Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yeah, yeah...

...rules and all that (BBC).
A soldier from the Commonwealth who served more than four years in the British Army, including two tours in Iraq, has been told he can't become a British citizen because he applied on the wrong date.

Rogers Jean-Baptiste was born in St Lucia. He made his application this January, but was told by the Home Office that because on the same date five years earlier he was outside the UK he didn't qualify.

At that time he was actually serving on a British base in Germany.
And, still, folks argue that "bureaucrats and politicians" is the way to go.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Another case of...

gender profiling?

Suspicious conversations with children cause arrest of Folsom man (Loomis Telegraph) h/t Fark:
"It's an odd charge," said sheriff's Sgt. Jim Byers, noting the statute intends chiefly to protect school-grounds neighborhoods. "The family was at the Folsom Borders Books story-telling time, where he (spoke to one of the children), and for lack of a better term, he creeped the mom out. Then, a few days later at the El Dorado Hills Library story time, she saw him again striking up conversation with her children. And then, he does it again. We felt it justified a criminal complaint, she signed it and he was arrested."
And if some woman had spoken a couple of times to her kids at a bookstore, she'da still called the police?

Somehow I just don't think so.

It'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

This link to an earlier post of mine is relevant.

Yeah, well, it occurred to *some* people, Alan.

From: Scrutinizing the human rights machine (National Post)

"Alan Borovoy, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association...[and] one of the main agitators for the establishment of [the Canadian Human Rights Commission]" stated:
"It just never occurred to anybody that this instrument we were struggling to create would ever be used against the expression of opinion."
Are you freaking serious?????

Exactly what could the Commission ever have handled that wasn't already illegal under the criminal code, except matters of opinion?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

They have every good reason to be afraid...

March 24/2008: Tiny Bhutan Will Vote Today to Trade Absolute Rule for Democracy (Agence France-Presse).
...[F]ather and son have traveled the country to explain to its 670,000 people why the nation should embrace democracy.

“The former king said, ‘Today you have a good king, but what if you have a bad king tomorrow?’ ” said Kinley Dorji, managing director of Kuensel, the national newspaper.
He's right, but the solution he's proposing comes with its own huge hazards.

Best wishes, though.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Oh, is *this* where you're confused:

"The government could really do something. That's in the interest of the country — stop him, just stop him," said Hassan Iaeti, who traveled hours from the far south of the country to attend.

He said he believed Wilders is abusing the right of freedom of speech, which he said has limits.

"You can criticize Muslims themselves, but not their religion and not our prophet — that's our belief." (from Dutch protest against Islam critic's Koran film (AP)
No. You've got it wrong.

You can criticize me or my beliefs all you want. You just don't get to touch me, threaten me or shut me up; that's where you cross the line. Understand?

In the meantime, your religion *doesn't*--and your Prophet *don't*--get a "no criticism allowed" status. Period.

And, what??? If the government doesn't stop him for you, you will? That does seem to be your message.

Nice. You just want the government to do your thugwork for you.
"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart." H.L. Mencken.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Canadian housing crash?

Is Canada heading for a housing crash (Canwest News Service) ?

Well, maybe not for the exactly same reasons or to the same degree because Canadian lending practices are somewhat different, but probably anyways. Simply put, a lot of Canadians depend on a healthy American economy for their jobs. As well, demographics alone will likely account for devaluation of stand-alone houses in Canada (supply relative to demand) over the next couple of decades as the "boomers" pass through and on, unless significant immigration keeps the population growing, and things might vary widely from province to province.
Immigration levels contribute heavily to the projected population growth at the national level, as the fertility rate is assumed to remain below the replacement level in all scenarios, a situation observed since the 1970s...According to these new projections, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are the only provinces in which more than one scenario projects that average annual growth would exceed the growth rate for Canada as a whole.
Expect a serious financial poop-storm in any case; our next door neighbour, the USA, is going through a serious rough spot, and I can't see *any* structural reasons (and certainly no political reasons) that the recent "recession" won't get much worse for them and us.

Understand this: bad political decisions (by this, I mean specifically government interventions, especially attempts to "make things better") will cause us far more damaging and far more-long-lasting financial pain than any purely business reasons. Mark my words.

Two comments on the...

..."Purported bin Laden message" (quotes from the article at CNN)...

[bin Laden] dismissed claims of free speech in his statement, citing European countries' laws against denying the existence of the Holocaust.
So...all you shallow-thinking, short-sighted supporters of "anti hate speech" laws can thank yourself for handing bin Laden that one on a platter.

If you support restrictions on expression because you find some stuff distasteful, then you have nothin' to say when someone restricts you because they find something else distateful. It *is* that simple.

"The laws of men which clash with the legislation of Allah the Most High are null and void, aren't sacred and don't matter to us," he said.
Actually, Mr. bin Laden: The "legislation of Allah" you refer to is null and void, isn't sacred, and doesn't matter to me.

I have my own standards.

Allah might own your life, Mr. bin Laden, and it's your life so give it to anyone you want--but my life is *mine* just as yours is yours, and my life is not yours to own or to hand over to some deity of your choice as you might wish.

Don't tread on me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Seventeen-year-old accused of assault, fathering child

...with his girlfriend according to the article; they've evidently been sleeping together since they were both 14. That's "quasar stupid", but not as dumb as making it a court case.

Anyways, so I'm reading a comment on FARK in response to a suggestion that, as a convicted sex offender, the young dad wouldn't fare too well in prison, to which the poster, NightOwl2255 replied:
A dude that had sex with his girlfriend, even at 15, would not get a second look in prison. Even prisoners have more sense then the judicial system.
About this situation, NightOwl is right.

There's no shortage of "official" work for professional (as in government paid) busybodies and meddlers--and this is just one more in a never-ending stream of examples.

Seems to me this guy's got it right...

...(from a strictly Constitutionalist perspective)

Found on FARK: Zafler, quoting COMALite J
Most of the earlier drafts of the Second Amendment that were brought before Congress read: “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.” That bolded phrase remained through several revisions, and was finally removed only because it was deemed to be redundant. Everyone at the time knew what a militia was, and who composed a militia. It is most definitely not the National Guard, which wasn’t even founded until over a century after the Bill of Rights.

The term “well regulated” in early 1800s American English also does not mean what you think it does. It means “well-equipped.”

Even discounting that, the first clause of the Second Amendment is a dependent clause, and cannot stand alone as a sentence. The second clause is an independent clause, and can stand alone as a sentence. Basic English grammar, both then and now, states that in a compound sentence consisting of a dependent and an independent clause, the dependent clause is only a modifier or explanatory clause, with the independent clause being the operative clause. The well-regulated militia part is thus merely saying why the Right exists, and is not a limitation on it.

Even the term “arms” had a specific meaning: weapons that could be carried and wielded by hand, and ammunition thereof (so much for the idea that we can ban ammo even if we can’t Constitutionally ban guns), were the responsibility of the militia members. They had to obtain their own. The Government was to supply ordnance (cannon and other artillery, etc.). So much for the “but where do we draw the line? Can people keep and bear Abrams tanks? Missiles? Nukes?” type argument.

If the Second Amendment were written using modern grammar and idiom, but kept the same exact meaning it had when written, it would read:

“Because a well-armed and equipped populace is necessary to the security of a free state, the Right of the People to keep and bear hand-wieldable weaponry and any ammunition needed for same, shall not be infringed.”
A well put, clear and fairly succinct (and correct) interpretation.

Oh, and I don't have a personal problem with privately owned Abrams tanks or field pieces either.

History repeats itself...

...unless and until you stop the process.

A night on drugs cheaper than going to the pub (British tax story)
reminds me of back in the 60s and 70s the Vancouver area police and courts were gung-ho busting as many grass smokers as they could find (a friend of mine got 2 years for 2 joints)...yep, the only stuff they left on the street was heroin, speed and acid.

Smart move.

Deja vu.

reference: Frédéric Bastiat (1848),
What is Seen and What is not Seen

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The problem isn't that...

...New York Governor (and anti-prostitution crimefighter) Elliot Spitzer or Tehran (Iran) Police Chief (and "morality imposition officer") Reza Zarei were frolicking with hookers themselves.

And the fact they're both hypocrites is properly only really relevant if you have to deal with them face to face.

The problem is that they, or anyone else, would see themselves fit to actually do the jobs they were doing, which was: pushing consenting adults around.

It won't particularly bother me if and when either of these two "law officers" suffer at the hands of punitive governments. They both have every right to choose that, but only for themselves. After all, they're only getting what they've begged for.

Rich Nicoley, over at honestylog.com, put it beautifully:
It...goes without saying that if a man raises vicious dogs that attack innocent people, destroy their property and fruits of their production, and wreak havoc on the lives of their families, that we should be tickled pink and overjoyed when the same dogs turn on their owner.
H/T to Billy Beck at Two-Four for the Honestly reference.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A "thought police" organization that...

...shouldn't even exist in a free country gets to hide its dirty laundry in a secret trial (HT to Small Dead Animals which referred to Ezra Levant's article).
[I]t should come as no surprise that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing on March 25th -- where human rights commission staff themselves are to be cross-examined on their dubious tactics of anonymous infiltration of websites, entrapment and even the bizarre practice of commission staff themselves planting bigoted remarks on websites -- is going to be closed to the public.
Gee...what could thought police do that they'd ever want to hide?

And, actually, why should they be able to hide *anything* they do? Don't they claim to be working for us???

The American health care system...

...is such that sometimes folks can't get medical care if they don't have enough money.

The Canadian improvement: design a system where folks can't get care even if they have the money (CBC News).


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Identity Politics...

...uber alles in Norway.

Imagine you're one of the 13 men on this all-male board of a large company and are told five of you must go to be replaced by women.

From the article:
The law says a non-executive director has to be experienced, and experience is difficult to find in women in my sector. People have had to sack board members they've worked with and trusted for 20 or 30 years, and replace them with someone unknown. That's hard. (Rolf Dammann, the co-owner of a Norwegian bank)
That's not hard. It's just stupid.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Alberta Election Results...

Frédéric Bastiat noted that:
The State is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
Ayn Rand said:
A mixed economy is rule by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another's expense by an act of government—i.e., by force.
They're both right.

The news stories note that about 60% of Alberta voters didn't show up at the polls. I'm working to bring that to 100%.

It's high time we stopped pushing each other around with votes.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another in a spate of recent articles...

...where feminists (this time, older feminists, like from my generation) are choked that voters are choosing Obama over Clinton (Drift away from Clinton frustrates many women/LA Times).

Dammit, even I always understood that voting for a woman because she is a woman is no more sensible (and, really, no different) than voting for a man because he is a man. Why, that'd be as brainless as voting for someone just because they're black. That shouldn't be news to anybody claiming to own a brain.

From the article:
...[Billie Jean] King, the pioneering women's professional tennis player, was dismayed about Clinton's vulnerable candidacy. "I see my whole life going down the drain...A cute young guy comes in and sweeps away all the hard work that the older woman has done."
Evidently, to these people, feminism was nothing more than old-school gender based favouritism turned around in favour of women; in other words, just more cheap, shallow sexism.

Wowie, that kind of "revolutionary" deep thinking can rocket ya all the way from Ian Smith to Robert Mugabe. Whoop-de-doo.

The article noted that Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey got it fairly accurately:
We have our first serious female presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton," said Fey. "And yet women have come so far as feminists that they don't feel obligated to vote for a candidate just because she is a woman. Women today feel perfectly free to make whatever choice Oprah tells them to.
I swear, I can smell the progress from here.