they resume Hillary says "Okay, where were we? Oh, that's right, question time. Who has a question?"

A different little boy puts his hand up. Hillary points him out and asks him what his name is.
"And what is your question, Larry?"
"I have 5 questions:

1 .... Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?
2 .... Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?
3 .... Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?
4 .... Why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?
5 .... What happened to Kenneth?"
(h/t April)

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Welcome to the Welfare State

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

According to an Associated Press article, Welfare state growing despite overhauls, there are now more people on the government dole than when restriction were put in place to cut the welfare ranks. Like any good mismanaged government program, those who were booted off welfare landed in other taxpayer-funded social aid programs--such as Medicaid, food stamp programs, and/or disability programs. (Talk about rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic!) One in six Americans receive social aid.

Quoting from the above AP article:

The result, according to an Associated Press analysis: Nearly one in six people rely on some form of public assistance, a larger share than at any time since the government started measuring two decades ago.

The article goes on to explain that approximately 44,000,000 Americans receive some form of financial public assistance. That, my friends, is a big number. How big? Let's look at this number by State population:


North Dakota635,867
South Dakota781,919
Rhode Island1,067,610
New Hampshire1,314,895
West Virginia1,818,470
New Mexico1,954,599



*Figures taken from U.S. Census Estimates

If we add up the populations of the states from lowest to highest, it would take 24 states before we exceeded 44,000,000 people. Almost half the states in the nation would have every person in their boundaries receiving some form of public assistance... ALMOST HALF!

How long do you suppose this country will survive with that many people living off the rest? Furthermore, how good is our economy if one in six Americans requires assistance just to get by? Looking back to the article, here's a quote I especially liked:

"I don't have any problems with [social welfare] programs growing, and indeed, they were intended to grow," said Ron Haskins, a former adviser to President Bush on welfare policy.

"We've taken the step of getting way more people into the labor force and they have taken a huge step toward self-sufficiency. What is the other choice?" he asked.

Imagine: a government worker who sees no problem with taxpayer-funded programs growing in size. That's like an investor being happy that his portfolio is growing in value. To do otherwise would mean ruin to both. But, Mr. Haskins asked us a question. Indeed, what is the other choice? Could it be to stop giving taxpayer funds away? Let's be perfectly clear on this... Government is NOT a charity! Government is NOT a safety net.

The choice is simple: We either defund these programs or go bankrupt!

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

~ Sir Alexander Fraser Tytler

We're well on our way...

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Digital Papers Please

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Quoting from an article titled Europe seeks to tighten some online laws:

The aim [to outlaw the use of fake information to open e-mail accounts or set up Web sites], analysts say, is to make it easier for law enforcement to access information when they investigate crimes or terrorist attacks. But Europeans have long cherished their privacy, railing against measures that would see personal information stored for commercial use or government examination.

It seems the United States is ahead of Europe when it comes to governments spying on their citizen's internet activities. We're all suppose to give up our privacy because law enforcement claims it makes their jobs easier. If that's the goal then why not shove a GPS tracking device up my ass so my government can keep track of my every move? Mabey a shoulder-mounted camera so they can be sure I'm not looking at anything objectionable, and/or a microphone so they know I'm not listening to subversives?

Orwell would be proud!

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Ron Paul's bid for President

Friday, February 23, 2007

If he runs, he's got my vote.

Quote of the Day

"The overarching principle of fundamental justice that applies here is this: before the state can detain people for significant periods of time, it must accord them a fair judicial process."
~Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Canadian Supreme Court Justice
It seems the Canadian Supreme Court understands individuals have rights--at least partially. I wonder what's wrong with the U.S. Supreme Court? The right of Habeas Corpus isn't that difficult to get your mind around.
Read more about this decision here.

Pot: Calling all Kettles

Thursday, February 22, 2007

South Puget Sound Libertarian has an excellent post on the irony of the U.S. telling Iran to stop its enrichment activities. Check it out here.

A Son's Career

Saturday, February 17, 2007

An old southern country preacher had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession. Like many young men, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it.

One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects: a Bible, a silver dollar, a bottle of whisky and a Playboy magazine.

"I'll just hide behind the door," the old preacher said to himself. "When he comes home from school this afternoon, I'll see which object he picks up. If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a businessman, and that would be okay, too. But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunkard, and, Lord, what a shame that would be. And worst of all, if he picks up that magazine he's gonna be a skirt-chasin' bum."

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's footsteps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room. The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table. With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them.

Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink while he admired this month's Centerfold.

"Lord have mercy," the old preacher disgustedly whispered, "he's gonna be a Congressman!"

h/t Norm

A Point to Ponder

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wasn't it the United States who sold weapons to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war? Is "turn about" all of a sudden not "fair play"?
Mabey Russian President Vladimir Putin has a clearer picture from his vantage point. On Saturday he accused the United States of undermining global security by provoking a nuclear arms race.
Perhaps the specter of terrorism is wearing off. Perhaps the United States needs another bogeyman to scare us all with. After all, the cold war lasted for fifty-odd years.

Global Warming 2.0?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It must be due to the Global Warming epidemic.

Fun With Flying

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A [twisted] friend of mine sent me the following email...
The next time an officious TSA guy demands that you power on your laptop, leave it sitting there on the inspection table and hit this link:

This also works well with that obnoxious person sitting next to you on the plane who refuses to stop looking at everything you read or write on your laptop.

Too funny. (Unless you're the TSA inspector.)

I Have A Question

It was mentioned the other day at work that there now exists in Washington State a law that allows other municipal jurisdictions the authority to patrol outside their own city limits. One of my drivers mentioned he saw a Stanwood Police officer ticketing someone who was well within the city limits of Lake Stevens. Has anyone heard about this? If so, do you have a link to an article or the RCW/WAC rule?

Signing Statements: A Second Look

Friday, February 02, 2007

It occurred to me this morning that we have a problem. As you all may be aware, this president has taken to appending signing statements to bills sent to him by Congress. Most of these signing statements are markups of how he intends to either enforce or disregard new laws. Unfortunately, this new power claimed by this president can no where be found in the Constitution or any of the Federalists Papers that followed to clarify the delegated powers. The Federalist No. 73 speaks directly to the veto power of the president, but says nothing about signing statements. We must conclude that this new power was invented after the fact (and it was).
But, what is the purpose of the veto? If we refer back to the Federalist No. 73, we learn that the veto power acts as a "qualified negative of the President upon the acts or resolutions of the two houses of the legislature; or, in other words, his power of returning all bills with objections, to have the effect of preventing their becoming laws, unless they should afterwards be ratified by two thirds of each of the component members of the legislative body." It not only gave the Executive the ability to shield itself, "but it furnishes an additional security against the enaction of improper laws. It establishes a salutary check upon the legislative body, calculated to guard the community against the effects of faction, precipitancy, or of any impulse unfriendly to the public good, which may happen to influence a majority of that body." (...Like being attacked by terrorists and then rushing to pass the PATRIOT Act without first reading it.)
Two points to ponder: The first is to wonder where this new power came from; the second is to understand that the Federalist No. 73 provided a remedy to the president if he encountered a bill that he thought improper.
How do I interpret signing statements? I see them as a way around the checks and balances put in place by the framers of our constitution. By not vetoing bills, the executive is shirking his constitutional duty. He's essentially saying, "Look... I've read this bill and I disagree with part of it. So, instead of sending it back to be rewritten, I've decided to interpret it the way I think it should be written." Unfortunately, the power of interpretation is allotted to the judiciary, not the executive. By doing this, the president has short-circuited the constitution where it provides for checks and balances, not to mention separation of powers. Furthermore, there's nothing I've found that says signing statements have any force under law. How do you defend yourself against a presidential signing statement? I not sure you could.
Additionally, signing statements force the citizenry into fighting these questionable laws in court. The Judiciary branch has shown time and again that it is reactive, not proactive. They are perfectly happy to sit idle even though there may exist on the books mountains of unconstitutional laws. It takes an injured party to bring a case before the court to get them to act. This may mean years of living under unconstitutional laws until someone with enough money and stamina can bring it before the Supreme Court to get it thrown out. The Constitution placed in the hands of the Executive the awesome responsibility to act as the last guard against "the passing of bad laws, through haste, inadvertence, or design." Now this president has pushed this responsibility onto the courts.
We definitely don't want to be governed under this kind of government.

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