Picture 2

Picture 2

Sep 18, 2014

My Personal Brush With Police

A lot of naive reaction to Ferguson wondered why the cop shot to kill.  In the dark, with a huge guy coming at you with evil intent you don't have time to reflect. The victim has to act responsibly to minimize the danger to himself.  I lived a similar situation from the "perpetrator" side, but I reacted differently. In 1976, I bought a house in a Chicago suburb. After a first day of unpacking boxes and trimming shelves to fit in closets with my pocket knife, I went for my first walk around the neighborhood. I had on a straw hat, work shirt and jeans. I hadn't shaved since the Air Force gave me a medal the week before, so I looked pretty scruffy. It was getting dark when a car pulled up. When the spotlight hit me, I took my hands out of my pockets and raised them to where the cops could see them. The first words I heard were, "Up against the car!" I said nothing and did what they said. Before asking me any questions, they frisked me. They were going to take my pocket knife away from me, but decided finally to give it back. I waited until the next day to call the Chief of Police to complain, but at least I was alive so I could do it. 

The Second Coming of Prohibition

The War on Drugs is the second coming of Prohibition. it has all of the huge profits and all of the consequent violence. You can't outlaw substances many people will buy anyway, legal or not. We need to decide we can't win and quit. We need to start by legalizing marijuana at the federal level and make it a state issue. Then we can tax it heavily and fund a defense department. After marijuana, we probably need to legalize cocaine because of the size of its market. Again, we can tax it heavily. Protecting people from the ill effects of drugs is not worth the social costs of rampant violent crime that results. Just like Prohibition, the War on Drugs has to stop. 

Over the Counter Birth Control Ends War On Women

The "free" contraceptives of Obamacare are a "gift" from the government at the expense of the employer. Any Republican who has a problem with coercing employers to pay for something that's universally affordable anyway is characterized as wanting to outlaw birth control and at war with women. This is deception on its face, because the question was who pays for birth control, not whether it was legal to sell birth control or not. Now the Republicans have come up with a solution that deregulates birth control. Sell it over the counter. What is really happening is that Republicans never had a war on women. They had a problem with government coercion. Now Republicans have found a way to make their free market position on birth control clearer, Democrats object. Democrat candidates like government to regulate everything and have no issues besides their fictional "War on Women" to run on.  In the article linked below, the Democrat author is furious.

Renegade Judges, Unchecked Regulators and Presidential Decrees

Many observers feel the US Federal Government is not working very well.  The article liked below wants a more parliamentary form for choosing the President.  I think the article misdiagnoses the problem. First off, it's too hard to get rid of federal judges, who have life tenure. Once judges decided to rule on the basis of what they wanted the law to be, rather than what the law is, the law gradually became chaos and nobody could know what the next ruling would bring. If there was an easy way to get rid of judges who rule based on what they want rather than what the law says, we could at least address the problem. Second, administrative agencies have become a law unto themselves from which there is no effective appeal. This flows from the fact that the courts generally defer to regulatory agencies, and Congress has no right of review. The result is that the EPA can determine that when you exhale, the CO2 you emit is a pollutant. If Congress preserved a right to repeal any regulation without presidential consent, it would help a lot. Since the polite fiction is that Congress is delegating its legislative power to the regulatory agencies, it should fly, but only if the first problem is fixed. Finally, we get to the President ruling by decree. If the first two problems were fixed, the President would not be able to rule by decree. The courts would rule against him and the regulations that implemented the decrees could be repealed without Presidential consent. Unfortunately, I am not sure that we can get anywhere close to a solution right now. It's likely we have slipped too far into Presidential rule by decree backed by unchecked regulatory agencies and courts ruling based on the outcomes they want, rather than the law as it is. 

If Barry REALLY Meant to Destroy ISIS

Barry the Magnificent's plan to control all Syrian air strike targets from the White House gave me the sense that I had heard this one before. Didn't LBJ pick bombing targets in Vietnam? Yup, and it didn't turn out so well. I also remember Vietnam Era commanders commenting during Iraqi Freedom expressing jealousy of the Iraq War commanders' ability to bomb whatever military target they wanted without having to get White House clearance. It's clear our Dear Leader doesn't really want to destroy ISIS. The Smartest President Ever just wants to get through the 2014 election and turn out his pacifist base without enraging low information voters who want ISIS creamed. If the Prevaricator in Chief really wanted to destroy ISIS, there's a formula for that now. "ISIS, if you like your territory, you can keep your territory."  Or even more threatening, he could say, "ISIS, if you like your lives, you can keep your lives."    In a comment on the above, Chasseur responded, "if he really REALLY wanted to destroy them .. he'd just become their President."

On further review, I have to add the following:
If Democrat administrations should continue for a hundred years, the explanation for all problems encountered will still be "Bush did it."