Pleaure Police on the March in Washington
Washington state, that is.
Latest ban on smoking might make it to ballot
Faced with missing the ballot for the second year in a row, an anti-smoking group has pledged $275,000 to the campaign pushing an initiative to ban indoor smoking in public areas.
"Faced with not being able to stop people from voluntarily engaging in a legal activity on private property, an anti-smoking group has pledged $275,000 to the campaign pushing an initiative to further expand Big Brother's power to intrude on your life." I think that would be a more accurate opening sentence.
The anti-tobacco folks make all the usual "it's for the children" and "it's for the poor downtrodden bar and restaurant workers" arguments. The annoying thing is that opponents of the proposed initiative make only weak arguments that "the health risks are exaggerated" and "ban would drive customers to tribal venues, which wouldn’t be covered by the ban. "
I'm not sure if they don't see the big picture, or if they don't think that it's a winning argument, at least with voters. Restaurants, bars, stores, bowling alleys, etc are not public facilities. They're private property. They want to ban smoking in public areas. Fine, we can have a vote on that. As long as you limit the definition to places that are truly public-libraries, schools, city hall, the waiting area at the DMV. Don't tell a property owner that he can't allow smoking on his property just because he uses that property to run a business.
Laws like this are part of the annoying tendency to try to outlaw anything that annoys someone. It has nothing to do with public health-that's just the rationalization they use. The true motive is, "I don't like tobacco smoke when I go out to eat/drink/bowl/gamble, so it should be against the law." It's just that simple. They want to restrict other people's freedom because what other people do with that freedom annoys them.
Personnally, if I ran a bar, I'd ignore the law. The fine is only $100 per violation. I'd add in a big humidor and sell cigars and pipe tobacco, and I'd have a big tip jar with a label "Help me pay the Health Nazis."
Should This Disturb Me?
Looking through my Sitemeter referral log, I find this Google search:
"assignment on smuggling of human body parts"
From Pakistan, at that. And I'm the #6 search result.
25 Years Ago Today
"Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!" -last words of USGS observer David Johnston
John McCain, Senator from the Media
There are far, far to many Republicans who do stupid things because they want the MSM and/or the Beltway crowd to like them. Of these, I can't think of a single one who is worse than John McCain of Arizona. Apparently Senator McCain has become addicted to the media adulation bestowed upon him for his 'maverick Republican' status gained by his championing of the Constitutional atrocity known as the McCain-Feingold
Free Speech Crushing Campaign Finance Reform Act. He also likes to run around spouting off about 'common sense gun control' and 'closing the gun show loophole' and other such Brady-inspired fear mongering nonsense. Now, with the illegal alien amnesty bill he's co-sponsoring with the Senate's resident expert on the fact that cars don't float, but bloated drunken gasbags do, Ted Kennedy, Senator McCain is once again putting his need for adulation from the MSM and the Washington, D.C. cocktail circuit over the clearly expressed desires of his constituents in the state of Arizona. In doing so he's also putting the desires of millions of criminals ahead of the the will of the people of the United States and Arizona as well as national security.
In November, Arizonans passed Initiative 200, which, among other things, denied public benefits to illegal aliens and required government employees to report suspected cases of illegals trying to illegally access government benefits. I-200 garnered 56% of the vote, despite opposition from Senator McCain, the governor, and many others among the state's 'elites.' Arizonans don't want more illegal immigrants, and they don't want the ones that are already here to be granted amnesty for their act of breaking and entering into our country. National polls have consistently shown similar sentiments to be prevalent in the nation as a whole. And yet Senator McCain persists with this idiotic amnesty disguised as 'reform.'
Of course, McCain and Kennedy deny that they're offering amnesty; they've even put a nominal fine into their bill that the criminal immigrants already in this country can pay to make their presence here legal. As the editors at NRO put it:
since the goal of an illegal immigrant is to work in the United States, anything that legalizes his presence is a reward; the putative fine is little more than a retroactive smuggling fee paid to the U.S. government.
Last I checked, Senators, entering this country illegally was a felony. How many other felonies to you know of that can be swept under the rug by simply paying a fine? And this bill would also allow these felons, after paying their fine, to become permanenent residents and eventually citizens. So now we're going to allow foreigners who have admitted to committing a felony crime (which is what paying the fine would amount to) to live in our country and become citizens. And they say crime doesn't pay.
As is pointed out in the NRO article, we tried something similar to this in 1986. It was a dismal failure, and actually encouraged more felony border jumping. Senator McCain was a Congressman in 1986, and Kennedy was a Senator. They were there when the 1986 legislation passed, and they should know that it didn't work.
I've stated before that I support legal immigration. I also support temporary worker visas. I don't think they should be as long as what is being proposed (3 years-I'd go with an ideal of 6 months, with 12 months being the absolute maximum.) or that they should be a pathway to obtaining permanent resident status. And I am adamantly opposed to rewarding criminals for committing crimes. If you want to allow an amnesty to give the millions of immigration criminals in this country a chance to get on the right side of the law, give them 90 days after the passage of the law to leave the country, after which they can come back in legally. Let them go to the consulate in Guadalajara or Vera Cruz or wherever and get a visa legally.
Of course, the prerequisite for an effective immigration policy is control of the borders, something which we don't currently have, and which, I'm sure, Senators McCain and Kennedy might be willing to support, at most, with words but never action. If Senator McCain were truly interested in representing his state, he'd be introducing a bill to give the border patrol the assets necessary to control Arizona's border with Mexico. Instead, he's pushing one that will only encourage more people to cross the border illegally. Unfortunately, Senator McCain won't have to run for re-election until 2010. After getting trounced in this area on I-200, I don't think he'd dare try to pull something like this if he were facing the voters in 2006.
I can only hope that the people of Arizona have long memories.
Dallas Cabela's Robbed; 76 Guns Stolen
Picked up this story from THR.
FORT WORTH - Federal agents are investigating the disappearance of 76 firearms from a storage site being used by Cabela's, the outdoor superstore set to open this month in Fort Worth.
Cabela's officials reported the rifles, shotguns and handguns missing Saturday to Fort Worth police, said Tom Crowley, special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
THR member SelfdFenz notes that this was actually the second robbery involving the store, the first being committed by the City Council:
The City Council set up a special tax district in April that will issue $30 million worth of bonds to pay for roads, utilities and a museum and other improvements inside the store.
No word on whether there were any eminent domain seizures used to assist in locating the store, but it wouldn't be a bad bet. I'd hate to have to stop buying from Cabela's because they condoned the use of that kind of tactic.
Ma Deuce's Diary-17 May 2005
World War II pilot's final reunion brings back memories
Austin saw his first action of the war during the Battle of the Bulge. Members of the 101st Airborne held an area near Bastogne, Belgium, despite being surrounded in the final German offensive of World War II. Austin's squadron helped even the playing field.
He's a hero at home
Since he returned from the fighting in Iraq last month, the young Marine has enjoyed almost celebrity status in his Brentwood neighborhood. He has been alternately showered with affection by friends and family joyful of his safe return, and deluged with questions about his service in a war that troubles many Americans. The war has been especially troubling to those at Brentwood High School, which has lost three graduates to fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Famous Marine, Actor Encourages Wounded Troops
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2005 – A man who probably is best known as the Marine drill instructor from the movie "Full Metal Jacket" and as host of the History Channel's "Mail Call" program visited recovering troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here May 12.
Specialist in Iraq, husband in Ottumwa
Richie mobilized with the rest of the 224th in October 2004. They arrived in Iraq in January and expect to be there through the end of this year.
But for two weeks he's in Ottumwa, back at home with his wife, Jacy.
Winslow grad awarded Silver Star
On April 26 about 11 a.m., Echo Company of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division, came under heavy fire while on house-to-house patrol in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.
What followed was a firefight, during which an estimated 50 Iraqi insurgents fired dozens of rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades at a house held by Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Adametz of Clinton.
Note: this story contains some technical innaccuracies. the M249 SAW is a 5.56mm weapon, not .50 caliber as the story states. Also, when used and maintained properly, the M249 does not "blast[s] so hard and hot that the barrel melts and the gun seizes up." I'm guessing that these troops were not carrying the spare barrels that each SAW comes with. Changing the barrel will prevent the overheating. If they had them, I'm guessing they left them in the Amtrac. These facts do not, however, in any way discount the heroism of Lance Corporal Adametz.
Marines retrieving crippled tank come under insurgent attack
AL QAIM, Iraq - (KRT) - For more than a day and much of the night, the M-1 Abrams tank sat disabled in the desert, hobbled by an anti-tank mine. The main battle had pushed to the north, across the Euphrates River and west toward the Syrian border.
What the Commerce Clause Was Meant to Control
Institute for Justice, Small Wineries and Consumers
Toast U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
Institute for Justice and its clients today hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down laws that forbid the direct interstate shipment of wine to consumers.
Robin Brooks-Rigolosi, a wine consumer from New York City and client of the Institute for Justice, said, "This monumental victory isn't just for people who just like wine, but for all Americans who love liberty. Tonight I'll toast our Constitution."
This is exactly what the Founders had in mind when they granted Congress the power "To regulate commerce...among the several states." Keeping the states from erecting trade barriers against products from other states. Maybe the Supremes can read the plain text afer all.
What Amendments Would You Support?
Amending the Constitution is not something that should be undertaken lightly, but sometimes there are things that could be done to tweak it for the better. Here are some amendments I would support:
Repeal of the XVIth Amendment: Replace it with a national sales tax. Additional upside-since Social Security and Medicare are funded by income-taxes, this would wipe out the funding source for those programs as well.
Repeal the XVIIth Amendment: Bring the 'several States' back into the federal government
Single Subject Legislation: One subject per bill. This would stop the practice of tacking stuff like the Real ID act that won't pass on their own merits onto essential bills like defense funding.
Line Item Veto: With a 2/3 vote of each house of Congress on each item to restore vetoed items. If passed in conjunction with single subject legislation, would be usefull mostly for cutting silly little pork tiems out of spending bills.
Term Limits for Senators and Representatives: Want to make a career of 'serving your nation?' Go see your Armed Forces recruiter.
Additions and opinions welcome.
More on MATADOR
This time from StrategyPage, via Instapundit.
Glenn actually omits this interesting bit of information before getting on to the main focus of the story:
While the government had not been able to get into this border area, local tribes had taken up arms against the terrorists
In fairness, the local tribes have apparently also been using those arms against each other, but their willingness to actively fight the foreign terrorists bodes well for the future of Iraq. Now on, to the focus of the story:
The foreign terrorists are, to put it mildly, disliked even in this part of Iraq. Although the local smugglers have been making some money working for the terrorists, everyone knows that these wild eyed foreigners mean only death for Iraqis. Either from their suicide bombs, or the battles between them and American and Iraqi troops, the terrorists are considered bad news and best avoided. In fact, the marines received a friendly reception in many villages, the people relieved to see someone who could run off the terrorists and restore order. Iraqi police, troops and border guards have come in behind the marine operation, as the Iraqi government has not had any presence in this area since early 2003, and not much before that.
The Marines are providing the muscle to get the (mostly foreign) terrorist fighters out of the area so the Iraqi government can re-establish control.
An increasing number of Sunni Arab leaders have distanced themselves from the terrorists. Nearly five hundred Iraqis have been killed by terrorist attacks so far this month, and few Iraqi Sunnis can put a positive spin on this any more...But the terror campaign has accomplished nothing. The terrorists have been unable to get at the Americans, who plant their well protected bases in Sunni Arab areas and resist the terrorist attacks. Iraqi police stations and army bases, learning from the Americans, have become similarly resistant to attack. This left the terrorists with civilians, which they have been killing in large numbers.
We see again, terrorism is the tactic of losers. They can't beat the Americans, the Iraqi government troops are becoming too tough to beat, so they're left with blowing up civilians. But this makes it harder to recruit actual Iraqis to the cause-while a Baathist may be perfectly willing to attack Americans or the new Iraqi army and police, they're not as comfortable attacking their own countrymen. Enter the foreign jihadis:
Police have found that more and more of the killers are foreigners. Syrians, Egyptians, Yemenis and Saudis are among those being captured, or identified after their are dead. Raids on terrorist safe-houses usually yield documents and computer records that list the large number of foreigners involved in the terrorism. Over the last two decades, Saudi Arabian charities have established tens of thousands of religious schools that preach Islamic radicalism and hatred of non-Moslems. Most of the Sunni Arabs coming to die in Iraq are the products of those religious schools. These "martyrs" can't get to North America or Europe, and are unable to get organized sufficiently to kill Infidels (non-Moslems) in their own countries. But in Iraq, the Baath Party will supply weapons and some direction for those who want to kill, and are willing to die in the process. The foreigners are particularly wanted because they are willing to kill Iraqis. To an Islamic radical, the wives and children of Iraqis who collaborate with the Infidels are worthy of death.
Wahabism Delenda Est
I found this via OFCC. It's an Op-ed from Canada about the futility of their national gun registry. The whole article is full of good quotes, but near the end we find this:
Despite having nearly twice as many households with guns as their Canadian counterparts -- and similar economic, cultural and social demographics -- Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Idaho have lower crime rates than Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Researchers determined "both violent and property crime rates were two-thirds higher in the Canadian Prairie provinces than in the four border states."
Murder was 1.1 times higher; violent assaults and attempted murder, 1.5 times; robbery, 2.1 times; breaking and entering, 2.3; and vehicle theft, 3.2.
More guns. Less crime. Any questions?
The Carnival is Back in Town
Carnival of Cordite #13 is up...and yes, they skipped 12. Because they can.