November 4, 2005

Quote of the Day: Rush, on News Built on Hopes

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day — Tom @ 6:14 pm

Rush’s opening segment today was outstanding. Read it while it’s up, which will be until about 6PM on Monday.

I thought the best slices were these:

If you look at the Libby case, if you look at any element of the news, Katrina aftermath, Cindy Sheehan, it doesn’t matter. The news was reported not as it was in reality. The news took the shape of the hopes and dreams of those who were reporting it. The news became what the hoped-for outcome is, and so they simply started reporting the news as though what they hoped for has already happened.

….. What they (these stories) are is vehicles. They are opportunities to attack, to vilify, to weaken the president of the United States, to weaken George W. Bush.

The Suburban Paris Riots: Now at Day 8 (UPDATE–and Spread to Denmark)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:50 pm

The response to eight days of rioting in the suburbs of Paris smacks of appeasement:

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has said it will take time to resolve the problems underlying eight nights of rioting around Paris.

He said that there were fewer clashes with the police on Thursday night, although violence has spread to new areas and outside the French capital.

France has been stunned by the rioting in immigrant-dominated areas.

The prime minister has been meeting a group of young people from “sensitive” urban areas, AFP news agency said.

The meeting is part of a series of discussions initiated by Dominique de Villepin with a view to launching an action plan for the suburbs by the end of the month.

But violence continued on Friday, with a handful of cars set on fire outside a court where several people were appearing to face charges connected with the riots.

By comparison:

  • The 1967 Detroit riots lasted 5 days. Over 1,000 were injuried, and 43 lives were lost.
  • The 1967 Newark riots lasted 5 days, ultimately leaving 23 people dead and 725 people injured.
  • In the wake of Martin Luther King’s death in 1968, “Riots erupted all over the country, primarily in black urban areas. At least 110 cities experienced violence and destruction in the next few days, resulting in roughly $50 million in damage. Of the 39 people who died, 34 were black. The worst riots were in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Over 22,000 federal troops and 34,000 national guard were sent to aid local police — the largest ever called to deal with domestic civil disturbance. In many cities the devastation was so great that it left a permanent scar, which was still evident decades later.”

Unless it’s going unreported, the Parisian suburb riots are thankfully, and in contrast to the US riots of the late 1960s, not leading to death, but the destruction appears to be on a similar scale.

Regardless of what one thinks of how the French government has behaved towards our country and the rest of the world (and I have been among those very critical of French foreign and economic policy), I hope everybody is praying that they get this situation under control and effectively work on truly solving it.

UPDATE: Riots have spread to areas beyond Paris (HT Instapundit). And I meant to note that the the late 1960s riots, and others in the US, have almost all occurred in relatively compact inner-city neighborhoods, while the Paris-area riots have been spread out over multiple areas. Imagine, to attempt a comparison, if there were simultaneous Los Angeles-area riots sporadically spread over a triangular zone from Manhattan Beach to Santa Monica to Pasadena, and you get an idea of what French authorities are up against.

UPDATE 2: Riots carried out by Muslim youths are taking place in Denmark too (as is the case in France, which is obvious but rarely mentioned). Also see this on Denmark at American Thinker.

UPDATE 3, Nov. 5: It’s getting worse–”a ninth night of violence that spread from Paris suburbs to towns around France.” Much worse–”In a particularly malevolent turn, youths in the eastern Paris suburb of Meaux prevented paramedics from evacuating a sick person from a housing project, pelting rescuers with rocks and torching the awaiting ambulance, an Interior Ministry official said.” Much, much worse–”Most attacks have been in towns with low-income housing projects, areas marked by high unemployment, crime and despair. But in a new development, gangs have left their heavily policed neighborhoods to attack others with fewer police, spreading the violence.

Mike DeWine Has Another GOP Senate Opponent

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:05 am

Thursday night, Bill Pierce declared his candidacy for the GOP nomination for US Senator from Ohio. The Cincinnati Enquirer was actually there(!):

Saying he wanted to control the reach, cost and growth of government, a Cincinnati engineer and math teacher announced Thursday that he would challenge U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine for the Republican nomination.

….. Although he chaired the 1980 Warren County campaign to elect Ronald Reagan, this is Pierce’s first run for political office, something that separates him from career politicians, he said.

“It’s my position we need to get more citizens involved in politics and less politicians,” he said.

DeWine said he expected to have a primary challenger.

….. “Well, we always knew we would have people. … You know, I’ve had primary opponents in about every election I’ve ever had,” DeWine said. “So I welcome him (Pierce) to the race.”

This is the guy I was referring to several weeks ago in a comment on another S.O.B. Alliance blog. WMD is disappointed.

Look, folks, I’m not claiming that Bill Pierce is The Second Coming. I CAN tell you that he is doing the types of things that unknowns usually aren’t smart enough to do, and is wearing out a lot of shoe leather and tire tread all over the state, something that, by contrast, Mitchel is definitely NOT doing, and something DeWine seems to feel he doesn’t have to do.

Pierce tells me that his candidacy is and has been a full-time effort. John Mitchel seems to be anything but full-time, and I don’t think he can shake the perpetual-candidate tag.

Having met Bill, I can tell you that he is grounded, has passion, and knows what he’s up against. His run against DeWine is a bit personal as well as political.

Pierce’s impact on the race, even if he doesn’t win, is this:

  • He makes it harder for an establishment guy like Bob McEwen to claim to be the insurgent, and probably removes any doubt as to whether there will be a McEwen for Senate attempt (McEwen’s Holy-Roller supporters already tried and failed to talk Mitchel out of running, so they must know that yet another candidate ruins a Senate run for McEwen once and for all).
  • If, as it appears, it’s only Pierce and Mitchel vs. DeWine, I think Pierce will separate himself from Mitchel very quickly.
  • Pierce at a minimum moves DeWine to the right. I said this is a bit personal, and believe me, DeWine knows who Pierce is from Pierce’s protracted battle with the Department of Labor bureaucracy (his book about the ordeal, “Take Comfort and Solace,” is at Amazon, the related web site is here [HT Porkopolis]). Pierce is a Reaganesque conservative on just about every major issue, while DeWine has morphed over the years into one of those go-along, get-along country-club Republicans the grass roots base so despises. I think DeWine is already making consciously right-leaning votes and visibility moves (e.g., the Hugh Hewitt interview), partially to counter his primary opponents, and partially to get the base out in November 2006.

Pierce’s job is to get known by the base, and to get (my estimate) 600,000 votes this May. That’s about 10% more than the number of votes Voinovich got in 1998′s primary, the last time a Senate primary was held in a non-Presidential election year (Voinvovich’s opponent got 200,000). Right now, Pierce does not care about being known to the general electorate, just the base (seems obvious, but many newbies don’t understand that), and is acting accordingly.

Yes, Pierce has a ridiculously high mountain to climb, but I believe that if he keeps doing what he has been doing, he has a chance to have a meaningful impact, more impact than previous insurgents who have failed to get past the low-20% threshold.

I told everyone way back in late May that they had better take this unknown lawyer Paul Hackett’s 2nd District Democratic congressional run seriously when “everyone” thought that the GOP Primary winner would be a lock to win the Special Election. No way Pierce is at that level. But I will say that Mike DeWine is more vulnerable to a primary challenge than a two-term incumbent should be, and that Pierce is the only person in the race, or thinking about getting in the race, with the potential to make DeWine sweat.

Positivity: Iraqi Children Hold First Pinewood Derby

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

This is very cool (HT Happy Catholic):


Courts Gone Wild

Filed under: Economy,General,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:05 am

Three breathtakingly ignorant court decisions have been handed down this week in three very different areas of the law.

They’re “Kidding,” Right? Wrong

The homeschooling movement just received a shot in the arm from the Ninth Circuit Federal Appeals Court (bold is mine):

The (court) has now ruled that the Palmdale school district in California can ask first, third, and fifth graders intrusive questions about “touching my private parts too much,” “getting scared or upset when I think about sex,” “can’t stop thinking about sex,” etc. Parents in the Palmdale school district were not informed that such sexually offensive questions would be asked of their little children. When they brought suit, Judge Reinhardt brought down the gavel on them. “There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children,” Reinhardt ruled. Further, he writes, “parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools…”

Telecommuters Get Taxed–Based on Where Headquarters Is!

Though it’s not a final decision, for now, if you work in Tennessee and headquarters is in New York, you get to pay New York income tax (bolds are mine):

A move by the Supreme Court means that many telecommuters could ultimately face higher income-tax bills.

The nation’s highest court yesterday declined to hear an appeal by a Tennessee man who telecommuted to New York and was charged by that state for taxes on all his income. Because the Supreme Court won’t review his appeal, New York’s decision stands.

Many telecommuters could face higher state income-tax bills if other states are emboldened by New York’s success and enact similar rules that tax out-of-state telecommuters. Some members of Congress already have introduced legislation to protect telecommuters from such taxes.

Some 9.9 million people work at home full- or part-time for employers other than themselves, according to the Telework Advisory Group at WorldatWork, an association for human-resources professionals. As telecommuting has become increasingly popular in recent years — and as higher gas prices make commuting even more expensive — millions of people are working in one state for employers in other states. Tax issues may arise over which state or states can tax a worker’s income.

New York, a high-tax state that’s home to many large corporations, has pursued out-of-state telecommuters aggressively. “By its silence, the Supreme Court permits other states to do the same,” says Nicole Belson Goluboff, an attorney who has written extensively on telecommuting law. “Any state might find this attractive and go ahead and start taxing nonresidents.”

A handful of other states, including Pennsylvania and Nebraska, already have rules similar to New York’s.

….. The Supreme Court announcement is not a decision on the case’s merits. The lower-court ruling stands and could, of course, lead other states to enact such rules. But it doesn’t mean that the court has decided the issue or that such laws will be upheld if appealed in the future.

What, a, joke.

Cities with income taxes and company headquarters locations will certainly be cheered by the Court’s refusal to hear this case. Legislative relief is being considered by Congress, and should be a high priority.

You Can File False Accusations Against the Police Without Consequence

The US Ninth Circuit Court is often referred to as the “Ninth Circus” for a host of reasons. Here’s one more (bolds are mine):

Federal Court: False Accusations Against Police Are Protected Speech

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A federal appeals court on Thursday nullified a California criminal law adopted after the Rodney King beating that made it unlawful for citizens to knowingly lodge false accusations against police officers.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law was an unconstitutional infringement of speech because false statements in support of officers were not also criminalized.

….. The American Civil Liberties Union hailed the decision.

To us, it was a clear example to cut off criticism of the government,” said ACLU attorney Alan Schlosser.

Michael Schwartz, a Ventura County prosecutor who on behalf of the California District Attorneys Association urged the appellate court to uphold (the) conviction, said he was disappointed with the outcome.

“It’s a controversial issue that people disagree about,” he said. He said the statute in question is used sparingly.

San Diego County prosecutors said they were considering asking the appeals court to reconsider or asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.

I sure hope they appeal.

All of these cases make a mockery of common sense, let alone justice.

Too many judges in this country have totally lost touch with reality. At a minimum, they need to get out more and find out how their rulings are adversely affecting the economic and social fabric of America. Some, especially Judge Reinhardt in the first instance in this post, should be considered impeachment candidates.