LLR Pages

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Was Thomas Jefferson an Environmental Alarmist?

[Cross-posted at Libertas.]

Apparently the most recent fad among environmental alarmists is to enlist the venerable Thomas Jefferson to their cause. This latest bit of nonsense was, I gather, started by Dr. James Hansen of NASA (who is apparently unfazed and unrepentant in the face of his recently revealed Y2K error). Even certain faux market environmentalists are following Hansen's lead. The strategic idea here is to bolster support for the CAGW thesis by attaching Jefferson's respected name to radical environmentalism. The hope, at least implicitly, is that resistance and skepticism of Americans, and for some - also libertarians, to the CAGW thesis will wither in the face of their revered Founding Father's environmentalism. The claim is that he believed currently living generations should not bind future generations to living in an environmentally degraded world; therefore, the state should prevent them from doing so. The method by which this claim is made is, you guessed it, by taking quotes out of context and putting a leftist-environmentalist spin on them. Someone else already beat me to it, so I'll simply refer you to LuboŇ° Motl's debunking of this latest environmentalist farce.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Anthony LaCalamita: Insane or Not?

Anthony LaCalimita, a former employee of an accounting firm in Oakland County in my home state of Michigan who reportedly stormed into the building and gunned down three of his former employers and executed a fourth one, is now being "evaluated by a private psychiatrist" to determine whether or not he is "mentally ill."

This is what the Detroit Free Press says in this excerpt of the article:

The man accused of storming a Troy office building in April and shooting three people, killing one, will be evaluated by a private psychiatrist to determine if he was legally insane at the time.

Anthony LaCalamita, 36, has already been found criminally responsible and competent to stand trial by doctors at the state’s forensic center, but today his attorney, Jerome Fenton, asked the trial judge to allow additional testing. Fenton is considering an insanity defense for LaCalamita, who has a long history of mental illness.

Let's cut through the claptrap, shall we? If Calamita is "mentally ill," as some of these psycho-quacks suspect he is, then why is it that experienced and skilled pathologists have never been able to discover and document this so-called illness when they perform routine autopsies?

If anything, LaCalimita knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it. The psychiatric state, including its "private psychiatrists," would love you to believe that LaCalimita was not responsible for his actions and that the culpability of his crime rests on the imaginary hands of a brain disease, which is clearly non-existent. If this brain disorder does exist as these experts contend, did it, in the form of whispering voices, order him to purchase a gun to shoot and kill one of his employers and wound the other three in broad daylight?

The hysteria surrounding this malarkey is revolting to the Nth degree.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Let's Bomb Muslim Holy Cities

Prominent Neo-Con Republican and xenophobe Tom Tancredo declares that America would be a much safer country if we bombed every major Muslim Holy city.

Here's a short excerpt of what he says in his blog on CNN today:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo’s campaign stood by his assertion that bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good “deterrent” to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States, his spokeswoman said Friday.

“This shows that we mean business,” said Bay Buchanan, a senior Tancredo adviser. “There’s no more effective deterrent than that. But he is open-minded and willing to embrace other options. This is just a means to deter them from attacking us.”

On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would “cause a worldwide economic collapse.” recorded his comments.

“If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” Tancredo said. “That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack.”

Tancredo and other evil, xenophobic, racist collectivists are the real reason why the terrorists "hate us." And don't give me this bogus garbage that it's because they "hate us for our freedoms."

Ron Paul, the Elephant in the Room

Here's the Texas Monthly's coverage of Ron Paul. The rag's cover shows a nicely-drafted illustrated sketch of Ron on its cover.

(Thanks to Lew for his mention of this.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Democrats Caving In on Government Surveillance

It seems like congressional Democrats are compromising on the Leviathan's never-ending surveillance program. Well, isn't that just fine and dandy?

Here's an excerpt of today's Washington Post on this story:

Congressional Democrats outlined a temporary plan yesterday that would expand the government's authority to conduct electronic surveillance of overseas communications in search of terrorists.

The proposal, according to House and Senate Democrats, would permit a secret court to issue broad orders approving eavesdropping of communications involving suspects overseas and other people, who may be in the United States. To issue an order, the court would not need to identify a particular target overseas, but it would have to determine that those being targeted are "likely," in fact, overseas.

If a foreign target's communications to a person inside the United States reaches a "significant" number, then an court order based on probable cause would be required. It is unclear how "significant" would be defined.

Under a sunset provision, the authority would have to be revisited in six months.

"Given the continued threat environment and some recent technical developments, I have become convinced that we must take some immediate, but interim, step to improve collection of foreign intelligence in a manner that doesn't compromise civil liberties of U.S. citizens," said John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In recent days, the administration has proposed giving the attorney general sole authority to authorize the surveillance, suggesting that if Democrats do not act quickly Americans would be at greater risk of attack.

Democrats said that giving sole authority to the attorney general would be unacceptable and insisted that the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have an oversight role.

Some civil liberties advocates were pleased.

"It is vastly better than the administration's bill and preserves the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement," said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies.

Others, including some Democrats, said that granting the government authority to intercept calls with broad warrants could allow a large number of phone calls and e-mails of U.S. individuals and companies to be intercepted, as well.

Caroline Fredrickson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington legislative office, contended that Democrats are "capitulating to the politics of fear."

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) said that the proposal, while better than the administration's, "does not have adequate safeguards to protect Americans' privacy."

When it comes to statist Democrats, can we say....cowards?

Minneapolis Bridge Collapses Into Mississippi River

An eight-lane highway interstate bridge, which was jammed with rush hour traffic, collapsed into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Here's an excerpt of the incident from the Washington Post today:

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 1 -- An eight-lane highway bridge clogged with rush-hour traffic buckled and collapsed into the Mississippi River in central Minneapolis on Wednesday evening, pitching numerous vehicles into the roiling water below. At least seven people were killed and dozens were injured, authorities said.

Emergency officials said the toll could rise as rescuers, hampered by burning cars and hunks of broken roadway, scoured the debris-clogged river for survivors. The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported that 20 people were still missing late Wednesday night, and that officials said efforts had switched from rescue to recovery.

"This is a catastrophe of historic proportions for Minnesota," said Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R). "We are doing everything we can to make sure we respond as quickly as we can to this emergency."

It was not immediately clear what caused the Interstate 35W bridge to break apart. Pawlenty said the structure had been undergoing "cosmetic" repairs, including resurfacing and guardrail and lighting replacement.

Witnesses described a lamppost-shaking rumble at 6:05 p.m. Central time as the concrete-and-steel structure rippled from south to north and then broke apart, its 458-foot-long central section plunging from more than 60 feet into the greenish water.

As massive swaths of concrete sheared off, vehicles on the bridge fell. Some of them plunged into the water, while others, including a school bus, came to rest on slanted sections of pavement at the clifflike edge of the r oadway. Several of the vehicles caught fire and one tractor-trailer was cut in half.

At least one person drowned. Rescue officials said many of the survivors were seriously wounded.

And the kicker is: the government operates, controls, funds the maintenance of, and owns bridges like this one. Are we to be really surprised that, if there is no private property rights on our roads and our bridges and that only the "public" owns these roads, that these bridges like the one in Minneapolis are falling apart at the seams?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

EP Will Not Stop Polluting of Lake Michigan

Today's online edition of the Detroit Free Press reports that The Great Leader's own Environmental Pollution -- I mean Protection -- Agency will not take governmental action against a BP refinery based in northern Indiana from dumping pollution into Lake Michigan.

Here's an excerpt from the article which should concern every pro-freedom American across across the libertarian divide:

CHICAGO -- Rebuffing bipartisan pressure from Congress, the Bush administration's top environmental regulator Tuesday declined to stop a BP refinery in northwest Indiana from dumping more pollution into Lake Michigan.

Stephen Johnson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said he saw nothing wrong with the permit Indiana regulators awarded in June to BP, the first company in years allowed to increase the amount of toxic chemicals pumped into the Great Lakes.

Although the federal government has been pushing for more than three decades to eliminate pollution in the Great Lakes, the EPA didn't object to the BP permit -- part of a $3-billion expansion of its refinery in Whiting, Ind.

This is grossly unethical, not to mention pathetic. It's bad enough that Democrats cop to being socialists and want to control every aspect of all Americans on our own soil; it's worse that the Bush administration -- a GOP administration as it is -- employs libertarian rhetoric to disguise its support for a governmental system of environmental protection....which is more like environmental pollution.

At least there's a significant difference between libertarians, Democrats, and Republicans on the issue of environmental protection. Democrats oppose private property rights and private ownership of land and, for the most part, oppose refineries and oil companies from operating on those rented lands. They also want the government to expand its ownership of the land and act as the champion of environmental stewardship, even if they do pollute the land, the lakes, the rivers, and the oceans as well. Republicans want to subsidize oil companies that lease government property and allow government agencies like the EPA and the Department of Interior to issue permits allowing companies to dump such hazardous chemicals and materials in the lakes and other bodies of water, which are government property anyway. While they go out of their way to oppose government ownership and control of property and handling of hazardous waste and material on the land and employ laissez-faire and private property rights rhetoric, they don't mind the government subsidizing businesses that have no incentive to protect and care for the land on which their businesses reside and don't own, but rather pollute on the property which they are leasing.

Libertarians, on the other hand, believe in private property rights and want the government to stay out of the environmental protection business. At least they want the free market to take over protecting the environment and restore individuals and businesses' ability to exercise their private property rights -- items that have been long since excluded from public debate for the longest time.