Monday, June 30, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do! Part #8438567 in a series...

Barak H. Obama espouses equal pay for equal work, but pays women in his campaign an average of $6000 a year less than similarly employed men.

Vigilantism and the Social Contract in Default

Joe Horn has been No-Billed by the Grand Jury after two weeks of testimony. This is a triumph of good over evil. However we need to look past the actual incident itself and ask ourselves: Why this man, who had never harmed a soul before that day, felt he must act to protect the property of a neighbor he barely knew. Fundamentally, we are faced with the utter destruction of the Social Contract between the Citizen, and the Government.

The Citizen contracts with the Government to provide safety and security. In doing so, the Citizen is entrusting the power of arrest into the hands of government. But of late, government has been abrogating it's responsibilities. Time and again, the courts have ruled that the government has no duty to protect you. If the government is not willing to uphold it's end of the bargain, then the social contract is in default and we the citizen must protect ourselves.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

You know all that talk of unity and fence mending? Yeah, not so much.

Remember how Hillary and Obama were all hugs and kisses and calling for party unity? Remember that unease we all felt when seeing that picture in New Hampshire of the two of them getting all lovey dovey? Well, it would appear that a certain former president is not willing to be so gracious in defeat. Specifically, he says Obama is going to have to "kiss his ass" for his support.

This is going to be so fun to watch....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

DC Gun Ban goes down in flames

The opinion has not been released as I type yet, so there may be limits or quirks to the ruling that I am as yet unaware of, but the gist of it is that the DC vs Heller case has been affirmed by SCOTUS in a rather predictable 5-4 ruling, The four dissenters are of course the usual suspects of Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg, and Stevens. I'll update when I know more of the specifics.

Update #1:
The ruling can be read here. I have not had any time to read or analyze it yet. When
I have read it and analyzed it, I will update.

Update #2:

Ok, I have not read the entire opinion yet but my first impressions are these:
  • The second amendment does not confer an absolute right. Reasonable restrictions may be put in place.
  • The ruling does not give you carte blanche to own a nuke or an ICBM if you like, although there would appear to be wiggle room for a further ruling down the road on this. It says that an individual has the right to posess any weapon commonly used by a militia. Since the National Guard is a lawful militia and posesses a wide range of weapons and weapons systems for lawful purposes, one could argue (and Im sure someone will at some point) that any weapon system they posess should be fair game for an individual.
  • Restrictions on felons and the mentally infirm for example are reasonable restrictions per this ruling, as are restrictions on carrying in sensitive places and carrying concealed.
  • Licensing is permissible as a reasonable restriction, but it would appear at first blush that this would refer to "shall issue" licensing vs "may issue" because it must be applied fairly and equally:
"Because Heller conceded at oral argument
that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily
and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy
his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement.
Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment
rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and
must issue him a license to carry it in the home."
  • "Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications,
    e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27,
    35–36 (2001),the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the
    founding." This would appear to say that any man portable weapon falls under the second amendment, regardless of how modern they may be.
  • The opinion specifically does not speak to the incorporation clause of the 14th amendment placing the states under the same laws as the federal Government, in the footnotes, the opinion points out two decisions from the 1880's that would appear not to apply the incorporation clause. This is going to be the subject of other litigation I am sure.
  • It does not strike down US vs Miller that taxes may be collected on the sale and transfer of certain weapons.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Enforcing food safety = Slavery.... NOT!

Black Cultural Council President Jo Ann Davenport-Littleton complained that two Odessa Health Inspectors told the group that they could not serve some 600 or so BBQ sandwiches at a Juneteenth rally because they were not made on site but instead had been made in volunteer's home kitchens instead of in a licensed and inspected food service facility.

Gino Solla, the county's top health official, said state law prohibits any food service operation from having food prepared in a private home for public consumption.

Well, apparently Ms. Davenport-Littleton does not think that the law applies to her because she is BLACK by God and you may NOT tell her that the law applies to her!

"I hate that it happened," Davenport-Littleton said in a story for today's edition of the Odessa American. "I wanted people to go away talking about how great the celebration was this year. All you heard was 'They were going to deny us barbecue. Here we are in modern-day slavery again.' "

The council, which has contracted with an individual to prepare the food offsite for the past 11 years, was eventually able to serve the sandwiches Thursday after police were called to the center and a "heated" argument with the inspectors, the newspaper reported. The group is demanding an apology.

Solla said he won't apologize.

"We have to be aggressive when the public interest is involved," he told the paper. "If there was any kind of forwardness and if it was perceived as rude, that I'll apologize for. But when it comes to public health, I don't think I have any apology for that."

EXCUSE ME? You've violated the law for 11 years, and someone finally notices and tries to shut you down for violating the law and you have the unmitigated gall, the audacity, to try and claim it is SLAVERY? Were you BORN stupid or were you dropped on your head as a child?


Just how many race cards are there in that deck anyway?

I'm going to speculate a bit here, but I'll bet that I'm pretty close to being right.
They've been using the same "contractor" to make these sandwiches for 11 years. Anyone want to bet this contractor turns out to be a friend or relative of Ms. Jo Ann Davenport-Littleton? Anyone want to bet that there was a second bidder for the job, one that DID have all the proper permits and inspections? One that was underbid by this preferred bidder? Anyone want to bet that this losing bidder anonymously dropped a dime on the scam to the health department which is the very reason why the inspectors were there to begin with? What do you want to bet that the "Black Cultural Council" consists of Ms. Jo Ann Davenport-Littleton and no one else, or perhaps a handful of her close personal friends? These sorts of organizations have a tendency to be rather incestuous and I would not be surprised in the least that this isn't fallout from a power squabble amongst the players.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Remember Maria Isabel?

You might remember this little video...

Remember how she walked off? Remember how the "official" campaign threw her under the bus?

Well now it would appear that Barak Obama HIMSELF called her after the original story aired and told her to ditch the flag and to not say another word about it. She even took a similar flag down off of a flagpole at her home.

Fixing an election through voter suppression

That is exactly what Lone Star College System did back in May. It would appear that someone there analyzed the vote totals for/against from the 2006 election and then intentionally chose polling places with an eye towards suppressing voter turnout in those areas that were heavily anti-bond in the last election. In Montgomery County, all of the polling places were co-located with local school bond polling locations, in Harris County they were generally not, forcing voters seek out a second polling location in order to vote a second time. Further, in Harris County, in those areas with a strong pro-bond turnout history, the polling places chosen were the same as before, with no more than two precincts combined per polling location, making it easy for those who wished to vote to do so. For those areas that were heavily anti-bond, just the opposite was true, four and five precincts were combined, and the polling locations were invariably far from the normal polling locations, on average about 4 miles away from the historic polling locations. State election code calls for the placement of signage at old polling locations "if possible" to direct voters to the new polling location. I find it hard to believe that it was "not possible" to place signs at those other polling locations. I also find it hard to believe that it would have been cost prohibitive to put polling locations co-located with the Klein ISD bond election. The result? the turnout in Harris County was far below the turnout in Montgomery County, and turnout in historically conservative anti-bond areas was far below the turnout in pro-bond areas. In fact the entire Harris county turnout, roughly equaled the turnout at each of several Montgomery county polling locations. Therefore, it pays to design your own election, you can manipulate the vote without having to resort to stuffing the ballot box that way.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Si no puede

Apparently, in the world of democrat politicians, the theme is: No we can't!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sometimes simplicity is key

HT Texas Insider

Robot Girlfriend?

Somehow, I think the designer of this device may have missed the point of the whole concept. (watch video)

Is it me or are there a few primary girlfriend functions they have left out of the design? Maybe they need to hire this guy for version 2.0.

Monday, June 16, 2008

McCain's Flip-Flop on drilling, or is it?.

Back on January 17th, 2008, John McCain was asked about opening up drilling in ANWR, his response was no.

In December 2007, McCain was also quoted as saying he was against it.

Today, he announced he will call for removal of the federal moratorium on drilling, but he never specifically mentions ANWR. Is this a flip-flop? or is this a nuanced position?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Greetings from the floor of the State Republican Convention

10:41AM Thursday:
Well, ok, actually the food court area. Finding a wireless connection has been interesting. In a bit I'm going to wander down and find a seat in my SD area. Interesting mix of exhibitors in the trade show area, including a blogger's row. I haven't joined them there (I may later when my battery gets low) mainly because it is out in front of God and everybody and nowhere NEAR the convention floor. I don't like people reading over my shoulder when I type, I'm funny that way, go figure. One of my first actions upon arriving was to join the Texas State Rifle Association (been wanting to for some time and never got around to it. Now I'll get a discount on my NRA membership too).

I'm signing off for the time being, the battery is getting a little low. I'll update goings on as time, battery, and wireless connectivity permit.

Update 10:04PM Thursday
It has been a long day. I got very little chance to fire up the laptop, and when I did there was no wireless connectivity. Well, that is not entirely true, I coulda paid for it, but I'm too damned cheap. But even then the battery was damned near flat and I barely had enough power to get the machine shut back down again properly. So I will attempt to recount the highlights (and low lights) of today's goings on.

Rick Perry was heckled by a number of people (myself included, I think he heard me best because I was close to the front. heh =D) and got much less applause than I think he expected. (I have no idea why he would have thought he was going in front of a friendly crowd. Just stupid I guess. I mean he got a grand total of 39% of the vote for crying out loud, that was not exactly a mandate from the voters now was it?). He said a lot of bullcrap about protecting the border and cutting taxes and reducing spending that not a single person in the room believed. I think that had it not been for everyone's sense of decorum someone would have rushed the stage and punched him in the nose. He won no points with this crowd. He talked up a sum of $110 million he supposedly spent on border security, including 4 new DPS helicopters, but I'd bet they have never been any further south than McAllen, and never any further west than Fredricksburg, if they even exist at all. None of the border sheriffs I am aware of have seen any of that money.
He was followed by Susan Combs, who got some decent applause, but suffered from both following Perry, as well as being the messenger bearing bad news in the form of being in charge of collecting the margins tax, and being the heavy in that she could not give another extension to October because the money is already spent. Her reception was a mixed bag at best. Probably not as good as she really deserved to be honest with you.

After Susan Combs came one of the brightest rising stars in Texas Republican Politics; Michael Williams. This man was on. freaking. fire. And I don't mean Michael Jackson in the Pepsi commercial on fire. He gave one of the best, one of the most animated, most passionate speeches of any elected official there today, and probably in the top two of the whole week (I have high hopes for Gingrich tomorrow). This man will go far in Texas (national?)Politics. After his speech, I was ready to tell McCain to go screw himself and put Williams up in his place. This man would tear both of Obama's arms off and beat him about the head and shoulders with them. Yes, he is that damned good. He is currently serving his second term as railroad commissioner and running for a third term, and even though he is a lawyer, this man knows his shit about energy policy issues. We could do a heluva lot worse than Michael Williams in whatever office he eventually decides to move on to in the future. The man exudes competence and passion.

After Williams came Greg Abbott, and his response was pretty good. I think he was riding Williams coattails a bit but even so, he gave a pretty good speech. he did make one flub. in trying to say "here on the gulf coast" he instead said "here on the golf course". Given the man has no use of his legs, I find it hard to believe he spends a lot of time on the golf course. I have no idea where that Freudian slip came from.

After Abbot came David Dewhurst, who's reception was a good bit less cordial than Perry's was. At one point he was booed so loudly it put him off balance. The came Tom Craddick who got only a little better reception than Dewhurst did.

Then came the blood.

Tina Benkiser and Robin Armstrong have both drawn opponents for State party Chair and Vice Chair. Both challengers, Paul Perry from Ellis County and Ms. Medina the party chair from Wharton County are from the Ron Paul camp, but despite that minor personality flaw they both are hell for passionate about party platform and party rules. They have a point. Ms. Benkiser has a real habit of squelching any debate or lack of orthodoxy from those who fail to agree with her. Now to be honest, I don't know if Mr. Armstrong is in cahoots with her on this or if he is more or less an innocent bystander, but Ms. Medina is nothing if not passionate about the issues. In fact, she damned near cried on the podium she was so worked up during her speech. This of course arises from the drubbing that the Paulestinians got when they tried to hijack the SD conventions. The drubbing was a bit harsh, but the attempt to take control of the convention process by the Paulestinians was uncalled for too. I think there is blame enough for all. Later, during the credentials committee reports, Benkiser's nastiness came out, and frankly, it felt a bit fascist in her dismissal of the points of information where the delegates were demanding details of the credentials challenges before they would vote on the acceptance of the committee recommendations. We were being asked to vote on a pig in a poke each time. That is unfair and unrealistic. But one upshot of the Medina lawsuit was that Benkiser immediately moved to follow election law and party rules and brought the convention to order and started treating it as a proper convention instead of a dog and pony show right up to the end. I'm not a big fan of Benkiser, nor Ron Paul, but Paul Perry and Ms Medina certainly seem to have their heart in the right place. I gotta give them credit for that.

After that we broke (two hours late) for our SD Caucuses. Can you say boring to tears? Most of the current standing committee members held onto their jobs. Surprise!

I am dead on my feet now and tomorrow will be another long day. Buenos Noches.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Countering the Iranian Nuclear Threat? Or Blowing Smoke?

The Bush administration is signing an agreement to assist Saudi Arabia to build nuclear power plants. Never mind that they are sitting on some of the most plentiful deposits of oil and gas on the planet and have access to thousands of square miles of sun parched desert to put in solar power. No, we must give then nukes too. The officially unstated but clearly implied purpose is to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions. The Saudis claim that that they will not pursue uranium enrichment or fuel reprocessing, so fears of it becoming weaponized are purportedly eliminated. But that then begs the question, if there is no weaponization, then why bother? A nuclear reactor, in of itself, is not in any way shape or form, a threat to Iran. So why build a PWR or BWR reactor? It is not as if they have a problem with energy availability or global warming. Hell they live in a freakin desert! It's not as if it can get much hotter OR drier there. This is by the way the very argument that undermines Iran's purported "peaceful" nuclear program too.

So let's cut the bullcrap shall we? You know, and I know, and Iran knows that they WILL, AT A MINIMUM be reprocessing fuel, they will probably be enriching uranium as well. It's not as if a U235 bomb is all that hard to build. With the enrichment technology available today, you could set one off by simply dropping one subcritical mass of very highly enriched Uranium (HEU) onto the other, no gun-type warhead design is really required. This is all in the open literature too, it is not as if this is really even all that secret. It is just math after all. The equations and data are in the open literature. Anyone with an engineering background could do it. The problem has always been getting access to the enriched material, and we are about to give them some. Building a plutonium device is a bit more difficult from an engineering point of view, but not grossly so, again the basic design of the Trinity type device and some 1950's era improvements has been in the open literature for dang near 50 years. And obtaining the material is that much easier if we give them a nuclear reactor because all you have to do to get plutonium 239 or 240 is to put some depleted uranium 238 in the neutron flux of a reactor and then chemically separate it after it comes back out. Since mildly enriched uranium (which is still over 95% U238) is the basis for the fuel rods, then the spent fuel is absolutely lousy with plutonium when it comes back out. Instant nuke warhead, just add shaped charges and shake!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Anti-gun activist stabbed to death in her home.

Sometimes, karma can be a real bitch. 53 year old Pat Regan, who founded the Leeds branch of Mothers Against Guns in the UK after her son Danny was shot in 2002, has been stabbed to death in her home, her grandson, has been arrested in connection with the murder and is also believed to have been arrested earlier that day for the stabbing of a railway worker who confronted him for trespassing. Had guns been available, Mrs Regan could possibly have defended herself. But of course she would have had to have had the mental ability to do so as well.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Attempt to remove political cancer unsucessful...

Ted Kennedy still lives.