From: email@example.com (Johann Opitz)
Public Funds Drive Winning Campaigns
On the road to winning the governorship in Arizona, Janet Napolitano broke with tradition. Not because she's a woman or a Democrat, but because she campaigned without taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the mining industry or trial lawyers, unions or small businesses. What's more, over a third of the lawmakers she will work with next year also won office after stepping off the treadmill of fund-raising that dominates politics elsewhere. In Maine, an even more dramatic change took place. Three-fifths of the new state lawmakers won running publicly financed campaigns in which candidates made do with limited government money, foregoing privately raised or personal cash. Proponents of so-called clean elections are optimistic that the results in Arizona and Maine will win converts to their cause of curbing expensive campaigns and limiting the influence of special interests.
How about a diet free of lawyers and do-gooders
CA: Player sues 2 cardrooms over English-only rule
Plenty of gamblers leave poker tables unhappy, but Al Feizi says he has legal grounds for his grievance against two Peninsula casinos: They make him speak English once the cards are dealt. The San Jose man filed a proposed class-action lawsuit in San Francisco federal court Wednesday against Artichoke Joe's in San Bruno and Lucky Chances in Colma, saying their English-only rules violate the civil rights of limited- English-speaking poker-players. Casino lawyers said English-only rules are standard in the industry. "It prevents collusion at the poker table," said Tiffany Rystrom, an attorney for Lucky Chances. "If you're speaking another language that cannot be understood by the dealer or the other people at the table, you could be sending signals."
cartoon: Dashrill's diatribe
A new victims' group: Cover Girls of Color
Congratulations to the New York Times in bringing to light the unspeakable suffering of yet another horribly oppressed victim group: Cover Girls of Color. ... To prove its point, America's journal of record surveyed 471 covers from 31 magazines published in 2002 and came up with the startling conclusion that "the images of mass market consumer magazines featured members of a minority less than 25 percent of the time in most categories." Of course, the Times never informed its readers that this percentage almost exactly reflected the population at large. According to the most recent federal Census (2000), exactly 75.1 percent of us described ourselves as "white only" - meaning that a grand total of 24.9 percent of Americans see themselves as "People of Color," or of mixed race heritage of any kind. If only 24.9 percent of the U.S. population sees itself as "nonwhite," then why is it so outrageous, so discriminatory, that nonwhite or mixed-race faces appear on magazine cover!
s "less than 25 percent of the time"? ...
Special Education Confidential
How schools use the "learning disability" label to cover up their failures.
COLD WAR MYTH: AN EXERCISE IN THE USE OF THE DIALECTIC
Just because the commies (peaceniks) are opposed to Bush's agenda, for their dangerous reasons, does not mean we true constitutionalists have to side with Skull and Bones Bush's march to war. ... I know you guys know that but thought I'd put my views on paper so that you can forward them wherever you wish. ... We've made that mistake (supporting the Republican Party) through the years, feeling that the Republicans are constitutionalists and care about our sovereignty, etc. Nixon gave us regional government; Reagan signed the education agreements with the Soviet Union (Gorbachev). (I used to be a Republican but am now an Independent) Carroll Quigley, Clinton's mentor at Georgetown Univ. explained the internationalists'/financiers' control of both parties in his book Tragedy and Hope. The more I read and the more I "think" and "ponder" the events of the past century the more I believe there was never really a Cold War. I also worked in Soviet Affairs in the State Department !
and had many questions then...in 1958/59...I typed the press release lying to the world about Gary Powers when his U-2 was shot down over Soviet Union. Why would there be a Cold War when the powers that be on Wall Street created the Soviet Union (also supported Hitler) and the United Nations was formed by communists. The UN Charter written by Alger Hiss Soviet agent and top Carnegie official, and Russian-born Leo Pasvolsky. ... This article contains proof of USA and other nation's knowledge, 20 years beforehand, of Wall coming down and phoney collapse of communism in order to implement international economic system (world govt., communism). ...
Song Mocking Schroeder Tops German Pop Charts It's a satirical song that has captured the hearts of a betrayed nation fed up with broken election promises, higher taxes and a never-ending squeeze on government services. But Gerhard Schroeder is probably the only one in Germany unable to laugh about the country's No. 1 hit, "Der Steuersong" ("The Tax Song"), which ridicules him mercilessly for jettisoning campaign vows just weeks after winning re-election as chancellor. Brushing off withering attacks for mismanaging the economy and misleading voters, Schroeder dismissed the spoof, which is set to the melody of the international teen hit "The Ketchup Song," as unworthy of comment because the lyrics had nothing to do with the facts. "I don't have any plans to make any comment on that," he snapped when asked about the song that shot to the top of Germany's pop charts a week after it was released with more than 350,000 copies sold.
The deficit dance
Whether you're New York City Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, or OMB director Mitch Daniels, or President George W. Bush, there is one immutable fact when it comes to budgets: Economic growth solves the problem of deficits. It follows then that the pursuit of maximum economic growth should always be the No. 1 fiscal priority for our leaders. And yet it's not. The federal budget deficit was $158 billion for fiscal year 2002. Democratic politicians blame this shortfall on the Bush tax cut of 2001. But how can they? The bulk of the reduction in personal tax rates designated in that cut does not occur until the 2004 to 2006 period. Thus far, only about 10 percent of the tax cut has even taken place.
Republicans feed the growth of big government
Life in Washington has changed a lot since Nov. 5. President Bush has a new mandate to govern, Republicans are about to take over the Senate, and Democrats are surrendering on one issue after another. So remind me: What was so terrible about gridlock? Somewhere, years ago, I got the notion that the Republican Party stood for free markets and limited government. So now I feel like Humphrey Bogart's Rick, who, when asked what brought him to Casablanca, says, "My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters." Replies Capt. Renault, "Waters? What waters? We're in the desert!" Says Rick, "I was misinformed." The first thing the GOP did with its newfound power was push through big new plans for Uncle Sam. They promptly won approval of a terrorism insurance program and a new Department of Homeland Security. The results are 1) to saddle taxpayers with a responsibility traditionally left to the private sector and 2) to establish a mammoth new federal bureaucracy with a special claim!
on the nation's resources. None of this is truly surprising. It was clear, during the 2000 campaign, that George W. Bush was about as likely to roll back government as he was to appoint Barbra Streisand secretary of defense. Where Newt Gingrich and his colleagues had talked about eliminating Cabinet departments, Bush couldn't seem to think of a single significant federal program we could possibly live without.
Developing the capability to build dossiers on all Americans
... Another database, under development by the Justice Department with the full approval of Attorney General John Ashcroft, will catalog gun owners in the U.S. Using information gathered from states that require gun registration, along with data from Brady Bill background checks, criminal records, credit card transactions and other records, the database will be able to determine who owns guns, what they own and even when they buy ammunition for their weapons. "The data is out there. We just need to pull it all into one place, analyze it and then put it in perspective," says one highly-placed Justice Department source. Another database under Justice Department development is pulling vehicle registration records from state department of motor vehicle files and then matching that data against credit card transactions, traffic tickets, etc. By cross referencing that data, law enforment officials can know when a person buys a car, what kind of car it is, where they drive (thr!
ough gas purchases) and what equipment they have. ... "All of this information will go to the government and they will know when you left home, the route you took and where you are for Thanksgiving dinner. "And if you go turkey hunting this Thanksgiving, Uncle Sam can know what kind of gun you use to shoot turkey and just what load of bird shot you're using in it." ...
Drug tests proposed to curb demand
Colombia's president proposed a new front in the global war on drugs: mass drug testing for Americans and Europeans. Reviving the traditional conflict between drug-producing and drug-consuming nations, President Alvaro Uribe said Friday the tests would dry up demand for drugs that Colombian insurgents sell to finance their decades-old civil war. "We need more serious commitments from the consumer countries," Uribe said at a conference of Spanish and Latin American attorneys general. He called on "the people in the United States and Europe to submit to a drug test to help us conquer drugs." Uribe singled out American and European executives to start the process.
Australia: Spectre of terrorism has some law makers jumping the gun
The Terrorism (Police Powers) Bill was rushed through the NSW Parliament last week, having been introduced after the outrage in Bali and a national security alert. Traditionally, the role of the parliamentary opposition is to critically scrutinise legislation so as to suggest amendments or even oppose bills. In these times, both at state and federal level, the "opposition" could be better described as the "imitation". It will be left to the minor parties on the crossbenches to attempt to amend this legislation, but they will not have the numbers without support from the major parties. The new law will allow police to search people and property without a warrant in an Orwellian-sounding "target area", or to search for a person who is "the target of an authorisation". A "target area" is not limited in any way by size under the provisions of the legislation. Although the Premier, Bob Carr, has said these powers will only be used in limited situations, any decision to activate!
them under the new law cannot be called into question or reviewed in any court of law. This ensures that the decision to use these powers remains effectively a political one.
Australia: Cops to get covert terror powers
VICTORIA Police would get powers to secretly break into homes and search for evidence of terrorism under new laws promised by the Bracks Government. New "covert search warrants" would allow police to enter and rifle homes and vehicles without the owner ever knowing that the search was conducted.
New Zealand: No search warrant needed
Regional council officials can search private property without a search warrant, the Environment Court has ruled. But their powers are limited to routine inspections, and they still need warrants to search whenever officials suspect an offence has been committed. Environment Waikato asked the court to clarify the extent of its officials' powers after confrontations when consent-holding landowners refused to let staff on to their properties.
The Slow, Systematic Death of the Bill of Rights
Privacy rights taking a hit from president, Congress
Report: Anti-terror powers curtail rights
Actions taken by the administration of President George W. Bush and Congress since Sept. 11 in the effort to combat terrorism effectively erode individual freedoms while exceeding the historical powers assumed by past presidents in times of national emergency, according to a new report from a New York think tank. Despite their intent, these actions also hold little prospect of improving the chance of stopping terrorist threats, Stephen J. Schulhofer, professor of law at New York University writes in his report, "The Enemy Within: Intelligence Gathering, Law Enforcement, and Civil Liberties in the Wake of September 11." The report was published by the liberal Century Foundation.
... Of course there is plenty more evidence to be called up in an anti-state antitrust suit, but that should be good enough for starters. Perhaps the courts will find it necessary to break up the state monopoly by creating smaller administrative units - my suggestion would be to break up the federal government into approximately 280 million smaller units, each of which would operate as an independent corporate entity for business purposes. But this brings us to a slight (well, monstrous, really) problem, the state's biggest and most frightening monopoly - that on the provision of justice. ...
Ashcroft's police chief role widens
Johann Opitz <firstname.lastname@example.org> RKBA!
"Throughout recorded history, without exception, it has been the sole accomplishment of organized government to deprive their populations of liberty and of their property." -- John C. Calhoun