LIBERTY: The FEC is an unconstitutional nightmare

Posted on Fri, Dec. 29, 2006
FEC fines could bring undemocratic silencing
Bradley A. Smith

served as chairman of the Federal Election Commission in 2004 and is a professor of law at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio

***Begin Quote***

Two weeks ago, the Federal Election Commission fined, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and two other groups a total of $629,500 for violating campaign-finance laws during the 2004 election. According to the FEC, these “527” organizations (so named for the tax-code provision governing their activities) should have registered as political action committees, which would have limited their ability to receive large donations and probably would have shut them out.

***End Quote***

Now the government will decide what speech is “approved”.

Remember this contribution to free speech when you see Mc Cain and Fiengold.

LIBERTY: End the supposed “war” on drugs … … now!

Right and Simple
by Charley Reese

***Begin Quote***

The right thing to do, of course, is to legalize the stuff and conduct a public-education campaign against its use. It works with tobacco, and it would work with illegal drugs. Thousands of people are criminalized for no good reason except a bunch of stupid laws on the books and politicians too cowardly to change them.

***End Quote***

It’s immoral (to tell people what they can do with their own body), ineffective (does prevent the harm that people do to themselves and inflicts damage up to death on innocent people), and inefficient (inflicts massive costs on ourselves and inflicts tremendous collateral damage far in excess of the problem it is attempting to solve).

Start off the new year demanding an end!

XPfails – luggable – PAYTRUST website won’t authenticate

I actually had to call their support and undergo a lot of pain “authenticating”. Will someone please tell me how knowing my details authenticates me? Now, if they said “we’ll call you back”, then I might believe it. Asking me my address and phone number and email address doesn’t “authenticate” squat.

And, don’t tell me you are “doing it for my protection”! That’s Barbara Striesand. They’re doing it for their protection.

No explanation of why it worked yesterday but not today. No explanation of why it didn’t work today. They want me to use IE (I don’t!) Telling me that their site is not “optimized” for Firefox or Opera.


And, that they were voted the best bill payment service. By who, their employees.

The only reason, I put up with this … (PayMyBills was acquired by the competitor Paytrust after I selected PMB over PayT. Subsequently acquired by Quicken.) … is that they are the only service that will receive a paper bill, scan it, and email me. And, they keep pushing ebilling!

Their idea of ebilling is that I do all the work and setup an online account with a biller. Then turn over all that authentication information to them so that they can then go pretend that they are me. I don’t think so!

Any way, if there was a competitor, I’d sure consider it.


RANT: Hey Governor Corzine … … still wanna hear about state cars? … (continued) …

You don’t? TOO BAD!

This morning 29 December at 0700 est on Route 295 south exit 47… …

… … a white TD 10986 … …

… … down route 295 at a leisurely something over 72 (Your serf speed limit is 55)

… … in lots of traffic

… … tailgating the poor peon in his way

… … never left the left lane!!


P.S.: Dear reader, I don’t write these every day. Just when I ARRIVE early for work, particularly agitated aggravated and have to wait for my employer workstation to get online.

MONEY: Printing press money impoverishes us all

Monopoly Money: Feds fear Liberty Dollar alternative
01 December 2006
Brian Wright

***Begin Quote***

Live free and flourish!

Part of the noble equation of liberty is honest money. Fortunately the National Organization to Repeal the Federal Reserve Act (NORFED) has given us the Liberty Dollar system to help us achieve just that.

***End Quote***

With the monetary inflation rate being unknown due to the US Treasury no longer publishing the M3 number, one has to guess. To me, it “feels like” between 5 and 10%. My experience has been that the demand deposit rate is usually a smidge less that the inflation rate. During the Carter Inflation in the 70’s when the published rate was 21%, savings deposits were paying 17%. In the 90’s, when inflation was a “low” 4%, demand deposits paid 1%. The sad part is that inflation erodes the purchasing power of savings, “inflates” one into higher tax brackets, and when one sells assets “capital gains” tax is on inflation.

It hits the poor, those on fixed incomes, and the financially illiterate worst.

I like to tell the story of my now deceased Father-In-Law, who was always proud that he had a Fifty Dollar bill in his wallet. He put it there as a kid so that he’d never be broke. It was in there about 50 years. When he put it in, it was valuable. When his heirs took it out, it was worth about a penny in terms of the purchasing power it once had! In an inflationary economy, money fails in one of its key roles as a store of value. He’d have been better off to have used it and been broke. It was an illusion.

At 1% inflation today’s “dollar” is worth 74 cents in 30 years. 10% yields a 6 cent dollar in the same 30 years. I like to think of inflation like a balloon. Want a bigger balloon, just put more air into it. Until it pops!

Imagine playing on a football field, where each year the definition of a “yard” changed. It doesn’t change the same each year. One year the field is really 106 yards in “real yards” and the next it might be 116.1! Talk about nightmare. And what good would records be? Think it would be confusing. Why is it different when the gubamint prints more money? And, it’s not actually the gubamint printing money. It’s the Federal Reserve Bank, which isn’t federal, doesn’t reserve anything, and isn’t a bank. It’s just a private club with a license to steal.

Economists like to reference Robinson Carusoe’s island, Caruso and Friday are on the island. Caruso fishes and Friday picks bananas. They work out an exchange. But put some more people on the island and you need money to have an easy exchange between fish, bananas, and coconuts. So one day a “Federal Reserve Banker” comes along and prints some paper “dollars”. The marketplace finds the right price for fish in terms of bananas, coconuts, or “dollars”. Now suppose our Federal Reserve Banker prints double the dollars. Just lots more “dollars”. Twice as many in fact. Now just printing more “dollars” doesn’t do anything to increase the wealth of the islanders. There are not twice the fish, bananas, or coconuts. Rather quickly the market price will double the price of fish, bananas, and coconuts. Increasing the money supply doesn’t make everyone rich. It just increases prices.

Why do it? Because the printer are unjustly enriched. He gets to spend those dollars before the prices adapt. Money that has nothing backing it of value (i.e., gold; silver; or even tiki lamps) is just paper. Worthless the minute that the fraud is discovered.

Read about John Law, the South Sea Bubble, the post WW1 german hyper inflation, the south american hyper inflation, and the Carter Inflation in the 70s.

So, sooner or later, the Arabs will get tired of getting pictures of dead presidents for oil. Ditto the Japanese for Toyotas. And the Chinese for plastics.

One needs to NOT hold paper money! But what should one “hold”. Things that appreciate in value (i.e., collectables). Real estate. Things that earn value (i.e., stocks that are recession / depression proof). Commodities. And precious metals. Debt in a recession is bad.

That brings us to NorFed and their alternative currency.

I think the jury is still out on that.

Here’s my thinking. The NorFed Twenty “dollar” coin is an ounce of silver that costs $20 FRB. Silver’s volatile. It varies currently from 12 to 18 Federal Reserve Banknote “dollars”. So, why pay a premium for basically an ounce of silver. I’d just buy (i.e., have bought and will buy more) bullion coins from reputable dealers. Is the paper NORFEB warehouse receipt worth that premium? Maybe? It’s better than a Federal Reserve Banknote. Called a FRBbie (pronounced FUR-BE!) by its detractors.

Note: Gold bullion 1 OZ American Eagle coins trade at Kitco who buys at 630.10 and sells at 667.92


RANT: Amish children are going hungry

Amish Refusal to Accept Food Stamps Makes Welfare Workers Look Bad
Ronald Bailey | December 27, 2006, 2:16pm

*** begin quote ***

This story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a couple of months old, but it’s a fascinating example of how government tries to insist on “helping” people who are not so evidently in need of its “help.” The Ohio Office of Family Stability is demanding that local welfare workers somehow get Amish people to sign up for food stamps. Why? Just because they are eligible on the basis of income. By refusing to sign up, the Amish are lowering the local food stamp participation rates which makes the agency look bad.

*** end quote ***

Now here’s one we can laugh at! Amish children are going hungry according to these fascists. The people of Ohio are being robbed by the tax collectors to pay these fools who want to force the self-reliant Amish on to food stamps. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

LIBERTY: The RIGHT of self-defense


Freedom to Report Real News
Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Right to Arms, Self-Defense Debate a Universal Issue
By Joseph P. Tartaro, 12/26/2006 11:31:16 PM

Joseph P. Tartaro is the Executive Editor of Gun Week magazine.

***Begin Quote***

There is universality to the firearms and self-defense debate that surfaces in almost every country of the world. The debates over public policy in each country sound very similar to those we experience in the United States.

Perhaps that is because the issues are universal: people everywhere can debate the moral and social arguments for arming the good people against the threat of the evil ones who seem to be everywhere.

The British have pretty much outlawed not only guns but self-defense and crime has skyrocketed.

*** and ***

“Zahid Mahmood says this is the third time he has been robbed while delivering pizzas for Super Crown Pizza. The first time in 2004, he says he was pistol-whipped by the robber. The second time he says he was ambushed in June 2006.

“The 44-year-old Mahmood has a state license that allows him to carry a handgun. He says he has had the gun for years, but says Sunday night was the first time he had ever used his weapon.

“He says he was walking back to his car after dropping off a pizza at an apartment, when three young men approached him, demanded his money and car keys, and ordered him to walk away.

“Mahmood says he did what they told him, but he says that wasn’t enough. He says one of them followed him, and insisted he hand over his cell phone. He says that at that point, he thought his life was on the line.

“ ‘He was posing under his jacket like a gun,’ Mahmood said. ‘He showed me and said that he would shoot me if won’t give him my cell phone. I said, “Okay, hold on, I’ll give you my cell phone.” And I grabbed my gun and instead of my cell phone, I pulled my gun out, and then I shot—just to hurt him, that he could get away from there.’ ”

“Mahmood says he fired a total of three shots, one of which hit and killed 14-year-old Kenyatta Calhoun. The other two young men at the scene got away, according to police.

“Police have referred the case to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, so prosecutors can decide whether or not to file any charges against Mahmood, who insists he acted in self-defense,” the news reports concluded.

What will happen to Mahmood in the future remains to be seen. But the fact that the he had been robbed and beaten in the past and his life was threatened by three street thugs is more important than the fact that one of the thugs who was 14 years old had his criminal career cut short. The media’s focus on the fact that he was 14 is just another way of coloring the universal debate.

***End Quote***

really really don’t understand the debate.

There is NOTHING that equalizes a fight like a gun. A physically stronger man confronting almost any woman can be stopped DEAD (either figuratively or literally) by a gun. A bunch of thugs threatening a single person can be similarly stopped. There’s no reason to tolerate the tyranny of the strong over the weak.

So why do we have this debate?

Politicians know why. It’s impossible to oppress an armed citizenry. Look at Switzerland. Look at the Warsaw Ghetto. Look at the veterans in Athens GA. You try to intimidate an armed populace and you could wind up dead.

It’s a racial issue. “Gun Control” laws arise out of the post civil war South, when the Klan was intimidating Blacks. While you can lynch an armed man, you can lose a few bigots in the process.

Even today, it’s a racial issue. Crime makes a bad neighborhood. So why do we deny the residents protection? They’re not getting it from the government. Let them protect themselves.

And, if you eliminate the drug laws, then even that “crime” will go away. You’d empty the prisons and stop the collateral damage of the “drug war”.

It a feminist issue; women have the right to be secure. So, don’t “handcuff” them with inadequate tools. I chuckle when I think of my now-deceased paternal grandmother describing her travel on the Oregon trail and asked “Granma did you kill any men?”, replied with a twinkle “No child, just varmits.” Tell her that she’d have to be afraid. I don’t think so. I think most women are more like her then even they imagine. I trust them to know when to shoot.

I never understood the joke that we call “police protection”. They are more like the sanitation department, cleaning up the mess long after the fact. Writing reports and taking statements. As a matter of fact, the Supreme Court says that the police have no obligation to protect anyone. So exactly who are the “protecting and serving”? Themselves. The Politicians. It’s an illusion. Your protection comes from your neighbors. Community standards of behavior, when violated, will get your neighbors to support you. Look at NOLA. When the good folks left, (some rich; some poor), all that was left was the victims and the thugs. Some of those criminals were uniformed.

In the end quote, we have a ne’er-do-well who was killed. The fact that he was 14 shouldn’t even enter the debate. Other than we should hold him, his parents, and his family accountable.

There is an illusion and a lesson here. The illusion is “TV Shoot Out”. Unlike what people see on the TV and in the movies, you can NOT shoot the bad guy and “just wing him”. You are trained that, when you shoot, you aim for the center of mass. And, you shoot until the threat is eliminated, or you’re empty. The lesson is “sheep dog”. When you have concealed carry, it’s hard for the criminals to tell the sheep from the sheep dogs. We need more sheep dogs and fewer sheep.

Self-defense, “gun control” aka victim disarmament, should NOT even be open for debate.

Every person, black or white, woman or man, has the RIGHT to defend themselves as they see fit.

And, if you fall afoul of any one of the numerous gubamint’s diktats (aka 20,000 gun laws), I hope I’m on your jury because you’ll walk. Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

JOBSEARCH: Gather fellow LinkedIn-ites in the Garden State

Based on encouragement from the Chief Cheerleader, I created some more Yahoo “LinkedIn” groups — yes I can hear it now “not yet another
bunch of groups” — to address my pet peeve “near by ed ness”.


The way I see it, if you’re in NYC you can get to any place in Manhattan to klache, clique, or any other coffee-related activity to bond with your LinkedIn colleagues. Maybe some networking might even ensue. Other geographies can reasonable be thought to be local.

Not so in New Jersey, (properly pronounced Nu Jer Zeeeee)! It has some unique challenges. Which are of course unanswered by anything we currently have. It’s a long way from tip to toe in New Jersey. And, in the guts of North and Central Jersey, width is measured in traffic jams per mile. And, the bottom of the peanut, it’s a long way from Camden to AC.

So, in order to bond with my fellow LinkedIn-ites in the Garden State, I created some groups.

To collect anyone interested in LinkedIn activities in New Jersey. I’d envision this to be the focus point for spinning off ZIPCODE groups.

I kicked off the idea with a ZIPCODE group near my place of work 08054

and one near home 08824.

All three have unique logos! Yes, I tried to compensate for predictable names.

I invite all interested in klatching, cliquing, or otherwise meeting up / networking with me or others around your geography to join.

As is the new trend, you must “apply” and give your “linkedin url” to be admitted. Other than that it’s as exclusive as rainfall. Good manners are appreciated.

I welcome others to “steal” the idea. And, will be glad to walk you thru the concept and steps.

If you don’t like the idea, then it’s all Vincent’s fault. he made me do it. ;-)

F. John Reinke
Kendall Park, NJ 08824
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

RANT: Tell our representatives to take their hands off our organs!

Hands Off My Kidney!
Who owns a donated organ?
By Kathryn Lewis
Posted Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2006, at 6:14 PM ET

*** begin quote ***

Two weeks ago, New York state’s highest court ruled that you can’t sue an organ donor network for giving away a kidney, even if the donor’s family wanted you to have it. The case began several years ago, when a widow named her husband’s childhood friend as the recipient of his kidneys. The friend died of renal failure in June, and his family wants to sue the network for donating one of the kidneys to someone else. Who owns a donated organ?

*** end quote ***

Libertarian believe that we own ourselves.

Really, if you don’t own your own body, who does? The essence of non-aggression principle begins with self-ownership. Who gave the State, Government, or anyone else control over one’s own body. In principle, we agree with the feminist argument “my body; my choice”. In fact the whole argument over abortion boils down to the government telling people what they can or can’t do. As a pro-life Libertarian, I grieve over the number of abortions, but I wouldn’t not dream of putting the government in change. We SHOULD be able to find better answers, but first the government has to stop mucking about with its diktats.

So, if we own our own bodies, then why can’t we own the organs?

Clearly, if there was a free market in organs, then we wouldn’t have transplant lists. And, don’t say that the poor would be prevented from getting transplants. Look at the charities that spring up for the needy. Look what hospitals and doctors do Pro Bono.

Do we need diktats to prevent people from buying and selling body parts? No, because we have that today despite laws. When we put the free market in charge, then everyone will be satisfied.

Now what am I offered for the proceeds of a liposuction? I have about a 100# I could spare.

Seriously, the gooferment makes diktats about organ transplants and we have shortages, spoilage, and high costs. (Which is EXACTLY what the dismal science of economics predicts would happen.)

Tell your representatives to get their head out of where ever it is and take their hands off our organs!

LIBERTY: Gubamint skools are just juvenile prisons!,CST-NWS-unskul24.article

‘You have to trust that the child will learn’
‘Unschooling’ movement leaves education choices up to kids
December 24, 2006
BY ROSALIND ROSSI Education Reporter

***Begin Quote***

Eighteen-year-old Abby Stewart got word this month that she won early admission to elite Princeton University, even though she has never set foot in a high school classroom.

She also wrapped up a huge challenge — dancing the Snow Queen role in “The Nutcracker Suite” at the Athenaeum Theatre — largely because she has never set foot in a high school classroom.

Five years ago, frustrated with the pace and depth of a Chicago Public School gifted program, Abby withdrew from eighth grade and entered uncharted territory — a branch of home schooling often called “unschooling.”

***End Quote***

And, I have to be robbed at gunpoint to pay for the state to run the equivalent of juvenile prisons, why?

GUNS: Deactivated guns … yeah, right!

‘Deactivated’ guns made lethal in four minutes
By Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:37am GMT 24/12/2006

*** begin quote ***

Gun crime victims have criticised the Government for failing to close a loophole that allows criminals to legally buy “deactivated” firearms that can be turned back into lethal weapons within minutes.

*** end quote ***

When will people realize that human beings are dangerous. When motivated, we can do ANYTHING! There’s a reason we’re at the top of the food chain. Adaptability.

RANT: Elderly are not well treated by “billers”

As most know, I poa on a now two relatives. I think it is interesting that companies try to slip stuff by the elderly. My Mom’s retiree benefits plan changed administrators and they sent her some stuff that I found downright condescending.

“Do not include any correspondence with your bill. And correspondence returned with your bill will be discarded.”

Now in this time of Holy Day peace, I hate to tell you what I was tempted to scribble on their bill.

“No written correspondence will be accepted or processed for address changes or coverage changes / terminations. If you wish to make changes, you must call the …”

No, the only thing I must do is pay taxes.

I intended to make a fuss about this. They have a lot of nerve. Talk about unilaterally changing the terms of a contract.

I think I am going to go on the warpath with these bozos.

TECHNOLOGY: ROBOFORM continues to prove its worth

I have complicated web form that I fill out often. So today, (DUH what took so long), I said “Hmm, wonder if roboform can do this. Even in part would be helpful.” Bingo! I created an extra identity. And, tested it. Seems to work right the first time. Sigh, what was I thinking all along?

LIBERTY: Fight Poverty With Capitalism

Fallacies of the Negative Income Tax
By Henry Hazlitt
Posted on 12/27/2006

[This essay is from Hazlitt’s book Man vs. The Welfare State (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1969, pp 84–100; available in PDF). It is an early critique of a proposal made by Milton Friedman that later came to be proposed by Richard Nixon and a version enshrined into law as the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is now the largest cash transfer program for low-income people. See Friedman’s Mistake.]

***Begin Quote***

Fight Poverty With Capitalism

“But would-be income guarantors ignore or despise the capitalistic system that makes their dreams dreamable…”

Capitalism brought the Industrial Revolution, and the enormous increase in productivity that this has made possible. Capitalism has enormously raised the economic level of the masses. It has wiped out whole areas of poverty, and continues to wipe out more. The so-called “pockets of poverty” constantly get smaller and fewer.

The condition of poverty, moreover, is relative rather than absolute. What we call poverty in the would be regarded as affluence in most parts of Africa, Asia, or Latin America. If an income sufficient to enable a man “to live with dignity” ought to be “guaranteed” as a matter of “absolute right,” why don’t the advocates of a guaranteed income insist that this right be enforced first of all in the poor countries, such as India and China, where the need is most widespread and glaring? The reason is simply that even the better-off groups in these nations have not produced enough wealth and income to be expropriated and distributed to others.

One of the guaranteed-income advocates, in a footnote, admits naively: “We must also recognize that we still have no strategy for the elimination of poverty in the underdeveloped countries.” Of course they haven’t. The “strategy” would be the introduction of free enterprise, and of incentives to work, to save, to accumulate capital, better tools and equipment, and to produce.

But would-be income guarantors ignore or despise the capitalistic system that makes their dreams dreamable and gives their redistribute-the-income proposals whatever plausibility they have. The capitalist system has made this country the most productive and richest in the world. It has continued to achieve its miracles even in the present generation, and to increase them year by year. It has raised the average weekly factory wage from less than $17 in 1933 to $130 in 1969. Even after the rise in prices is allowed for, it has nearly tripled our real per capita disposable income — from $893 in 1933 to $2,473 in 1968 (in 1968 prices).

Allowed to continue to operate with even the relative freedom that it has enjoyed in recent years, the capitalist system will continue to produce these miracles. It will continue to make progress against poverty by a general increase in income and wealth. But shortsighted and impatient efforts to wipe out poverty by severing the connection between effort and reward can only lead to the growth of a totalitarian state, and destroy the economic progress that this country has so dearly bought.

***End Quote***

Seems so elementally simple.

Allow people freedom and miracles happen.

Poverty in Africa seems to be directly related to dictators and government corruption. Not sure about Asia, but it seems logical to me. Just as it takes a government to commit genocide, it’s also need to really make the people poor.

America’s foreign policy should end at the water’s edge. Washington’s “trade with all; entangling alliances with none” is also a good rule of thumb. Trade between people; not gubamints.

I add another set of imperatives. If your country is poor, then you’re not welcome here. If you loot your country’s treasure, then don’t look for the protection of banks here. AND, if you kill your citizens, then don’t try hide here.

Capitalism is the road to peace and prosperity for everyone.

TECHNOLOGY: LINUTOP (linux desktop) for $400 that might be better than a desktop or notebook?


Thank you for your mail,
We are updating the web site and it should answer most of your questions. our street price for one unit is € 280 without VAT, plus shipping, and lower by quantity. We will notify you for ordering, within 2 months


Best Regards,
Frederic Baille (Paris)

RANT: Katrina fraud likely to balloon past $1B

Katrina fraud likely to balloon past $1B

*** begin quote ***

WASHINGTON – The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition. Federal investigators have already determined the Bush administration squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid to individuals after the 2005 storm. Now they are shifting their attention to the multimillion dollar contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said are a prime area for abuse.

*** end quote ***

“I’m from the gooferment. And, I’m here to help you.”


Ahh Socialist Amerika. The gooferment doesn’t do levees right. Disaster. The gooferment goes into “rescue” people. They die. Corporations send trucks of relief to the stricken area. The gooferment turns them back. The displaced need “stuff”. The gooferment gives out debit cards which are used at strip clubs. Houses are destroyed. The gooferment is defrauded of a billion bucks.

If this wasn’t so serious, it would be funny.

Why aren’t you laughing citizen?

Let’s assume that the 300M people in the US all share the 1B$ equally, (we know that’s not true. neither the rich nor the poor pay taxes.), so that’s about $3 each.

So “your” Federal slave masters robbed you of $3 to literally throw it out the window in NOLA.

What would you have done with that $3? I could have stopped on my way to work and bought a cup of coffee.

I’d have enjoyed that coffee more than this joke.

We need cheaper “jokes”!

TECHNOLOGY: Don’t like how Picasa doesn’t work with filenames


***Begin Quote***

Picasa is a free software download from Google that helps you:

* Locate and organize all the photos on your computer.
* Edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks.
* Share your photos with others through email, prints, and on the web

***End Quote***

Well, I just found something I don’t like. It doesn’t bring the file name in with the picture. I collect pictures of my fellow Jaspers when I find them. I carefully put their name and class year as part of the filename. So why does Picasa make me title them after it sucks in my files. Arghh!

GUNS: an electromagnetic pistol

*** begin quote ***

The Gauss GP-219 is an electromagnetic pistol that boasts a “PIC microcontroller, dual coils with “precision pulsing” to fire steel projectiles, twin infrared sensors to assist in positioning, and even a laser sight to keep your enemies pegged.”

*** end quote ***

Guess the gun grabbers will have to write some new “laws”!

INTERESTING: A 15-year-old boy driving a stolen bus

Boy, 15, Charged With Driving Stolen Bus
Mon Dec 25, 2006 9:21 AM EST
Associated Press

*** begin quote ***

FERN PARK, FLA. — A 15-year-old boy has been sentenced to four years in a juvenile treatment program after deputies stopped him driving a stolen bus along a public transit route, picking up passengers and collecting fares.

*** end quote ***

Let’s get this right. He drove the bus safely. Safer than some cops, politicians, and driving instructors. But society will jail. And, the reason is? Wouldn’t a better “punishment” be to give him a job?

RANT: Learn from the WW1 death of Henry Gunther who died one minute before peace was declared

They Won’t Be Home for Christmas
by Laurence M. Vance

*** begin quote ***

The war in Iraq is lost. Although the president won’t admit that we are losing, he did recently acknowledge: “We’re not winning.” But the war has been lost for some time now. Even many who supported the initial invasion would agree with those of us who opposed the war from the very beginning that the point has long since passed the place where the United States could claim “victory” in Iraq. That point can now be measured in years. Wasn’t it in 2003 that Bush made the claim, in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner, that “the United States and our allies have prevailed”? Although the death of every American soldier in Iraq has been a tragic waste of human life, every day that this senseless war continues makes the deaths of U.S. servicemen even more of a heartrending tragedy.

*** end quote ***

Get the boys and girls home now! It’s a mess. But, it’s now the Iraqis’ mess.

XPfails – luggable – menus now invisible

Argh! When you click on a menu like File or Tool, I have to run the mouse pointer down the menu to see all the choices. They are their buy just invisible. Once the pointer passes over them, they stay visible. A new for of microsoft security? I’ll reboot when I have time, but that’s a hassle. And, every once and awhile, I get a worse problem. Argh!