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Sunday, February 29, 2004

 
Coincidence?
What are the two BIG moral issues in America right now?

1. Same-Sex "Marriage"
2. The Passion of The Christ

Me... I'm not certain that the fact that the dozzen or so years of effort Mel Gibson put into this film has resulted in it being released at this time is totally unrelated to the nation's moral crisis in the form of same-sex marriage. Over the past couple of months, the same-sex issue has been bubbling up and has finally errupted into a real and present controversy.

I firmly believe that The Passion will tend to turn Christians hearts back to following God's Word. It *might* even convince some who are open to the discussion to accept the Christian faith... who knows.

In any event, I think that the movie has arrived at just the right time to prepare Christians, who DO represent the moral backbone of the nation, to stand up and oppose same-sex marriage.

Consider Ps. 37:39, 2 Chron 7:14, and Rom. 8:28.

[UPDATE: Yes, I corrected an incomplete sentence.]
 
Passion
Last night I saw the movie...

It wasn't a 100% accurate telling of everything that happened, but it faithfully told the story of what happened.

I couldn't take my eyes off of the film. Even as the tears welled up, I watched.

I suppose many people will see the movie and see only a violent story about what somebody else believes. That wasn't me.

I kept praying, "Oh, God, I'm so sorry! Dear God, I didn't deserve your sacrifice! God, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cause you such pain. Thank you for loving me that much. Please don't ever let me forget."

If I had been alive back then, I wish that I could say I would have been John or Peter, but I know that I would not have been. I could have been a soldier inflicting the wounds or hammering the nails. I could have been a spectator mocking the Lamb of God. I suppose I could have even been one of the chief priests calling for His death out of my self-righteous and arrogant belief that I knew exactly what God wanted and perhaps that I knew so much that others should take my pronouncements to be as the words of God Himself.

Be that as it may, He died for me. Throughout the Movie, there was not once that Jesus had a look of vengeful anger in His eyes. His heart was pure, and when He was on the Cross that I might just as well have built, He prayed for my salvation. Then He made it possible.

If you have not yet seen the movie, do. When He is on the cross, remember, He was praying for you too.

Friday, February 27, 2004

 
The Truth makes for Passionate Lies
There are two major themes to the protests of The Passion of The Christ. The first is that it is anti-semitic, and the second is that it is "too violent." I'm not going to touch the violence in THIS post.

Most of those who originally claimed that the film was anti-semitic quickly back-peddled and said that it may not be anti-semitic but that it would lead many people to develop and then act on anti-semitic sentiment. I believe that this is categorically false.

Nevertheless, a pastor out in Denver decided to lend credence to that argument by posting a sign that said: "Jews Killed The Lord Jesus 1 Thess. 2:14-15"

The pastor has said that he was trying to get people to get people to think about what is in the Bible. That's nice. However, the presentation of that phrase totally out of context tells a lie about what is in the Bible and is nothing short of hateful. I suppose the pastor is attempting to claim stupidity, and I suppose if he's sorry, God can forgive him, and maybe the people hurt by what he did can too, someday.

The problem is that to be effective, a lie needs to contain as much truth as possible. What the Pastor posted was both "literally" correct and a direct quotation of a snippet of scripture. I believe that the Bible is consistent, but must be read in context to be used properly... so let's look at the entire passage from which the snippet was taken.

1 Thessalonian 2:10-16
10You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
11For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,
12encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

13And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
14For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews,
15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men
16in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.


Lets notice a few things:
1. Although the pastor used the words, he not only quoted it out of context, he elipsed it without indicating that he had done so, thereby changing the meaning of the text he presented.

2. When taken in context, the passage indicates that ALL true Christians suffer persecutions, just as Christ did. The Jews who persecuted Christ were a SUBSET of the whole, and that the persecution and death of Christ was a continuation of the persecution suffered by the prophets of the Old Testament. Additionally, the Jews who were suffering "the wrath of God" are examples of the fact that anybody who persecutes God's people will be judged.

3. From a literal standpoint, the Jews did have Jesus killed. (Matt. 27:22-26). However, understanding the Crucifixion in context tells us that Jesus died for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). Since Jesus died for the sins of the world, that means that the people present were largely irrelevant to the essence of the event. Anyone and everyone who has ever sinned against God is (individually) responsible for killing Jesus.

All people, whether they are Jewish, nominally Christian, or whatever else, who are confident in their own self-righteousness HATE to be confronted with what God actually says. Jonah tried to kill himself rather than comply with God, and he was a PROPHET. (Jonah 1) The early Church originally rejected the idea that non-Jews could or should be allowed to become believers. (Acts 11, especially versus 1 through 3)

In summation, those who tend towards anti-semitism will use any opportunity to spew their vile message. The message of the movie, however, is about how deep God's love is for all of us, Jew or Gentile, that he would endure the "excessive violence" of the Passion to save us.
 
Goals
Contemplating the losses of our civil liberties that have been accelerating is depressing.

Since we all need to continue functioning in spite of this situation, I have determined that it is important for me, personally, to establish a number of goals... Of course, I'm not being introspective about what I want to do with my life, I'm talking about things I hope to some day own and enjoy.

Automotive
Short term: a simple commuter car
Intermediate: a respectable ride for the continuing climb up success
Long term: Fun that might not be strictly necessary

Aircraft
Short term: Basic transportation
Intermediate: utility with a bit of distinction
Longterm: luxury for a quick trip

Real Estate
Short term: a modest personal estate
Intermediate: a private weekend retreat
Long term: some beach property

I might come up with other goals as I contemplate them, but these will do for now.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

 
More Passionate Cries of Anti-Semitism
Trevor pointed out this posting on Roger L. Simon's Blog.

Roger seems to think that the film is Anti-Semitic. I don't see how that can be. One of the commentors mentioned the High Priest Caiaphas laughing at the feet of Jesus when he was crucified as being "more anti-Semitic than all canonical Gospels combined."

Let me just toss in a lil' bit o' "Canonical Gospel" to help us understand this point.

Matthew 27:32-44 (NIV)
32As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).
34There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.
35When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
36And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.
37Above his head they placed the written charge against him:|sc THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
39Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads
40and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"

41In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.
42"He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' "

44In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.


Notice the emboldened text.

I haven't yet seen the film. I plan on doing so this weekend. What the protestations sound to me to be in regards to the charges of anti-semitism are protests that the Biblical text is followed too closely.

To be sure, I'm hearing indications of embelishments that are not to be found in the text of the Gospels. Perhaps these embellishments should not be in the film, but I suspect that they are in the film to provide a visual depiction of the foundation that an examination of this (very narrow) portion of the Scriptures will not directly provide.

How can you visually depict Jesus taking onto Himself the weight of all of the sins of all of humanity of all time as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46, and Luke 22:44). Depicting Satan there emphasizes the point, though I don't know that's how I would have shown it.

Another area that has been criticized is where Judas was tormented by demons after he betrayed Jesus. So far as I can find in the text there's no discussion of such an event in the Bible, but a review of what it DOES say provides a good basis for why Mel Gibson might choose to portray Judas's torment in that way.

First -

Matthew 26:24 (NIV)

24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."

Then -

Matthew 27:1-10 (NIV)

1Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death.
2They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

3When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.
4"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."
"What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."

5So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

6The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money."
7So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.
8That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
9Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel,
10and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."


Nobody, and especially no Christian, should be surprised in the least that so many people are blind to the central point of the film. (2 Cor. 4:4 "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.")

Most people don't get the central tenants of the Christian faith. Jesus suffered the worst possible death that any human can endure. The reason Mel Gibson depicted the violence so graphically was most people have no clue how much Jesus endured FOR US.

What would be the point in presenting another white-wash of the crucifixion? Sure it's a sad thing that somebody would die, and sure it's noble to die in the place of someone else. That just does not convey the magnitude of the sacrifice.

Like it or not, Mel Gibson apparently believes that the only way he can express the gratitude he has for Christ's sacrifice is to portray it as the horrible transaction that it was. Moreover, as I mentioned before, Mel Gibson purposfully put himself in the role of the soldier who hammered the nails into Jesus.

Finally, Christ's death cannot be laid at the foot of the Jewish people specifically. A Christian must accept that he or she, no matter how good, was evil enough to justify the sacrifice that Christ gave for us. Also, the Jewish people did not exist before Jacob (son of Isaac, son of Abraham). The Christian who has taken a peek at the end of the Book knows that Jesus was the "Lamb slain from the creation of the world." (Rev. 13:8 (NIV) See also Gen. 22:8 and John 1:29)

The Jewish people were given a special place in history (His Story). They were entrusted and incubated the Word of God. Nowhere in the Old Testament does the Bible indicate that God intended to forever foresake all humans who were not Jews. God gave the Jewish people a special distinction that they were both entrusted with God's Word AND God chose them to be the source of the Messiah. However, to cover the sins of the world, He had to die.

Personally, I wish I could say that I was of Jewish descent. However, I can proudly say that God loved ME enough to send His Son die for in MY place for MY sins, and there is no greater affirmation of worth than that.

I pray that a few will see the point of the film who might not otherwise have learned of the sacrifice Christ made for us.
 
God help us... Freedom takes it in the shorts, again
I've been somewhat distracted the last few days. When I finally got back into reviewing the information and news I learned that the Supreme Court has decided to continue its work on eviscerating the 1st Amendment.

We lost speech last year.

Now, we have lost the Free Excerise of Religion.

Yesterday, in a 7-2 decision of Locke v. Davey, the Supreme Court has stated that a state may explicitly DENY public benefits that are generally available to those who would privately choose to use those benefits to advance the exercise of their own faith.

I just don't understand how the Court could so cavalierly dispose of RIGHT to Free Exercise of Religion. The Court has become increasingly hostile to individual liberties, except those that are NOT protected by the constitution. Libs, don't get on a high-horse here, it's YOUR core block of quasi-communist jurrists (Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens, & Bryer) who have voted consistently to take away individual liberties of importance and leave only rights that are not central to principled participation in the life of the nation. (Sodomy = GOOD... Studying Theology = BAD; Killing unborn babies at will = GOOD; Supporting the political candidate of your choice, especially in a way that might unseat an incumbent = BAD; etc...)

Up until yesterday, the Supreme Court prohibited the government (any jurisdiction, Fed, State, or Local) from specifically burdening religions or their Free Exercise.

Here's what I want to know - Will this decision require that the state NOT allow its Promise Scholarship to be used to fund Anthropology tought from a secular perspective? I ask that question with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, but not too much. Secular humanism is a religion. It is a belief system about matters which cannot be proven or disproven that spawns discernable world-views. Anthropology is as much a type of theology as a degree in Divinity.

Scalia, in his dissent, mentions that this ruling would allow the state's nebulous interest of "Freedom of Conscience" (NOTE - that's NOWHERE in the Constitution, but Free Exercise is... odd, isn't it that the one NOT in the Constitution wins this particular show-down, isn't it.) would allow a state to refuse a prescription drug benefit to members of the clergy out of a concern that some people might be offended that state funds were used to provide medical aid to the clergy.

There's only one thing left that we can do. How much longer will we be allowed to do that?
 
N. Korea shows its true colors (again) & the Bush Doctrine prepares to chalk-up another win (again)
This morning, I was shocked, SHOCKED, I say (not really) when I learned that North Korea had offered "the comprehensive stopping of nuclear activities." This story gives some more details.

Here's the salient point for all of you anti-Iraq War Bush & America Haters, THE BUSH DOCTRINE WORKED AGAIN. The North Korean people are starving. They can't produce squat (and a WARM "Thank you!" goes out to Karl Marx... It's just another example of the materialization of the "worker's paradise"). North Korea has used it's nuclear program to attempt to extort the rest of the world. The important thing to note is the difference between North Korea and Iraq. There was no effective negotiating to be done with Iraq. North Korea, on the other hand doesn't want war. North Korea wants to enjoy the wealth that it sees in its neighbors.

I mentioned previously that the Bush Doctrine has two parts... First, we kick @$$ when we need to, and second, the rest of the world knows we're serious and so they are ready to actually negotiate. The great thing about President Bush regarding international relations and our national defense is that he is willing to use military force where there is no chance of diplomacy working, and he is willing to use diplomacy where it is likely to work. Libya and North Korea are two stellar examples of why strength and decisiveness in our President add to our national security and save lives.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

 
Lyle L. Yake 1/27/1917 - 2/20/2004
I'm sorry I haven't kept up with my normal(ish) couple-of-posts-a-day schedule this week. Friday evening I got a call from my father that my Grandfather had passed away.

It wasn't a surprise for anyone in the family, but it certainly wasn't news I wanted to hear, either.

This past Friday, the world became a poorer place, indeed.

I am certain that you've never heard his name, but I know he's had an impact on you. Grandpa is one of those inventive Mid-westerners of the sort who invented the automobile, and the airplane. Grandpa never went to college, but he was brilliant, just the same. He continually invented. One of his inventions, though he didn't patent it since he had already become disgusted with the patenting process, was the Bobcat. The company that now builds the Bobcat substantially copied his design and tried to hire Grandpa, but he didn't want to move from Indiana.

I could go on for hours or days detailing the ingenuity with which he attacked every problem, but that was only part, and a small one at that, of what was so great about Grandpa. I don't think I've ever met someone who lived the example of Christ so well. Sure he had his failings, but where it counted, he was great. He raised 5 children, and he and Grandma provided a home for something like 14 foster kids over the years.

Grandpa was never shy about sharing his faith. By the same token, he was never harsh about it either. He wanted everyone to know the joy and peace he had. He went on at least 7 missions trips to help build churches and shelters in poor and remote areas.

I could go on for days about Grandpa, but that's not what he was about. He lived his life for God and he has finally gone home. We are all a little poorer for his passing. Grandpa stored up treasures in heaven, certainly, but his work here on Earth was the sort that stands the test of time. I don't know of any other family that, no matter what disagreements take place, are willing to act on the underlying love and commitment at any time for any other family member.

Grandpa, I'm so glad I got to know you. I'm so glad you are free from the suffering of your last years with us here on Earth, and I can't wait to see you again. I only wish my kids had gotten to know you better. I hope that I can be even half as good of a model for my family as you were to yours.

I can't wait to see what tools you will have invented in God's workshop. Good by, Grandpa. We love you.

Friday, February 20, 2004

 
Passionate Comments
The fact of the matter is, sadly, I am not yet recognized for the intellectual force in shaping public opinion that I believe myself to be. Therefore, I have not been given an advanced screening of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

Nevertheless, there are MANY people (here's one story) decrying the anti-semitism of the movie, or lacking that, the potential that somebody MIGHT percieve the movie to be anti-semitic, and I think that it's time for me to offer a few thoughts:

If it's anything like an accurate portrayal of the Passion, it will include a depiction of Peter's betrayal.

Imagine how that will make Christians, especially Roman Catholics feel to see that Saint Peter himself betrayed Christ. (Mark 14:66-72)

Also, and MUCH more importantly, although this was supposed to be an accurate portrayal of the events as described in the Gospels of the last 12 hours of Christ's life, there was one very poingnant piece of symbolism that alone should put an end to cries of anti-semitism.

Mel Gibson, himself, played the Roman soldier who hammered the nails into Jesus. This is the most true and profound expression of what it is to be a Christian that I can imagine in one single symbolic act. Mel Gibson is saying, "It;s me! It's my sins that put Christ on the Cross! I am guilty of causing Christ's Passion."

Every Christian must confess this, if you can truly call yourself a Christian. How can this possibly be anti-semitic if the message is that God so loved the world that he sent his One and only Son to die for you and me?

The message is - if you're a human, the child of a man, then Christ took your place in death so that you could have eternal life.

One final note of theology, the Bible teaches that all decendants of Adam's original sin are cursed by Original Sin. Jesus had a mother but He had no human biological father. God was His father. When Christ was was sentenced to die, who's place did he take? Barabbas was set free for Christ to die. "Barabbas" is the combination of two words "Bar" and "Abbas" which mean together "Son of a father."

Thursday, February 19, 2004

 
More funding for a restrained student organization
It appears that Iowa State has decided to "restrain" the bondage and domination student organization, Cuffs, and has even slapped them with assault charges. This stems from a "flogging demonstration" they had put on this past December.

I suspect that the university now has serious problems. I say that because there is NO WAY a reading of the assault statute in Iowa (Iowa Code 708.1) would include the flogging demonstration. In case nobody associated with the university is familiar with legal research, I've included the statute below.

708.1 Assault defined.

An assault as defined in this section is a general intent crime. A person commits an assault when, without justification, the person does any of the following:

1. Any act which is intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.

2. Any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.

3. Intentionally points any firearm toward another, or displays in a threatening manner any dangerous weapon toward another.

Provided, that where the person doing any of the above enumerated acts, and such other person, are voluntary participants in a sport, social or other activity, not in itself criminal, and such act is a reasonably foreseeable incident of such sport or activity, and does not create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or breach of the peace, the act shall not be an assault.

Provided, that where the person doing any of the above enumerated acts is employed by a school district or accredited nonpublic school, or is an area education agency staff member who provides services to a school or school district, and intervenes in a fight or physical struggle, or other disruptive situation, that takes place in the presence of the employee or staff member performing employment duties in a school building, on school grounds, or at an official school function regardless of the location, the act shall not be an assault, whether the fight or physical struggle or other disruptive situation is between students or other individuals, if the degree and the force of the intervention is reasonably necessary to restore order and to protect the safety of those assembled.


NOW, here's why there's a problem. State actors (employees and officials) have a great deal of immunity from civil liability for incorrect execution of their jobs. HOWEVER, this immunity (usually called "Qualified Immunity") will only extend to mistakes that another similar officer might also make in the same situation. Where, as in this situation, the definition of the crime for which they bring CRIMINAL charges specifically DOES NOT include the activity (see the first "Provided that..." part of the statute), qualified immunity will not protect the government actors. It looks to me like we've got false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of discretion, intentional infliction of emotional distress (that'll be tough to prove by a "bondage" group, however...), and then you've got 1st Amendment problems (it can probably be shown that this was a content-specific enforcement of a facially neutral law, and therefore probably a constitutional violation) and probably several more as well. A private university would (probably) be able to get away with shutting down the demonstration, but here, no.

Not only does the club have all sorts of state causes of action to pursue, should they choose to do so, they've got 42 U.S.C. 1983 (Civil action for deprivation of rights) which is a FEDERAL cause of action. Again, for you Iowa State Administrators reading this posting, let me do the research for you:

42 USCS § 1983 (2003). Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.



I think that when this all dies down, Cuffs will be getting more than $94 in funding from the school...

The ONE question I've got... How frikkin' STUPID are these Iowa State officials being?

[NOTE: Nothing in the preceding text of this posting, or anywhere else on this web log is to be construed as legal advice. It is commentary based entirely on my impression of the case from information available on the internet. For legal advice, please contact a properly licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Try either of these two websites, if you like for assistance in finding such an attorney. Martindale Hubble Findlaw]

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

 
Psycho Dwarf begins astral projection campaign in lieu of in-person stumping, denies rumors of contribution short-falls.
OK, so maybe I embellished a lil' bit. Psycho Dwarf has declared an end to active campaigning, but (though it doesn't say so in the article) he is still on the ballot in the remaining primaries.

In other good news, the exit polls from Wisconsin tell an interesting tale. Snobby Dwarf leads among those "angry" with President Bush. Metrosexual Dwarf led among those who chose a candidate based on the candidate having a positive message. What's interesting is that I don't think that Snobby can take for granted getting all of the Breck-Girl's voters if/when he gets the DUMB-o-cRAT nomination. I am certain that the president will be able to present himself as being above most of the political mess and just being a normal person who's doing a reasonably good job looking after "Everyman" by cutting taxes and fighting against those who did or would cause us harm. I think that this will mean that the President will get ALL the Republicans and nearly all of the independent/middle-of-the-road voters. Snobby will be left with the angry whiners.

[UPDATE: Hmmm... Look at dem numbahs... This is gonna be FUN!]
 
Trevor denegrates Linux
If you know Trevor half as well as I do, you too will be shocked at what he compares to Linux. Read his slanderous remark here.

[NOTE: Trevor, your permalinks aren't working well yet. Ask me and I'll show you how to configure your template properly.]
 
"Speed Kills" - Another elitist lie
I won't be trite and say "It's not the speed, it's the sudden stop!" however there's more truth to that than many people realize.

Last evening, Channel 2 WMAR in Baltimore ran an "investigative" report about how dangerous speeding is. What was amazing is that they didn't even TRY to act like a journalism outlet. It was an opinion piece and purported to be news. To be honest, I didn't have much respect for them to begin with, but I'm disgusted with them now. [I can't find a transcript of the piece on their site as of this writing.] They ended up ADVOCATING speed cameras.

Here's a reasonably good website for information about speeding.

I'm not going to take the time to totally shred the speed-nazi arguments. I do want to take a moment to point out one side of the argument that doesn't get much discussion.

Speed control, when used to punish people who are not driving in a patently unsafe and unreasonable manner are often little more than elitist regressive taxation.

What do I mean, "Regressive Taxation"? - Quite simply, it is the middle and lower classes who will be at greatest risk of punishment under speed enforcement. People who have to work, and who cannot afford the luxury of living in close proximity to their place of work must spend time on the roads. Lower speed limits, if they are obeyed, serve primarily to increase the relative discomfort of employment and take away from personal time.

Let's take a look for a moment... Let's say you have a job that pays you $1000 per week for 40 hours of work. If you are in a metropolitan area, you probably can't afford (reasonably safe) family housing near the office, so you need to move away from the population center to where the demand is low enough for you to be able to afford housing. Let's just ASSUME that you can find such a house an hour away from work. That means, your job directly ties up 40 hours PLUS 10 hours of commuting per week. Your pay per hour dedicated from work is NOT the nominal $25, but $20 MINUS the costs of ownership of your vehicle.

Let's continue to assume that the average speed of the commute is 60 MPH. IF you can raise the speed limit by 25% to 75 MPH, you will raise your effective pay by about 5%. I don't know what world you live in, but a 5% raise is nothing to sneeze at for most working people. More over, that increase in commute speed has returned 2.5 hours to you, the worker. That means more sleep (so that when you drive, you are more attentive, and when you get to work you are more productive) and more time with your family. The less time you force people to dedicate to the task of commuting, the better the disposition of most people will be.

So... Why is increased traffic enforcement a regressive taxation? Currently speed laws are not all that evenly enforced. Either you have a capricious and unpredictable speed enforcement scheme, as we have now, where people just accept that they run the risk of paying extra for the ability to get to work or home or where ever in a reasonable amount of time, OR you can have complete enforcement via speed cameras. If you do use the speed cameras you are not randomly extorting people, but you are taxing everybody. What's even worse about this, it's a tax that does not put money into public coffers, for the most part, it simply takes productivity out of the economy. The only possible beneficiary would be those who want to artificially boost their close-in property values. Elitism.

Me, I detest whenever law enforcement is performed with a profit motive. If, as those in power like to claim, traffic laws are about public safety, then that's what they should enforce. Traffic laws that DO NOT actually promote safety should not be enforced. Speed PLUS an improper lane-change or tailgating... YES, these can be and are safety problems. These things approach "reckless driving," enforce that. The guy who is watching what he's doing as he zips along at 85 on a major interstate and who is not weaving in and out of traffic is a guy who is modeling rational usage of the highway system. Please don't punish him. Let him enjoy the raise he's given himself.

One final thought... If you don't believe that traffic laws that slow down traffic are often an exercise in elitism, what do you say about this? A deputy mayor in New York had been caught (by a local news crew) abusing her lights-&-siren package on her vehicle. She thought she was too d@-- important to have to wait like the rest of us in traffic. She adjusted her situation to allow her get where she wanted to go more quickly... What better example of elitism could you ask for?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

 
Snobby and the Interns - Greatest Hits Remix
I find it amusing that SO MANY of the Kerry partisans are now declaring triumph over the Kerry-intern issue.

I'll admit it... I took part in the internet and foreign media fray over the allegations of Snobby Dwarf's Clinton impersonation.

The problem for the Kerry supporters is that they haven't proven a darn thing. The fact of the matter is that there is significant circumstantial evidence at this point that there was *something* improper going on between Kerry and the ex-pat intern.

[NOTE: Libs, don't sucumb to the temptation to let your mind go to mush when you see "circumstantial evidence" as the primary evidence against your guy... circumstantial evidence is often MORE convincing than direct testimony. For example, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman..." or another, "I'm going to find the REAL killer."]

John Kerry has a problem... It's John Kerry. Some people have met him, and if they are mere peasants, according to the Kerry Sightings described in this story, he does not seem to display the appropriate respect for his fellow citizen that one would hope to see from he who would be the leader of all of America.

Being a jerk isn't the end of the matter. More importantly to the intern story is this: John Kerry has a history of philandering and infidelity that is fairly well documented. He's demonstrated that he's a sleeze-ball time and again, and he has been singularly non-descript in his performance as a member of the U.S. Legislature, other than to say that his voting record is HARD LEFT.

So... Unlike George Bush's military service which has significant documentation in addition to the President's positive affirmation that he did actually complete his military obligations, the "Snobby Dwarf and the Intern(s)" story cannot be, with any intellectual honesty declared a non-story. Perhaps it is too much like asking Snobby to prove a negative to demand positive and conclusive proof that he did not bang his intern(s) like a cheap gong, but with his particular history, it would certainly be a wise thing to be able to provide eye-witnesses to testify that he did not have interns over to his personal residence, in private, late at night, while his wife was away. That would certainly be the prudent way to mannage his personal "affairs."

Snobby Dwarf, if he wants to make this issue go away, should concentrate on giving America a reason to believe he has some honorable personality characteristics, and not just the probable-treasonousness, infidelity, elitism and duplicitousness that has been his hallmark to date. I'll NOT be holding my breath. If you do plan on voting for Snobby Dwarf, I've got no problem if you want to hold yours, however.

Monday, February 16, 2004

 
The Arkham Review is Open for Business!
I've finally got my own weblog up and running now on on Blogger; it's called The Arkham Review. Feel free to stop by for a visit; I hope you'll find your stay edifying and enjoyable.
 
When pigs fly - the Muslims will stop blowing their tops!
That's the hope, anyway. This story says that rabbinical leaders in Israel have OK'd the use of pig-lard as a terrorist deterrent.

I think it's brilliant. According to Kosher law, Jews aren't supposed to eat pork (or anything from pigs). That said, there seems to be no prohibition from other uses for pigs so long as they don't end up as food. Muslims are apparently told that Allah has taken a harder line. Their religion tells them not to have ANY contact with pigs. Any contact is likely to result in their prohibition from paradise.

The plan that Israel has put together involves having lard on busses and hanging in malls so that if a homicide-bomber blows him/herself up, parts of him/her will probably end-up touching pig-lard. This will make a homicide-bomber's travails all for naught because they will end up in wherever it is that bad muslims go... I wonder where that might be?

Friday, February 13, 2004

 
Breaking News: Pot calls for investigation, accuses Kettle of being black!
FOXNews has this report.

As a general statement it's nice to see politicians upset at ethical violations, especially when they could rise to the level of a crime. That said, when a DUMB-o-cRAT complains, you can bet your sweet-pa-tootie that the object of their moral outrage is a Republican or at least connected with a Republican. To be sure, Republicans seem to get upset most often at DUMBS for ethical failings, but I think that can probably be explained by statistics... DUMB-o-cRATS just seem to violate ethical rules and or standards with more regularity, and it's not as if people expect DUMB-o-cRATS to live up to any sort of measurable ethical standard, so the stories don't seem to make many ripples.

Regardless, it goes beyond the pale for Senator "Depends" Leahy (D-VT) to call for a criminal investigation for information leaks. Here's an excerpt:

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. "Taking things that do not belong to you is wrong, and there is no excusing or whitewashing it. ... In my view, these actions are probably criminal and are likely to become the subject of criminal investigation."

Can any of you remember WHY Senator "Depends" Leahy is NO-LONGER allowed to serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee? Here's a hint.

How about a little righteous indignation about the content of the information leaked? (See this story.) Oh yeah, it shows solid collusion and racial discrimination on the part of the DUMBS... Nothing about THAT would bother the average voter, I'm sure. I swear, I hope the President smacks you Constitution subverting pigs down hard.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

 
This Keeps Getting Weirder all the Time
During his radio program Rush Limbaugh just announced an Associated Press report that Wesley Clark is announcing his support for John Kerry in his presidential bid. Clark is the proximate source of the new John Kerry philandering allegation broken today by Matt Drudge and noted by Bronson below. This is getting bizarre in a big hurry.
 
Breaking News about Dwarf Dating
Below, I spoke of the new Fox "mini" series. I made an off-hand remark about it being an info-mercial How-To-Get rich show by Snobby Dwarf (Kerry).

Little did I suspect, that Matt Drudge was going to break this story about Kerry. It looks like the first "Dwarf Dating" shows will probably be more of an expose of how "hard" Kerry used to work with his "campaign staff".

I think that, perhaps, Snobby Dwarf is doing his best to emulate the last successful DUMB-o-cRAT. It's a strategy... Snobby, if you're reading this, I hope you keep sharp implements away from Mrs. Heinz-Snobby Dwarf.
 
Advancing the literary arts at Harvard
Harvard is going to have it's very own porn magazine called "H Bomb".

I think that my school, the University of Baltimore (Hon), needs to have its own porn magazine. We're a respectable university and our students and graduates are fully qualified to compete with any other school in America. I propose that we start a porn magazine entitled, "The University of Ball More Observer"

FYI, the above paragraph was SATIRE. I think it is a waste of campus resources as well as a VERY BAD policy initiative for any college to support a campus pornography magazine. Aren't the same people who like to claim that all men are pigs and that every time a guy looks at a girl with anything approaching desire, that is tantamount to rape and the guy needs to be sent off to some re-education camp?

You GO, Ivy League!
 
DRAT! Why can't I have my JD already and take this case?!
This pot of gold is what tempts so many people to enter law, and I have to admit that it tempts me too.

If you don't want to go to the story, basically, a kid in the 4th grade in a public school in Texas who happenst to have a deformed ear was pulled out of class TWICE for teachers in other classes to USE HIM as show-and-tell in their science class.

Don't give me the crap about people being too willing to sue. This was nothing short of cruel, even if the teachers didn't mean to cause the kid harm. The put him up to public inspection as a freak.

The legal issues that I see are
(1) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress - It's shocking enough to make the average person exclaim "outrageous" upon hearing the tale. Without going into a detailed analysis, I'm sure we're there.

(2) Respondeat Superior - The moron-teachers were acting within the scope of their employment, no matter how ill-considered their actions were. Therefore, the school will be held liable for the actions of the teachers, in addition to the teachers themselves being personally liable. There might be an issue with sovereign immunity, but I'm fairly certain that to some extent the state has waived sovereign immunity for the schools at least for intentional torts of school employees.

I would be willing to take this case for only 25% of the take, and I bet I could live for a couple of years off of the pre-trial settlement!
 
Fox plans new mini-series
Dwarf dating... It turns out that Fox will be having a show about "little people" (you know, actual dwarfs) dating.

When I saw this I thought (Hey, I think it was entirely reasonable to think this) that this was about NationalSecurity Dwarf's search for a first-lady wanna-be. I suspect the fact that he can't keep himself up in the polls does not impress many women.

Right after that I had the thought that perhaps this was really going to be the Snobby Dwarf-tested-and-approved wealth aquisition program.

Imagine my surprise...

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

 
Be kind to people you meet, again.
Remember, "Clones are people two!"
 
Woman find's her dream husband, and marries him.
Unfortunately, he's a "dream husband" because he's dreaming in a dirt nap, and his favorite hobby is feeding worms.

This woman has SERIOUS ISSUES.

On the other hand, her nagging will never bother him, and he doesn't have to sit through any chick-flicks on a Saturday night, and hey, she'll never tell him he can't stay out all night.

I can just imagine when she described him to her parents. "Well, he's well grounded, and I know he won't cheat on me!"


 
A well armed society...
The saying goes, "A well armed society is a polite society." I have no doubt that's true, but I wasn't aware until now that a well armed society also has neatly manicured lawns too!
(Thanks to Chip Franklin for the link.)

And here's a surprise... the CDC, a few months ago, reluctantly admitted that gun control laws don't lower crime rates. (Read it for yourself, here.) Some of us already know: "More Guns, Less Crime." But, hey, we already knew that fighting The Bias Against Guns would be a long and mostly thankless job.

I do like the one passage from the summary:

"Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.)"

I can respect that... Logically it's not "proof." However, anyone with something other than jello between our ears would take the "insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness" as a BIG frikkin CLUE. That's too much, I suppose to ask from the wise ones who are capable of determining what's best for us peasants.
 
Trigger-Finger Dwarf pulls the rip-cord!
As Trevor mentioned below, Weasel-ly Clark (a.k.a. "Trigger-Finger Dwarf") has decided that running for third place is nolonger any fun, and apparently wants to dedicate more time to his hobby of fabricating stories to place his own culpability on innocent subordinates. He did train under the master, I suppose.
 
Talk like a sailor, lower your blood pressure
It's a novel idea really... Some companies have realized that customers hate being caught in the endless maze of automated phone options. Wired has this article indicating that some companies are developing software to detect when callers are getting pissed-off and route them to a real person.

The moral of the story is, start cussing right away, and you might get in touch with an opporator who can route your call to the correct party more easily. Then again, what are the chances that the opporators will all the sudden start caring more than they used to and acutually route you to the correct party at all. To be sure, I know that when I have a problem, I get even angrier when I have to deal with an automated phone system, so maybe having a real person on the phone will keep customers from getting too aggitated. This probably will help, and maybe it's the right solution, because when I'm not mad, an automated system is usually not too bad, because it doesn't have a personal motivation to improperly route the call.

Who woulda thunk it? Technology is going to get people in touch with people for a change instead of preventing interaction. We'll see.
 
Wesley, We Hardly Knew Ye
I heard on the radio about an hour ago that Wesley Clark has officially dropped out of the 2004 Democratic Presidential race. Clark, who seemed like a cross between Lyndon LaRouche and Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey on the campaign trail, will probably not be missed by many observers on either side of the political spectrum. He never had a rube's chance at a three-card Monty table of being elected anyway; most people on the right probably saw him as Bill Clinton in an Army uniform.
 
There's No Satisfying Some People
George Bush the Younger has released still more of his National Guard service records in an attempt to stop the AWOL smear from propagating; Bill Quick presents a recent example of it here (scroll down), along with a link to Bill Hobbs' latest thorough debunking of it. Kevin Drum exhumes this living dead meme here in the form of an analysis of a service record of Bush's obtained by Democratic activist Bob Fertik (or Fertig - the spelling seems to vary between sources) of democrats.com in late 2000 through a Freedom of Information Act request (hat tip: Young Goodman Brown). Drum and his commenters think this document is some sort of "smoking gun", making "My God! I've never seen anything like it!" type exclamations - the sort normally uttered by good-guy scientists in bad science fiction films - for reasons best left to the reader to ascertain. Curiously though, the document provides times of service which agree with Bush's own claims about the same. Tom Bevan states a direct and unpleasant implication of this - that a Democratic operative sat on exculpatory information regarding the Bush AWOL smear since late 2000, while many of his fellow Democrats and other leftist fellow-travelers were and are still trumpeting it.
Today on the radio, I heard snippets of the White House press conference where the documents were released. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan fended off question after hostile question which insinuated that these documents weren't enough to lay the AWOL meme to rest from reporters pretending to be opinion columnists pretending to be reporters. In another radio snippet, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe echoed these sentiments. It was then that I realized that the "doubts" expressed by people like these can, in a sense, be approximated by a mathematical expression, which I'll call the doubt function, D( X ):

D( X ) = erfc ( kX )

where erfc is the complement of the gaussian error function, which equals unity when its argument is zero, and zero when its argument is infinity; X is the total "amount of information" which has been provided by the questionee to his questioners, and is always greater than or equal to zero; k is some constant greater than or equal to zero, but almost always much less than X. The error function complement strongly resembles an exponential decay curve. X is never infinite, and in situations like the one Bush is currently in, k is very much less than X. While such questioners will ask the questionee for more and more information to "remove all doubt" about his answers, they will never receive enough information to satisfy them, and at least some doubt will always remain.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

 
How much is a father worth to a son?
Most people would say that there is no number. Parents are usually priceless. However, when someone dies, a dollar amount is often affixed to the loss.

That brings us to this case. Dominic "Tony" and Matthew Geckle shot and killed an intruder who BROKE INTO THEIR BUSINESS AT NIGHT three years ago. (Here's some more background.) The estate of that intruder, Jonathan Steinbach, has filed a "wrongful death" suit against the Geckle brothers on behalf of Mr. Steinbach's son.

For those of you who are not lawyers or law students, wrongful death is a tort action to recover damages (money) from someone who's unreasonable (usually negligent) actions have lead to someone's death. The decedent's estate or dependents can bring the suit. The money recovered (see "wrongful death recoveries") is based on the support and comfort the decedent would have provided. I can see how this kid will be disadvantaged. Mr. Steinbach was apparently a dedicated Breaking-&-Entering artist... A felon with much to give in material support and moral and intellectual guidance for his kid. I suppose the family had great hopes for the career the child would have under the mentoring of his father.

But for, the Geckles' wrongfully taking poor Mr. Steinbach's promising life, so full of potential, so tragically early, he could have provided his son with stolen goods and training in the criminal arts worth $13 Million dollars!

Here's a novel idea... If you break into some place at night, you can be presumed to pose a grave threat and be intent on committing a crime. (That's basically the common law felony "burglary" and the penalty for that was DEATH.) Any person who breaks and enters should not be able to recover for any injury or death they suffer as a result of their criminal activity.

I just wonder, how in the world do you, as a lawyer, argue this case? I suppose, before going into law, the Steinbach's attorney must have had training in "creative writing."
 
Who says school teachers and administrators don't have a sense of humor?
Governor Ehrlich says that the MANDATORY volunteer program which is a requirement for graduation in Maryland high schools is a joke.

At this point, not even getting into the galactic stupidity of a MANDATORY volunteer program, I've got to ask, "What the hell were these Mensa members thinking?" Hmmm... The state is in a serious budget crunch, and you want to impress on the Governor how vitally important education is in Maryland, so what do you do? You CLOSE the schools, and GIVE CREDIT to kids to come and lobby against the governor! If that doesn't prove you're point, nothing can! If not for the schools, the kids would be down in the state capital lobbying the government for various things!

Brilliant!

For an encore, might I suggest you protest air pollution by holding your breath for a week. I'm certain that such a plan will convince others of the absolute wisdom of your cause... The Governor was absolutely right. The school administrators have demonstrated the essence of elitism in getting the kids to lobby on their behalf and claiming it to be "community service." Do you suppose the schools would have similarly granted credit to kids who wanted to lobby in favor of school vouchers? (Hmmm... For a hint, let's see what the NEA has to say about this. They say that voters oppose vouchers, but what does the public really think... they want choice.) I don't think so either.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

 
That wailing sound from the North ain't the wind... It's the whining of the ingrate socialist Kanucks.
Apparently, in the great socialist tradition, Canada thinks their opinions on anything, and here, the governance of the United States, is worth expressing. It's not.

The Canadians, fine socialists that they are, assured in their moral self-righteousness, and general belief that they must be smarter than everyone else because, well, because their Canadians, of course, and they can speak French! Apparently almost all of them want President Bush to lose this election cycle.

What struck me in the article is that Canadians think that we, Americans, "need" them, as evidenced by the fact that so much of their domestic production is exported to us. The fact that it is marginally economically advantageous for us to do business with our Northerly neighbors, does not imply, in any way that they are morally, economically, intellectually, militarily, or in any other way in a superior position to the US. They've got more unearned ego than lonely nights with their sled-dogs. There are fewer humans in Canada than in the one state of California. (By way of economic analysis, the fact that they sell so much stuff that we USED to make for ourselves probably means that we have more productive things to do with our time and resources.)

I guess what pisses me off the most about those nearly worthless frozen pricks is that, just like their "continental" brethren, they would be speaking in German and Goose-stepping but for the strength of the U.S. Yes, Canada does have the natural advantages that the US has... distance from much of the rest of the world. Canada also has the military advantage that, unlike the US, there's not much there for an enemy to want in addition to the fact that no nation could consider Canad to be a military threat. Nevertheless, but for our strength, Canada would have devolved into a third-world communist hole long ago. They are working as hard as they can to realize their dream, and they apparently want a U.S. president who won't demonstrate what REAL men with morals and a backbone act like so as to demonstrate how to run a real nation.

Canadians, if your fear is being overtaken by us, perhaps you should give "being an ally" rather than "being a nation of whining pricks who irritate the hell out of the 800 lb. Gorilla standing next to you." At the very least, shut your man-pleaser while a real nation takes care of business and makes the world safe enough for you to celebrate your gay marriages with some giant doobies. Or, if you would prefer, I suppose we could issue the blanket statement that we will be shutting our borders, and won't consider it in our national interest to defend your sorry stoned @$$es should you find your self under attack... We wouldn't want to flex too much international muscle, after all.
 
NOBODY saw THIS coming!
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the century... Psycho Dwarf has indicated a willingness to ride the ticket as the Veep.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

 
Not the Best Choice of Words
George Will, who was just interviewed by Sean Hannity on his radio program, said that the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the state of Massachusetts legalizing gay marriage there was "ramming it down of the throats" of the other forty-nine states. Block that metaphor, George.
 
CNN Thinks they're winning!
Drudge has this report. (Sorry if this isn't a permanent link.) Apparently CNN thinks it has turned the corner and is ready to retake the reins as the number 1 all-news channel.

Are they THAT dense? The event (Super Tuesday election results) was only interesting to the die-hard-fans of the -out-of-power party. Note to CNN execs... You're still NOT on the right track. You don't necessarily want your only ratings success to be with the the hard-left minority. Their success with coverage of democrats leads, I think, to the conclusion that the general sense throughout America that CNN is a mouthpiece for the Dems was and still is correct. Way to go, CNN!
 
Money in Politics... But I thought BCRA solved EVERYTHING!?
Here's a interesting story that the "Honorable" Senator Snobby Dwarf used his position to block legislation to close a loophole that allowed American International Group to divert millions of tax-payer dollars from a major contract. Oddly, and in, according to Snobby Dwarf, a totally unrelated turn of events that very same company "paid Kerry's way on a trip to Vermont and donated at least $30,000 to a tax-exempt group Kerry used to set up his presidential campaign. Company executives donated $18,000 to his Senate and presidential campaigns."

I surely am glad that BCRA was recently passed to take money out of politics and make sure that "special interest groups wouldn't be able to gain undue influence." It sure would have been a tragedy if it didn't pass, right? However most importantly, I'm glad that we can't broadcast dissenting oppinions about it within 60 or so days of an election... because, I suppose, there's no reason to confuse the electorate by telling them about the character and actions of the candidates, and now that we have BCRA, we can't possibly have any problems with politicians so any advertising would just be mean spirited. If all else fails, we can point out that Snobby Dwarf is a DUMB-o-cRAT so he is wise and pure of heart and therefore cannot possibly imrpoerly influenced by special interest groups... only the ignorant reprobates, a.k.a. "Republicans" can have improper ties to businesses... Everybody, all together now, "Haliburton!"
 
Timberlake of Jackson: "The bitch set me up!" In unrelated news Timberlake lays groundwork to run for Mayor of DC next cycle.
According to Mr. Timberlake, "it" was all Ms. Jackson and HER choreographer's idea, he didn't have time to rehearse it, and was "shocked at the outcome." The story is here.

I'm sorry for having to delve into this topic, but the blame-shifting is too much to overlook.

Am I the only one who finds a vague similarity to what Mr. Timberlake had to say and "Bitch set me up . . . . I shouldn't have come up here . . . goddamn bitch" by a certain former DC Mayor?

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

 
Bush was AWOL Meme Resurgent. Recent Spate of Nose Lengthenings Still Unexplained.
Terry McAuliffe has been attempting to resurrect the "Bush was AWOL" smear yet again in service to the Democratic presidential contenders currently battling for the nomination. What McAuliffe and Michael Moore have stated outright, John Kerry and Wesley Clark have more obliquely alluded in their recent stump speeches. Bill Quick has a lively and lengthy debate about this topic here, much of the length being due to comments left by yours truly. This particular debate seems to be up and walking around again, like an intact corpse in Night of the Living Dead, and like such a corpse, it looks and smells dead even as it shambles around. Glenn Reynolds offers a spate of links here to evidence that the AWOL smear is just that, and avenues of inquiry for those might think otherwise.

 
Rumsfeld gives the Hustler the Hustle
Juan over at the Volokh Conspiracy has this post about Flynt v. Rumsfeld.

I hope none of you are surprised at Flynt's moronic assertion that the media has a FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT to have their correspondents "embedded" with combat troops in battle.

To be sure, I am certain that many fine members of our armed forces wouldn't mind a chance to be "in-bed-ed" with some of the featured persons of Mr. Flynt's publications, however, that sort of thing is now disfavored by the military brass.

Here's something you may or may not know about 1st Amendment protections for the Press. Basically, the Supreme Court has never indicated that the Press gets any MORE protection than is available to the rest of the citizenry. What we have seen is that the Press is given some preference as to allocation of limited information availability. For example, when there's a BIG court case, and our courts are generally open to the public, a certain number of seats will be RESERVED for the press to make sure that the press (who will then disseminate the information more widely to the public) can do its Constitutionally Protected Job.

Therefore, a very simple analysis of the Flynt claim would be to ask, "Does Joe-Schmoe-Average-American have a RIGHT to be present and protected in a combat zone in order to witness, first-hand, the activities of the military in action?" Obviously, NO. Since the average citizen does not have this RIGHT, then neither does the press.

The question that remains is why in hell hasn't Flynt's attorney been fined by the court for advancing this frivolous case? (See Rule 38 of the Circuit Rules for the Court of Appeals for District of Columbia or the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.)
 
RIP Steadfast Dwarf
And now, we're down to 6 dwarfs. Senator Joe "Steadfast Dwarf" Lieberman has dropped out of the race. It's something of a shame, after all, that the only DUMB-o-cRAT candidate that didn't display an overwhelming desire to be sodomized by islamic terrorists has left the race.

In other news, Snobby Dwarf picked up 5 more states. Metrosexual Dwarf got one and Trigger-Finger Dwarf also picked up one.

Although the Breck-Girl theoretically could pose a threat to J F-ing K's run, I don't see it happening in reality. The DUMB-o-cRATS that will control the outcome of the primaries (i.e. those in the Northeast and West) are fixated on putting forward the guy who they want to believe can actually beat President Bush. I anticipated this course of developments... we'll see how things play out.

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