Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Oooh! The shock! The horror! Our poor wittle dewicate pwesident might curl up in a foetal ball in the corner and cry himself to sleep!
After the initial liberal temper tantrum occuring whenever someone implies they might not *like* the "annointed one", the poll was taken down by Facebook. A second poll appeared inquiring if readers felt the originator of the first poll should be arrested, only to be taken down.
Now, there's this funny thing called the First Amendment that guards the odd concept "freedom of speech". The first poll, while tacky as all get-out, neither was a threat (simply asking if someone feels the planet or nation would be better off w/o a given individual) nor a crime. And played properly (evil dark side emerges) could have been a lovely red herring to draw out potential risks WORTHY of investigation.
The SECOND poll was a clearly legitimate political question - to what extent are we, as a nation, willing to respect non-violent speech we disapprove of? Does the first amendment apply only to speech we like?
If someone wants to ask "should the President be done in?" I don't see a crime. I suggest the crime occurs (*conspiracy*) when the questioner ventures to ask "would you help me do a *given bad act*?" I would further suggest that the proposed operating mechanism must ALSO be practically doable in order to be chargeable - asking someone to arrange meteorite impacts, lightning bolts, earth opening up and swallowing, etc - should not be chargeable, nor get more than a phone call from the Secret Service suggesting "that's a MEAN thing to say!"
I'm thinking the Secret Service and a fair number of liberal pundits need to unbunch their collective panties and engage in remedial "Constitutional Law & Principals for Dummies" courses.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Following a shooting that injured three people at the Folklife Festival on May 24, 2008, Mayor Greg Nickels directed City of Seattle departments to study the adoption and enforcement of policies, rules and contractual agreements which would prohibit the possession firearms on city property.
The proposed Seattle Parks and Recreation administrative rule/policy would prohibit the possession of firearms at Parks Department facilities where children and youth are likely to be present. The proposed rule/policy would apply to:
- Playgrounds and Children’s play areas
- Sports Fields & Sports Courts
- Swimming and Wading Pools
- Spray Parks (Water Play Areas)
- Teen Life Centers;
- Community Centers
- Environmental Learning Centers
- Small Craft Centers
- Performing Arts Centers
- Tennis Centers
This rule/policy does not include any criminal or civil penalties. Rather, it constitutes conditions placed upon a person’s permission to enter or remain at a designated Parks Department facility at which appropriate signage has been posted. Such conditions shall be enforced in the same manner and pursuant to the same ordinances and statutes as similar conditions could be enforced by private property owners.View the proposed firearms policy rule (PDF)
This policy fails to recognize the fundamental difference between a governmental body and a private body or individual.
To a broadly limited extent, private individuals or groups may set a wide array of restrictions (or permissions) that a governmental body may not - such private policy may restrict free speech or other civil rights on that private persons or groups propert(ies), and even base the restriction on vile, offensive, and/or irrational grounds.
Governmental bodies are much more limited in their ability to restrict the exercise of individuals civil rights on their assorted properties. Especially when the ban in question is *also* in violation of specific statutory law, in addition to State and Federal constitutional provisions (and in defiance of the formal opinion of the State Attorney General).
Knowingly enacting law or policy abusing fundamental civil rights after having been advised in advance by a States Attorney General that such action would be contrary to constitutional provision, state statute, and precedent creates massive civil liability (and possibly criminal liability) for both the city and those who would enforce or pass such legislation or regulatory act.
Hiding behind a theoretically toothless policy that uses the state trespass statute as an enforcement mechanism with criminal and civil penalties does not somehow make the constitutional and other issues all better - nor will it avert the massive liability risks inherent to such misadventure.
I urge the Mayor to withdraw this potentially hugely expensive policy until it can be re-examined by the new Mayor we elect in November, and failing that, Council action.
For myself, I shall consider legal options.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Allow individuals, organizations, and businesses to buy insurance across state lines.
Enact tort reform. Limit punitive damages, and distribute liability according to fault - not which defendants parties pockets are the deepest.
Require participation by Congress, the immediate family of members of Congress, and all non-military federal employees on a mandatory basis in any "public option" plan passed as their sole and only form of medical coverage and/or treatment. Or just don't do a "public option". Offer insurance vouchers to the uninsured, who may then choose a plan and coverage that best suits their unique needs.
Come next fall, let the axe fall swiftly. Political retribution is in the air, and may both parties take it in the shorts. Repeatedly. With vigor. Barring particularly splendid service to the Federal and various state Bills of Rights, vote the bastards out - each and every one (with exceptions as noted above).
Bring back campaigns to add "none of the above" as a valid ballot option for all offices. Implement term limits. Run for office or try to recruit candidates. Hold house parties.
Network. Make friends and build alliances, even with those you'd otherwise find repugnant.
If worst comes to worst, we're going to have a whole bunch of repealing to do come 2016, at the latest. Likely easier to start road-blocking the worst of it in 2010.
It beats armed insurrection all hollow, at least from the way the last time we tried that as a nation looks in the history books.
Monday, September 7, 2009
U of Idaho Editorialist "I find hunting for recreation to be one of the dumbest pastimes on the face of the planet."
If I continue being honest for one more moment, I find hunting for recreation to be one of the dumbest pastimes on the face of the planet. Hunting is also, without a shadow of a doubt, not a sport, but that is an argument for another occasion."
Read it. Respond to it. Try to keep it civil - this person may be educable.
Purely technical issues that irritate me.
1) Bad layout. Consistent paragraph delineation is good.
2) Repetitive sentence structure. We've all been guilty of it, but starting out two or more sentences/paragraphs in a row w/ the same opening phrase is just poor writing deserving of more or less gentle comment.
3) Out and out bigotry worthy of scathing comment.
4) WTF is this doing in the "Sports" section when it's rather blatantly an opinion piece?
Saturday, September 5, 2009
McGinn is well intentioned, and seems a kind-hearted sort. But he's over-ambitious, wanting to involve our dysfunctional city government that pretends to run a yet more dysfunctional utility company, in operating the local schools. He supports the failed concepts of coercive mass transit. And he wants to destroy a major local transit system without providing any sort of traffic-moving replacement. That he is opposed to the Dark Side promoting the repeal of Domestic Partnership laws, and favors abolishing the expensive and idiocy laden "tunnel option" to the Alaskan Way Viaduct is not enough.
We need a mayor that will tend to a mayor's business (for the first time in 16 years) of filling potholes, improving quality of life issues, building roads, keeping fire and police services running, and generally leaving the big picture stuff to the big picture people.
With no great glee, I find myself reluctantly supporting Mallahan. Mallahan promises efficiency (but then again, so did Mussolini...and the trains did run on time. But efficiency isn't everything...), support of local business and recognition of their role as a driver of local economic survival, and other measures that seem at least in distant contact with reality - a vast improvement in Seattle.
Mallahan is nothing to celebrate, but I think of McGinn and Mallahan, he's the better choice.
That will be all.
Re: Counseling the Mis-Guided
I would direct your attention to http://horsesass.org/?p=20034 - specifically the quotes
"One thing to note about yesterday’s pro-health reform rally is that there were no violent confrontations between supporters and counter-protesters… which is really too bad, because with a few thousand of us and only a couple dozen of them, we could’ve really kicked us some teabagger ass."
"Next time, perhaps I’ll show up at one of these events armed to the teeth and swinging a samurai sword; betcha that’s worthy of a headline."
I'm a law-abiding gun-owner - law-abiding to the extent that friends have commented on the inconvenience of my attentiveness. I play inside the political process when I object to political issues. I tend to view violence and threats thereof as a last and most desperate resort, and the initiation of the aggressive use of force as a grave moral mis-step.
And I'm amazingly unamused by such bigoted statements and implied (perhaps in jest, perhaps not) threats of mass violence, or the solicitation thereof.
I write to encourage your organization to provide "counseling" to the operator of the quoted site on the notion of "incitement to riot" and the general inadvisability of the solicitation of violence, even in jest.
We live in conflicted and deeply divided times (again, dammit), and the last thing we need is some loon pouring aviation-grade fuel on the fire.
I don't solicit police involvement lightly, but...for this kind of crap, I'm willing to make an exception. - GC