Saturday, May 27, 2006

Nanny Knows Best

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner and dictator-hopeful for the 2008 Presidential election is showing her Nanny Card again. This time she wants to tell you how fast you can('t) drive.

The idea of a 55mph speed limit is so pathetic that I won't even address the issue on its face. As usual, I see something far deeper and far more sinister at work.

Gun control, high taxes, and socialized healthcare just aren't enough. She so strongly believes that she knows better than you do how to live your life that she's ready to wrap her power hungry fingers around your steering wheel.

To the likes of H-Rod and her control-happy cronies, impracticality and misery matter not. They know best, and it's for your own safety.

If she gets in and starts getting her way, we'll be but a few steps removed from re-education camps and national curfews.

Papers, please.

"Knife Control" anyone?

This article is about a knife attack in Germany. Twenty eight people were injured. Twenty eight! It was probably an assault knife packed with features that make it attractive to criminals. The perp probably stabbed from the hip.

I think it's high time that the progressive elements in Germany enact some common-sense knife control measures. Even one attack is too many. If it saves just one life it will be worth it. Everybody now: "IF BRITAIN CAN DO IT SO CAN WE!"

Or could it be that a violent criminal is a violent criminal, no matter what weapon he has or doesn't have in his hand? That conclusion is just too difficult for some people to reach, I suppose.

When knives are banned and thugs start killing people with pipewrenches and screwdrivers, maybe the antis will clue in to the fact that weapons are merely inanimate tools.

Nah. Too obvious.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Nanny State expands.

No article here. Just a personal observation. On the way home from work I noticed cops all over the place. Every mile or so it seemed. Then not far from my house there were two cops on foot at at intersection (4 way stop). They were approaching cars as they stopped to spot-check for seatbelts. This "campaign" has been recently reported in the local news. Apparently, there is even special funding for the overtime that will be required.

Why are they wasting my hard-earned tax dollars on what amounts to a parenting program? How ridiculous to waste police officers' time and our money on non-crime issues. You want to pay cops for overtime? Fine. Assign them to unsolved missing persons cases. Assign them to unsolved murders, rapes, and kidnappings. Use their time to fight gang activity. Pay them to do their jobs as public servants.

Don't pay them to act like public parents.

This is the fundamental mindset that we must continually combat if we wish to preserve our ever-eroding freedoms. The Nanny State proponents believe that they know best. They will go to whatever lengths they feel necessary at whatever cost to ensure that our lives are forced into compliance with their standards. A seat-belt enforcement campaign is just one more piece of evidence.

You don't know best. Huh-uh. No you don't. We do.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This now in from the APN...

Reason and I have an old joke. We created a fictitious watchdog group called the APN. The APN is the Alarmist Parent Network, and they serve only to whip the public up into a frenzy. We like to attribute real-life instances of overboard hand-wringing to the fictional APN. We never discussed the specifics of it, but I've always figured that the APN is a multi-media enterprise. They probably have a website and a cable news channel. They routinely release information to the print media, and they never cut corners when it comes to using blood-curdling adjectives.

I found this article today on MSNBC. It's about the "dangers" posed by household paper shredders. Although they weren't cited, I'm certain that the APN is responsible for this.

Apparently, a kid can lose fingers if they stick their hands into a shredder! I'm glad they brought this to light, because I have an eight month old and we were just about to have a shredding party. The article goes on to describe how horrific the results can be if you try to teach your kid how to use a shredder.

Well no doubt. We need to keep them in car seats until they're in college, off of ATVs until they're geriatric, and away from firearms forever. It's no stretch of the imagination that we'll soon have printed labels warning of the dangers of anyone under the age of 35 operating a paper shredder. If we're lucky, we'll have shredder blade "fingerprinting" and a registered database of all paper shredder owners (license required, of course.) Maybe we can eliminate drive-by shreddings that way.

There's not a whole lot of serious content in this posting (obviously). Really, the reason I posted this was is that I think it's just one more piece of evidence supporting the idea that there are people out there that don't trust you to make decisions for yourself. And they feel that it is their duty to make changes to your daily life to help them sleep better. I see a stark commonality here between these shredder-worriers and anti-gunners. Both believe that some other body (government or otherwise) knows better than you how to live your life. And they're going to do what they can to make you comply.

Shredders? I know. Very insignificant. But symptomatic, nonetheless.

One more comment, and then I'm done. I found this quote rather disturbing:

"Manufacturers also have to pass a test to show that little fingers cannot fit into the opening or be pulled into the blades."

Whose kids are they using for that test?

It's just stomach-churning

Reason has an excellent post today about something every IL resident should be informed of. My commentary on the matter resides in his "comments" section.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Do it for the children...

My wife and I had to go shopping today for a larger car seat for our baby. She just outgrew her first one. Apparently they have to be in car seats until they weigh 80 pounds.

80 pounds?!?! Is someone out of their bloody mind? It blows me away how such an idiotic law can even get passed. Why did I hear nothing in the news? Why was there no controversy? Didn't anybody have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say, "That's the worst idea I've ever heard in my life, Tom." (Office Space quote for you there.)

The truth is that anything that bears the label "for the children" gets the instant stamp of approval, no matter how asinine the premise. We'd be putting rubber bumpers on our baseboards if some legislator put together a smart sounding law, backed it up with some half-baked alarmist stats and started an awareness campaign.

I was in sixth grade before I weighed 80 pounds! And I have no recollection of ever being in a car seat. And I'm alive today!

I know, I know. I wasn't in any wrecks. Whatever. That's not my point. My point is that this is just one more vile step towards a nanny state. "We know better than you how to take care of your own children."

Step off, big brother. I decide what's best for my kids.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Something different...

No link this time. Just some reminiscing on my part.

It's an unusual Saturday because I'm at work. But it's very slow, which leaves me with lots of free time. But the free time comes in 5 and 10 minute spurts, so all I can really do is check my email and blog. That's why there are so many entries today. Don't get used to it.

It's funny how a song can bring memories back in a flood. I've been listening to some Relient K today. (Christian pop/punk. Very good.) My wife introduced me to this band when we first started dating back in college. It brings back memories of kissing her for the first (and second, and third...) time.

It's not like it was all that long ago, but sometimes it feels like a lifetime. We're not in college anymore, and now we have a baby.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not missing the good old days. I'm missing my wife.

I love you, babe.

Double Standard

This article is about allegations of torture by the Chicago Police Department. The controversy is whether the full report should be made public.

One more piece of evidence that we have created a special class of citizens, to whom the law does not apply as it applies to the rest of society. What do you think would have happened if a non-cop had tortured somone to get a confession? Do you think that private citizen's identity would be protected?

To quote my friend Reason (again) - they're like you and me...only better.

Lethal Injection Failure

You've probably already read about this already. Ohio had trouble executing a convicted murderer when they couldn't find a vein for the lethal injection.

This is a good example of practicality going by the wayside in the name of political correctness.

I've never heard of technical difficulties with a firing squad.

My bad

I wrote the final paragraph of my last post under a wrong assumption. I mistakenly said that all federal aid would be withdrawn if things progressed as they are. Actually, only nine states are failing badly enough to have their $ cut off.

(This was aptly brought to my attention by alert reader Isaac T when he asked in the comments section, "How does everyone fail?". Thanks, Isaac T.)

No state is meeting the federal standard set, but this doesn't mean their federal aid is being cut. Only nine states are far enough behind that they're going to feel it in the wallet.

What I was saying was that the best case scenario would be that no state could meet the federal standards and that all aid is withdrawn. The article is basically saying that due to the amount of aid being withdrawn, something will have to be done about NCLB. I'm saying that it would be great if NCLB was the vehicle by which federal aid for schools disappeared.

Isaac says, "Now, to play a bit of devil's advocate, although I do agree with what you said, aren't we in effect, then robbing Peter to pay Paul? So federal government puckers up and the money is gone. Doesn't that just encourage our beloved Springfield and Des Moines to "pass the load" onto us? Aren't we going to be paying it one way or another through higher taxes?"

Realistically, yes. Our state and local taxes would probably rise to meet the rest of the burden. But our federal burden would (hopefully) be equally reduced. So in theory it would be a wash.

Well, we know it doesn't that work that way. They'd just spend it elsewhere.

Isaac makes another great point: "Maybe believers coming together and educating their children is where it's at?"

Absolutely. That's the only real solution in my eyes. I don't trust the public education system anymore. And it has nothing to do with NCLB.

Another point missed

CNN is complaining (again) about No Child Left Behind.

This article is a good illustration of the mainstream media's left-wing bias. How anyone still denies their slant still escapes me. But they do. I've even heard people say that the MSM has a right wing bias. (Michael Moore followers.) That just blows me away.

But that's not why I linked to this article. I wanted to talk about NCLB. All the libs are up in arms about the way that the federal government is trying to regulate education. Point missed again.

(The point):
Nobody's concerned about the very idea that the Federal government is (once again) sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. No one is angry about federal regulation of something that shouldn't be federally regulated (education.)

We can argue standardized testing vs. outcome based education all day long. I have a very strong opinion on the matter.

But that's not the point!

These things should be decided at the state level. It's not the US Government's job to tell us how to teach our kids! It's not their job to ensure a good education! I don't care what NCLB is about. I care that it even exists! And no one seems to be upset about this. Why?

Probably because we're used to having a Department of Education. We're used to letting the feds step in and get their hands in the cookie jar. We're willing to take their dollars.

I think the best outcome here is that NCLB is left in effect. Everyone fails. All federal aid is withdrawn. Bush sticks to his guns and the final result is something that no one expects, because it's not even being addressed as part of the issue: education is (in effect) completely de-federalized.

Wouldn't that be something.

Friday, May 12, 2006

One more...

Alright, one more entry for the night. This has been my first day posting to my blog and I've been enjoying it. I surely won't average three posts a day, but I have an unusual amount of free time on my hands right now, so I decided to spend it blogging.

I like these guys. The immigration debate isn't my main item of political interest, but it keeps coming up, so I'll address it. The Minutemen have done something radical. They have taken a real-world stand for what they believe. They have put their beliefs into action with more than words and ralllies and signs and chants.

They face all sorts of slander for it, too. Speaking of rallies, they had a presence at one in DC recently. Read about it here. (CNN actually gives them positive coverage.) Their opponents were there screaming at them and calling them racists, Klansmen, Nazis, and so on and so forth.
Baseless assertions, to be sure, but scathing nonetheless.

I guess this isn't a very exciting post on my part, but for once it's nice to see people actually stand up and take action. I'm curious to know what other issues will incite the same level of passion in the future. What other Minuteman Projects will be born of problems that eventually become too big to ignore?

Missing the point

Another hackneyed article about the NSA database. Is this news? Aren't they just beating the same dead horse?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not on the "it's harmless" bandwagon. Granted, I think there are more significant things to be worried about. It only takes a modicum of intelligence to realize that our government doesn't have the manpower to listen to every phone call. Right, right, but that's not the issue...

Everyone has missed the point. This has been going on forever, and that's not even the point.

The point what?

The First Amendment is a trampled, misunderstood mess.

The Second Amendment is heavily, heavily infringed.

The Fourth Amendment is an utter joke.

Parts of the Fifth Amendment get trampled right along with the Second. (Kudos to Reason for bringing my attention to this one.)

The Eigth Amendment is partially ignored. (And I'm not talking about cruel and unusual punishment.)

I see no evidence of any regard for the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

Here is a link to the Bill of Rights.

Read that and tell me what you think about life in America today. And then tell me how upsetting the NSA's phone call database is. My response is (shrug) so what? As a friend of mine puts it, " more log on the fire."

The media is picking this fight as part of a partisan attempt to attack the Bush Administration. It fits conveniently into their current agenda. I'm not defending the database. I'm just pointing out that no one does a thing about countless other daily Constitutional tramplings. Why get upset about this one?


My then-girlfriend (now wife) and I once tried to start a newsletter on our ultra liberal college campus. We were going to call it The Subversive. We even created the first issue and planned to print it out in the computer lab utilizing hundreds of tuition-paid pages of rainforest-made paper. But our plan fell through. Some things are easier to dream about than to actually execute.

Besides, making out was more fun.

So here I am again working in my own little way as a force for change. I proudly and regularly exercise my Second Amendment rights. With a little practice, maybe this First Amendment thing will be just as good.

Well...any of you who have ever had the joy of shooting a gun know that what I just said is aiming pretty high.

So why the Subversive? To answer the question, I have to quote Webster's dictionary. I hate it when people do that. All the worst graduation speeches start out with "Webster defines success as..." or "Webster defines dreams as..." Gag me. Okay, with my trepidation about doing this well stated, let me say that (cringe) Webster says that subversive is esp: a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine a government or political system by persons working secretly from within.

No, I'm not a government employee. But I am a part of this political system.

And no, I'm not talking about violent overthrow.


Anyway, if you happen to stumble across my little web abode, welcome. I hope you find some enjoyment and some food for thought. Feel free to post comments.