Good News Story
It seems that when law abiding citizens have the means and the will to stand up to violent criminals, it makes a difference. Even in Kalifornia.
These days, he feels safe enough to take those walks more often with his wife and son. Instead of the cold stares of angry young men, McCullough is greeted by strangers who thank him for taking a stand against the drug dealers who used to rule Bushrod Park and the surrounding streets.
"This street is so cool right now," McCullough, 50, said on a recent sunny day. "Look around man, all these kids playing in the park and no thugs. The immediate neighborhood is much quieter and, for the most part, free of drug dealers, craps shooters and intoxicant-using loiterers."
A year ago, 59th Street was the scene of a series of violent incidents and confrontations between McCullough and young men police believe are drug dealers. The tension culminated last Feb. 18 when McCullough shot a 15-year-old boy after 15 young men surrounded him in his front yard, shouting "Kill the snitch."
Some residents say the street is quieter in part because homeowners and police shut down several drug houses in the neighborhood. Others credit a new staff at a nearby recreation center for driving away loiterers and welcoming young children. But many agree that McCullough's stand made the biggest impact.
"I believe Patrick McCullough is the best thing that ever happened for this block," said Milton Simpkins, a 30-year resident of the street.
"This area has been a drug zone on and off since crack came around in the 1980s," said Simpkins, the man who has lived on 59th Street for 30 years. "Most of us minded our own business. But Patrick has really changed everyone's attitude. I believe Patrick McCullough is the best thing that ever happened for this block."
But here's the most interesting bit...
McCullough, 50, who labored nearly alone for more than 11 years to clean up 59th Street, suddenly found himself in the strange position of being hailed as a hero by many people, including Mayor Jerry Brown (emphasis added)
Is Jerry Brown, the man formerly known as Governor Moonbeam, coming around? I guess time may tell.
Corey Maye on Foxnews.com
Radley Balko has a column up on the Corey Maye case at Foxnews.com
WTO, Congress, and Corporate Taxes
The Seattle Times today has an editorial about the ongoing spat between the US and the WTO over a portion of the tax code which gives some sort of tax break to businesses that export their products from the US. Here in Washington, Boeing is a big beneficiary of this little segment of the tax code. But, European countries don't like it, calling it an unfair subsidy, and the WTO agrees with them.
But Congress likes being able to give this benny to exporters. So, every time the WTO says "You can't do that," Congress fiddles around the edges of the law, and, in effect, says "How about now?" Which results in the WTO saying "No, you still can't do that." This has been going on since 1997.
The gist of the Times is that Congress should stop fiddling around the edges and fix the problem once and for all. Of course, they don't actually give any suggestions, other than "something our exporters and the WTO can both live with."
Well, here's a radical thought? How about we simply eliminate all corporate income taxes, plus any excise taxes placed specifically on exported goods? Yes, the Euroweenies would still cry foul, but I don't think the WTO could find that we were unfairly subsidizing export products.
Yes, this would definitaly make the Democrats and thier tame media shills howl and shriek over "Corporate giveways." But what it would actually do is reduce costs on just about every kind of goods and services for American consumers (read: taxpayers.) That's because businesses don't actually pay taxes. They're just intermediaries in passing the tax money from you, the taxpaying consumer, to Uncle Sam. The taxes they "pay" are included in the price of everything they sell to you, increasing that price. Without the taxes, prices would drop, leaving consumers with more money to spend, resulting in more overall economic activity, and, in the long run, increased revenues for the government. (Not that I advocate giving more money-and thus more power-to the .gov, but it counters the "What about the defecit?" argument.)
Eliminating corporate taxes would also reduce prices by eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, the massive hordes of tax attorney companies currently employ in order to comply with the insanely complicated tax code while minimizing their exposure to paying taxes.
And finally, eliminating corporate taxes would bring all those so-called 'Benedict Arnold' corporations, whose headquarters have fled the US for tax reasons, back home. And they would bring plenty of overseas companies with them. Which means more jobs for Americans.
Somehow, though, I don't think that's the solution the Times is looking for.
If a Politician Screws Up...
And there are no reporters around to see it, is the politician obligated to tell the press?
This, to me, is the central question of the whole Cheney shotgun incident.
And my answer, is No. If they wanted to know so badly what as happening on the bird shooting expedition, they should hav tagged along.
Some Things Baffle Me
One thing that puzzles me is that why a group engaged in a certain kind of business activity-in this case, body piercing-would ever ask the government to regulate their area of business. Especially in a state like Washington, which does everything in it's power to strangle businesses under massive layers of regulation.
But that's just what some members of the body piercing trade (registration required-use 'newslinks' for both login and password to read) did (again, apparently) this year in Olympia. And it looks like they may well get a lot more regulation than they bargained for, since SB 5913, which has passed the state Senate, puts regulating tattooing and piercing under the purview of Department of Licensing, covered by the cosmetology board.
Cutting hair in Washington state can require up to 1600 hours of training to obtain a license (although I cut mine in the garage with a set of clippers and no training.) I'll bet it won't be long before the piercers are in the same boat.
My personal opinion, when any group asks the State to set licensing requirements for their profession, is that they're trying to reduce competition. Setting up licensing requirements increases the barriers to entry into a given market. By getting the State to erect such barriers, practitioners of a trade can keep potential competitors out of the market, reducing competition and allowing inefficiency to remain.
RINOish Thoughts from Dick Armey
Dick Armey has an interesting piece in today's WSJ online, proposing a virtual GOP congressional platform for this year's elections.
Topics, with my comments:
1. Spending Restraint-spending in line with the specificed and enumerated powers would be a good start.
2. Tax Reform-sadly, no flat tax or FairTax.
3. Social Security Reform-all I really want is the ability to opt out of the whole thing.
4. Tort Reform-loser pays, that's my proposal
5. Unleashing New Technologies
6. Health Care Reform, to include Medicare and Medicaid-the elephant in the parlor nobody wants to talk about.