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Showing posts from March, 2009

A thought for the evening directed at my friends who believe in the virtues of the State

A personnel case occurred today that consumed most of my day in my role as union president, and therefore pretty much eliminated bloggin for the day (thanks, Tyler, by the way, for showing the flag). I obviously cannot discuss the details of a personnel issue here, but it helped crystalize my thinking when I put it together with the current approach to the budget and the salary/benefits of State employees under the proposed Markell budget. Here's the deal: many if not most of my liberal friends argue that privatization of services is bad policy under almost any conditions because the profit motive will inevitably outweigh any urge to do the right thing . You can't expect, they argue, that contract medical service in a prison will do anything but provide the inmates with the bare minimums of treatment and care. You can't expect people at health insurance companies to actually give a rip about the conditions of their customers when treatments for those conditions will co

Question of the Day

All across Democrat Delaware tax, fee, and fine hikes are in vogue , like gangbusters . The government spending binge of the last 10 years, wherein the Democrat party has swamped Delaware with bloated patronage, far exceeded both the economic and income growth of the citizenry, easily by a multiple of 2 or even 3, in the case of Wilmington government. Now that economic growth has ceased, the only real solution proffered from Delaware's monopolist political party is to bleed even more from the productive economy to continue servicing the unsustainable aggregate of government expansion with which the last 10 years has left us. So, this means, in many cases, higher tax rates all around. The question is : should we see economic prosperity return in the near future, despite the unbalanced load of government weighing more heavily on it than in Delaware's history, who thinks we will see all these tax increases rolled back as a lot more money begins rolling in from the higher tax

Monday Night Drug War Updates

Oh joy, what a great use of resources : U.S. to send more drug agents to Afghanistan Meanwhile : Mexico's drug gangs drive film crew out of town Also : With Mexico's army in the war on drugs Author : U.S. security no match for drug cartels, legalization should be considered Embedded video from CNN Video If you want to hear a thoroughly tired non-sequitur re-hash of the pathetic "save the children; all drugs are the same : evil; we need to restore our culture; marijuana is dangerous, even more than alcohol or tobacco, and is killing kids" propaganda, Asa Hutchinson delivers. Unfortunately for Asa the Arkansan, the other 7 panelists are stuck on facts and reality, seemingly quite unconvinced by Asa's worn-out rhetorical regurgitations from out of the 1980's :

Internet Mob Vigilantism

Damned if I didn't laugh raucously at some of these cases of e-mob justice... As one commenter quotes Ned Flanders, "There's no justice like angry mob justice." 8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism #8. Sasha Gomez and the Stolen Sidekick A 16-year-old New Yorker, Sasha Gomez, made the unfortunate choice to steal the phone she found in the back of a cab. The victim had to buy a new phone and when she logged into her account, she found pictures of Gomez along with her AOL screen name, as Gomez hadn't been a criminal long enough to know that you don't put your name and photo on shit you steal. A friend of the victim, Evan Guttman, tracked down the thief and sent her an IM asking her to return the phone, to which he was politely told to jam his head in his ass and see if he could look out his own mouth again. All Guttman did in response was to make a simple webpage that included the pics of Gomez and a description of what happened. These things

Kathryn Fridge is my f**king hero of the day

From Classically Liberal (which is not squeamish and doesn't use asterisks like I tend to do): Kathryn Fridge, 29, of La Marque, Texas was shopping at Wal-Mart with her mother. In a conversation between the two women Kathryn said "fuck." Her sentiments were understandable. A tropical storm warning had been issued and she and her mother were looking to buy batteries. But they found that the shelves had already been picked clean. In response to this unfortunate turn of events, Ms. Fridge expressed dismay by saying that the batteries were "fucking gone." Now Capt. Alfred Decker, moralistic buttwipe and La Marque assistant fire marshal, steps in and decides that because he gets to wear a uniform that he can issue a citation to Ms. Fridge for "disorderly conduct." Keep in mind that Capt. Asshole was issuing a citation, and arresting the woman, while a Tropical Storm was bearing down on the city. Apparently this moronic twat had nothing better to do in t

We'll keep taking rapists, but no queers just yet, thanks...

As could have been expected, the Obama administration has placed the question of gays in the military way down the list of things to do: WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Defense Secretary Robert Gates Sunday ruled out an imminent change in the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy on gays in the military, saying President Barack Obama believes the Pentagon has "a lot on our plates right now." Gates comments in an interview on Fox television were in response to an assertion by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs in January that Obama would end the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military. "We will follow the law, whatever it is," Gates said. "That dialogue, though, has really not progressed very far at this point in the administration." "I think the president and I feel like we've got a lot on our plates right now, and let's push that one down the road a little bit," he said. Probably also to be pushed down the road a littl

Another Disturbing Example of How Obama Will Be No Different Than Bush

...and to the extent he is embracing elements of an all-powerful, all-seeing "national security state", he may be worse. Here is a video report of the type you will not see on corporate (mass) media in the United States, which is all owned by concentrated corporate media / entertainment interests who undoubtedly support such moves by governments to secure their interests via omni-surveillance law enforcement regimes : Obama's VP Joe Biden has been a whore for organizations like RIAA that would make file-sharing, for example, into a federal crime. The question is : will Americans put up with the type of massive, invasive, privacy-killing law enforcement over electronic information and the internet as Biden brought us in his failed drug war? Don't think he isn't fully committed to both, as it appears is Obama.

Balancing the Delaware budget without driving State employees to Food Stamps or costing them their health care...

... is not simple, but it's doable. Governor Jack Markell gets about $93 million of his budget savings from cutting the salary and benefits of State employees across the board. Here's how you avoid that trap: 1) Instead of cutting salaries, put all State employees making under $100 K on two weeks furlough. That's roughly a 3.8% pay cut, but it is better than simply reducing salaries for two reasons. One: it meets the temporary requirement far better than a pay cut does; it's a hell of a lot easier to eliminate the furlough next year or the year after than it is to raise salaries 4-8%. Two: it gives the employees back the time to use as they prefer, rather than working them for the full year at lower wages. If it inconveniences some customers or causes some problems with service--well, shared pain is what it's all about, anyway. By my back of the envelope calculations, this would reduce the $80 million in savings from those workers to $34 million, leaving

The Price of Fame : Scummy Opportunists Looking to Cash In By Exposing You - Biden Edition

First Michael Phelps. Now Ashley Biden... FRIEND OF BIDEN'S DAUGHTER SHOPPING TAPE OF HER ALLEGEDLY DOING COCAINE March 28, 2009 A friend of the daughter of Vice President Joseph Biden is attempting to hawk a videotape that he claims shows Ashley Biden snorting cocaine at a house party this month in Delaware. An anonymous male "friend" of Biden took the video, said Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer representing the seller. Dunlap and another man claiming to be a lawyer showed The Post about 90 seconds of 43-minute tape, saying it was legally obtained and that Biden was aware she was being filmed. The Post refused to pay for the video. The video shows a 20-something woman with light skin and long brown hair taking a red straw from her mouth and bending over a desk, inserting the straw into her nostril and snorting from lines of white powder. She then stands up and begins talking with other people in the room. A young man looks on from behind her, facing the camera. The law

Foreign policy, Libertarian-style

My old friend Waldo seems to think I've gone Republican: On the other end of the spectrum lie the were-Libertarians. Unlike werewolves, who transform according to the lunar cycle, were-Libertarians transform from standard-issue Republicans every two years at election time. Take, for example, this Grassley-like pronouncement by The Delaware Libertarian: Make no mistake: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and whatever comes after are now President Barack Obama's war. Do the Republicans become more hip broadcasting the same old reactionary message by a new technological means? Should I be more likely to vote for policies counter to my interests jsut because I learn about how the Republicans want to screw me via cell phone? And why should I want to become a Libertarian if, in the off season, they just peddle GOP talking points (as if Barr-Root wasn't enough of a betrayal of that for which they claim to stand)?... As much as we admire the Libertarians, no amount of shitty Republica

Obama's war

Make no mistake: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and whatever comes after are now President Barack Obama's war. He campaigned on it, primarily because by making such a big issue of his non-support for the decision to go to war in Iraq, and his opposition to the Surge, he needed something that would make him appear strong enough to defend the national interest. He got Afghanistan, I've come to think, either directly or indirectly from Joe Biden, who has always thought we should be there in force, going mano e mano through the caves of Tora Bora looking under rocks for bin Laden. It made great sound bites: We took our eye off the ball and The real frontline on the war on terror is in Afghanistan or ever I will order drone strikes across the Pakistani border . Today, President Obama officially made this his war, following up the 17,000 additional combat troops he's already started in motion there with 4,000 trainers from the 82nd Airborne, a new legion of civilian advisors and

Tonight on CNN's Larry King Live : Marijuana Legalization

This national conversation continues. But will anyone in Washington ever listen to common sense? From the Larry King Live site : Should Marijuana Be Legalized? Will President Obama make history and legalize the use of marijuana? Not if opponents can help it! Montel Williams, Stephen Baldwin and other debate the issue! How reassuring that Obama's drug policies square with D-list actor and religious/social conservative fundamentalist (empty) talking head Stephen Baldwin. Nick Gillespie writes that Charlie Lynch, the California medical marijuana dispensary owner facing decades in federal prison from a DEA raid of his state-legal business, will also be on the show.

Obama Medical Marijuana Raids Continue

In the drug war: Obama lies, people die. Is this administration just one parade after another of shameless lies, double-talk, and broken promises or are they not even in control of their enforcement agencies? DEA raids pot dispensary in SF (03-25) 22:05 PDT San Francisco -- Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco Wednesday, a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not prosecute distributors of pot used for medicinal purposes that operate under sanction of state law. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Emmalyn's California Cannabis Clinic at 1597 Howard St. in San Francisco's South of Market district mid-afternoon. They hauled out large plastic bins overflowing with marijuana plants and loaded several pickup trucks parked out front with grow lights and related equipment used to farm the plants indoors. The dispensary had been operating with a temporary permit issued by the Depa

REMINDER : Suzette Kelo Today @ Widener Law

From Ed Osborne and Delaware Citizens Against Eminent Domain Abuse : Friday, March 27, 2009 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Widener Law School - Delaware Campus MOOT COURT ROOM 4601 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 302.477.2162 Kelo vs. City of New London Meet Susette Kelo, the woman whose home and property were forcibly taken from her by one of the most controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions in recent years over her presumed right to own a little pink house - ‘her’ little pink house. Meet Jeff Benedict, investigative journalist and author of the book, Little Pink House – A True Story of Defiance and Courage. Join us for an insightful, first-hand look into the process, path and politics of eminent domain and why the plight of a working class neighborhood ignited a national debate about property rights and became a landmark case in American jurisprudence. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Friday, March 27, 2009 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Missouri Militia Report update: watch Governor Nixon tapdance

From the Kansas City Star : JEFFERSON CITY | Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday blamed the "overzealousness" of a Missouri State Highway Patrol unit for a report slammed by conservatives because it links various right-wing organizations with the modern militia movement. The Democratic governor faced numerous questions about the report and how the state's police agencies gather intelligence during a news conference following a signing ceremony for legislation creating two new state accounts for federal stimulus money. "I'm confident that some of the overzealousness of this previously formed unit will be appropriately managed," Nixon said. It is clear, however, that Nixon is just trying to stay ahead of the firestorm of criticism this report has brought: Anger over the report's conclusions has bubbled among conservatives for weeks. The controversy intensified Wednesday after Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder held a news conference in the Capitol and called f

Breaking : House Passes H.B. 5

After 40 minutes of debate the Delaware House passed H.B. 5 by a vote of 26-14-1. Listen to the debate : [Thanks to Mike Matthews at DWA for hosting the audio.] Notable are the differences between the House and the Senate, as far as what century and mindset in which they seem to exist. For example, I listened (and now you can too) to the House audio webcast the entire debate over an expansion of civil protections for non-heterosexual citizens, and then pass it nearly 2 to 1. In contrast, the Senate debated changing our constitution to ensure rights are denied to entire categories of couples by banning any legal union for anyone but heterosexuals and, lust like a century ago, this important debate was neither broadcast nor recorded, and privy only to those physically in attendance. Thankfully the social "conservative" Senate stalwarts, many of whom have long had a death grip on the Democrat Senate, could not muster enough to stop the rest of the senators from doing th

SB 27 fails: thanks, everyone

DWA had it first. Don't know the roll call, but the anti-gay forces could not even muster a simple majority, let alone two-thirds. We're not California, thankfully. Now let's see if we can get the House to pass non-discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Former Criminal Dope-Smoker Obama a Bust on Marijuana Legalization

Economic benefit was the only real impetus that might have seen the Obama government consider federal legalization of marijuana. (I am already fairly convinced this ultra-statist uber-leader doesn't give a rip about civil liberty, privacy, or self-determination...so these are certainly no reasons to which he would pay any mind in re-considering his drug war.) Now he has dispelled any notions of a sane policy, even as it regards just marijuana for which substantial majorities of the public now support decriminalization if notoutright legalization. Obama was asked the following question at the behest of more than 3 million online voters : With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals? Obama's perfunctory response : "There was one question that voted on that ranked

Re-post : Join Us Tonight!

A few of us will be informally gathering at Dead President's on Union Street in Wilmington around 7 pm - Thursday March 26, 2009 Please join us for some libations and good cheer. You never know who might show up for a "few".... Mat, Dominique, Hube, Mike Matthews, Shirley 'Curmudgeon' Vandever & Chainsaw, (possibly) Steve Newton, Paul Falkowski, and perhaps a few others will be there. [At the same time Wilmington Mayor Baker will be delivering his budget (tax hike) address....maybe Dead President's will tune it in on their TV's so we can hurl food at the screen....Boooooooo!] Plus, they serve a mean "Chicken Nixon" at Dead President's! Hope to see you there. UPDATE : Delaware Liberal's own Pandora and Mr. Pandora will be joining us. We will be discussing what anti-gay religious fundamentalist Joe Lecates meant when he testified to the Delaware Senate : "If you open Pandora's box, you'll never get th

Establishment Media Blackout of Ron Paul : Washington Post Version - Federal Reserve Issue

The Washington Post is shit. Let's face it. It's heyday is long gone. It is predictable and often insufferable in its narrow Beltway elitist perspective. Its articles are so much filtered pseudo-factual manipulation, at best. So I guess I shouldn't find it almost mind-boggling that this paper would publish an article titled : A Growing Chorus on the Hill Questions the Fed's Decisions ...without so much as a single solitary mention of the first, longest-standing, and most persistent voice of all in this "chorus" : Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX). For God's sake, this man made the power and unaccountability of the Federal Reserve Bank one of the top, if not THE top, issues of his campaign for president. Paul raised the issue of the Fed and its deleterious manipulation of our monetary policy dozens of times in numerous nationally-televised presidential debates over at least a full year. Currently, Paul is the sponsor of HR 1207 - The Federal Reserve T

Timeless Lessons in Simple Words

Pat Buchanan recently commented on the ongoing debasement of our currency, posing risk of hyperinflation as the Fed and the government seek to flood the economy with trillions of dollars printed out of thin air. It is a good read. One quote in particular struck me. It is from a great American literary icon and reminds me of how precise, profound, and prescient are the words of many notable Americans throughout our couple centuries of existence. What a shame our current discourse within 'officialdom' is so cheapened and watered that simple truths are impossible in the blizzard of doublespeak, duplicity, and other assorted shallow political gobbledygook. “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” - Ernest Hemingway

Harvard Economist : Legalize Drugs to Stop Violence

The man makes some very salient points... Legalize drugs to stop violence By Jeffrey A. Miron - Senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University. CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Over the past two years, drug violence in Mexico has become a fixture of the daily news. Some of this violence pits drug cartels against one another; some involves confrontations between law enforcement and traffickers. Recent estimates suggest thousands have lost their lives in this "war on drugs." The U.S. and Mexican responses to this violence have been predictable: more troops and police, greater border controls and expanded enforcement of every kind. Escalation is the wrong response, however; drug prohibition is the cause of the violence. Prohibition creates violence because it drives the drug market underground. This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead. Violence was common in the alcohol indu

Things are true because words mean what I say they do

Overseas contingency operations will replace the war on terror . We will no longer use the term enemy combatants even though we will still engage in extraordinary rendition and we assert the power to hold people pretty much forever without charges. President Obama will keep his promise to withdraw all combat brigades from Iraq by renaming them: Despite President Barack Obama's statement at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina Feb. 27 that he had "chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months," a number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), which have been the basic U.S. Army combat unit in Iraq for six years, will remain in Iraq after that date under a new non-combat label. A spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Lt. Col. Patrick S. Ryder, told IPS Tuesday that "several advisory and assistance brigades" would be part of a U.S. command in Iraq that will be "re-designated" as a "transition force headquarters"

Missouri Militia Report update: MO House bars law enforcement from "political profiling"

From the Springfield (MO) News Leader : JEFFERSON CITY — In response to a controversial report profiling political beliefs of militia members, the Missouri House of Representatives has barred the Department of Public Safety from spending any "state or federal funds for political profiling." On a voice vote, the Republican-controlled House adopted an amendment to the budget bill for Department of Public Safety, forbidding that state agency from funding reports like the Missouri Information Analysis Center's recent Feb. 20 "modern militia movement" report. The Department of Public Safety has apologized for the militia report, which links fundamentalist Christians, strict followers of the U.S. Constitution and people who oppose taxes, abortion and illegal immigration as possible members of militias. Earlier today, the Missouri State Highway Patrol retracted the militia report and admitted errors in the way the report was distributed without getting reviewed by

Join Us for a Little Blogger Get-Together - Thursday March 26th - Dead President's Pub

A few of us will be informally gathering at Dead President's on Union Street in Wilmington around 7 pm - Thursday March 26, 2009 Please join us for some libations and good cheer. You never know who might show up for a "few".... Mat, Dominique, Hube, Mike Matthews, Shirley 'Curmudgeon' Vandever & Chainsaw, (possibly) Steve Newton, Paul Falkowski, and perhaps a few others will be there. [At the same time Wilmington Mayor Baker will be delivering his budget (tax hike) address....maybe Dead President's will tune it in on their TV's so we can hurl food at the screen....Boooooooo!] Plus, they serve a mean "Chicken Nixon" at Dead President's! Hope to see you there.

DSU truth or dare: a correction

Normally I try to avoid direct comment on DSU because of potential conflict of interest. But sometimes it gets to be too much. Nancy Willing has published a recycled list of half-truths and misleading statements about DSU (combined with some serious, true charges) that has been bumping around for at least two years. I provided a rebuttal in the comments section, to which I signed my name--unlike the anonymous individuals who continue to circulate this list without correcting the errors. There is much to be changed at DSU, but we won't do it with people who refuse to do the simple research to verify their information. Sorry, Nancy, I expected better.

Hillary Blames Americans for Mexico Drug War Violence

Unfortunately (and stupidly) she blames the wrong ones. It is establishment careerists like Clinton and their failed militarist prohibition laws and policies that have created the violence of massive black market cartels. These people are so ass backwards they could whistle Dixie from their a-holes, which is about what they do anyway with embarrassments like this... Hey, Hillary, how are American forces and billions of dollars going to sate " our insatiable demand for illegal drugs"? Clinton: U.S. drug use fuels border violence Secretary of state in Mexico to bolster anti-narcotics cooperation The Associated Press - updated 2:31 p.m. ET, Wed., March. 25, 2009 MEXICO CITY - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that America's "insatiable" demand for illegal drugs and inability to stop weapons smuggling into Mexico are fueling an alarming spike in violence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Clinton said the United States shares respons