Party Time

That is Tea Party Time!
Don’t like the way the gov’mnt is spending your money? Will write a real letter to a congress critter (senate and house) letting them know your thoughts and include a tea bag (I’m thinking used tea bags will be most appropriate).
While it is unlikely that any of these folks will listen to you instead of their k street or texas masters it will be a bit of fun to jab away at the republocrats.
Oh, and no reason to exclude your state and local folks.
Via Carnival of Liberty.

Would You Volunteer for This Group?

If even a fraction of this is true then why would one volunteer for the US military?

The most appealing explanation lies in the motives of those driving this ostensibly schizophrenic conduct. Plainly, they view sexual morals as something to be manipulated for the accomplishment of political objectives. Hence, lewd and offensive sexual conduct can be deliberately used as a tactic against detainees. On the other hand, officers who earn the leadership’s ire will be humiliated and disgraced using innuendo of sexual misconduct as a tactic.
The cynicism and immorality of this mindset is staggering. It reflects a wholesale repudiation of traditional military values.
One can well question the efficacy of sexual humiliation practices as tools for interrogation and intelligence gathering. However, no one can question their highly inflammatory effect in the War on Terror: they tarnish America’s reputation and put our soldiers at risk. And they may well claim another victim. Experts are already noting that at Rumsfeld’s current burn rate, the volunteer army cannot be sustained much longer. Rumsfeld’s cynical sexual policies are destroying military morale and discipline and hastening the volunteer army’s demise.

Yep, why would anyone volunteer for this environment? Unless, well, they think they might like it….
Read all of Scott Horton’s post: Sexual Perversion in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon.

It’s A Revenue Generator

I’d like to think that the us senate respects the people and the constitution enough to toss out crap like the house recently passed on to it but, heck, it is the us senate so we will probably get to see this go all the way to the supreme court before we hopefully are rid of at least some of the more noxious provisions.
Radley in discussing some of representative pence’s (r-ind) additons to the Child Safety Act of 2005 also notes the following:

It gets worse. The bill’s enforcement provisions empower law enforcement with the power to seize the assets of violators, proving that there really is a graveyard of stupid ideas deep in the bowels of the U.S. Capitol Building that Congressmen return to when they’re out of stuff to legislate. Because asset forfeiture has worked so well with the drug war. Idiots.

Actually asset forfeiture has worked very well in the drug wars. See, assest forfeiture is not about stopping some type of alleged criminal activity. Rather, it is about adding another revenue source for government agencies. And they don’t have to call it extortion taxation.
Via Brian Doss at Catallarchy.

Bow Down to Leo?

Feddie at Southern Appeal argues that this endorsement by Leonard Leo should resolve the issue:

Dear Ann Coulter and all other Roberts doubters: If the following statements by Leonard Leo don’t make you feel extremely secure with President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the SCOTUS, then nothing will:

Well, I’m a cipher roberts doubter and this surely doesn’t make me reconsider. Amongst other things Leo argues that:

Even though Roberts has never ruled on an abortion issue, Leo says Roberts opinions on other hot political topics show “a respect for the text and original meaning and a presumption of deference to the political branches of government.”

Seems a bit oxymoronic and certainly the last thing I want to see from the court is a presumption of deference to the political branches of government. An independent judiciary that properly recognizes the restrictions that must be put on government action if life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and, yes, our economic well being are to survive is just fine, thank you!

Shouldn’t We Quit Interfering in Religion?

Yep, we should!
It is time to take religious institutions off the public dole and remove all their tax exemptions. You should not need any more justification than this but in addition there is no good reason why your and my taxes should be higher just so these folks don’t have to pay their fair share.
And if this means removing tax exemptions from non-profits so be it.
Via Pandagon and Norbizness.

Justices and Litmus

bush will not appoint someone who will vote to overturn Roe V Wade.
“Why not?” you ask. Jack Balkin has this answer:

Bush must decide if he wants to overturn Roe or preserve the Republicans as the majority party. With Roe gone, the pro-choice movement will be energized and Republican politicians will have to state on the record whether they want to criminalize abortion. Women, libertarians, and moderates may bolt the party, destroying Bush’s winning coalition. Republicans may dislike Roe, but they may dislike losing elections even more.

On the other hand Balkin argues that the real plan is likely much more damaging to Roe supporters.

It’s Ancient, It’s Right

Precedent, precedent, precedent. Apparently because the idea that thieves and governments can point a gun and take whatever they want has been around for centuries makes it right:

You have to accept that government can take property. The power of eminent domain is ancient. What the Constitution requires that “just compensation” be paid to the owners and that the taking be for a “public use.” This case was about what counted as a “public use.”

Slavery is ancient. Human sacrifice is ancient. The idea that women should not have the vote is ancient. None of these practices is considered acceptable today in the United States.
The Constitution is a great document. It was a great step forward in the development of human societies. And, in the context of the Constitution and subsequent jurisprudence Kelo should not surprise anyone. That does not make Kelo just or consistent with the rule of law. Thank goodness that Kelo has generated outrage. There is some hope that we can look toward an even better Constituion in the future. One that clearly focuses on serving and protecting the individuals it should be meant to serve.
In one of the comments to her post Althouse asks:

All you conservatives: why aren’t you interested in federalism today?

and here argues:

If you generally support federalism, that means you like the idea of freeing state and local government to set their own policies in response to local ideas about how things ought to be done. You like decentralized decisionmaking.

I doubt I’d be considered a conservative so my answer may not count. What is broken here is that this is all about government. Where are our rights as individual human beings? Did we establish our governments to legitimize gangs of thieves or to protect the rights of individual human beings? I know which answer I prefer.
Furthermore, decentralized decision making is great but not when it is only governments who can make the decisions and not when a government entity can breach the rights of the very people it is meant to serve. Decentralized use of local knowledge leads to great results when individuals and freely formed associations of individuals exchange goods and services with others free of force and fraud.

Kelo Fallout….

I expect we will be seeing many more reports like this one:

Unjust and un-American indeed.

Most children learn the right lesson much better than the 5 who supported theft in Keno and, in fact, better than the founders:

The most important fact in all this childhood drama was simply that I wanted something that was not mine, and without the consent of the owner, nothing I could do would make that thing morally mine, and as long as my parents were my parents, nothing I could do would make it physically mine, either.

A constitution that respects individuals will not contain a takings clause but rather it is clear that it needs to be a blocking clause something along the line of

nor shall private property be taken for public use, without the consent of the owner.

The mafia might object but not an entity intended to protect its citizens.

What’s the Dif? Part 2

I read the news today oh, boy!
Even prepared, though, I expect to become nauseous this weekend when I read Kale. It is another case that Micha can use in his paper equating the mafia and government. Lynn Kiesling quotes this from the AP:

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue. …
Yep, it’s all about more revenue. And, as Patri Friedman notes:
Now they