Thursday, August 21, 2003

Camping Weekend

I'm excited for a weekend of camping, but I'm also somewhat apprehensive. I was bitten by a tick two weeks ago, and have developed many of the symptoms associated with Lyme Disease. The idea of possibly picking up another tick is less than appealing. Plus, it's going to be humid as all get-out, which I don't care for.

Fortunately, Ame & I are meeting up with her cousin Cindy, and her husband, David, in southern Ohio. It should be a hoot!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Calling Mr. Boortz!

Yesterday, on his radio show, Neal Boortz continued to discuss the improper use of eminent domain by governments. A proper use might be for the construction of a road. The kind of improper uses he is spotlighting are like those of the case of the New York Times: a large corporation becomes a jilted suitor in its' attempt to purchase land from its' current owners. Frustrated, they go to municipal government and lobby for the literal theft and transfer of the land on the basis that their use will generate greater tax revenues than the current use.

Ironically, hypocritically, the New York Times has long railed against corporations bullying the 'little guy' on their editorial pages. In real life, the Times is the same corporate bully they decry.

You ask, 'so what'? Isn't a greater tax net a greater good for all citizens? After all, more money can then be put into programs and services.

No. Theft is theft, and theft is never justified. Even if employed to fend off starvation, theft is the negation of someone's right to property. The so-called 'social justice' espoused by so many in this world is the assert of the right to violate another human being. That is not justice. It's the ugliest possible side of democracy: mob rule. Democracy must be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. When a government sanctions theft, it encourages anarchy. When corporate dollars merge with government power, the small business owner best beware, if not flee.

I called Neal to remind him and his listeners that there is a non-profit, legal defense organization that defends the rights that matter, the ones the ACLU leaves out, namely property rights. That group, which defends all Ten Amendments of the Bill of Rights, is called the Institute for Justice. Here's hoping that Neal will interview one of their lawyers soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Fun Blog Research

My Blog comes equipped with eXTReMe Tracking (isn't that spelling cute?), which tells me not only how many visitors I have each day, week, and month, but who has a website with a link that sends folks my way, but also what kind of search they might have used on a Google or Yahoo to find me. It's fascinating what people search for.

I would not have guessed that people are doing Google searches for "Dennis Kucinich looks like hitler," but they do. When they do, they get my blog and a host of other sites with the same observation I first made when I was 11 years old.

I'm hoping the fans of organic foods who did their search for "Newman O's" and got my blog had reason to question. Same goes for those searching "Warren Buffet against tax cut reason".

Monday, August 18, 2003

If I May Change the Subject...

The only subject on the tongues of a great many of the citizens of Indianapolis is property taxes. As the issue exploded, Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat, immediately sought to distance himself from any responsibility for his (or anyone else's) inability or willingness to cut spending in the face of obviously shrinking revenues. Now he's run away from the subject entirely, by creating an issue where there was none, citing the 'problem' of adult bookstores and peepshows.

"National and state laws allow for adult businesses to operate in our country, but that doesn't mean they have free reign to threaten public health," said Peterson.

Well, Mr. Peterson? How are these businesses threatening public health? No reply in the article. None will be forthcoming. It isn't necessary. The purpose for introducing the legislation is to dodge the property tax issue while trying to lure conservative voters from Republican Greg Jordan.

It must be that Mr. Peterson believes the economy of this city is so robust, so vibrant, so positively bursting at the seams, that the businesses he doesn't like- or more accurately, the ones he thinks undecided voters don't like- can be shut down at whimsical times. Maybe he believes that if the porn shop is closed on Sunday, the would-be customers will choose instead to go to church. Sure, either way they talk to God, but: Are ye mad?

In the meantime, other business is leaving the city. Lafayette Mall is apparently suffering the loss of a major retailer, JC Penney. Interestingly, there is a poll on the page with the article linked in the previous sentence. It asks, "Will Lafayette Square Mall be able to survive after losing both Lazarus and JC Penney this year?" With 153 votes in, it's 85% saying, 'no'. Thanks, Mr. Mayor!

Normally, I wouldn't assign blame to a Mayor for a retailer leaving. But since Mayor Peterson believes it is his business to stick his nose in the retail business, it's clearly his fault. If he were attending to keeping retailers here instead of shutting them down according to his tastes and schedule, Indianapolis would be in better shape on Tuesday morning than it will be.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

What's $2 Million?

$2 million, times every commercial airliner in the United States. That's billions of dollars.

No matter. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) thinks that every airliner should be equipped with devices that would help thwart shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile attacks. In February, Boxer introduced legislation that would force airlines to spend the money so equipping their planes. It is coming to light now that an arms dealer was apprehended trying to sell such weapons.

Here are some questions that immediately spring to mind:

Is there really so significant a threat of this kind of terrorism against domestic flights?

Aren't we spending too much money and time on the war on terrorism?

Isn't the war on terrorism little more than a boogeyman designed to help George W. Bush put money in the pockets of his defense contractor pals?

Wait a minute. Aren't those the kind of questions Democrats ask? And yet, here we have two Democrats, Boxer and co-sponsor Charles Schumer (D-NY) contradicting that kind of rhetoric in a blatant and very expensive way.

Yes, I know that an arms dealer was apprehended attempting to sell the shoulder-fired guns. Yes, I know that there are a lot of people in this world that wish to do Americans harm. And yes, I generally come from the perspective that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

However, this is a fantastically expensive preventive measure. It was one thing to force automakers to install seat belts. That came at a cost to every purchaser of every car, but it was a relatively small cost, and addressed a threat that is very real in every day life.

Let the airlines choose to equip or not to equip. There are those who will choose to fly on the airlines who equip, despite a doubling or tripling of fares because they feel safer doing so. There are those who will choose to fly unequipped airlines for the savings on the fare, taking their chances.

Life isn't perfect, and putting a Star Wars system on an airliner cannot prevent a terrorist from devising other ways of getting to us. It may, however, help the terrorists achieve their goal of bringing our economy to its' knees.
Fun Campaign Event Today

Brad Klopfenstein is putting the 'fun' in fundraising. No rubber chicken dinner today. Rather, a very personal fundraiser, as he has invited friends and associates for a day out at the ballgame. He is asking for a donation of $25, while he supplies the tickets. Then plan is to work for seed money from those closest to him first, to gain their support before going into the cold, harsh world or fundraising from people we don't know nearly as well as his family and friends. These people know Brad, and what he is about, so they don't need a stump speech from him.

The AAA Indianapolis Indians, farm club of the Milwaukee Brewers, host the New York Mets' affiliate, the Norfolk Tides today at 2pm at Victory Field. That's fitting, as victory is what we're working for.