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Quote for Today

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote. "
My wife sent me the above quote. She saw it on a blog she reads and thought I'd like it.... I do!

Ron Paul Kaiser Family Foundation Interview

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A friend [who's also a co-worker] and I were discussing Ron Paul and his bid for the White House. I was talking up Paul's very libertarian approach to running government and how great it would be to get a true conservative in office that really believed in smaller government, lower taxes, etc. My friend then asked what Paul would do with Social Security as well as the other entitlement programs he was relying on for his retirement (which was coming in the not-to-distant future). He expressed his concern that, if elected, Ron Paul would eliminate his future retirement plans and would therefore be reticent to vote for him. Understandable. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to put my hands on any articles written by Ron Paul that explained in detail what his approach would be to deal with entitlement programs...
Until now, that is.
This morning, I pulled up the website and was perusing their latest batch of articles when I stumbled on an excellent article by Glen Allport titled "Health Care, Are Corporatist and Coercive-Socialist the Only Choices?" It's a candid look at what a mess our medical industry has become since the government began meddling with it in the 1960s. Here's a synopsis of the article:
The Illusion of Choice: When Every Option is Corrupt and Coercive  
Our health care problems, like those of Cuba, Canada, England, Sweden, and almost every other nation on Earth, have been caused by government action. More government will make things worse, not better.  
There are many ways to arrange economic life, but the two forms currently fighting for dominance in the West are corporatism and coercive-socialism. (Their proponents use different names, but I find these more accurate and descriptive). Both corporatism and coercive-socialism posit the need for a State with sole authority to initiate coercion against peaceful individuals. Democratic elections, combined with relentless propaganda during the school years and from the media, are the primary tools for making the system appear fair and legitimate in either form.
Glen Allport has done a fine job of exposing the problems that arise when government intervenes with the private medical industry and I highly recommend you read his article. At the end, he has a link to an interview with Ron Paul that is highly informative. Here's a final excerpt from his article that explains the premise for the interview:
We broke the system by letting our politicians get involved, and now the system is at a crisis point. Fixing the problem requires undoing the damage.  
How would that work, exactly? Why not listen to someone with decades of experience as both a doctor and a congressman -- Dr. Ron Paul, for example. Paul is an OB-GYN and was a flight surgeon during the Vietnam War. You can listen to a detailed, highly-informed interview with Dr. Paul on the topic of health care by the Kaiser Family Foundation by clicking here; the page includes the option of podcast, transcript, or a terrific high-definition video (16 min 39 sec).
So, if you've wondered where Paul stands on the various entitlement programs that are bankrupting our government, have a watch/listen/read (your choice). I think you'll find the interview rather informative.

Aaron Russo's Passing

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Can someone explain to me why I had to go all the way to Asia and India to find an article on Yahoo!News about Aaron Russo's passing? I thought he would have at least got a mention in the U.S. version of Yahoo!News, being well known for producing such hits as "Trading Places" which starred Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd and "The Rose" which starred Bette Midler. I mean, after all, he had just finished working on his latest film, "America: Freedom to Fascism", a documentary that explores the connection between income tax collection and the erosion of civil liberties in America.... Oh, wait. I see why they wouldn't cover his passing. It's the same reason why they won't cover anyone else who's working to shake up the establishment: media blackout.
You can pay tribute to a great American hero and freedom fighter by purchasing, watching, and sharing his latest film, "America: Freedom to Fascism". I think I'll go pop my copy into the DVD player right now.

[Another] Quote for Today

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'd rather be a red pill loser than a blue pill A-hole any day.
~John J. Smalanskas
Me, too!
So his comment makes sense, he's explaining why he'd rather live a life of truth, justice, decency, and genuine freedom (red pill) than live a life in an authoritarian world of deceit, delusion, illusion, and servitude (blue pill).

Quote for Today

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
~ Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823)
Today, I received both the above and below messages in my inbox. Coincidence?
D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h

Is our campaign for the Read the Bills Act getting results? We are certainly encouraged that Congress has taken some steps in our direction. Sen. Dianne Feinstein writes to a Downsizer:

"Like you, I believe that it is important that Senators and Representatives have a full understanding of bills before they come to a vote. You may be interested to know that a provision was included in the 'Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007' (S. 1) that requires any bill containing earmarks to be available on the internet for at least 48 hours before it can be considered by the Senate. This bill also includes a provision requiring that conference reports be available on the internet for at least 48 hours for Members to review before they may be considered. I am an original cosponsor of S. 1, which passed the Senate on January 18, 2007 by a vote of 96-2, and support these provisions."

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is also feeling the winds of change, saying that as President "he would post all non-emergency bills online for five days before he signed them into law, allowing Americans a chance to weigh in on the legislation." Source: Yahoo 

Fine idea, Senator! It looks like you borrowed our idea of posting bills for seven days before Congress votes on them. And that raises the question: Senator Obama, why won't you introduce the Read the Bills Act?

Other members of Congress are definitely not fans of the RTBA at all. They've tried to ignore us, but thanks to our persistence have recently begun responding to our petitions. Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison writes a Downsizer,
"The legislative process in the Senate is complex and making additional requirements to read lengthy bills aloud on the Senate floor, or know the precise voting schedules in advance, could significantly hinder its ability to function practically or efficiently."

And Rep. Joe Sestak writes:

"Though the intentions of making sure every member of Congress has read, or heard read, each bill voted into law indeed has merit, it would take away precious time that members have to introduce and process legislation. This means that many bills that could greatly benefit our country would be placed on hold due to the time constraints that the Read the Bills Act would implement."

What Rep. Sestak doesn't mention is that the RTBA would also place "on hold" many bad bills that could greatly harm our country. We've seen the social, economic, and environmental devastation Big Government has inflicted. Do we really want Congress to be "efficient" in increasing the size of government by passing more and more bills?

But Sen. Hutchison and Rep. Sestak overlook a more practical point: by not reading and understanding bills in their entirety, they may end up with the opposite of what they intend. Consider a situation in Arkansas. The legislature tried to increase the marriage age to 18 with an exception for younger pregnant girls if they have parental consent. But the bill read "not pregnant" instead, allowing anyone under 18 - even infants - to get married with parental consent. A special session of the Arkansas Legislature may be called to fix the bill. Source: Yahoo

Is this efficiency?

If members of Congress don't read the bills they vote for, not only can "accidental" mistakes like this happen, but some unwanted changes could be secretly inserted.

So we urge you to tell your representatives you don't want this Arkansas fiasco repeated at the federal level. Tell them you don't want enormous bills prone to sabotage or unwanted insertions. Tell them to introduce and pass the Read the Bills Act. You can send your message here.

We also invite you to join the Read the Bills Act Coalition. Post an ad on your website or blog, and we will post a link back at the blog. Details are found here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer

James Wilson
Assistant to the President

Did you know it is assumed that if Congress passes a bill, it is constitutional? It takes a court decision to render it unconstitutional. That is why it is so important to route out mistakes before a bill become law. So, what are you waiting for? Lend your support to the folks at


Sunday, August 19, 2007

I've gotten a preview of the newly revalued 100 dollar bill that will soon be issued by our government...
In addition, I wanted to share a definition I ran across the other day that I thought went with today's topic:

Specie backed money is money distributed, normally as paper money, that is assigned value based on valuable minerals tied to the paper money. The idea is that with specie backed money, though the paper itself holds no true value, it represents whatever mineral is held in reserve, historically gold and silver. Holders of the paper money could theoretically exchange their bills for the gold or silver that it represented. This way, the money held a true value, while not being as bulky or tough to carry around as say gold, silver, or cows. Specie backed money has generally given way to fiat money, money that is not backed by any valuable resources. Today most currencies are fiat currencies, with values assigned by the governments issuing the bills, and holding no true values.
It's something to think about the next time you find yourself complaining about the high cost of living.

Time Off

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The boss has taken a week and a half off for vacation which means lots of overtime for me. Unfortunately it also means little to no time for blogging. Sorry. I may get a post or two up, but no promises until after the 26th of August.

David Horsey on Karl Rove

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

David Horsey, the master of political cartoons, has done it again...
...and good riddance!

Free Speech (If You Can Find It)

Monday, August 13, 2007

One of my pet peeves are laws that regulate political speech. Are they needed? I really don't know. What I do know is that the U.S. Constitution clearly states "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press". It makes no distinction between normal, everyday speech and special political speech. Furthermore, the Texas State Constitution protects the Right of Speech and Press by declaring, "Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press."
While searching for sign board dimensions for a Ron Paul for President sign, I happened to stumble into the Texas Ethics Commission's website. After reading through this page, how can anyone say with a straight face that the state of Texas or the federal government haven't "curtailed" or "abridged" your freedoms of speech or the press? I don't think you can...

What You Need To Know

Revised May 17, 2004

The Texas Election Law requires certain disclosures and notices on political advertising. The law also prohibits certain types of misrepresentation in political advertising and campaign communications. This brochure explains what you need to know to insure that your political advertising and campaign communications comply with the law.

Please note that the law changed effective September 1, 2003. The requirements relating to the disclosure statements on political advertising are different. Also, the new law clarifies that communications on Internet websites are now covered by the political advertising laws. We have used italics in this brochure to summarize the new law.

If you are not sure what the law requires, do the cautious thing. Use the political advertising disclosure statement whenever you think it might be necessary, and do not use any possibly misleading information in political advertising or a campaign communication. If you are using political advertising or campaign communications from a prior campaign, you should check to see if the law has changed since that campaign.

Candidates for federal office should check with the Federal Election Commission at (800) 424-9530 for information on federal political advertising laws.


I. What Is Political Advertising?

The disclosure statement and notice requirements discussed in this section apply to "political advertising." In the law, "political advertising" is a specifically defined term. Do not confuse this special term with your own common-sense understanding of advertising.

To figure out if a communication is political advertising, you must look at what it says and where it appears. If a communication fits in one of the categories listed in Part A (below) and if it fits in one of the categories listed in Part B (below), it is political advertising.

Part A. What Does It Say?

1.  Political advertising includes communications supporting or opposing a candidate for nomination or election to either a public office or an office of a political party (including county and precinct chairs).

2.  Political advertising includes communications supporting or opposing an officeholder, a political party, or a measure (a ballot proposition).

Part B. Where Does It Appear?

1.  Political advertising includes communications that appear in pamphlets, circulars, fliers, billboards or other signs, bumper stickers, or similar forms of written communication.

2.  Political advertising includes communications that are published in newspapers, magazines, or other periodicals in return for consideration.

3.  Political advertising includes communications that are broadcast by radio or television in return for consideration.

4.  Political advertising includes communications that appear on an Internet website.

II. When Is A Disclosure Statement Required?

The new law provides that political advertising that contains express advocacy is required to include a disclosure statement. The person who causes the political advertising to be published, distributed, or broadcast is responsible for including the disclosure statement.

The new law does not define the term "express advocacy." However, the law does provide that political advertising is deemed to contain express advocacy if it is authorized by a candidate, an agent of a candidate, or a political committee filing campaign finance reports. Therefore, a disclosure statement is required any time a candidate, a candidate's agent, or a political committee authorizes political advertising.

The precise language of political advertising authorized by someone other than a candidate, the candidate's agent, or a political committee will determine if the advertising contains express advocacy and is therefore required to include a disclosure statement. Generally, the question is whether the communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of an identified candidate, or expressly advocates the passage or defeat of a measure, such as a bond election. The inclusion of words such as "vote for," "elect," "support," "defeat," "reject," or "Smith for Senate" would clearly constitute express advocacy. Similar phrases, such as "Cast your ballot for X," would also constitute express advocacy. It is a question of fact whether a particular communication constitutes express advocacy. If you are not sure whether political advertising contains express advocacy, do the cautious thing and include the disclosure statement. That way there is no need to worry about whether you have violated the law.

Remember: The concept of "express advocacy" is only relevant in determining whether political advertising is required to include a disclosure statement. The political advertising laws governing the right-of-way notice, misrepresentation, and use of public funds by political subdivisions will apply to political advertising regardless of whether the advertising contains express advocacy.

III. What Should The Disclosure Statement Say?

A disclosure statement must include the following:

1.  the words "political advertising" or a recognizable abbreviation such as "pol. adv."; and

2.  the full name of one of the following: (a) the person who paid for the political advertising; (b) the political committee authorizing the political advertising; or (c) the candidate or specific-purpose committee supporting the candidate, if the political advertising is authorized by the candidate.

The disclosure statement must appear on the face of the political advertising.

The advertising should not be attributed to entities such as "Committee to Elect John Doe" unless a specific-purpose committee named "Committee to Elect John Doe" has filed a campaign treasurer appointment with the Ethics Commission or a local filing authority.

IV. Are There Any Exceptions To The Disclosure Statement Requirement?

The following types of political advertising do not need the disclosure statement:

1.  balloons, buttons, emery boards, hats, lapel stickers, magnets, pencils, pens, pins, wooden nickels, candy wrappers, and similar materials;

2.  invitations or tickets to political fund raising events or to events held to establish support for a candidate or officeholder;

3.  an envelope that is used to transmit political advertisement, provided that the political advertisement in the envelope includes the disclosure statement;

4.  circulars or fliers that cost in the aggregate less than $500 to publish and distribute; and

5.  political advertising printed on letterhead stationery, if the letterhead includes the name of one of the following: (a) the person who paid for the advertising, (b) the political committee authorizing the advertising, or, (c) the candidate or specific-purpose committee supporting the candidate, if the political advertising is authorized by the candidate. (Note: There is also an exception for holiday greeting cards sent by an officeholder, provided that the officeholder's name and address appear on the card or the envelope.)

V. What Should I Do If I Discover That My Political Advertising Does Not Contain A Disclosure Statement?

The new law prohibits a person from using, causing or permitting to be used, or continuing to use political advertising containing express advocacy if the person knows it does not include the disclosure statement. A person is presumed to know that the use is prohibited if the Texas Ethics Commission notifies the person in writing that the use is prohibited. If you receive notice from the Texas Ethics Commission that your political advertising does not comply with the law, you should stop using it immediately.

If you learn that a political advertising sign designed to be seen from the road does not contain a disclosure statement or contains an inaccurate disclosure statement, you should make a good faith attempt to remove or correct those signs that have been distributed. You are not required to attempt to recover other types of political advertising that have been distributed with a missing or inaccurate disclosure statement.

VI. The Fair Campaign Practices Act.

The Fair Campaign Practices Act sets out basic rules of decency, honesty, and fair play to be followed by candidates and political committees during a campaign. A candidate or political committee may choose to subscribe to the voluntary code by signing a copy of the code and filing it with the authority with whom the candidate or committee is required to file its campaign treasurer appointment. A person subscribing to the code may indicate that fact on political advertising by including the following or a substantially similar statement:

(Name of the candidate or political committee, as appropriate) subscribes to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.

VII. Special Rule For Judicial Candidates, Officeholders, and Committees.

Candidates for the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, courts of appeals, district courts, statutory county courts (county courts-at-law), and statutory probate courts are required to file a form declaring their intent to either comply with or exceed the voluntary expenditure limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act. A candidate who has declared an intent to comply with the expenditure limits, as well as a specific-purpose committee supporting such a candidate, may state the following in political advertising:

Political advertising paid for by (name of candidate or committee) in compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.

If a candidate declares an intent to exceed the expenditure limits, however, both the candidate and any specific-purpose committee supporting the candidate must include in their political advertising the following statement:

Political advertising paid for by (name of candidate or committee), (who or which) has rejected the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.


I. When Is The "Right-Of-Way" Notice Required?

All written political advertising that is meant to be seen from a road must carry a "right-of-way" notice. It is a criminal offense to omit the "right-of-way" notice in the following circumstances:

1.  if you enter into a contract or agreement to print or make written political advertising meant to be seen from a road; or

2.  if you instruct another person to place the written political advertising meant to be seen from a road.

II. What Should The "Right-Of-Way" Notice Say?

Section 255.007 of the Texas Election Code prescribes the exact language of the notice:


Note: The notice on political advertising signs printed or made before September 1, 1997, contained a citation to a prior law. You may continue to use those signs if they otherwise comply with the law.

III. Do Yard Signs Have To Have The "Right-Of-Way" Notice?

Yes. The "right-of-way" notice requirement applies to signs meant to be seen from any road. The notice requirement assures that a person responsible for placing signs is aware of the restriction on placing the sign in the right-of-way of a highway.

IV. What About Bumper Stickers?

Bumper stickers do not need the "right-of-way" notice. They do, however, need a political advertising disclosure statement.

V. Where May I Place My Signs And How Long May Signs Be Posted?

For information about exactly where you may or may not place signs, or for information regarding the length of time your signs may be posted, check with your city or county government and with the Texas Department of Transportation at (512) 416-2901.


I. Are There Restrictions On The Contents Of Political Advertising?

Political advertising and campaign communications may not misrepresent a person's identity or official title, nor may they misrepresent the true source of the advertising or communication. The election law does not address other types of misrepresentation in political advertising or campaign communications.

Note that the misrepresentation rules apply to both political advertising and campaign communications. "Campaign communication" is a broader term than "political advertising."

A "campaign communication" means "a written or oral communication relating to a campaign for nomination or election to public office or office of a political party or to a campaign on a measure."

II. Misrepresentation Of Office Title.

A candidate may not represent that he or she holds an office that he or she does not hold at the time of the representation. If you are not the incumbent in the office you are seeking, you must make it clear that you are seeking election rather than reelection by using the word "for" to clarify that you don't hold that office. The word "for" must be at least one-half the type size as the name of the office and should appear immediately before the name of the office. For example, a non-incumbent may use the following formats:

Vote John Doe for Attorney General   

 John Doe for
Attorney General

III. Misrepresentation Of Identity Or Source.

A person violates the law if, with intent to injure a candidate or influence the result of an election, the person misrepresents the source of political advertising or a campaign communication or if the person misrepresents his or her own identity or the identity of his or her agent in political advertising or in a campaign communication. (If someone else is doing something for you, that person is your agent.) For example, you may not take out an ad in favor of your opponent that purports to be sponsored by a notoriously unpopular group.

IV. Use Of State Seal.

Only officeholders may use the state seal in political advertising.

Oh, and just in case you're not sure what curtail and abridge mean, I looked up their definitions for you: To cut short or reduce. Do you imagine with the maze that Texas lawmakers have created, they have curtailed some if not most political speech? I do. And I'm sure it is no different in Washington state, either.

Iowa's Famous Straw Pole

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I really don't know what all the commotion was about yesterday. I've been to Iowa, and I've seen their straw pole...

What's the big deal all about?!? It's a pole... made of straw... So what?

. . .

Or, am I missing something?

UPDATE: Since I've gotten several visitors today looking for information on the Iowa Straw POLE, I wanted to let you know you've made a mistake. The correct spelling is POLL. For more information see this explanation at

Constitutional Aim

Friday, August 10, 2007

I receive via email everyday the Founders' Daily Quote from the Patriot Post. They're usually pretty good, but today's struck me as all wrong:
"The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust."

-- James Madison (Federalist No. 57, 19 February 1788)
Here, I think Mr. Madison got it wrong. While moral, decent, upstanding individuals are indeed what we need as public servants (not rulers), the aim of every political constitution should be, first and foremost, the protection of individual rights and liberties. Only then should you worry about the common good of the society. Society, after all, is nothing more than a collection of individuals.

A Look at Protect America Act of 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Today, I want to take a closer look at the Protect America Act of 2007 that President Bush just recently signed into law. I'll be honest with you. I read it through the first time and thought to myself, "That seems pretty benign. I don't see what people are getting themselves all twisted up in a knot over." I decided to ponder the bill for a few days to see if anything would surface... and it did.
Let's look at a couple of the new amendments to FISA. The first section of the bill takes the definition of "electronic surveillance" and essentially guts any protections written into it that kept the government from listening in on your conversations at random. I'll explain. The PAA of 2007 removes any protection found under the Fourth Amendment for your communications by reclassifying your conversations if they involve someone outside of the United States and they are not an American. It says that if the target of surveillance (presumably international bad guys) is located outside of the United States then that eavesdropping will not be considered "electronic surveillance" as defined under FISA. In other words, if you're the person at the other end of that telephone call and you're an American and you're standing on U.S. soil, you still lose all your Fourth Amendment protections under FISA--because you are not the target of surveillance. Here is the new section, word for word:
Sec. 105A. Nothing in the definition of electronic surveillance under section 101(f) shall be construed to encompass surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States.
We must remember that FISA was created to protect the communications of American Citizens, regardless of whom they were talking with. If you read the definitions for electronic surveillance, it becomes plain that the intent of Congress when it wrote FISA was to maintain your Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures when it came to government's eavesdropping:
36USC1801(f) "Electronic surveillance" means--
(1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;
This covers eavesdropping from outside the U.S. on an American inside or outside the U.S. It states that if this occurs and that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, then it is considered electronic surveillance and falls under FISA.
(2) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States, but does not include the acquisition of those communications of computer trespassers that would be permissible under section 2511 (2)(i) of title 18;
This covers eavesdropping from within the U.S. on an American regardless of whether he's sending or receiving the transmission without his prior consent inside the U.S.
(3) the intentional acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, and if both the sender and all intended recipients are located within the United States; or
This covers wireless eavesdropping on Americans inside the U.S. It states that if this occurs and those persons have a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, then it is considered electronic surveillance and falls under FISA.
(4) the installation or use of an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device in the United States for monitoring to acquire information, other than from a wire or radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes.
And the final clause to sweep up any the first three may have missed. This clause acts basically like an umbrella, stating that the use of any eavesdropping equipment or techniques where an American has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, then it is considered electronic surveillance and falls under FISA.
Time and time again Congress has stated that if the message involved the communications of an American, that American had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" and, therefore, a warrant issued by FISC would be required to conform with his Fourth Amendment protections. Anything else would be a violation of the Constitution and illegal.
Now, we have this Protect America Act of 2007 bill which attempts to rewrite the Constitution and FISA. The bill attempts to draw a legal line through a conversation that says if we're eavesdropping on the half of a communication initiated by a foreigner, regardless of who's at the other end, we don't need a warrant from FISC. But, if you read the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It makes no such distinction. The protections are all-encompassing. It would be like if you bought a house with your friend who happens to be a foreigner. Let's say the police decide your friend is part of a bootlegged software smuggling ring. Would it make sense for them to break your door down without a warrant, and explain to you that you have no standing to demand a warrant because they are not searching your half of the home? That, obviously, is absurd. The same can be said of this provision that attempts to ignore the half of the conversation that FISA plainly and clearly states requires a warrant. Put simply: if an American is involved a warrant is required.
I intended to look at more of this bill, but this post has grown to considerable length. We'll leave it here and pick up the rest in the next post.

Definition of the Day

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

While searching for evidence that the state legislature raised the financial penalty for not wearing your seat belt while riding in your car, I came across the following definition. I read it to my wife just to make sure I didn't misread this and got the same reaction from her.
(2) "Entity" means a person other than a natural person.
Source: see Page 3, Line 27)
You really can't make this stuff up. Can you imagine what a person other than a natural person would be? A rock? A building? Your neighbor's dog? Actually, Page 4, Line 15 contains the definition of person:

(8) "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, association, governmental entity, or other entity, of any kind or nature.

So and "entity" would be Coca Cola, or the Boeing Company, or the City of Seattle, but not Mr. Smith. However, they would all be considered persons in law. Interesting.

An Ominous Warning?

I finally opened a letter I received about a week ago from Senator Val Stevens's office. It's her end-of-session newsletter explaining what things were accomplished on my behalf in state government. I'll reprint the first few paragraphs of the newsletter for you to read as I think it sends a warning that life here in Washington is going to get a whole lot more expensive being surrounded by so many socialists with their collective hands extended, reaching for taxpayer-funded hand outs...
Dear Friends,
With the 2007 session over, this is my report on the legislation that I believe will most affect you. There is not enough paper in Washington state to explain the frustration felt by those of us who attempted to protect your rights, your liberty and your freedoms. It has been said that "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session," and this year is especially true.
As expected, with an income surplus projected to be over $2 billion, the Democrat supermajority spent it all and much, much more. You, citizen taxpayer, are now deep in debt and the bottom of the financial hole is yet to be determined. You may have heard of the spending bow wave--this one should be considered a tidal wave. Be prepared to pay more taxes as the legislation begins to take effect.
When we learned last winter that the taxpayers had overpaid the amount needed to maintain our bloated state government, special interest groups showed up to help the budget committee spend it. It quickly became apparent that there was not enough "extra money" to meet the demand. Unable to tell them NO, everyone but you got a piece of the surplus. (Returning the money to its rightful owner, you the taxpayer, was never a consideration.)
Her newsletter continues, but the remainder isn't relevant to this post. What is relevant is the formal notification that I've just been financially raped--again! When will this ever end? How much will be enough before these "special interest groups" will leave us alone? I'm sick of it!
At the bottom of her newsletter, Sen. Stevens has an apt quote from Thomas Jefferson:
Government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.
By the way, that wasn't a warning by Thomas Jefferson... that was a prophecy. And we're now living it!

Big Government Libertarianism?

To me, the idea of "big government libertarianism" is like standing in a room full of government bureaucrats, but instead of them facing you, they're all standing with their backs to you. They may not be scrutinizing your every move, but you still can't move around freely. At least not as long as you behave yourself, because all they would have to do is turn around and you're busted. In other words, there is no such thing as big government libertarianism. It's a myth, a sham, a ruse to allow big government. You simply cannot have big government and individual liberty at the same table. Power, greed, nepotism and all of those other nasty human features that surface when you create big government will not allow individual liberty to co-exist. The one will try to squash the other out of shear paranoia.
So, if you're a big government libertarian, you may want to reevaluate your position. You've chosen a path that will only lead to your demise.

Chaining Myself to the Whipping Post

Monday, August 06, 2007

Can you feel it? It's in the air. I'm starting to see more of their signs planted along side the roadways again. It's almost time to choose who gets to hold my leash for another four years. How exciting... Not!

It's a Sickness, I tell you!

Friday, August 03, 2007

I know I've not blogged much this week, but for good reason: one of the guys from the store has been on vacation this last week which means lots of overtime for me. It also means no extra time for blogging (or anything else, for that matter). However, I just couldn't resist sharing a find with you...
As some of you may know, I took up riding a motorcycle a couple months back. I purchased a 1981 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim. Let me tell you, it has been a lot of fun to ride. What a great bike! I highly recommend it to anyone. In addition to my learning to ride, I've been teaching my wife to ride my bike. Anyway, we decided that April needed her own bike, so we've been on the lookout for something similar to mine. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon an ad on Craigs List for a 1982 Yamaha XJ650J Maxim. Really, the only difference between the two is that this one is red where mine is black. (I must confess, a trade may be in the offing...) This one also has some extra dress-up do-dads, too.
Here's the actual picture listed on Craigs List:
1982 Yamaha XJ650J Maxim
It needs a little work, but I'm sure she'll be as good as her older brother. I'm excited about our first ride together. But enough of this... I'm off to ebay to see if I can get a rear turn light. The right one seems to have gotten broken somehow and needs some attention.

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