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Entertaining & Interesting

News Items 2002

Offended Leave

Important Quotes

Greatest Inventions?

One of the greatest inventions of all time: Cell Phones
One of the worst inventions of all time: Cell Phones

George Dorunda

There is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken and insolent. The day you passed that Act you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health for support in age and sickness. [Commenting on England and its Welfare Act]

Benjamin Franklin

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

Benjamin Franklin

Our liberty depends on freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

Thomas Jefferson

Most bad government has grown out of too much government.

Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

Thomas Jefferson

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.

Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.

Thomas Jefferson

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.

Thomas Jefferson

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

Thomas Jefferson

Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.

Thomas Jefferson

[We intend] a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.

Thomas Jefferson

I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.

Thomas Jefferson 1824

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.

Thomas Jefferson

Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.

Heinrich Himmler 1935

This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

Adolf Hitler

The average U.S. family today pays more in federal, state and local taxes than for food, clothing, transportation and housing - combined. No wonder two incomes in a family still cannot do the job one income could in previous generations. This is unacceptable in a free society, both morally and fiscally.

Steve Forbes 1997

There is only one way to kill capitalism - by taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

Karl Marx

Why is it inflationary if the people keep their own money, and spend it the way they want to, [but] not inflationary if the government takes it and spends it the way it wants to?

Ronald Reagan 1981

The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.

Will Rogers

It is easy to be conspicuously compassionate if others are being forced to pay the cost.

Murray Rothbard

Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money - only for wanting to keep your own money.

Joseph Sobran

How to Ruin American Enterprise
By Benjamin J. Stein

We're well on our way to squelching what gives this country an edge. What would it take to kill innovation altogether?

As a casual observer of what makes this country work and what stops it cold, I hereby offer a few suggestions on how we can ruin American competitiveness and innovation in the course of this century. I think the reader will agree with me that we are already far down the road on many of them:

1) Allow schools to fall into useless decay. Do not teach civics or history except to describe America as a hopelessly fascistic, reactionary pit. Do not expect students to know the basics of mathematics, chemistry and physics. Working closely with the teachers' unions, make sure that you dumb down standards so that children who make the most minimal effort still get by with flying colors. Destroy the knowledge base on which all of mankind's scientific progress has been built by guaranteeing that such learning is confined to only a few, and spread ignorance and complacency among the many. Watch America lose its scientific and competitive edge to other nations that make a comprehensive knowledge base a rule of the society.

2) Encourage the making of laws and rules by trial lawyers and sympathetic judges, especially through class actions. Bypass the legislative mechanisms that involve elected representatives and a president. This will stop--or at least greatly slow down--innovation, as corporations and individuals hesitate to explore new ideas for fear of getting punished (or regulated to death) by litigation for any misstep, no matter how slight, in the creation of new products and services. Make sure that lawsuits against drugmakers are especially encouraged so that the companies are afraid to develop new lifesaving drugs, lest they be sued for sums that will bankrupt them. Make trial lawyers and judges, not scientists, responsible for the flow of new products and services.

3) Create a culture that blames the other guy for everything and discourages any form of individual self-restraint or self-control. Promote litigation to punish tobacco companies on the theory that they compel innocent people to smoke. Make it second nature for someone who is overweight to blame the restaurant that served him fries. Encourage a legal process that can kill a drug company for any mistakes in self-medication. Make it a general rule that anyone with more money than a plaintiff is responsible for anything harmful that a plaintiff does. Promulgate the pitiful joke that Americans are hereby exempt from any responsibility for their own actions--so long as there are deep pockets around to be rifled.

4) Sneer at hard work and thrift. Encourage the belief that all true wealth comes from skillful manipulation and cunning, or from sudden, brilliant and lucky strokes that leave the plodding, ordinary worker and saver in the dust. Make sure that society's idols are men and women who got rich from being sexy in public or through gambling or playing tricks, not from hard work or patience. Make the citizenry permanently envious and bewildered about where real success comes from.

5) Hold the managers of corporations to extremely lax standards of conduct and allow them to get off with a slap on the wrist when they betray the trust of shareholders. This will discourage thrift and investment and ensure that Americans will have far less capital to work with than other societies, while simultaneously developing that contempt for law and social standards that is the hallmark of failing nations. Hold the management of labor unions to no ethical standards.

6) While you're at it, discourage respect for law in every possible way. This will dissolve the glue that holds the nation together, and dissuade any long-term thinking. Societies in which the law can be clearly seen to apply to some and not to others are doomed to decay, in terms of innovation and everything else.

7) Encourage a mass culture that spits on intelligence and study and instead elevates drug use, coolness through sex and violence, and contempt for school. As children learn to be stupid instead of smart, the national intelligence base needed for innovation will simply vanish into MTV-land.

8) Mock and belittle the family. Provide financial incentives to people willing to live an isolated existence, vulnerable and frightened. This guarantees that men and women of sufficient character to bring about innovation will be psychologically stifled from an early age.

9) Develop a suicidal immigration policy that keeps out educated, hardworking men and women from friendly nations and, instead, takes in vast numbers of angry, uneducated immigrants from nations that hate us. This, too, leads to the shrinking of our knowledge base and the eventual disappearance of social cohesion.

10) Enact a tax system that encourages class antagonism and punishes saving, while rewarding indebtedness, frivolity and consumption. Tax the fruits of labor many times:

First tax it as income. Then tax it as real or personal property. Then tax it as capital gains. Then tax it again, at a staggeringly high level, at death. This way, Americans are taught that only fools save, and that it is entirely proper for us to have the lowest savings rate in the developed world. This will deprive us of much-needed capital for new investment, for innovation and our own personal aspirations. It will compel us to ask foreigners for ever more capital and allow them to own more of America. It will also promote an attitude of carelessness about the future and, once again, encourage disrespect for law.

11) Have a socialized medical system that scrimps on badly needed drugs and procedures, resorts to only the cheapest practices and discourages drug companies from developing new drugs by not paying them enough to cover their costs of experimentation, trial and error.

12) Elevate mysticism, tribalism, shamanism and fundamentalism--and be sure to exclude educated, hardworking men and women--to an equal status with technology in the public mind. Make sure that, in order to pay proper (and politically correct) respect to all different ethnic groups in America, you act as if science were on an equal footing with voodoo and history with ethnic fable.

My list need not end here. But I stopped at a dozen because I realized that this is already, in large measure, the program of so many of our elected representatives. The debauchery of our tort system is already in place, and the rest of the agenda is under way.

Freddy Choquette

1932 - 2002

Performing Artist Actor - Singer - Dancer - Musician

Gene Wisniewski 1921 - 2002

Polka Hall Of Fame - Band Leader - Composer - Recording Artist "The Legend"

Polka Legend - Gene Wisniewski

I've got a book and I'm not afraid to use it!

More Airport Nonsense!

You'd expect airport security to react if you were carrying a box cutter or a sack of mysterious powder, the Philadelphia CityPaper says, but one man was detained at Philly Inter-national because of a book he was carrying. Neil Godfrey, 22, of Phoenix was told at the United Airlines ticket counter he had been selected for a random baggage search. The paper says that, as he passed through the metal detector, an airport security guard frowned at Godfrey's reading selections as they disappeared through the conveyor belt. On the cover of one book, "Hayduke Lives!" by Edward Abbey, was an illustration of a man's hand holding several sticks of dynamite. The 1991 novel is about a radical environmentalist who blows up bridges and sabotages projects he believes are destroying the Southwest landscape. After going through hours of questioning by police and even the National Guard, with more than a dozen people looking at that book, and his Harry Potter book, and taking notes, Godfrey ultimately was told he would not be able to fly on United Airlines.

Police: Teen Caught Raping Clerk Killed By Deputy

Here we have a wonderful story about some teenaged predator shot by a deputy while he was in the act of raping a gas station attendant he had robbed.  Please note that this predator had been arrested for burglary, the night before!

PINELLAS PARK, FL - A high school sophomore is dead after being shot by a deputy while allegedly raping a gas station clerk.

Authorities say 16-year-old Christopher Green died during surgery early Saturday after being brought to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with three gunshot wounds. Records indicate he had been arrested for burglary the previous night.

Investigators say Green, who was armed with a revolver, was recorded on a surveillance video holding up a Sunoco gas station and raping a clerk inside early Saturday morning. They say Deputy Gerald Creaser, who was responding to the store's alarm system, walked in on the crime.

Creaser fired four shots after the teenager pointed a revolver at him.

School bans saying 'Christmas'
Veteran teacher dumbfounded by order precluding mention of holiday

A teacher in the Sacramento government school system (California, of course) says that she has been ordered by school officials not to so much as utter the “C” word in school.  The “C” word?  That would be “Christmas.”

At a time when Americans of many faiths – and even no faith – gear up to celebrate Christmas this year, a first-grade teacher in Sacramento Co., Calif., says she's been ordered by her principal not to utter the word "Christmas" at school.

The 24-year education veteran, who wishes to keep her name and the school anonymous at this time, claims she and two fellow instructors were told that use of the word "Christmas" in the classroom or in written materials was now prohibited.

"She was dumbfounded!" says Karen Holgate of the Capitol Resource Institute, a pro-family public-policy center based in Sacramento. "This is the first time you can't use the word."

The ban apparently only affects teachers, not students. The instructor contacted CRI, to find out if the school had the right to prohibit its mention.

According to Holgate, the second-year principal's "out of the blue" mandate was handed down Monday during the discussion with three first-grade teachers. One of them didn't agree with the policy, but agreed to go along with it. Another stated that Christmas should not be discussed in class anyway.

But the third teacher was stunned by the pronouncement, as she's been delivering a "Christmas around the world" program for more than two decades. The teacher also explains to children how Hanukkah and other holidays are celebrated in other nations.

"She's so discouraged now," says Holgate, "she doesn't know if she wants to keep on teaching. ... People need to stand up to all these wackos. It's nuts!"

The CRI says California standards not only allow for the Bible and religious topics to be mentioned in the classroom, but teachers are encouraged to discuss their social and cultural relevance.

As WorldNetDaily previously reported, other schools in the Golden State are having students pretend to be Muslims, simulating jihads with a dice game, while others pupils celebrate the "Day of the Dead" by creating altars to honor deceased loved ones or family pets.

The San Juan Unified District, which serves over 50,000 students in 85 schools, is where the alleged Christmas ban is centered. Its director of communications, Deidra Powell, tells WorldNetDaily she's heard nothing about the principal's purported action, but doesn't think the district's policy on religious matters would preclude the mentioning of holidays.

"You can say 'Christmas,' you can say 'Hanukkah,'" she stated. "It is nowhere written in any policy; I don't think our board of education or superintendent would prohibit that."

Powell says the policy is designed to protect all students and make them feel safe in their environment, adding "not everybody is a Christian. We're using public funds, [so] we can't endorse [Christmas]."

The United States Justice Foundation was requested by CRI to research the law on the matter, and responded with an open opinion stating any ban on using the word "Christmas" is an "abject violation" of the California Education Code.

"Christmas and other holidays are an integral part of this nation's heritage and cultural identity," writes litigation counsel Richard Ackerman. "Because of this fact, references to religious holidays, of cultural significance, have a protected place in the classroom. Schools are absolutely allowed to observe holidays and to reference the existence, date of, and cultural activities associated with the holiday."

The teacher plans on showing the USJF opinion to the principal and fellow instructors today, and will take it to the district's superintendent, if the campus remains a "no-Christmas zone."

Crackdowns on Christmas have made national news elsewhere this week.

As WorldNetDaily reported Tuesday, a public-interest law firm filed suit in federal court alleging that a "Holiday Displays" policy for New York City public schools is discriminatory against the Christian religion.

In its suit, the Thomas More Law Center said the district's policy "unlawfully discriminates against Christians" because it "prohibits the display of [Christian] Nativity scenes" in public schools during Christmas, while it "expressly permits and encourages" the display of the Jewish Menorah and the Islamic Star and Crescent during certain religious holidays and observances.

Meanwhile in Yonkers, N.Y., a superintendent who reportedly directed school officials to limit holiday decorations to generic season's greetings, has now clarified his order.

According to the White Plains Journal News, interim Superintendent Angelo Petrone had issued a memo last week stating that "decorations in the schools should be limited to 'Happy Holidays' or 'Season's Greetings.'"

Staff at 12 of 42 city schools tore down bulletin boards and scrapped lesson plans tied to the holidays based on what Petrone said was a misinterpretation of the previous memo, which also stated that it's difficult to decorate buildings to accommodate all the different cultures and asked officials not to promote "any particular religious tenor."

"My expectation was that they use common sense," he said. "It did not mean holiday decorations needed to come down. I just wanted them to have sensitivity to the diversity in this district."

Professional Federal Baggage Screener Goes Postal

I have a comforting story here for you out of Windsor Locks, at Connecticut's Bradley International Airport. A federal security screener was fired there on Tuesday after his arrest following "an incident in which he lost his temper with a coworker and threatened to blow up the checkpoint."

I read a story that quoted airport and law enforcement officials as saying that the zero tolerance policy for idle statements about guns or bombs "goes double for employees." How can zero tolerance go double? Somebody explain the math on this to me. I guess it's like getting three death sentences. Airport Director of the Transportation Security Administration Dana Cosgrove said, "We take every threat seriously."

No, you don't. You take every threat seriously but some threats you take twice as seriously because you have a double zero tolerance policy for employees. Federalizing screeners didn't make them professionals overnight, and the screeners didn't fail on 9/11 anyway because the box cutters and such weren't banned.


Less than 1.4% of people in this country who would be classified as “rich” inherited that money.  Liberals love to think otherwise, but facts is facts.  Most of the nation’s wealthy got that way the hard way, they worked for it.


That, according to a study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, is the annual death toll from traffic accidents caused by people yapping on hand-held cell phones.  Another 330,000 are injured.  What’s 2600 lives when it means your ability to shoot the breeze with your friends on a telephone while negotiating expressway traffic at 70 miles per hour.   We coped without this distraction for over 80 years on our roads, now it has become an absolute necessity.

America Rocks
Never forget that this is the greatest country the world has ever known.


JACKSON, Mich.--As the war on terrorism continues and as war with Iraq appears to loom ominously in the not so distant future, Americans must be equally vigilant to remain thankful that we live in the greatest country the world has ever known.

Thanksgiving is a very important holiday and celebration in the Nugent household. We don't believe that Thanksgiving, as some retailers would try to lead us to believe, is a mere bump in the road between Halloween and Christmas, but a very special holiday that naturally comes during the hunting season as we finish up the natural season of harvest. It is fitting that we celebrate all of the blessings that God has bestowed upon our family and America.

Thanksgiving is not an anachronism whose time is past. It is much more than a holiday to celebrate a meal shared between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. It is a time to reflect and be thankful for what we have--not for what we cherish, desire or envy. Rich or poor, every American has many things to be thankful for, not the least of which is that we live in a country where our freedom and individual dedication and hard work define the limits to your success, whatever your aspirations, dreams and goals may be. The American Dream is still yours for the making. Be very thankful for that. More importantly, be smart enough to seize it.

With our men and women in the military in harms way defending freedom, we should be thankful that many of our young people have answered the call of patriotism and love of country to serve in our armed forces and defend our way of life. Without their numerous personal sacrifices and the sacrifices of generations of veterans who have gone before them, there would be little in America to be thankful for. Say a prayer this Thanksgiving for our brave warriors who are separated from their loved ones by thousands of miles.

We should all be thankful for corporate America and the smart, savvy men and women who are steering their companies through turbulent economic times. Contrary to the high-profile news reports of the past year concerning the very immoral and criminal acts of some of the officers of Enron, Global Crossing and Worldcom, these morally bankrupt company officers remain the pathetic exception rather than the rule in the American free enterprise system.

There are untold tens of thousands of honest people with high moral and ethical standards at the helm of American businesses. I know some of them, have worked with others, and admire many more of them for their business acumen. These leaders rarely make the news for doing what is best for their companies, but they are out there nonetheless trying to find innovative ways to expand existing markets and open up new business channels so their companies will be profitable, stockholders will make money, and millions of Americans will have good jobs for years to come. Capitalism is the fuel that propels this experiment in self-government forward. Be thankful for those ethical, dedicated people who steer American businesses.

Having met tens of thousands of Americans in my music and hunting travels over the past 40 years, I'm buoyed and thankful that the American spirit still soars high on the wings of an eagle. From cops to priests to firemen to guitar players, the rugged, defiant American spirit that has built and nurtured America is alive, prospering and kicking. I remain convinced America is the land of hard working, caring, law abiding people who go about their daily lives trying to provide a better life for their families, which, in the final analysis, leads to a more vibrant America overall. Rush hour and traffic jams are beautiful things. They prove we rock.

America isn't at a social or political crossroads as some will try to tell us. Those who believe that would have told you 500 years ago that the earth was flat. Thirty years ago they would have been stoned on LSD, drooling and dancing naked at a Grateful Dead concert. My advice is to avoid these people. They will always gravitate towards the negative. Take it from an old, cocky rock 'n' roll guitar player whose God-given senses remain finely tuned: America's best days are in front of us.


Across the country state and local governments are coming up short on tax revenues.  The answer?  Raise taxes, of course.  But, hold on.   There seems to be something wrong with the people.  They aren't just sitting back and taking it any more.  It’s amazing!  People are actually saying no to higher taxes!  It’s about damned time. Americans are facing a higher total tax burden today than ever before in the history of our country, and that includes during World War II.  In addition to the income taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes that are taken out of our paychecks, we have sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, taxes on phone bills, taxes on cable bills, taxes on gasoline, taxes on airline tickets, rental cars, hotels, and many of our vices. When we change tires or batteries on our cars there’s an extra tax to pay, and all of this gets added on to the 20 to 30% imbedded taxes in every consumer item and service we purchase.

When you or I need some extra money, we either have to borrow it, earn it, or cut our spending somewhere else. If we simply go out there and take it from someone by force, we have committed a crime and can be sent to jail.  When government needs some more money it can just grab its guns, march out there and grab it.    No need to earn.  No need to save.  No need to borrow.  Just TAKE.  And government will just keep on taking as long as you keep sending them back to their plush offices with your continued support.

Maybe this is all changing now. We can only hope.


In the great debate over who pays what taxes, you will sometimes hear some mindless leftist put forth the “fact” that marginal tax rates for the “rich” have declined by more than 30% in recent decades.  The case will probably be made with a statement something like this:  “The top tax rate on the rich used to be 70%.  Now it’s only 39%.  That over a 30% reduction, so the rich should just pay up and quit whining.”

Here’s your rebuttal.  At the time when tax rates were 70% those who fell in those tax brackets had a very long list of deductions.   Interest of any kind, whether it was a personal loan, credit card, car loan or real estate was deductible.  The rules for deductibility of business and real estate laws were much more liberal.  There were many tax shelters available to these people also.  When the tax rates went down, those deductions disappeared. 

The only way you can get a grip on what has happened to these tax rates is to figure out what percentage of a person’s gross income is being paid in federal income taxes.  That figure is much higher today than it was when the tax rates on taxable income were at 70%. 

We do have a problem here though.  The type of person who would make that argument about how tax rates have fallen is not the type of person who would understand the difference between gross income and taxable income.  So, maybe it would be better if you just laughed, turned and walked away.  Remember, this hatred of the rich, born of envy, is stronger than you would ever suspect. 

To be a Democrat, you have to believe that:

  1. The AIDS virus is spread by a lack of funding.
  2. Trial lawyers are selfless heroes and that doctors are overpaid.
  3. Global temperatures are affected more by a suburban soccer mom driving an SUV than by documented, cyclical variations in the brightness and intensity of the sun.
  4. Guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the hands of Saddam Hussein.
  5. Businesses create oppression and government creates prosperity.
  6. Self-esteem is more important than doing anything to earn it.
  7. There was no art before federal funding.
  8. The NRA is a bad organization because it stands up for certain parts of the Constitution, but the ACLU is a good organization because it stands up for certain parts of the Constitution.
  9. Taxes are too low but ATM fees are too high.
  10. Standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas are not.
  11. ANY change in the weather is proof of global warming.
  12. National wealth is determine by what we consume, not by what we produce.
  13. The only wars in which America should become involved are those in which our national security is not at risk.
  14. Perjury and obstruction of justice are impeachable if a Republican president commits them but a harmless, private matter if a Democrat president commits them.
  15. America can have a strong military without spending money on it.
  16. The way to improve public school is to give more money and power to the very people who have misused that power and money to destroy the public schools.
  17. Hunters and fishermen do not care about the environment but pasty-faced activists that rarely venture out-of-doors do.
  18. A bureaucrat living in Washington, D.C. can make better decisions about how to spend the money that you earn than you can.
  19. Being a movie or television star qualifies you to speak out on public policy.
  20. Hillary Clinton is a wonderful example for young women of feminine independence even though she has never accomplished anything worthwhile without riding on the coattails of her husband.
  21. A handful of religious whackos living in rural Texas are more of a threat to public safety than Islamic terrorists who wish to plant bombs in major American cities.
  22. Passing new laws are a much better way to curb crime than enforcing the existing ones.
  23. Tax cuts are for people who don’t actually pay income taxes.

Jesse Mad As Hell, May Appoint Senator

Jesse Ventura walked out of the Wellstone memorial/pep rally, along with Trent Lott and the word now is that he's so mad that he may name an interim senator, just to gum up the works for the Democrats.

AP reports: "Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, upset by what he felt was a partisan tone of a memorial service to honor the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, said he will try to appoint an independent instead of a Democrat to fill Wellstone's seat until a new candidate is certified.

Ventura had said he favored a replacement from Wellstone's party, but that was before he walked out of Tuesday night's memorial service.
`'I will try to find an independent,' Ventura said Wednesday on a talk radio show. He did not say who he might name."

Keep a sharp eye on this one, folks.

The primary reason people are not flying?

It's not fear of terrorism. It's the time and trouble it takes to go through the absurd security screening processes.  I used to look forward to flying commercial, and I still like it, but the security screeners and the rules they operate under cause me to make other plans.


Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will.  But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.  I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.

Thomas Jefferson


Yes, as a matter of fact I do like to rag on government schools.  They’re simply horrible.  Every time I illustrate another idiotic outrage from the wonderful world of government schools another parent somewhere in this country dedicates themselves to the cause of getting their child out of the clutches of government and into a private school for an actual education.

This time it’s  Pensacola High School. 

Teresa Elenz is a sophomore.  She’s a member of the International Baccalaureate program for high achieving students.  Teresa is also a member of the National Honor Society and is listed in Who’s Who Among American High School Students.  She wants to attend Texas University and study astronomy.

Another character in our story.  Robert K. Sites III.  Sites is a middle school technology coordinator in the Escambia School District, the same district where you will find Pensacola High.  Sites showed up at work earlier this year bonked out on cocaine.

Teresa Elenz found a bag of pills on the campus at PHS.  Some over-the-counter pills, one for seizures, one a muscle relaxant.  Teresa was afraid to turn the pills in.  She thought she might get punished.  Some other student saw them, however, and turned her in.  Now she is being suspended from school.  She’s afraid that a suspension for drugs is going to destroy any chances for a scholarship.

Robert Sites?  Well, they tried to fire him for reporting to work at a government school high on cocaine.  They couldn't.  A judge ruled that the teacher’s union contract protected him from being fired.

So, here’s the situation.  A teacher’s union member who shows up at school high on drugs can’t be fired.   A student who finds a bag of medication, not mind-altering drugs, on the campus will be suspended.

And this is how we teach our children critical thinking skills?

This idiocy has to stop.

Associated Quotes

The common good comes before the private good.
 Nazi slogan

We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.
Hillary Clinton


Reports out today that some schools around the country are having to suspend or change their vaccination requirements for students.  Reason?   A shortage of vaccines.  Blame this on two things.  First, there is only one company out there that makes most of these vaccines.  The demand is high, but only one company in the business.  That would be because of liability.  There are lawyers out there who make their entire living doing nothing but filing lawsuits against companies that make vaccines.  All you have to do is present a sick child to a jury, blame it on the vaccination, and you’re in the big bucks.  And, the second reason.  Government regulation and control.  You think things are bad now, you think its tough to get vaccine now, just let the government strengthen its control over medical care and drug production in this country.

Remember, if you want an MRI in America, you can be getting one this afternoon. In Canada, and oh how our politicians like to brag about Canada, the wait is seven months. 


A quiz for all your wizened citizens who think that those Democrats are all that lies between you and no Social Security Checks.

Here we go.  Test your knowledge. 

Q: Which party took Social Security from an independent fund and put it in the general fund so that Congress could spend it?
A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which party put a tax on Social Security?
A: The Democratic party.

Q: Which party increased the tax on Social Security?
A: The Democratic Party with Al Gore casting the deciding vote.
Q.  Which party decided to give money to immigrants?
A: That's right.  Immigrants moved into this country at age 65 and got SSI Social Security. The Democratic Party gave that to them although they never paid a dime into it

Then, after doing all this, the Democrats turn around and tell you it is the Republicans want to take your Social Security.

And the worst part about it is, you believe it!

We're A Nation Of Total Idiots!

The first report is on a teacher who was reprimanded and criticized for using the word "niggardly" during a discussion about literary characters. Despite what idiots may think, this word has nothing to do with race. It goes back to at least the 14th Century, and simply means stingy and miserly.

Regardless, a parent in Wilmington, NC was offended, so this fourth grade teacher is being sent to sensitivity training. I wonder if they're going to ban the cleaning solution "Spic & Span," folks? I wonder if anyone will be fired for saying this is a "black mark" against this person. How about saying there are "chinks in the armor" or talking about Guinea Pigs or sauerkraut?

The term niggardly predates the popular rap term and slur, folks. When an aide to DC Mayor Anthony Williams used the word in 1999, the UK Daily Telegraph explained that the racial insult "comes from the Latin niger, 'black.' Niggard is first recorded from the 14th century. Both Chaucer and Wyclif use it." Merriam-Webster dates the word from 1571, and defines it as (1) grudgingly mean about spending or granting: begrudging; (2) provided in meanly limited supply.

If this is the standard, why are guys like Eminem walking around free when they use the real word, not just a totally unrelated word that sounds like it? Why do NFL players say it constantly on the sidelines? They have free speech, as they should, yet this teacher is banned for using an unrelated word!

Along these same lines comes our second story from St. Petersburg, Florida. During a discussion about lighting on stage, a high school teacher told her students that they should not get a tan because the darker someone's skin, the harder it is to light them on stage.

For saying, "lighter is better," the teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave. I don't think there's any racism here. I just think she's stupid to say tanning is bad if you want to be an actor. The best argument against this is all the work George Hamilton gets.


He who dares not offend cannot be honest.

Thomas Paine

Why Did Bush OK Medical Record Sharing?

On Friday, the Bush administration announced new changes to medical "privacy" rules promulgated by the Clinton administration.

Of course, the new rules completely opened the barn door for massive abuse of your personal, confidential medical records.

Under the Clinton rules, patients needed to sign a consent form to have their records released – but even that requirement was a joke. Under those rules, doctors and medical providers could have you sign a waiver of consent before even seeing a doctor. If you refused to sign, under the Clinton plan you could have been refused treatment.

Now the Bush rules, promulgated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, go even further than the Clinton rules. Doctors don't even need to get patients' consent to share their medical records with others – they just need to make a good-faith effort to keep records confidential.

The Bush rules also keep open the use of your medical records for marketing purposes by third-party marketing firms and pharmaceuticals.

Obviously, the Bush administration knows this issue is a loser; that's why the new rules were announced on Friday – just in time for the weekend graveyard for news.

Why is the Bush administration moving ahead with such rules?

Pharmaceutical companies made mega-donations to the Republican Party and the Bush 2000 campaign. These same companies want access to medical records to increase their ability to sell drugs to consumers.

No matter, the new changes to medical records pose a significant threat to your right to privacy. It should be opposed by citizens of all political parties.

Let's Roll!

Can we not speak our minds any more in this country? Do we not have free speech? You don't have to listen to something you don't want to hear - you have a right to speak but not a right to be heard - so why are the super-sensitive, political correct Nazis constantly trying to censor us? On Wednesday, Bobby Bowden was getting all kinds of grief because his Florida State Seminoles voted to use "let's roll" as their motto this year.

Well, this is still a great country. The Todd Beamer Foundation responded by supporting the use of those words - the last, of course, heard spoken by Todd Beamer before he and other passengers stormed the cockpit of their hijacked plane on September 11th. The foundation is praising and thanking Coach Bowden. They are honored that "let's roll" is being used to motivate and inspire the team to be the best it can be. Amen! Besides, that phrase was around way back in the days of the Transformers, and probably started when the wheel was invented.

What is this new hyper-sensitivity? We're so excited to shut people up when we hear something that makes us uncomfortable? It happened with the Cincinnati Reds. Their GM Jim Bowden said, "If players want to strike, they ought to just pick September 11, because that's what it's going to do to the game. I don't think there's going to be a work stoppage. I don't think anybody's that dumb. If they do walk out, make sure it's September 11. Be symbolic. Let [Players' Association head] Donald Fehr drive the plane right into the building, if that's what they want to do." He was fined and almost stripped of his job.

He was just drawing analogy to what he thinks is going to happen to baseball if there's a strike. He was not comparing it to the death of 3,000 people. They say they can't allow this kind of statement to represent major league baseball's "image." Image? Have you seen a sports page lately? It's all steroids and strike talk. The image of baseball is so low, the people in the game look and up they see the gutter.

I'm in the free speech business, and we're getting way too casual about banning speech we don't like. So, here's to Bobby Bowden and the Todd Beamer Foundation for standing up for what's right and good in America, and for free speech at the same time. I know some of you worrywarts are out there. Your day is ruined by the fact that somebody might say, "let's roll" to motivate a football team. Get a life. Get real. Get on a roll yourself. Find out what one is like!


The Washington Times is dealing with this subject today in a column by Balint Vazsonyi.  The writer says that the following sign should be posted at all of the nation’s airports:


"If you choose to enter this building, you will be suspected of attempting to smuggle weapons capable of inflicting serious bodily harm or death, and of plotting to cause material damage to these United States as well as potentially fatal injury to its citizens. Federal authorities have determined to place you under suspicion because 19 Arab Muslims, having so plotted for years, and having executed their plans with no interference whatsoever by U.S. authorities, succeeded in what you now stand accused of planning to do. You have to be cleared of the above charges prior to proceeding to a gate area."

And now for the actual stories!

We go to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.  Here we have an 80-year-old World War II veteran trying to get through security.  Fred Hubbell is tired and cranky, as an 80-year-old has a right to be.   He’s already had his luggage searched.  They've patted him down, several times.  He has had his shoes off.  Now they’re going through his wallet.  He looks at the so-called security screener and asks “What do you expect to find in there, a rifle?”  Bingo!  Handcuffs!  The next thing you know Fred is in those handcuffs being hauled through the terminal by police officers on his way to a holding cell.  He’s fingerprinted, his mug shot was taken, he is given his Miranda rights and told he can have one phone call to contact his lawyer.   He ends up being fined for “creating a public disturbance.”  Hubbell didn't create the disturbance.  The federalized airport security screeners did.

The Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan has been having some problems also. One 80-year-old woman was told to drop her pants after she set off the alarm.  Then a 40-year-old woman from Holland was made to disrobe from the waist up after she set off the alarm.   This woman had undergone a double mastectomy.   Her implants contained metal staples.

Now we go to LAX.  A visitor from England is trying to get on a flight to England with a GI Joe doll she bought in Las Vegas.  The GI Joe doll happens to have a little two-inch plastic rifle.  Yup, you guessed it.  The two-inch plastic rifle was confiscated and the woman was forced to put GI Joe in her checked luggage.

Know this.  There is no way anyone of rational mind can ever take our efforts at airport security seriously unless and until the limited security resources we have are directed at the people who constitute the threat.  Eighty year-old women with double mastectomies aren't a threat.  Two-inch plastic rifles on GI Joe dolls can do no harm.  A joke by a weary traveler about rummaging through a wallet to find a rifle is harmless.

It’s time for this nonsense to stop, and the way to make that happen is to make sure your elected representatives know how you feel, and to choose other travel options until sanity returns to the nation’s airports.

The Road To Success!

Follow your dreams, remain dedicated to your desires, and don't listen to anybody or anything but your dreams.

Massachusetts Government Corporate Ethics?

The left has a bizarre notion of "corporate ethics." The Acting Governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift, a Republican but a Republican from that socialist state, is begging the state's three largest drugstore chains to "reconsider their decision to withdraw from the state's Medicaid program." Yes, she wants them to stay in business even though the companies can no longer keep filling Medicaid prescriptions without losing money.

The big government solution? Why, they'll just force CVS, Walgreens and Brooks Pharmacy to fill the prescriptions by passing a law! Does this sound like the United States of America? There's no profit in these Medicaid prescriptions, and the companies don't want the hassle and potential lawsuits. Oh, and before you think "profit" is a dirty word, ask if you want to get a pay cut or fired or work for free because your company can't turn a profit.

I told you this was coming. I told you that all of this was going to be used by the left as an attack on capitalism, and now it's come full circle. We always thought corporate responsibility meant doing the right thing, being honest with your accounting, stock options, stock price and not trying to manipulate the truth a'la Bill Clinton. No, no, no, no. Corporate responsibility means keeping your doors open even if you lose money and can't pay your employees or stockholders.

This is like everything else the left comes up with. It's not a solution; it's only the beginning of a new problem. They don't live in reality.


There's a reason people flee taxes. It's because they're too high and too punitive. Let me ask you people a question and I will use myself as an example:

I live in Florida. There's no state income tax here. If I were to decide tomorrow to move to California or New York or back to Massachusetts and pay higher taxes, would I be a better person, or would I be an idiot? I would be an idiot. If I wanted to live there, I'd be there, except why do you think I don't? I don't want to be a slave to the governments of those states. I'll give my money when and where and to whom I wish, without having a bunch of socialists redistribute it so they can buy votes.

Insane "War On Drugs"!

  1. The government should use its police power to punish people for what they do to other people, not for what they do to themselves.  Once the government assumes the power to deprive us of life, liberty or property solely because of things we do to ourselves any sense that we own ourselves, that we are sovereign individuals, and that we are safe from an oppressive government, is gone.
  2. The drug war makes all law-abiding American citizens less safe in their homes, at work and on the streets. 
  3. The war on drugs is not only un-winnable; it is also a hideous waste of taxpayer resources, resources that need to be dedicated to combating terrorism and 16-year-old drivers (which sometimes can be the same).
  4. The war on drugs is the principal vehicle (or it was, before the terrorism threat came along) used by government to violate your most basic rights to privacy and property.  Over the past thirty years the federal government has passed laws that allows it to pry into almost every corner of your social and financial life, all in the name of fighting drugs.  My privacy is more important than stalking down a marijuana cigarette in somebody’s living room.
  5. The war on drugs is a power center for politicians.  Politicians love having thousands of heavily armed law enforcement officers and millions of dollars under their direct control; assets that can  be manipulated for the maximum political and reelection advantage.

I don’t think any of us want a bunch of crack heads and teens stoked on marijuana wandering around our neighborhoods.   Ending the war on drugs doesn't mean promoting or approving of drug use.  Also, nobody is suggesting that we shouldn't enforce laws against driving under the influence of drugs and other such misbehaviors.  Simply apply the same laws we use to control public drunkenness to combat those who inflict their drug-induced behavior on others.  Drive under the influence, lose your license.  Hell, take away the car for all I care, but NOT because the person did drugs, but because the person did drugs and then drove a car on the same streets our family members were using to come home from school or work.


Is there anything more dangerous to the cause of liberty than a politician fixated on re-election?


Section 14(a)2 of the Campaign Code promulgated by the Democratic National Campaign Committee:

“In order to be eligible for campaign assistance and funding from the DNCC the candidate must use the words “Social Security” no less than one time in each 30 second television campaign commercial, and no less than two times in each 60 second campaign commercial.  The words “Social Security” must be used in the context of the candidates stated intention to preserve Social Security in its present form.” 

Buying Trouble

Could your grocery list open you up to a terrorism investigation?  This is why I don’t carry one of those grocery store preferred customer cards.  This customer prefers to keep his purchases private.

They thought they were making routine purchases—the innocent, everyday pickups of charcoal and hummus, bleach and sandwich bags, that keep the modern household running. Regulars at a national grocery chain, these thousands and thousands of shoppers used the store's preferred-customer cards, in the process putting years of their lives on file. Perhaps they expected their records would be used by marketers trying to better target consumers. Instead, says the company's privacy consultant, the data was used by government agents hunting for potential terrorists.

The saga began with a misguided fit of patriotism mere weeks after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, when a corporate employee handed over the records—almost literally, the grocery lists—to federal investigators from three agencies that had never even requested them. In a flash, the most quotidian of exchanges became fodder for the Patriot Act.

When the company's legal counsel discovered the breach, she turned for advice to Larry Ponemon, CEO of the consulting firm Privacy Council and a former business ethics professor at Babson College and SUNY. "I told her it's better to be transparent," Ponemon recalls. "Send a notice to loyalty cardholders telling them what happened. She agreed and presented that to the board but they said, 'No, we don't want to hand a smoking gun to litigators.' " The attorney, who has since resigned from the grocery chain, declined through Ponemon to be interviewed or to identify herself or her former employer. To this day, the customers haven't been informed.

"It wasn't a case of law enforcement being egregiously intrusive or an evil agency planting a bug or wiretap. It was a marketing person saying, 'Maybe this will help you catch a bad guy,' " Ponemon says.

As John Ashcroft's Citizens Corps spy program prepares for its debut next month, it seems scores of American companies have already become willing snitches. A few months ago, the Privacy Council surveyed executives from 22 companies in the travel industry—not just airlines but hotels, car rental services, and travel agencies—and found that 64 percent of respondents had turned over information to investigators and 59 percent had lowered their resistance to such demands. In that sampling, conducted with The Boston Globe, half of the businesses said they hadn't decided if they'd inform customers of the change, and more than a third said outright that they wouldn't. Only three said they would go public about the level of their cooperation with law enforcement.

The final destination of all that data scares Ponemon and other civil libertarians, defenders of the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure. Ponemon, for one, suggests federal authorities are plugging the information into algorithms, using the complex formulas to create a picture of general-population trends that can be contrasted with the lifestyles of known terrorists. If your habits match, expect further scrutiny at the least.

"I can't reveal my source, but a federal agency involved in espionage actually did a rating system of almost every citizen in this country," Ponemon claims. "It was based on all sorts of information—public sources, private sources. If people are not opted in"—meaning they haven't chosen to participate—"one can generally assume that information was gathered through an illegal system."

After crunching those numbers through the algorithm, he says, its creators fed in the files of the 9-11 terrorists as a test. "The model showed 89.7 percent accuracy 'predicting' these people from rest of population," Ponemon reports.

Oddly enough, "one of the factors was if you were a person who frequently ordered pizza and paid with a credit card," Ponemon says, describing the buying habits of a nation of college students. "Sometimes data leads to an empirical inference when you add it to other variables. Whether this one is relevant or completely spurious remains to be seen, but those kinds of weird things happen with data."

Adding to this vision of technological dystopia, companies are already developing cameras and other scanners that can seamlessly trace individuals as they wander through stores, going so far as to zoom in on their faces should they linger over an item, to provide retailers with ever more data.

The problem is that, as with the link between take-out pizza and terrorism, statistics don't always prove cause and effect. Mathematician Karen Kafadar of the University of Colorado at Denver explains that such a finding is "a proxy. It just happened to have something that correlated. There's actually something else going on but it's an indicator, like drinking beer and lung cancer might be. Beer doesn't cause lung cancer, but people drinking a lot of beer might also be smoking."

Ponemon is more concerned about process than the data itself. "Total privacy does shelter bad guys, there's no question about that. But transparency is also good," he argues. "There should be some labeling or notice." In theory, consumers and investors could punish offending companies by channeling their money elsewhere. Without honest managers, though, the free market's self-correcting mechanism never gets a chance to kick in.

Librarians have filled their listservs with e-mails sharing strategies for resisting law enforcement attempts to grab hold of their users' book lists. But the corporate world doesn't foster that kind of purist culture. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation came knocking for the names of scuba divers this spring, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors forked over a roll of more than 2 million certified divers without so much as being served a subpoena.

The feds were acting on no specific threat, just a hunch that someone might attack that way. And again, these data dumps are just attempts to do good. Would Attorney General John Ashcroft's new TIPS campaign—the Terrorism Information and Prevention System—encourage people like the mole at the grocery store chain to spill info into the tanks of unethical investigators?

The Department of Justice, which seeks informants in utility, cable, and other such industries operating in communities, denies that it will cultivate sources placed in data-mining operations. "This makes TIPS sound so much more sophisticated than it's going to be," says spokesperson Charles Miller. "This is still in development but it's nothing more than something to make people more aware of what's going on around them, and most people do that now anyway."

Likewise, both the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Central Intelligence Agency denied roles in any sweeping algorithm to measure citizens' potential terrorist leanings. If anything, the FBI has recently been taken to task for being a tin-cans-and-string Luddite organization. But the FBI is a client of the consumer data aggregator ChoicePoint. And a U.S. official tells the Voice, "Can I categorically deny anybody in government is doing it? No."

An admission that the government is combing through purchase records certainly would help explain why, according to the Naples Daily News, federal agents reviewed the shopper-card transactions of hijacker Mohammed Atta's crew to create a profile of ethnic tastes and terrorist supermarket-shopping preferences.

But there's a truly slippery slope here. We live in a nation that for months has held at least 700 people—and possibly hundreds more—incommunicado, with no more solid connection to terrorism than that they were born in Middle Eastern countries.

Privacy may seem like a luxury in a nation at war, but that moral concept lies at the heart of constitutionally guaranteed liberties. That's why so many people are willing to fight for it. A lawsuit filed by John Gilmore, an early employee of Sun Microsystems, aims to restore the anonymity central to the freedom to travel in America. He names Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, and security czar Tom Ridge as defendants, among other officials, along with two airlines. Gilmore wants to prevent security at airports from demanding identification from him, or subjecting him to arduous and invasive searches when he refuses to provide a photo ID. The emphasis, he says, should be on strengthening cockpits and developing "fly by wire" systems to automatically land planes under threat. But our terrorism fears extend well past airlines to water-tainting, dirty bombs, suicide bombers, conventional bombing, or even simply opening fire with an assault weapon in Grand Central Station—the kinds of attacks that are difficult to prevent in an open society.

For now, we rely on tools like algorithms, and algorithms make mistakes. Albrecht notes that in a three-month test period, the Department of Defense investigated 345 employees after a program falsely fingered them for abusing shopping privileges. In another case, an elderly woman was repeatedly stopped and questioned in airports because her name matched that of a young man already in prison for murder—a glitch that may indicate CAPPS or another algorithm is using data illegally, for basic criminal investigation and not anti-terrorism. Further, supermarket records have been seized by Drug Enforcement Agency investigators looking for purchases of small plastic baggies, often used in the drug trade, Albrecht observes.

"I am not a number!" shouted Patrick McGoohan, star of the British TV show The Prisoner, when he rejected life in an idyllic village where he was held and constantly monitored. "I am a free man." Now that this nation is at war with terror, perhaps you'll remain free as long as your "Potential Terrorist Quotient" remains low enough.


You might call this Economics 101.

There are Capital Goods and Consumable Goods. Consumable Goods are anything we use that needs to be constantly manufactured or made. This includes most everything you might find in a supermarket; food, personal hygiene supplies, medicine, and the like. A Capital Good is anything that is used to produce Consumable Goods, such as factories or processing plants that produces the food or medicine. In many cases a Consumable Goods become a Capital Goods, such as automobiles. A factory (a Capital Good) produces Cars (Consumable Goods), and consumers buy them, then use them as Capital Goods to drive to work to produce income (Capital Goods) to buy more Consumable Goods.  

Now, here is how you determine what kind of government you live in: 

If private citizens are allowed to own and control both the Capital Goods and Consumable Goods, you live in a Capitalist society. 

If the Government owns and controls both the Capital Goods and Consumable Goods, you live in a Socialist society. 

If private citizens are allowed to own the Capital Goods, but the Government controls the production of Consumable Goods, you live in a fascist society. 

What kind of Government do we have based on this reasoning? 

Forest Service orders removal of poles flying American flag

If you lease land from the U.S. Forest Service for your vacation home, it might not be such a good idea to fly an American Flag.  The Forest Service seems to have some sort of a problem with that.

The Forest Service has told California vacationers to remove poles flying the U.S. flag from property the service has leased to them.
The order has angered one lawmaker, who has written the government, demanding that it "rescind this silly order."
David Knickerbocker, an Army veteran and retired police officer, has been ordered to remove his flagpole, which has flown the American flag for more than two decades outside his summer cabin in the Eldorado National Forest.
"I feel it is at times like these our country needs to be showing our unity and patriotism, not promoting ill-thought decisions, which prohibit flagpoles on United States soil," Mr. Knickerbocker said in a letter to Rep. Richard W. Pombo, California Republican.
The "no-flagpole order" came from Debbie Gaynor, recreation forester, who said in a letter to Mr. Knickerbocker that "flagpoles are not authorized for recreation residences and must be removed" for him to continue leasing the land.
"My flagpole has been up for more than 23 years, and like many in our cabin tract I am a patriotic American who has a flagpole," Mr. Knickerbocker said.
The Forest Service directive "outraged" Mr. Pombo, who wants Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth to overturn the decision.
"At a time when wildfires are burning up much of the West, and Americans throughout the country face terrorist threats, it would seem to me that USDA Forest Service employees would have better things to do than to tell our citizens not to use flagpoles," Mr. Pombo said in a letter to Mr. Bosworth.
"Are flagpoles more dangerous than forest fires? I urge you to rescind this silly order to remove flagpoles that fly our American flag and urge our field offices to return to more important matters," Mr. Pombo said.
Adding a postscript, Mr. Pombo asked whether Mr. Knickerbocker would "be arrested for saying the Pledge of Allegiance on federal land," referring to the California court decision, later stayed, that declared that the words "under God" made public-school recitation of the Pledge unconstitutional.
A Forest Service spokesman said Mr. Bosworth was out of town Friday and was unable to comment.
The National Interagency Fire Center that day reported that more than 49,000 fires have scorched 3.5 million acres of land this summer. In California, more than 4,000 fires have burned 142,000 acres.
Fire restrictions were placed on the Eldorado National Forest on July 12 through the end of the fire season, meaning that no campfires or charcoal barbecues are permitted outside designated campgrounds.
The forest is located in the central Sierra Nevada, about an hour's drive from Sacramento.
The recreational use of Forest Service land began in the early 20th century, when ¼-acre to ½-acre lots were offered to the public upon which they could build small cabins. Permits are regularly issued, and cabin owners are charged an annual fee.
In addition to general cleanup and clearing fire fuels from the area, Mr. Knickerbocker was ordered to take down a clothesline tied to a tree and to paint his aluminum door a dark color to better match the cabin.
Mr. Knickerbocker also was informed that his hot tub had not been approved by the agency.
"Saunas, spas and hot tubs may be approved if incorporated into the main structure or deck, are not visible by neighbors or from public vantage points, and do not cause negative environmental impacts," according to the regional directives for recreation residences that Miss Gaynor cited in her letter.

L is for lawsuit
Angry that little Johnny flunked, increasing numbers of parents are suing teachers.

Yet another reason why we need a “loser pays” system.  Here’s an article about angry parents suing teachers when the precious little children fail in school.

One of the students in Elizabeth Joice's senior English class at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Ariz., was flirting with failure. In fact, it was much more than a dalliance -- she was flunking. The student, whose name Joice wishes to keep private, had plagiarized a test, skipped classes, failed assignments and even missed a make-up session that might have allowed her to raise her grade. Joice had been sending notices to the girl's parents since April, warning them about the failing grade; and both the girl and her parents had met with assorted district administrators, counselors and Joice herself. But it was all to no avail: It was almost graduation, the girl had blown too many tests, and she wasn't going to walk.

Imagine Joice's surprise then, when on May 22, just one day before senior graduation, she received a letter from a lawyer representing the girl's family. The family felt that the teacher had graded unfairly, the letter said; they believed that their daughter hadn't been given enough of a chance, and unless Joice took "whatever action is necessary to correct this situation" they were going to file a lawsuit.

The girl graduated with her class the next day, igniting a local battle that has yet to be settled. Parents and students are furious that the girl (whose name has been withheld from the media) was given what they believe to be an unfair boost. Teachers are livid at the school district, which forced Joice to retest the student at the last minute. The Arizona state bar is investigating the ethics of the girl's lawyer. And the Peoria school district is defending its decision by claiming that the teacher hadn't applied appropriate grading procedures.

Welcome to high school in America, 2002, where grades are a niggling annoyance that can be swept aside by a well-placed threat, and where teachers and administrators only have authority as long as they don't displease parents. Bad grades, discipline problems, shocking attendance records: Offenses that in the past warranted school action as strong as suspension, dismissal from school or refusal to grant a diploma are easily blocked or reversed -- as long as Dad's got a good lawyer.

The struggle for classroom control comes in an increasingly intimidating school environment where teachers are commanded -- by parents, administrators and the government -- to usher students through a gantlet of tests to graduation without displeasing litigious families or failing to meet performance standards that bring schools added funding or, at the very least, ensure their survival for another year.

Says John Mitchell, deputy director of the American Federation of Teachers, "Teachers are under incredible pressure right now from two places: from policymakers to raise standards and teach to those higher standards. Then on the other side you have parents giving pressure to teachers not to hold kids up to the high standards. Teachers are between a rock and a hard place ... It's an area ripe for lawsuits."

Indeed, the number of threats and lawsuits against teachers and schools -- many of which fail to grab the attention of national media -- has risen dramatically over the last decade, forcing schools to spend limited funds on lawyers and insurance, and teachers to spend more time protecting themselves from potential litigation; and, in the process, instituting defense strategies that are changing education in the country's public schools -- and not for the better. As classroom creativity is curbed by the fear of lawsuits, kids lose the benefits of their teachers' inspiration and replace it with a different kind of lesson: that anything is possible if you have money or a capacity to complain.

Up until the moment when Elizabeth Joice received the letter from lawyer Stan Massad, her struggle with the failing senior was fairly typical. The warnings, the second chances -- it was standard fare until May 22, the day before graduation and the day after a final meeting with the student's parents.

The letter that Massad sent Joice represented the nadir in her long history of parent-teacher relations. The girl had been "scarred for life" by the flunking grade, the letter claimed. "Since hearing this devastating news, the student has been very sick, unable to sleep or eat and she has been forced to seek medical attention." The letter went on to threaten Joice with a lawsuit and its attendant personal discomforts: "Of course, all information regarding your background, your employment records, all of your class records, past and present, dealings with this and other students become relevant, should litigation be necessary," it said.

After she received the letter, Joice immediately sent it to the Sunshine Mountain High School principal and the school district. She also composed her own defiant response: "The student would be a very capable student if she would apply herself, study and get her assignments in on time," she wrote. "Instead of being scarred for life, perhaps she will learn these lessons now, rather than when she is in college or in the work force. I think your clients would be better off investing their money in summer school tuition for the student rather than wasting their money on attorney fees, litigating a case with little likelihood of success."

On the morning of May 23, however, Joice was informed by the school district that she needed to give the student a second chance. "I was told 'You better decide what you are going to do, because that girl is going to walk tonight,'" Joice recalls. Just hours before graduation, Joice was instructed to give the student a second shot at a multiple-choice test she had already flunked once. The girl squeaked by, and was allowed to graduate.

Jack Erb, superintendent of the Peoria School District, swears that the district's decision had nothing to do with the threat of a lawsuit, and claims that he didn't see the lawyer's letter until after they had decided to retest the student. "It isn't an issue; people threaten us all the time and most the time they don't follow through with it," he says. He posits that the decision to retest the student was based on a quirk in Joice's curriculum and grading system.

But after outraged parents and teachers from across the state sent furious letters to the local papers, complaining that the student shouldn't have been granted special privileges, the district finally offered a general apology for its "lack of clear and appropriately enforced internal guidelines regarding grading and curriculum standards." It said nothing about the legal threats, however. (The lawyer, in turn, is now being investigated by the state board of Arizona as to whether his veiled threats to Joice were ethical.)

Regardless of whether the district ultimately caved because it feared a lawsuit, the entire affair draws into relief the conflict currently taking place in classrooms across the country. Higher standards linked to higher stakes for schools have caused educators to be more rigorous. Concerned parents, facing tougher college entrance requirements for their kids, panic when their children falter, often blaming the teachers and schools for their children's failures. The result, of late, is lawsuits, or, most often, threats of lawsuits.

An astounding 25 percent of all secondary schools were involved with lawsuits of all sorts -- from accidental injuries to discipline squabbles -- between 1997 and 1999, according to a 1999 survey by the American Tort Reform Association -- a huge increase over the decade before. While some of these lawsuits were no doubt justifiable, there is no shortage of egregious litigation: Legal expert Walter Olson's site, which chronicles legal ugliness in schools in order to point out the frivolous nature of American litigiousness, lists dozens of overzealous-parent lawsuits similar to threats in Peoria.

There was the lawsuit, for example, filed by 15-year-old Elizabeth Smith in Bath Township, Ohio, who sued her school district and 11 teachers in 2000 for $6 million, claiming that her grades were unfair. The school had lowered her grades because of frequent absences and tardiness, which the Smith family blamed on "chronic tonsillitis" and the fact that she stayed home to put her siblings on the school bus. Meanwhile, in Riverside, Calif., a football player sued his former high school teachers at Murrieta Valley High School for giving him grades that were too high: He claimed that his education suffered because they cut him too much slack so that he could play football.

School discipline is another area where teachers and parents struggle for the upper hand. Lacey Renfro, a high school student in Tennessee, sued the cheerleading coach after she was suspended from a game for disciplinary reasons; Justin Swindler in Pennsylvania sued because he was expelled for soliciting a hit man via his Web site to kill his English teacher; and a father in Tennessee sued two teachers after they confiscated his son's yo-yo on a school trip where toys had been expressly forbidden.

Olson, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, explains that, in the past, most schoolyard litigation grew out of incidents in which kids were barred from sports teams, or fell on the playground, or felt that they were discriminated against under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is rare that a simple grading squabble, such as the one in Peoria, will make it all the way to a court case -- in part because of a 1978 Supreme Court ruling that held that courts shouldn't second-guess a school on academic decisions (those grading squabbles that do make it all the way to lawsuits are usually under the purview of the Disabilities Act -- i.e.: "My kid was disabled and deserved special treatment.")

This doesn't mean that parents still don't threaten lawsuits over grades, however. Olson increasingly hears from school administrators who have received legal threats because of grading complaints and discipline issues. Few of these cases, he says, emerge in the media. "My guess is that the sort of strong-arming seen in the [Peoria] case is not in fact all that rare, but that the great majority of disputes never result in formal court filings and never result in publicity because neither side seeks it," he explains.

Pressure exerted behind the scenes tends to be more insidious than the interaction involved in public lawsuits, which, because they are argued in the open, lack some of the more vicious personal threats and allegations. In Washington D.C., for example, a teacher at the competitive Wilson Senior High School recently discovered that in at least 11 cases, student grades had been raised without the teacher's knowledge, apparently by an administrator who had felt pressured to help the students graduate (although no one has confessed to the act). Teachers who had flunked their students were appalled to see those same students walking across the stage at graduation.

One of those students had been in the Spanish class of teacher Anexora Skvirsky, who had given her a generous D -- and was promptly threatened by the student's father. Although she held her ground against the parent at the time, a year later someone in the administration apparently did not. Although Svirsky has been teaching for 19 years, she says it's only been in the last few years that she's witnessed such "an incredible advocacy" on the part of parents. Although she's never received a legal threat, parents regularly try to get her fired by complaining to the principal.

"It is hellish," she says. "So many times I've had stomachaches, headaches, insomnia, because a parent would call and try to intimidate me or complain about me to the principal with a letter."

Skvirsky places the guilt for the 11 anonymous grade changes squarely on the shoulders of the school's administrators, who she says regularly cave to powerful parents who "move mountains by just complaining." This, say teacher advocacy groups, is becoming a common occurrence, particularly in schools with rigorous academics and demanding parents.

"I'm afraid Peoria is not an anomaly; it's not commonplace but it's not unusual for teachers to be told to change grades," says Mitchell of the American Federation of Teachers. "In most cases the teacher refuses to do it and the administrator does it over their protestations."

But this is not a totally new phenomenon, either. According to Kathleen Lyons, spokesperson for the National Education Foundation, the occasional case in which unhappy parents threatened teachers with lawsuits and retribution if grades weren't raised has always existed. The difference now is that behavior of the last resort has become almost routine.

"There have always been some parents who want a special deal for their child," Lyons says. "There's nothing new there, except that a higher-stakes educational environment and the high stakes of standardized testing has led to high stress. Parents now know it does make a difference how your kids do in school.

"I think there's a lot more riding on it," she adds, "and that does tend to bring out the worst in people: When the stakes are high, you find transgressions."

One solution is to completely standardize education -- testing, grading and discipline -- so that there is no wiggle room in the system for outraged parents and their lawyers. But that resolution already has prompted other kinds of parent lawsuits -- in California and Texas -- that claim that the system is too rigid, and discriminates against their children's special needs.

Worse, total standardization can extinguish all creativity from the classroom. In Peoria, where the school district has reacted to the controversy by writing a new series of standardized rules for the classroom, Joice worries that teachers are ultimately going to become automatons. "We may not be able to be as creative with the units we use, which will be a travesty because every teacher has a specialty and if we can't share that with our students, if it's all black and white, then that's sad," she says. "If that's the case, why they don't just put computers out in the classroom as teachers?"

Even in districts that haven't bowed to pressure with standardized grading, the fear of lawsuits and parental retribution has undermined school programs and teachers' daily routines. Twenty percent of the respondents to the American Tort Reform Association survey, for example, reported spending five to 10 hours a week in meetings or documenting every little action they took with a student, in case of future litigation.

"It takes a lot of time to document everything: You have to document conversations, what you did, what the kids said in class," says Joice. "It will take more effort on the part of teachers if they want to stand up and say what happened."

Besides the simple question of time, lawsuits also come at a high cost for school districts and teachers: even a frivolous lawsuit over a grading dispute, which might be thrown out after just one hearing, can cost $10,000 in lawyers fees. School districts do have liability insurance, of course, as do teachers (some professional teachers organizations, such as the Texas State Teacher's Association, lure members with the promise of $6 million in liability insurance for those moments when "people are reacting with emotion rather than reason"). But that costs money, too.

"Lawsuits have become a great cost for school districts," says Julie Underwood, general counsel for the National School Boards Association. "The entire sub-specialty of education law didn't exist 25 years ago, and now it's a big, recognized sub-specialty. You can't keep track of the number of times that someone comes in to a principal's office and says, 'If you don't do this, I'll sue you.' It's just so commonplace." In fact, she says, all principals now have to undergo education-law classes before they can receive certification.

Finally, the students risk both the quality of their education and their faith in the system. Kids with lackluster achievement records who nevertheless head off to college with satisfactory grades thanks to Mom's strong-arm tactics are probably not going to make it far in higher education. Their classmates, who actually worked hard for their grades, will probably be demoralized too.

"It undermines the hard work of other kids in the classroom, when they see standards change for one student. It erodes the standards, when we really want students to know that standards are meaningful. And for students involved, it really cheats them of a meaningful experience," says Mitchell. "Sometimes failure is the best teacher a student could have."

Social Security

One of the two greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the American people (the other being the idea that the United States is or is supposed to be a democracy).  Any private company that tried to sell a private insurance, retirement and disability program modeled after Social Security would be shut down by either the federal or state government and the company’s officers put in jail.  Social Security thrives on the demagoguery of the Democratic Party and the stupidity of the American voter.  It violates the basic tenants of economic liberty and robs middle and lower income Americans of a comfortable retirement.   

Small repair shops fight automakers

Now this is pretty tacky.  Major automakers won’t tell small auto repair shops how to fix their newer cars.

    Car manufacturers are not sharing vital information needed by independent repair shops to fix cars, and those shops say it is threatening their businesses.
  Cars are becoming more complex and require sophisticated systems to diagnose and repair them. But independent service stations say manufacturers are not supplying them with the codes needed for diagnosis and repair, thus forcing many consumers to go to the dealerships for fixes.
     Bill Moss, an owner and service director at Auto Advantage in Manassas, said it is a "huge" problem, but so far he has not had to turn customers away.
     "Smaller shops are where they have to tell the customer they don't have the equipment to fix the cars," Mr. Moss said. "The dealers don't have to buy the equipment we do; they lease it. So when that piece of equipment becomes obsolete, they turn it in."
     Bill Haas, vice president of the Automotive Service Association, says the information lockout is putting independent shops at a competitive disadvantage.
     "The technicians are competent and capable, but they are not able to perform. The information has been locked out," he said. "Truth is, the technicians the independents employ are just as well-trained, competent and capable as the technicians the manufacturers employ."
     Car manufacturers counter that they are simply protecting their intellectual property and ensuring that their cars get fixed right.
     "It is in the manufacturer's best interest that the car is repaired properly," said Eron Shosteck, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
     Mr. Moss, who works at a BMW-only repair facility, said BMW is particularly proprietary and Volvo is "notoriously difficult to get information from." To counteract the lack of information, Mr. Moss talks to other mechanics in the same situation, and they are in contact with BMW USA to try and reach an agreement to help alleviate the situation.
     Most cars are manufactured with onboard diagnostic computers.
     When the car malfunctions, the computer alerts the driver. Mr. Shosteck said problems arise when small repair shops replace malfunctioning parts with those that are not manufacturer authorized, which creates confusion for the computer.
      If the car malfunctions again, the malfunction will be misdiagnosed, the codes will be incorrect to fix the car and more damage will be done.
     Mr. Haas speculates the manufacturers are pressuring the dealerships to offer repair services to help retain business and make money because sales have not been as profitable. He also said the manufacturers might be afraid of being left vulnerable to a lawsuit.
     "Ultimately, the consumer will have no choice but to go to the dealer," Mr. Haas said.
     "We believe consumers should choose."
     One lawmaker agrees that manufacturers should do more to share information about their cars. Sen. Paul Wellstone, Minnesota Democrat, has introduced legislation that would encourage manufacturers to release the information and allow the smaller, independent auto-repair shops to do their jobs.
     "It's a problem for car owners because they don't have the choice," Allison Dobson, spokeswoman for Mr. Wellstone said. "It's a matter of safety. If you take a car trip, and you end up in a small town with no dealership, you could be in trouble. This is an important issue on a lot of different levels."
     Mr. Moss believes the legislation is critical because it addresses an issue that is fairly new. A ripple effect is also possible when word gets out that vehicles from a certain manufacturer are difficult to service and repair outside of the dealership. Once word gets out, Mr. Moss believes, that manufacturer will lose business because people will go to another manufacturer for vehicles that independents are able to service.
     Mr. Wellstone's bill is ready for a hearing in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and he is prepared to go through with the legislation, though he would be happy if it did not have to come to that, Miss Dobson said.
     "The last thing we need in this country is another industry where all the little guys are driven out," Miss Dobson said. "It's certainly not good for consumers. It doesn't ensure that we have the safest cars on the road."

Cow Falls on Car, Driver Injured

VIENNA, Austria –– Drivers in farming regions know to be on the lookout for animals that stray onto the road, but even the most cautious seldom scan the heavens for livestock.

A 36-year-old woman should have been doing that Thursday when a cow strayed from a hillside pasture to the top of a tunnel entrance and then fell onto her car.

The woman was hospitalized with minor chest and foot injuries. Her husband, in the passenger seat, was unharmed. The cow died after being hit when it fell 15 feet just as the car was leaving the tunnel.

Pigs Can't Fly?

Big news out of Paw Paw, Michigan - Northwest Airlines won't allow a Vietnamese potbellied pig to fly in the passenger cabin. Never mind the rule making "passengers of stature" buy two seats. This is an issue that's really going to enrage the nation. You know how people love their pets. This is porcine profiling!

They used to let the potbellied pig fly in the cabin with small dogs and cats, but they decided now that the pig, named Pork Chop, must ride with the luggage and other animals in stowage. This, even though Pork Chop fits under the seat. This is a star pig! She's part of Alicia Dacoba of Michigan's ventriloquism act, folks.

The team was scheduled to appear on a Fox Broadcasting Network series called 30 Seconds of Fame in July. Ms. Dacoba says that Pork Chop has never caused problems in flight, fits right under the seat, and that this is discrimination. Just thought you ought to know what's going on out there. Wait a minute, wouldn't a pig on board be the ideal deterrent to a Muslim terrorist?


That phrase, “Only in America,” we've all heard it hundreds of times, right?  Think about this.  I heard someone of note say that America is the only country in the world who’s name is used in that way.  Nobody says “Only in France,” "Only in Africa," or “Only in Finland.”  It’s “Only in America.”

In spite of our troubles and apparent turmoil, this country is still the envy of the World.   Those who escape tyranny don’t aspire to move to Argentina.  We’re it, folks. The Top Dogs.  The envy of the rest of mankind.


Earlier this week a commercial airliner made what you might call an emergency landing in Detroit.  It seems there was a gun on board.  A passenger had a pistol.  Don’t get excited.  It was all quite legal.  The passenger was supposed to have a pistol.  He was a Postal Inspector with the U.S. Postal Service.  He is legally empowered to carry a gun by the Imperial Federal Government.  He showed his identification to the security screeners before he boarded the airplane.  No problem.  The problem was that he failed to submit the proper paperwork to the airline itself.  The flight was already airborne when the airline was finally informed, and the pilot elected to land and check things out.  The Postal Inspector was questioned and everything was hunky dory.

Why is this such an extraordinary story?  Think about it for a minute.  Just what does a Postal Inspector do?  Inspect mail fraud?   Try to figure out which postal employees might be pilfering things from the mail?  Track down neighborhood criminals who put “Will mow your lawn for $10.00” notices in federally controlled mailboxes?   Face it, these guys aren't exactly Clancy material, but they’re allowed to carry handguns on commercial airliners, and the pilots can’t?  Some Postal Inspector on the way to Sioux Falls to arrest a postal employee who has been ripping centerfolds out of Penthouse magazines can carry a gun on the airplane but the man in the front left seat who is responsible for the safety of the flight cannot?  Have we gone nuts?

There are other government employees who are permitted to carry firearms.  Here are some tasty little facts.  Smithsonian curators can carry guns.  Airline pilots cannot.  Agriculture Inspectors can carry guns.  Airline pilots cannot.  Some Park Service employees can carry guns.  Airline pilots cannot. The list goes on and on.


Sunday morning the talking head shows were on the tube.  They were running a view poll.  The question was something like “Do Americans have a right to health care.”

Now, using logic, we will dispense with this notion quite quickly and effectively.

First of all, think about the right to free speech, religion, assembly, the press, etc.  Does anyone else have to sacrifice any portion of their life or any of their property in order for you to enjoy these rights?  No.  Nobody has to surrender one second of their life nor one small smidgen of their property in order for our government to protect your right to say what you want, pray how you want, gather with whom you want or read a free press. 

Now, what about medical care.  Medical care consists of the personal services of medical personnel, and the benefits offered by medical equipment and drugs.  In order for you to receive medical care some individual somewhere has to either offer you a personal service such as an examination, or some equipment such as a wheelchair or a sling, or some medication.  The personal service is an expenditure of a portion of someone’s life.  The equipment and drugs constitute someone’s property.  The claim of  a “right” to medical care is a claim of a “right” to a portion of someone’s life or to someone’s property. 

And that, my friends, should end THAT argument. 

75-year-old shoots at attempted carjacker

I just love this!  A 75-year-old man shoots an attempted teenage carjacker.  Sadly, the perpetrator didn't die.

A 75-year-old Gainesville man shot at a teen-ager who was attempting to steal his car Friday night, according to Gainesville Police.

The teen-ager, 17-year-old Metika Ford, told the man, William Hunt, that she had a gun and demanded his car keys, police said. Hunt, who has a concealed-weapons permit, then pulled out his revolver. Police said that after Ford noticed the gun, she tried to grab it from his hand.

During the ensuing scuffle, the revolver went off twice, with some fragments hitting Ford in the leg.

John Gardiner, an employee of the nearby Hogan’s Heroes restaurant who called 911, said one of the bullets had also grazed Hunt’s hand.

Ford, who had fled into Books-a-Million nearby, was arrested and later charged with one count of attempted car jacking. Police say they have no plans to charge Hunt.


"100% of the successful terrorist attacks on commercial airlines for 20 years have been committed by Arabs. When there is a 100% chance, it ceases to be a profile. It's called a 'description of the suspect."

Student gets diploma after threatening lawsuit

Non happy with your grades? Just threaten to sue your teachers.

A threatening letter from her lawyer and an opportunity to retake an exam hours before graduation helped a West Valley high school student get her diploma last month. On May 22, Stan Massad, a Glendale attorney representing the Peoria family, faxed a letter to (English teacher Elizabeth) Joice asking her to take "whatever action is necessary" for the student to graduate or the family would be forced to sue.  "Of course, all information regarding your background, your employment records, all of your class records, past and present, dealings with this and other students becomes relevant, should litigation be necessary," he wrote to the teacher.

Thomas Jefferson Quote

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. – Thomas Jefferson, 1764

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. – George Washington

We suffer most when the White House busts with ideas. – H.L. Mencken


It’s Tuesday, May 29th.  The time is about 6:00 p.m.  The place, the screening station at MCO, Orlando International Airport.  And just who is that man standing back there with his arms outstretched?  Who is that man being patted down?  Who is that man taking his shoes off?  Why, it’s the Governor?  The president’s brother!  The wonderful screeners at Orlando were giving the full treatment to Governor Jeb Bush!

There you go.  Any security screening system that would submit the Governor of a State, the president’s brother, to the full search is clearly and obviously broken. 

It’s all for show.  As that Israeli expert said, we are looking for weapons while we should be looking for terrorists.  If the security effort was focused on finding PEOPLE who are threats instead of nail clippers we would all be a lot safer.

Another one for you.  This one from SFO, San Francisco International.  Greg Miller received an injury to his jaw.  As a result his jaw was wired shut.  There is one real big problem with having your jaw wired shut.  What if you need to barf? Simple, you would choke to death.  You would die.   Drown in your own vomit.  The solution?  Wire clippers.  You carry a small pair of wire clippers with you wherever you go.  So, that’s what Greg Miller did.  He carried wire clippers.  His wire clippers had a sticker on them from his local airport stating that the clippers were a medical necessity.

Greg Miller arrives at the San Francisco airport.  The security screener won’t let him through.  Not with those wire clippers.  Miller tries to explain.  The screener won’t let him through.  Miller tries to get help from the American Airlines official on duty.  The American Airlines hack was “too busy” just then to help Miller.  Finally Miller gave up the clippers and got on the airplane.  The flight attendants told him that they had nothing they could use to pry his jaws apart should he run into turbulence thus causing nausea and an episode of vomiting.  He did make it home to College Station, Texas OK.  American Airlines says they'll look into it.

How did Greg Miller hurt his jaw?  He was shot.   Shot by a sniper.  Shot by a Taliban sniper.  Shot near Kandahar.  He was shot fighting the war on terrorism.

Again, concentrating on the weapon instead of the person.

What idiocy!


You need to be a bit careful who you sent e-mail to these days.  One keystroke … and it’s gone.  No pulling it back out of your mailbox.  It’s gone.

This is what happened to one of the staffers to a Democratic Congresswoman from Ohio, Marcy Kaptur.  Kaptur, being a good, loyal Democrat, is being counted on to be a full participant in Democrat Party efforts to frighten older Americans during this election year.  Frighten them how?   Scare them by making them believe that Republicans want to take away their precious Social Security checks.

So – here’s what happened.   One of Kaptur’s congressional staffers sits down to write an opinion piece on Social Security.  The piece discusses President Bush’s plan to “privatize” Social Security.  It likens Bush’s plan to “corporate gambling.” The piece will presumably be offered to the media for publication.  After this (as yet unnamed) staffer finishes the piece it is sent to other Democratic staffers for comment.    In time the e-mail memo containing the opinion piece is expanded by comments from other staffers.  At this point someone slips up.  The e-mail memo, complete with the opinion piece and the comments, gets sent to a Republican staff member.  

Oops.  Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Now … the “smoking gun.”  In that memo is a note from another Kaptur staff member.  This note says that the opinion piece is “not entirely factually accurate.”  The note then says “Talk about scaring seniors – this may be a little over the top.  But it is sooooo fun to bash Republicans.”

There you have it.  What more do you need?  The Democratic game plan is laid out here .. laid out clearly for all to see.  The goal is not to engage in an honest discussion of the merits of Bush’s plan for Social Security.  The goal is to SCARE SENIORS!

And thus it has been for decades.   Every single election cycle … Democrats exploit the fears of our senior citizens.  Democrats know that there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that Americans are going tolerate any threat at all to the Social Security benefits of our mothers, fathers and grandparents. 

Somewhere in this country there are some senior citizens who are going to hear about this little e-mail memo, and the realization is going to hit them.  They’re going to finally realize that they've been used.  Duped!  They will know that Democrats have been exploiting their sense of vulnerability for votes!

The Social Security debate isn't about Seniors!  It’s not about your mother and father.  It’s about your children?  Should your children have 15% of every paycheck looted by the Imperial Federal Government for use in some vote-buying income redistribution scheme?  If your children were allowed to invest that 15% in their own private retirement plans they would be able to retire with a higher income than when they were working!   With Social Security they might not be able to draw their first check until after they’re 70!  Even then, the check will be but a fraction of what they could have earned from a private plan.

Isn't it sad?   The wonderful, compassionate, caring, “feel your pain” Democrats have to engage in an intentional program of deception and scare-mongering just to get votes.

Now there can be no doubt. 


Judith Kleinfeld is a college professor.  That’s OK.  There are probably some good college professors.  Kleinfeld recently wrote of her experience with airport security.  She was to be subjected to a private and invasive search.  As she was being led to the search area she asked the screener “Do I look like a terrorist?”  The guard replied “Are you telling me we should be doing racial profiling?” 

Yes, that’s exactly what we should be doing.  Profiling.  Racial profiling.   Ethnic profiling.  Call it what you will, but call it pure, unadulterated common sense.   There is going to be another terrorist attack.  When it happens we are going to learn that it might have been prevented were it not for the hideous politically correct ban on profiling.

Remember, the Bush Administration still has in place an official policy in the Transportation Department that prohibits screeners from profiling Arabs or other Middle Eastern types.  That policy is going to get some of us killed.


It seems that an American Airlines pilot was arrested in Hawaii recently.   He was charged with some sort of an assault on an airport security screener.  According to reports in Dallas the pilot was supposed to have thrown his shoes at the screener, and then hit the screener in the eye with his jacket. 

For those of you who may be familiar with the story, here’s an account of the incident at HNL from an American Airline pilot who was on that flight. 

To all: I was the FB (extra co-pilot) on the trip where the Capt. was arrested at HNL.  What you have heard on the news is total bulls&*t.  I went through the right screening line and he went through the left line.  The screener asked the Capt. to remove his shoes.  The Capt. asked for a private room at this point, as he did not want to undress in public.  After some discussion, it became apparent that a private room was not going to be provided.  At that point the Capt. removed his boots and as he did, one of them slipped from his hand and fell to the floor.  IT DID NOT COME ANYWHERE NEAR THE SCREENER.  The screener then wanded him down including his socked feet and cleared him. About 10 minutes later, 2 federal agents came into the cockpit while I was finishing the preflight and asked for the Capt. When he returned from Ops, they escorted him back to the security checkpoint.  When I arrived there to check on our Capt. the screener now had a compress on his eye.  Later, I noticed him remove the compress and his eye was not irritated in the least bit.  The local police offered to take him into custody on a "reckless action" charge to prevent the Federal Agents taking him to the Federal Prison and charging him with a federal assault charge.  Yes, HNL is federalized and they are not our friends!  I and the FO called the union and made sure he had bail money to get out. The tape of the incident has been confiscated and is in the possession of AMR lawyers.  I have spoken to DFW Chief John Hale and Capt. Kudwa.  They both told me that Mr. Carty is working this problem and that our Capt. will be supported.  We shall see!  The overriding point I want to make is that this is a trumped up charge.  The part about him swinging his uniform coat wasn't even mentioned when the officers took him into custody.  HE NEVER TOOK HIS COAT OFF until he got to the jet. Sorry this post is so long.  I just thought everyone might like to know the real story.

Across the country these airport security screeners are turning into bullies.  They know that their glorified security guard position puts them at the bottom of the food chain.  Hell, they don’t even need a high school diploma to qualify!  Day after day we’re seeing that small-minded people like this often cannot handle positions of authority. In Honolulu it looks like some screener decided to show an AA pilot who the real boss was.  In Atlanta there is one screener who seems fond of telling pilots who complain about overbearing searches “Hey, it was you guys who flew those planes into those buildings, not us.”

One day in the not-too-distant future Americans are going to come to a universal realization that the Dashle led and Republican followed federalization of our airport security screeners was one of the most expensive and foolish mistakes made by Congress since Social Security.

What can we do to get these idiots out from those airport security screening stations and back behind the fast food counters where they belong?

Zero tolerance takes toll on pupils

The idiocy of zero tolerance policies in government schools.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — When Nepata Godec received a call from Dry Creek Elementary School last month telling her that her son and his friends were being sent home from school, she prepared herself for the worst.

    "I thought somebody was in the hospital or something," said Mrs. Godec.
     But she was even more shocked when she discovered the real reason. It turned out 10-year-old Aaron Godec and six other fourth-grade boys were being suspended for the rest of the day for pointing their fingers like guns during a game of army-and-aliens on the playground.
     "So I thought, 'Yes? Then what? Did somebody fall or poke somebody in the eye?'" she said. "But that was it, and we needed to come to school to pick up our son. I couldn't believe it."
     That wasn't all. As the stunned parents later discovered, the principal, Darci Mickle, also quizzed the boys on whether their families owned guns.
     For 10-year-old Connor Andrew, whose father formerly worked as a licensed hunting guide, the question placed him in an impossible position. He had been warned not to discuss his father's firearms in front of other children lest they become curious and ask to see them.
     Torn between obeying his parents and obeying the principal, he chose his parents. "I asked Connor about it, and he started to cry, and he told me he lied to Mrs. Mickle and answered 'no,'" said his father, Charles Andrew.
     "He was afraid he would get in more trouble, and that [the family] would get in trouble," Mr. Andrew said.
     Because Dry Creek is located about 20 miles from Columbine High School in the south Denver suburbs, it would be easy to dismiss what happened March 25 as an isolated incident, an extreme but understandable reaction from a community with reason to be paranoid. Easy, but wrong, because Colorado isn't alone.
     That day, the Dry Creek seven joined a growing fraternity of students across the nation who have learned the hard way about "zero tolerance." A popular stance for schools grappling with the specter of school shootings, drugs and alcohol abuse, the strict no-second-chances policy has resulted in maximum punishment, including detention, suspension, expulsion and even arrest, for what was once viewed as normal horseplay.
     School officials defend zero tolerance as an unfortunate but necessary reaction to increased demands for school safety. The decade-old policy generally goes hand in hand with anti-bullying programs that have become widespread across the country since the April 20, 1999, shooting at Columbine, which left 15 persons dead.
     At the Cherry Creek School District here, school officials insist the Dry Creek incident was handled properly. They maintain that the punishment was not a "suspension," although some of the parents say that is what the principal first told them.
     "School safety is the Cherry Creek School District's first concern and the primary concern of parents who entrust their children to our care every day," said district spokeswoman Tustin Amole. "Our handling of this incident is well within the boundaries of district policy and common sense."

    Other examples of what critics see as zero tolerance run amok include:
     •March 15, 2000: Four kindergarten students playing cops-and-robbers in Sayreville, N.J., are given three-day suspensions.
     •Feb. 2, 2001: An 8-year-old boy in Jonesboro, Ark., is suspended for three days after pointing a chicken finger at a teacher and saying, "Pow, pow, pow." Jonesboro was the site of a 1998 school shooting that left two dead.
     •March 23, 2001: Two second-graders playing cops-and-robbers in New Jersey are charged with making terrorist threats.

    The incidents have become so widespread that they are now chronicled on several Web sites — including,, and But zero-tolerance proponents argue that such episodes are anomalous and misleading.
     Ken Lane, Colorado deputy attorney general, says the occasional overreaction to student mischief is outweighed by the benefits of keeping schools safer.
     "You hear these horror stories from time to time, but you have to remember that zero-tolerance policies didn't develop out of thin air," Mr. Lane said. "The schools are dealing with some serious situations here."
     Because school districts are required to protect the privacy of their students, he said, they cannot always reveal everything they know about each disciplinary action.
     "Sometimes what's reported isn't the whole story," Mr. Lane said. "You have to respect the school districts and allow them to respond based on what they know of the situation."

     According to parents, the seven boys at Dry Creek were playing a game in which some were soldiers and some were aliens. They pointed fingers at each other to simulate guns but stayed in a remote part of the playground away from other children.
     When a playground monitor found what they were doing, she called them to the patio, then marched them to the principal's office. The boys said they didn't realize that they had done anything wrong until the principal told them.
     Mrs. Mickle said she asked the boys if they understood that what they did was against the rules, and she said they admitted that they did. She pointed to the district's conduct code, which parents and students must read and sign at the beginning of the school year.
     The Student Policy and Discipline Handbook defines "violent and aggressive behavior" as "threats directed, either orally (including by telephone), by non-verbal gesture, or in writing, at an individual, his or her family or a group." Under "intimidation/bullying," the code includes "any written or verbal expression, physical act or gesture, or a pattern thereof, that is intended to cause distress upon one or more students."
     Even without the school policy, zero tolerance is the law in Colorado, considered at the forefront of the movement. Colorado law mandates expulsion for students who "carry, bring, use or possess a firearm or firearm facsimile at school."
     Nowhere does the law mention fingers, but Mrs. Mickle said the conduct code gives administrators the latitude to deal with problems as they arise. "It's definitely not spelled out in the district discipline policy because we can't predict what every student is going to do," she said. "That's what we're here for: to interpret those details."
     In other words, one principal's harmless gesture can be another principal's violent act. To clear up any confusion, the fourth-grade teachers went back a few weeks later and told their students in no uncertain terms that finger guns were forbidden.
     By that time, word of the incident had already spread throughout the school. "The teacher was telling the kids about the policy, and Aaron said that everyone in the classroom was looking at him," Mrs. Godec said.
     Given that the finger-gun ban was never explicitly stated in the rules, what parents really want to know is: Why not first give the boys a warning? Parents say none of the seven boys was a chronic troublemaker, and most had never seen the business end of the principal's office before.
     "I told [Mrs. Mickle], 'That's not right. They should have been given a warning first,'" said Kristine Kinney, mother of Jorge Marquez, one of the seven boys. "If she had told any one of those boys — if she had said, 'That's not proper behavior' — I guarantee you they all would have said, 'OK.'"
     But that's why they call it zero tolerance. "'No tolerance' means more than just a warning, because that would mean tolerance," Mrs. Mickle said.
     To some parents, such rationales sound like zero judgment, not to mention a breach of due process. "They weren't throwing pine cones, they weren't playing with sticks; they were off by themselves not bothering anyone," Mr. Andrew said. "It just burns me up. I just don't think you treat kids that way."
     Mr. Andrew was also angry over what he saw as the principal's chutzpah in asking the students about private family matters such as gun ownership. "It's none of her business," he said. "If she wants to know that, she needs to ask me, not Connor."
     But the district is standing behind the principal. "The district must know whether a student has the means to carry out a threat of violence to help us determine the level of the threat of violence against other students or staff," said Ms. Amole, the spokeswoman.
     Mr. Head backed the district on that decision, saying that society has a legitimate interest in knowing where the guns are. "I know that doctors are doing it, and increasingly parents are doing it — asking if there are guns stored in the home before letting their child play at someone's house," he said.
     For teachers or principals to ask such questions, however, amounts to invading a family's privacy by targeting its most vulnerable members, say critics. "Clearly that's outrageous," Mr. Kopel said.
     "That's like asking what political party your parents belong to, or how they voted, or whether they've ever had an abortion," he said. "It's none of the schools' business how parents exercise their constitutional rights. The first thing I'd say is, that's extremely bad judgment. The second thing is, that principal should be fired."

    Of course, if zero-tolerance policies worked, that might be the end of the argument. As critics point out, however, there's little evidence to show that they actually make schools any safer. Indeed, a 1997 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that even after four years, schools with zero-tolerance policies had more incidents of violence than those without.
     Zero tolerance's defenders argue that schools with significant violence problems are more likely to enact such extreme measures in the first place. But critics argue that the policy better start showing results or risk losing its legitimacy with the public.
     "Zero-tolerance strategies have begun to turn schools into supplemental law-enforcement agencies but demonstrate little return, despite a decade of hype," said Russ Skiba, director of the Institute for Child Study at Indiana University in Bloomington and Reece Peterson, vice president of the National Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.

    Chris Dunmall, whose son Travis was one of the boys suspended in the Dry Creek case, called the action so much window-dressing. "It makes the administration safer — from legal action in the future," he said. "It doesn't make the school any safer."

    Harder to measure is the effect on students caught up in the no-tolerance climate. For Travis Dunmall, said his father, the experience has made him more cynical.
     "He's learned that there are some really small people out there who actually get in power sometimes," Mr. Dunmall said. "He's learned to question authority, which is probably not a bad lesson."
     Other boys took the punishment harder. As they waited to leave school, one of the boys began crying for fear of his parents' reaction. A couple of the boys wondered aloud whether they would be arrested.
     When Aaron arrived home that afternoon with his father, Mrs. Godec said he looked "discombobulated."
     "I looked at him, and he had been trying to be brave for his dad, but when he saw me his bottom lip was quivering," she said. "So I just held him. He kept saying, 'Mom, I don't know, I don't understand. I'm bad, but I don't know why.'"
     "After that, he dreaded going to school, and my son loves school," she said.
     Upon their return to Dry Creek after spring break, the seven were given a week of lunchtime detention, during which they had to sit in the school foyer or hall during recess. That week, Aaron came down with a series of headaches, something that had never happened before, said his mother.
     "He's not inclined to get into trouble — he's never been to the principal's office before — and he was freaked out," she said.
     Because they were seated in public, she said, the detention turned into a week of public humiliation. Other children laughed and made jokes as they passed them on the way from the cafeteria to the playground, said parents.
     "They were sitting in the foyer and they were supposed to read," Mrs. Godec said. "But Aaron told me, 'Every time somebody would pass by, Mom, I just put my book up over my face and hoped they wouldn't recognize my shoes.'"
     His friend Connor was plagued that week by stomach aches. His mother tried to ease the punishment by taking him out to lunch one day, "but that was a mistake, because then he didn't want to go back to school," Mr. Andrew said.
     "It was an embarrassment," Mr. Andrew said. "To set those kids up for peer persecution, that's not right, either."
     Even as the backlash against zero tolerance builds, however, parents say they don't expect the public schools to ease up any time soon. Even with expert opinion and public outrage on their side, all it takes is the specter of one teen-age gunman to send the schools back to zero tolerance.
     "I told her [the principal], 'I know you're trying to prevent a Columbine situation, I know you're trying to create a peaceful environment, but it's almost like you want them to walk around like robots,'" said Mrs. Godec. "And she kept saying over and over, 'We have a zero-tolerance policy, and we won't deal with anything.'"
     "It's not going to change," said Mrs. Godec, "and it's just going to get worse."


Do you think that government schools exist just to teach your children the basic skills they need to survive – perhaps even thrive in our society?   Sadly, many of you think just that.

Truth is … our government schools have also become indoctrination centers where children are taught the collectivist mantra where group consciousness is good and individuality is bad.

There is a middle school in Seminole County, Florida where students are instructed that they are not allowed to take limos to the school dance.  It has nothing to do with safety issues.  It’s all about class-consciousness and an egalitarian society. The students are being told they can’t take a limo to the class dance because there are some students who cannot afford to rent a limo .. and they'll be made to feel bad.

This is nothing new. Here we have government school employees pushing a strict leftist dogma … the idea that it is wrong for an adult to live a lifestyle that is not available to others.  Hardly a day passes that you don’t hear some leftist politician talking about the improper “distribution” of wealth in this country.  They speak in glowing terms of an economic and tax system which promotes some sort of “equity” or “equality” where all people, regardless of their work ethic, essentially enjoy the same standard of living.

It’s just another part of the leftist war on the individual.  Individual excellence is to be discouraged.  The emphasis shall be placed on the whole – the group – and not the individual.  When one individual starts to pull away from the pack, usually due to hard work and good decision-making, that individual must be pulled back into line.  When you go to the school dance in a limo – you are pulling away from the pack.  This Seminole County school wants to nip that in the bud.

All hail the wolf pack!  Down with the individual!  


A particular baseball stadium security guard is looking over the ID badge of one of the team officials, trying to decide whether to let him into the team locker room area.  The official explains to the guard that he is the team doctor.  The guard isn't convinced.  He looks up at the man and says “But it says here you are a physician.” 

How do you keep from laughing in his face?


There is a young man sitting in a jail cell in Fayette County, Georgia.  He has been there since yesterday afternoon.  There will be a bond hearing today.  That’s when we'll find out if he can get out of jail.

The young man’s name is Frank Gelman.  He’s a 17-year-old junior at Fayette County High School  Frank and some of his friends had started a lawn care and landscaping business to earn some extra money.  When he drove into the school parking lot yesterday he had a chain saw and a machete in the back of his pickup truck.  A police officer patrolling the parking lot spotted the machete and placed Gelman under arrest.  Gelman, it seems, has violated Fayette County’s “zero-tolerance” policy on weapons. 

Gelman, who has never been in any trouble at school, is now suspended.  School spokeswhatever Mary Berry-Dreisbach (Omigod – a hyphenated spokeswhatever) says that the school bans anything that can reasonably be considered a weapon on school property.

So --- while school systems across the country are starting to reconsider these idiotic zero-tolerance policies, Fayette County plunges boldly ahead … putting teenagers in jail because they leave their landscaping tools in the back of a pickup truck.

It’s not difficult to illustrate just how idiotic these weapons policies are.  Just take a look at any car.  How many things will you find in a car that can be used as a weapon.

  • Gasoline can be siphoned from the car into a bottle.  The bottle can be plugged with a rag and ignited with the cigarette lighter.  Boom!  Molotov Cocktail!

  • The oil or transmission dipstick can be sharpened and left in place.  Voila!  A sword!

  • Spark plug wires … garrotes!

  • Tire irons!  How many people have been beaten to death with tire irons!  Yet there is one in virtually every car on the high school parking lot!

  • The car itself!  We've all heard of people intentionally mowing down other people with cars! 

Government bureaucrats … ever mindless.


By now most of you know about that shooting at a high school in Germany.  Thirteen students and adults were killed by one 19-year-old “gunman,”  including one police officer. 

This event has given the hysteria-based anti-gun crowd a good reason to ratchet up the rhetoric.  In fact, even as the shooting was underway the German parliament was considering even stronger gun control laws.

Europe is seen by some as some sort of a gun control utopia.  Most of the nations over there have rather strong laws which prevent the private ownership  of handguns .. and strict controls on hunting and sport shooting rifles.  A few years ago British myrmidons handed over about 160,000 handguns to their great government protectors after the British parliament instituted a virtual ban on private handgun ownership.

So .. just what has happened since Britain instituted the great gun confiscation program?  If you are part of the hysterical anti-gun ownership left you probably think that the gun confiscation made England a safer place in which to live.  Well, you would be wrong.

Here are the statistics – statistics I’m sure many of you will just want to totally reject.   In the year that followed the great British gun confiscation homicides committed with firearms rose by almost 90 percent.  Armed street robberies went up by over 50 percent.

You do understand why homicide and robbery went up in Britain, don’t you?  It’s because the predators with the illegal guns knew that their victims were less likely to be armed! 

I could fill numerous pages here with documentation and information which would illustrate the  eagerness with which armed predators descend on populations which have been disarmed, and flee populations where access to guns has become easier. 

Take Florida, for instance.  When Florida made it easier for a private citizen to carry a concealed weapon violent crime rates went down … almost immediately.  Murder, armed robbery, muggings … all down.  Predators understood that there was an increased chance that their victim would be armed … so they found another way to obtain money.  Some might even have gone to work!

An interesting side note to the Florida situation:  Soon after the concealed weapons laws were liberalized in Florida the predators figured out just where they needed to go to find unarmed victims.  They started staking out airports!  They would follow tourists recently arrived at Miami International.  When they left the airport grounds they would bump their cars, causing them to stop, and then rob them at gunpoint.  The predators knew that people traveling by air probably didn't have guns.

Now … that brings us to schools, and the incident in Germany.  If you want to take a gun and kill a lot of people common sense would dictate that you try to pick a place where you will be the only person with a gun!    If you sit down and try to pick one place where you aren't likely to find someone with a gun you would have to work very hard to come up with a better place than a school!  In the US they kick kids out of schools for keychains!

And so it was in that high school in Germany.  The shooter knew that nobody in that school would have a gun.  Nobody would be in a position to defend themselves.  Children and adults were hiding in classrooms, broom closets and offices … just waiting for this kid to come in and shoot them.  They had no way to defend themselves. 

What if just one adult in that school had had access to a gun?  Is it possible that this adult could have taken some action, and lives would have been saved?  Impossible, you say?  Are you aware that civilians with guns have stopped at least three school shootings in the United States in the past few years?  Civilians, not law enforcement officers.  Private individuals protect themselves with guns thousands of times a year.

Let me just leave you with this one question.  If, God forbid, you were to hear that an armed student was in your child’s school --- and was shooting people --- which scenario would you wish for?

(a)    A scenario in which not one adult school staffer had a gun that could be used to protect students; or,

(b)    A scenario in which one or two adults did have guns and they were using those guns to protect your child’s classroom from the shooter.

That’s a no-brainer for me.  Let teachers and school administrators volunteer for special training and then give them the chance to have access to firearms in schools.  To do anything else is to simply invite more tragedy.

Nuclear Safety Statistic

More Americans have been killed riding with Ted Kennedy in cars than have been killed by nuclear power.


Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist attack on the U.S. was more successful than I have previously imagined.  Buildings destroyed, lives lost --- but that’s only part of the story.

It’s all in the name of “fighting terrorism.  The Minnesota legislature has passed a law – it took effect this week – that allows police to search your home without your permission and never even tell you why the search was conducted.  All of the documents leading up to the issuance of a search warrant can be kept from public view .. and the view of the homeowner.

Doesn't the Fourth Amendment apply in Minnesota?


It's another one of those vague FBI warnings … this time local law enforcement agencies are being warned that Al Qaeda terrorists might try to attack American civilians in shopping centers and supermarkets.

This warning brings to mind the fact that no less than three terrorist attacks in Israel have been ended by a private citizen shooting the terrorist.  And just what did the private citizen use to shoot the terrorist? A gun, that’s what.  A privately owned, concealed handgun.

One effective way to fight terrorism in this country would be to issue a nationwide call for people to obtain concealed weapons permits.  Sure, they would have to pass the background test .. and a bit of training would be especially nice .. but the quicker we arm a significant number of law-abiding citizens in this country the safer we'll be … from terrorists, and from our own home-grown predators.

'Freedom' banned in school?

The words “freedom” and “liberty” banned from school songs?

A music teacher in an inner-city Michigan grade school is getting an earful from the higher-ups about the type of songs she can use in her classroom.

According to the April 17 issue of the Rutherford Institute's Insider, the teacher isn't in trouble for having the children sing lines from the latest Snoop Dogg rap album or even getting the tykes to trot out with something as strictly verboten as "Jesus Loves Me."

No, said the Insider, "school administrators informed her that she could not use any songs in class that contain the words 'freedom' or 'liberty.'" Why not, you might wonder. Simple: "Because some children in the school are not U.S. citizens."

I won't bother raising my hand before asking the following questions:

  • Since when did freedom and liberty become exclusively American?
  • Since when did they become so offensive to foreigners? Immigrants used to doff their digs and come here for those things.
  • What's more, since when do we give a rip if they are offensive to foreigners?

As imperfectly as we protect and defend our liberties, Americans should be proud of them. We should exult in the providence that took Hebraic legal tradition, hundreds of years of English common law, the guts, wits and wisdom of a few pasty, colonial landholders and distilled it into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

While Rutherford is looking to take a whack at the offending educrats in Michigan, we should use this example as a temperature reading of how chilling the atmosphere is to traditional American values the nation over.

Beyond that, we need to reflect upon the fact that as traditionally American as those values may be, they are not exclusively American. Championing freedom around the globe is just as important as it is in the classrooms – which also provides a nice comparison with which to judge the public-school establishment:

The people most opposed to the propagation of freedom abroad are typically the dictators and strongmen who stand everything to lose if liberty should prevail in their countries. They value their power and pelf more than others' freedom.

So, dispensing with the hypersensitive hogwash, it's clear that the reason teachers are being forbidden to utter the words "freedom" and "liberty" has little to do with offending foreigners, as was suggested, and a lot more to do with the fact that educrats simply don't put a high value on freedom and liberty.

For these mini dictators, freedom and liberty are all well and good so far as they go, but they're not so important that we can't shut up about them if a few kids and their parents get flustered over the fact.

Back to reality for a moment: Even if people are so sensitive they break out in rashes over use of the words, gagging a pedagogue in this manner is hardly defensible.

This isn't as simple as some misguided separation-of-church-and-state argument, where folks quickly concede to a position at which the founders would have laughed out loud. This is like separating government from government:

    We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. …

Governments are instituted to secure liberty. So keeping a public school teacher from using the word "liberty" in a song is tantamount to the separation of the government and its very purpose for existing. As the founders were well-aware, this is precisely the junction at which tyranny arises in a society.

When the government values other things above the life, liberty and property of its citizens, the citizens had better watch out – you can read the rest of the Declaration to see what happens next.

Forbidding a teacher from chirping choruses with "freedom" won't roll us into a dictatorship tomorrow. But when public school officials – the people entrusted with your children's education – don't value freedom and traditional American liberties, you can rest assured that plenty of kids coming out of those propaganda mills won't either, and creating a few generations of children that don't respect basic liberties is the surest way to lose them.


I’m sure you've heard the quote “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  Wendell Phillips said it in 1852.  He was actually paraphrasing a 1790 speech by Irish lawyer John Philpot Curran.  Here’s what Curran said: 

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

Well, if there’s anything this country has right now .. it’s the indolent.  We’re just eaten up with the indolent.  Definition?  Try “lazy.”  Lazy … especially when it comes to such mundane matters as protecting liberty.

Now … go back to Curran’s quote – just the first sentence.  "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active.”  While so many of us are practicing our indolence, others are practice their activism.  Our indolence gives them the upper hand.  While the indolent worry about Big Game jackpots, the active worry about how to exert more control over the lives of all Americans --- all in the name of making us more “secure.”

I present you now with another example of our just how your liberties can disappear while you’re waiting for the next episode of “Survivor.”  It’s something called the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act.  The model act was written for the Centers for Disease Control by a law professor at Georgetown University … a bastion of liberty if there ever was one.   All 50 States are being strongly encouraged to enact the law by the CDC. 

So .. what’s the big deal here?   Your liberty … that’s what.  Here’s what can happen to you under this legislation.

First step.  The governor of the state (your state?) declares a “public health emergency.  All the governor needs is a simple belief that there is a potential for a bioterrorist attack.  No actual evidence needed … just a hunch and we have our official “public health emergency.”

So .. what then?  How about …

  • You are required to submit to a medical exam. 

  • You are required to take vaccinations.

  • You can be placed into quarantine if you refuse to submit to your exam or vaccinations.

  • Police (who are placed under the authority of health officials) can force you to present specimens.  This includes blood, DNA and stuff that comes from your body.

  • The government gets access to your medical records without your consent.

  • Firearm sales can be halted and firearms seized.

  • State authorities can seize control of communication facilities. 

  • State authorities can take over all food distribution.  (I particularly like this one.  We all know that the government could certainly do a much better job of distributing food than private industry, right?)

  • Food rationing?  It’s there.  Ditto for  rationing of fuel and clothing.

Not a good list, is it?  You’re probably thinking that you can claim your due process rights and get some sort of a court injunction against any excesses.  Well .. you’re right.  You do have due process protections under the bill.  The problem is that the bill allows the State to train “emergency judges” who will hear your appeal.  You just know that these emergency judges will be on your side, don’t you?

OK … now you know a bit more about the CDC’s Model State Emergency Health Powers Act.  Are you ready to shed a bit of indolence and get active in the defense of liberty?

Probably not yet.

Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. – Sallust


Georgia Governor Roy Barnes has a homeland security-type bill (SB385) moving through the Georgia Legislature. Various representatives and senators are having a bit of fun attaching amendments promoting some of their personal causes.

One such amendment has now been added by Democrat Stephanie Stuckey Benfield.   Should the Governor declare a public emergency (whatever that might be) this amendment would allow the governor to immediately ban the sale of all firearms to private citizens and it would allow the police to establish roadblocks for the purpose of confiscating any guns that might be carried in private automobiles.

In some areas of the world, Israel, for instance, citizens are quickly learning that the very time they might need a gun is when the safety of the general public is threatened by – say – terrorist activity.

Since day one after the terrorist attacks the anti-Second Amendment crowd has been using the threat of terrorism to push their anti-gun, anti-self defense agenda.  Stephanie Stuckey Benfield is just the latest.

Libertarian Party joins lawsuit to repeal campaign finance reform law

The Libertarian Party has become a plaintiff in a lawsuit to overturn the new campaign finance reform law, charging the measure places an "unfair burden" on smaller political parties.

At a press conference in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC on April 10, Libertarian Party Executive Director Steve Dasbach joined U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and others to sign onto the lawsuit, McConnell v. FEC.

The suit seeks to overturn the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act -- formally known as the Shays-Meehan bill -- which was signed into law by President Bush on March 27.

Also publicly joining the lawsuit at the press conference were the ACLU, the National Right to Life Committee, the Christian Coalition of America, the 60 Plus Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, and the James Madison Center for Free Speech.

In all, about two dozen groups and individuals are now plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was originally filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC in late March.

McConnell v. FEC charges that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act violates the First Amendment rights of Americans by restricting their ability to "fully participate in the political process."

The Libertarian Party joined the lawsuit in part because the campaign finance reform law has a disproportionate impact on third parties, said Dasbach.

"Once again, Congress has passed a law with no thought to the consequences -- and especially with no thought to the consequences to anyone other than Republicans and Democrats," he said. "This law places an unfair burden on all smaller parties, which have fewer resources and staff members to deal with its red-tape provisions."

Specifically, said Dasbach, the law will:

* Make it illegal for young people to serve in some leadership positions in the Libertarian Party. Since the law bans people under 18 from contributing to political parties, and since many state Libertarian parties require party officers to be dues-paying members, the law locks young people out of many LP leadership roles, he said.

* Make it illegal for the party to take soft money contributions to build a headquarters, as the Republicans and Democrats have already done.

* Make it illegal for the party to sell ads to corporations in its monthly newspaper, or to rent its mailing list, since that revenue is classified as "contributions."

* Require Libertarian state parties to file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) if the national party shares membership dues with them, since the law more strictly regulates the financial relationship between national and state parties.

"Some provisions of the campaign finance reform law won't matter to the Republicans or Democrats, but they will have a significant impact on the Libertarian Party and other third parties," said Dasbach.

The campaign finance law is also unfair because its stated purpose -- to stamp out the perception of corruption among elected federal officials -- does not apply to third parties, said Dasbach.

"Supporters of campaign finance reform say the law will end the 'obscene' flow of money to elected officials in Washington, DC, and end the public perception that elected officials can be bought and sold," he said. "But even though the Libertarian Party has yet to elect any U.S. House or U.S. Senate members, we are still forced to suffer under the law's restrictive provisions.

"That's why we are joining this lawsuit to overturn this flawed, unconstitutional, and destructive law."

Before joining the lawsuit, the Libertarian Party had criticized the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act as an "Incumbent Protection Act" that "has only one goal: Protecting the jobs of Capitol Hill incumbents."

In a February press release, the Libertarian Party noted the law -- then called the Shays-Meehan bill -- would shut off funding for challengers by banning unrestricted "soft money" contributions.

"Even though soft money is relatively insignificant, much of it goes to challengers -- which explains why incumbents want to ban it," said Dasbach at the time. "In contrast, most contributions from political action committees are funneled into the campaigns of incumbents, which explains why politicians who pretend to be appalled by the role of money in politics left PAC money untouched."

The bill would also stifle criticism of incumbents, said Dasbach.

"Shays-Meehan makes it a crime to mention the name of a federal candidate in any radio or television ad run by a corporation or labor union within 60 days of an election," he noted. "This gag-the-opposition strategy isn't just unconstitutional; it's positively un-American."

Attorneys for McConnell v. FEC include First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, former Solicitor General Ken Starr, and general counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech James Bopp.

Separate lawsuits against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act have also been filed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), and the American Center for Law and Justice, which sued on behalf of six teenagers.


Ask your employees next week how much they had to pay in taxes this year.  If they say "I didn't have to pay anything, I'm getting some back."  ---- FIRE THEM. They are too stupid to be working for you.


It seems that the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), that new government agency created by our Congress last year to handle airport security, is going to be bigger than they originally told us.

Follow the numbers:

  • The number of private contract employees handling screening at the nation’s airports prior to September 11. ---- 28,000.

  • The number of government-employee “professionalized” airport security screeners the politicians told us we would need to hire when they created the TSA in 2001 ----- 30,000.

  • The number of government-employee “professionalized” airport security screeners the TSA now tells us they may really need ---- 60,000

  • The true number?  Probably even higher than that.

What we see here is the creation of a new mega-agency of the Imperial Federal Government of the United States.  It will be larger than NASA and the Departments of Education, Housing and Energy COMBINED.!

What we will eventually have here is 60,000 (probably more) government employees paying dues to government employee unions --- which will in turn pay huge amounts of money to the reelection campaigns of elected officials who will guarantee that the 60,000 government employees will get pay increases, benefit increases, and will never be threatened with privatization.

Nice gig for high school dropouts, huh?

Thomas Jefferson Quote

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.  But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson 

Guns & Doctors

Number of physicians in the  US:

Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year: 
120,000 (AMA).

Accidental deaths per physician:
0.171 (U.S. Dept. of Health Human Services)

Number of gun owners in the US:
Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups):
Accidental deaths per gun owner: 0.0000188

Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

"FACT: Not everyone has a  gun, but everyone has at least one Doctor." Please alert your  friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets out of hand.

As a Public  Health Measure, I have withheld the statistic on Lawyers for fear that the shock could cause people to seek medical aid.

Butts = Bucks

Here's another one about how Massachusetts plans to increase cigarette taxes for health care programs. This is identical to what we've always warned. You folks in Massachusetts are almost duty-bound now to buy cigarettes. How can they want people to stop smoking if they're going to take the revenue from the sales tax of cigarettes to fund health care programs? They don't! And a judge has even granted another state permission not to use the money for medical programs, instead allowing them to use it for their general over-all budget. It's amazing.

Squirt gun puts teacher in hot water

Instructor's use of toy draws assault charges

To Maria Ripke, the small, red water pistol she has used in class in recent years is a teaching tool.

Bryan and Dana Adkins say it was used to assault their son, not teach him.

Now, what began as a science lesson at Baytown Junior School has evolved into a legal battle as the teacher faces charges in municipal court.

Ripke, who has taught for 10 years in Baytown's Goose Creek school district, pleaded not guilty Thursday to an assault charge. If convicted of the Class C misdemeanor, she could be fined up to $500.

"This whole thing is frivolous harassment," said her attorney, Frank Knight III of Baytown.

Knight contends that the charge never would have been filed if the boy's parents were not a teacher at the school and a Baytown police officer.

"This is just a police officer using his position to say that 'you can't treat my son that way,' " he said.

But Bryan Adkins countered that if a police officer had been charged with assault he would be removed from his duties until the case was resolved. Ripke's status remains unchanged.

The charge arose from a Feb. 1 incident in Ripke's sixth-grade science class. She said she has used the plastic squirt gun, small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, for several years to demonstrate kinetic energy -- the energy that results from motion.

In a complaint filed Feb. 11, Dana Adkins -- who teaches math at the school -- told police that Ripke had surprised her son by shooting him in the chest with the water pistol during class.

After the boy objected, Adkins reported, the teacher laughed and squirted water into his face.

The parents asked for a teacher conference on Feb. 4. Three days after that meeting, their 11-year-old son was assigned detention for borrowing paper, the report states.

According to the report, Ripke gave police her driver's license for identification but refused to be interviewed about the complaint. She was issued a citation alleging Class C assault.

Knight, Ripke's attorney, disputes the mother's account of the second shot from the water gun. Ripke said the boy had asked excitedly to be "squirted again," the attorney said.

The father said that, in the conference, Ripke described her use of the toy pistol as an "attention-getter," not a teaching tool. He contends that she uses the water pistol as an inappropriate way to keep students' minds from drifting.

Adkins said Ripke assured him that his son would never be squirted again. He said he believes, however, that she was retaliating against his son when she gave him detention, his first, for borrowing a sheet of notebook paper.

"The detention slip stacked three complaints against him for that one incident," Adkins said. "It said he failed to be prepared, then argued about it and then failed to follow directions."

The parents have since had their son transferred to another science class.

Adkins, who once taught a drug awareness class at the campus, said school officials are allowing a double standard in Ripke's case.

He said that, a week after she squirted Thomas, another pupil received 10 days of detention for bringing a plastic toy hand grenade to school.

Since the charge was filed against Ripke, Adkins said, teachers at the campus have been split into two camps -- some supporting his wife and others supporting Ripke.

He added that he believes his wife, who has taught in the Goose Creek district for 14 years, is being harassed for having complained. In one instance, he said, one of her paychecks disappeared from her mailbox in the school office.

In another, Adkins said, someone put a stack of 50 "how to lose weight" notices in her mailbox.

Melissa Sanchez, a theater arts teacher at the school, attended Ripke's arraignment Thursday to show support.

"She taught both of my children and they loved her. She's an excellent teacher," Sanchez said. "She uses different stimuli, from chewing gum to bubbles, to interest the kids in science and make it more relevant. My daughter recalls her using the water gun and thought it was great."

Wilyne Laughlin, president of the Baytown Education Federation, also attended the arraignment.

"It's always sad to see teachers having problems with their profession. But it's rare to see two teachers in a dispute," she said. "It would have been better handled with discussions between the two professionals rather than going to the courts."

A pretrial hearing on the case is set for May 16.


You might be interested in knowing that Russia, once part of the “Evil Empire,” has just junked it’s progressive income tax system for a flat tax.  This is more ironic than you might first realize.  The progressive income tax was one of the original principals of communism.  Progressive taxation – a system whereby you institutionalize the concept of taking from people in accordance with their ability to pay and giving to people in accordance with their needs.

Odd, isn't it, that the communist idea of progressive income taxation should die in the former heartland of communism while it flourishes in what is supposed to be the heartland of capitalism and economic freedom!


This is something the anti-gun crowd just doesn't want you to know.  It’s about the correlation between crime rates and the availability of concealed weapons permits

Basically, there are three types of states. No issue states; may issue states and shall issue states.  Here’s the difference:

No issue states.  These states just will not allow private citizens to carry concealed weapons for self defense.  That is, unless you’re a big celebrity or a politician. 

May issue states.  These states have provisions in the law for the issuance of a concealed weapons permit IF you meet the qualifications and IF the local law enforcement agencies and politicians want to issue the permit to you.

Shall issue states.  In these states the local authorities MUST issue you a concealed weapons permit if you meet the requirements.

Now … about the crime rates.  Across the country you will see uniformity in these numbers.  Looking at violent crimes, the rate of violent crime is the greatest in no issue states and the lowest in shall issue states.  What’s more, when a state liberalizes its laws and moves from no issue to may issue, or from may issue to shall issue, the crime rates go down.

Criminals don’t want their victims to be armed.  Oddly enough, neither do many governments. 


Then tell them that you believe in freedom.  Tell them that you believe that you, as a free American, ought to be free to do anything to or with yourself that you please, so long as you aren't interfering with the rights of other people.   Tell him that you believe in freedom – and that you are perfectly capable of making the decisions that affect your life and your future without the help or interference of government.  In other words; tell him to butt out.  Politicians are frightened to death of people who actually believe in liberty. 

Geneseo woman gets caught up in news vending machine
It sounds like these Wal-Mart employees are next in line to become government airport screeners.

GENESEO -- How much is freedom worth?

According to a 73-year-old Geneseo woman, employees at the Geneseo Wal-Mart store apparently felt that 50 cents was too high a price to pay after she became stuck in a Dispatch/Argus vending machine Wednesday evening in front of their store.

However, officials at Wal-Mart's corporate office in Bentonville, Ark., say store employees were merely following company policy by not tampering with the machine.

The woman, who has asked that her name not be used, said she stopped at the local store around 5:30 Wednesday evening to pick up some prescriptions from the store pharmacy.

While on her way into the store, a headline on the paper in the vending machine caught her attention, serving as bait for the trap that lay ahead.

As she reached into the vending machine to grab her paper, the spring-loaded door slipped from under her elbow, which she was using to hold it open, and slammed shut, trapping the strings from the hood of her jacket in the now locked machine.

She was unable to remove her coat to free herself because of a past surgery on her shoulder.

``It was kind of scary at first,'' she said. ``I tried to pull them (the strings) out of the machine but the little metal balls on the ends just wouldn't come out.''

Much to her dismay, the normally busy entrance of the store was deserted at that moment in time.

``I was stuck there for a while until some little gal came by and asked if everything was all right,'' she said.

Like a Girl Scout out to do a good deed, the young woman went to the store's service desk expecting to find someone that could help. Instead she was informed that store has a strict policy against tampering with the machines.

``When she came back she said that the woman there said that there wasn't anything that she could do since the machine wasn't theirs,'' the woman said.

An assistant manager at the Geneseo store declined to comment on the matter Thursday, saying she had not been notified of the incident. A spokesperson from the company's corporate headquarters later called the incident an unfortunate accident.

Having been trapped, hunched over the paper machine for more than five minutes at this point, the woman said that she was beginning to become angry.

``The store woman poked her head out the door and said that she was calling someone from The Dispatch to come and let me out,'' she said. ``I told her I just wanted someone to come and put some quarters in the thing and that's when she told me that they weren't responsible for making refunds for the machine.''

Since the newspaper she had purchased before becoming trapped in the machine was still in her hands, the elderly woman said she tried to explain that a refund was the farthest thing from her mind.

Becoming angrier as each minute slipped by, the woman said she finally decided enough was enough.

``When the woman from the store came back out to tell me that she hadn't been able to get anyone from The Dispatch on the phone yet, I told her that if she would just put some money in the machine I would pay her back as soon as I could get some change,'' the woman said.

After nearly 20 minutes of being trapped by the machine, the woman said she was relieved when the employee finally agreed to place two quarters in the machine freeing her hood strings from the door.

``I was beginning to wonder if anyone was ever going to get me out of the thing,'' the she said.

The woman's daughter later returned to the scene of her mother's predicament giving the store's rule minded employee a five-dollar bill in order that the next ten people who get more than just their attention caught by the newspaper headlines could be released in a more timely manner.

Sharon Weber, a public relations officer from Wal-Marts corporate office said that it was all a very unfortunate incident.

``This is not how we do business,'' Mrs. Weber said. ``The store manager will be getting in touch with the woman to offer an apology for how the matter was handled and will do anything that he can to make it up to her.''

H-E-B to allow student expelled for bread knife to return to class Friday

Idiocy corrected!

BEDFORD - Taylor Hess, who was expelled this month after a bread knife was found in the bed of his pickup on school grounds, is going back to school, and Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district plans to rewrite its zero-tolerance policy on expulsions.

Hess was scheduled to appeal his one-year expulsion Thursday morning. Instead, school officials met with the Hess family and announced that the teen would be expelled for five days. With time served, it means the 16-year-old junior will be allowed to return to L.D. Bell High School in Hurst on Friday.

Taylor's mother, Gay Hess, fought back tears of relief as Thursday's announcement was read. Dozens of parents, attorneys and students in the audience erupted into applause.

"What I was hoping for is exactly what we got," said Robert Hess, Taylor's father.

Taylor Hess had been helping his father pack linens and kitchen ware that once belonged to his ailing grandmother. The two dropped off a truckload of boxes at the Goodwill Center on a Sunday evening, and the knife must have fallen out, Hess said. It was found the next morning.

School officials believed the boy's story. The honor student had never been in trouble before. But state law requires school officials to expel students who bring a weapon, including a knife, on school grounds -- no matter what the circumstances.

Hess challenged the rule and his story captured national media attention. People were outraged that zero-tolerance would claim a good student. His home telephone rang off the hook with callers expressing support.


If the Supreme Court says it is OK to require a drug test before government school students can participate in extracurricular activities, why not require a drug test of welfare recipients?

Wouldn't you just love to hear the leftists screaming about that one?


This story of absurdity centers around school zero-tolerance policies on drugs.  The Supreme Court has given the OK for mandatory drug testing for students involved in extracurricular activities.

Do you think that schools should be allowed to test all students for drugs?  Essentially this means that the schools are running tests on these students to discover what they are doing away from school during non-school hours.

Certainly schools have every right to demand that students not bring drugs to the campus.  They also have the right to discipline students who show up at school under the influence of these drugs.  But I propose to you that these schools have no right to control the private behavior of these students outside of school hours and away from school functions and grounds.

If schools have the right to a mandatory test for drugs for all students … how much of a leap is it for the government --- and remember, these schools are nothing more than government agencies – to require mandatory drug testing of all citizens seeking to make use of any government services or property.  You want a National Park Pass?  Here, pee in this jar.


This one happened in the Orlando area just before midnight last night.  Two predators – armed predators – thought it would be a good idea to rob a Blockbuster Video in Orange City.  They arrived at the Blockbuster at about the same time as the father of one of the clerks working in the store.  The father thought that something might not be quite right when he saw one of the predators walking into the store with a rifle.

So --- here’s your situation.  Father arrives at Blockbuster to pick up his son when the store closes.  Father sees predators with guns entering store.  Father realizes his son is inside that store.  Father has a gun.  Father also has a concealed weapons permit.  Father follows predators into the store.  End result?  One dead predator and another with a gaping, sucking chest wound.  Father is safe, as is the son.

A civilian  with a concealed weapons permit very likely saves his own sons life.


Monday was the sixth-month anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America.  On the day of that anniversary a letter arrived at the offices of Huffman Aviation in Venice, Florida.  The letter was notifying Huffman Aviation that two of their students had received extensions on their visas.  The applications for the visa extensions had been made almost 19 months before.  Nineteen months!  That’s how long it took for the wonderful Immigration and Naturalization service to process these applications and get the notice to Huffman Aviation.

What makes this so outrageous?  The applications weir for Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi.  Mohamed and Merwan aren't around, though, to continue their pilot training.  They died when the planes they were piloting plowed into the World Trade Towers.

Let’s hear it for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Doing a fine job, aren't they? 


If you love your job you'll never work a day in your life. I haven’t worked a day in the last 30 years!

Thomas Jefferson Quote

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

Thomas Jefferson


No, I still haven’t caved to the politically correct “African-American” nonsense.  We’re still whites, and if that’s good enough for us, then I guess “blacks” will do in those situations where racial identification is necessary.

When people became American citizens 20 years ago they received a booklet titled “The Meaning of American Citizenship” when they took their oath.  On page three of that booklet you'll find the following:

“Today you have become a citizen of the United States of America.  You are no longer an Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian, a Pole.  Neither are you a hyphenated-American … a Polish-American, an Italian-American.  You are no longer a subject of a government.  Henceforth, you are an integral part of this Government, a freeman, a Citizen of the United States of America.”

Do you think that you would find that same paragraph in a book handed to new citizens in our present PC age?  You won’t.  No book.  No surprise.

Now’s as good a time as any to remind you of the words of President Theodore Roosevelt on this very subject.  In a speech before the Knights of Columbus Roosevelt said:

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.  The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.

Or how about squabbling races, Teddy? 

Forced Porches

There is an unbelievable story from Erie Pennsylvania, but I'll guarantee you it's going to have its supporters. The story is about making front porches on homes mandatory.

City councilman, Jim Casey, wants Erie to study whether the city should require all new homes to be built with front porches. Your tax dollars are going to be spent on the basis that today's public is withdrawing into their homes because of television, computers and all these other sophisticated mechanisms. Casey argued that, "We need to get out and meet our neighbors. If porches can help us get back to that good quality of living, then good."

Can you believe this? The guy doesn't think we're socializing enough and the front porch will solve it. I have to ask, Councilman Casey, if people in Erie are afraid to venture outside to meet their neighbors, for whatever reason, and would rather stay inside to use the computer or watch TV, why are they going to venture outside to a porch, even if you do make them build it? You're just going to have an empty porch.

Not everyone is for this porch idea. Even Charles Buckeye of Buckeye Builders, who would probably benefit from building the mandated front porches, says it's an "off the wall idea," adding that there are enough regulations as it is. Thank goodness.

Unbelievable! Woman is handcuffed and arrested for a late video rental

WASHINGTON, DC -- A New Hampshire woman who was arrested, handcuffed, and had her car impounded for not returning a late rental video is the latest victim of America's wacky criminal justice system, the Libertarian Party charged today.

"You forget to return a video and you get treated like Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs, and end up starring in Girls in Prison; what kind of sense does that make?" asked George Getz, the party's press secretary.

"Yes, it's easy to make jokes, but this is a case study of how, in a society where politicians can't stop writing laws, everyone eventually becomes a criminal -- even if your only 'crime' is forgetting to return a video."

The saga of America's Most Wanted Video Criminal started on Thursday, when Jessie Cohen of Portsmouth, New Hampshire was stopped by police for having a broken tail light on her car.

During the routine license check, police discovered an outstanding warrant for Cohen, dating back to 1997, for allegedly not returning a rented copy of the 1996 movie, Sleepers. She had rented it from an Epsom, New Hampshire video store.

Cohen was charged with misdemeanor unauthorized use of rental property, was handcuffed, had her 1987 Cadillac impounded, and was taken to jail and fingerprinted. She faces a fine of up to $1,200.

Cohen said she had no memory of renting the video, and said she had never received any notice from the store that the video was overdue. The arrest, she said, "seems like a lot of trouble over a tape that probably cost $10."

Actually, the arrest is a microcosm of what's wrong with the American criminal justice system, said Getz.

"This is a classic example of How Good Laws Go Bad," he said. "The law against unauthorized use of rental property was written to protect car rental companies from people who rent a car, but never return it. That's a legitimate law designed to protect companies against costly rental fraud or theft.

"But now, the law has been dumbed down so much that if you forget to return American Pie 2 on time, you need to start plotting your Escape from Alcatraz."

Unfortunately, this isn't the only law that has expanded far beyond its original intent, said Getz.

"Take asset forfeiture laws: Originally designed to target the illegal profits of drug kingpins, they have been expanded to allow the government to seize property in cases of suspected prostitution, illegal gambling, or failure to pay sales taxes. Federal agents can now seize property under 200 different statutes.

"And RICO laws, originally designed to target Mafia crime bosses, are now used against stores that sell allegedly obscene videos, against the tobacco companies, and against investment companies for skirting tax laws."

In each case, said Getz, "Laws are subject to mission creep -- and their enforcement gets creepier and creepier, until you find yourself starring in the World's Most Dangerous Police Videos for forgetting to return a video."

What's the solution? More common sense and fewer laws, said Getz.

"Politicians need to curb the urge to treat every minor problem as an opportunity to write a new law," he said. "Police need to direct their resources against real criminals. And New Hampshire needs to take the 'Bust her!' out of Blockbuster."

Fear the government that fears your guns!

An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface.
Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.
If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
If you don't know your rights you don't have any.
Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.
What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?
The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.
64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
Guns only have two enemies: Rust and Politicians.
Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.
You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
911 - government sponsored Dial a Prayer.
Assault is a behavior, not a device.
Criminals love gun control - it makes their jobs safer.
If Guns cause Crime, then Matches cause Arson.
Only a government that is afraid of it's citizens try to control them.
You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
Enforce the "gun control laws" we have, don't make more.
When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.
The American Revolution would never have happened with Gun Control.
"...a government by the people, for the people..."

A fine is a tax you pay for doing bad. A tax is a fine you pay for doing well.

At Least 2,000 New York City Limo Drivers Received Aid From Red Cross by Proving They Lost Income After Sept. 11

If 4,000 of Them Get Checks, the Amount Would Nearly Match The $36 Million the Charity Spent On Victims of Hurricane Mitch

NEW YORK, Feb. 3 -- Besieged by public pressure following press revelations that the Red Cross might not spend all that it raised in September 11 appeals on victims of the tragedy, the charity now appears to have more money than it knows what to do with.

And that has led to some unlikely charity recipients: New York City drivers of luxury sedans.  The limo drivers, who are still making $700 to $1,000 a week, are eligible for tax-free checks if they prove that their company had accounts near the World Trade Center and that they lost income as a result of the September 11 attacks.  How much they've lost is not an issue.

As of the end of January, the Red Cross case workers estimate that 2,000 to 3,000 drivers had already received checks, even though word of the organization's generosity began spreading only in December.   If just 4,000 limo drivers end up getting an average of $7,500, their $30 million in aid would nearly match the $36 million spent by the Red Cross since 1998 to aid the 2.5 million victims of Hurricane Mitch in Central America.

The Red Cross, which also came under fire for too much "red tape" that kept victims from getting money instantly now has very little, almost no hassling over details like financial need or proof of expenses.  "After the bad publicity," says one volunteer, "we did a complete one-eighty, and went from checking claims carefully to competing among ourselves to be the most giving."

Thousands of victims of September 11 have been helped by the Red Cross, but the limo drivers' aid raises the question of whether the charity has more money for September 11 than it knows what to do with.  "I don't think ... we have too much money," says Harold Decker, who took over as Red Cross CEO in November after his predecessor resigned following controversy over the handling of donations.   "It's just that we recognize that these drivers have livelihoods, too, that we have to take care of."  Asked about the drivers' windfall, Decker adds: "We also recognize that there will have to be an endpoint for us paying for these economic losses.  But it's difficult to draw the line."

It's nice to see that the Red Cross is helping the REAL victims.

Softening of 4th Amendment Expands Police State

Our "conservative" Supreme Court adds building blocks to the growing police state fortress of the elite that is rapidly dominating the American republic.
Before 1990 traffic police were at least nominally restricted in auto stops by the plain words of the Fourth Amendment. They did not generally violate the seizure clause of the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures although it has long been routine to ignore the clause concerning the necessity of issuing warrants describing particulars in traffic stops.

Warrantless searches and seizures had been justified by "need"-not of the public, but of government-the common rationale to chip away guarantees protecting the basic rights of free people, the primary reason for government in the first place.

Also, more and more local jurisdictions began winking at Fourth Amendment "probable cause." A peace officer could always disturb your peace by claiming your tail light wasn't working or your license plate was dirty.

Even so, search and seizure had been traditionally reserved for those who have committed a real crime or are obviously about to do so.

But in the recent Supreme Court decision in Atwater v. Lago Vista by a majority of one, local peace officers were recreated as terroristic highwaymen with the option of seizing anyone on any misdemeanor, even those which carry only fines as penalties and are exempt from jail time.
Ira Mickenberg, writing in The National Law Journal gives a short history of court decisions leading to the law breaking and remaking case, Atwater v. City of Laga Vista.

A 1990 Michigan case, Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, which challenged highway checkpoints to see if drivers were intoxicated, was upheld as an "exception" from our basic protections of law under something called "special need," based on public safety, the mother's milk of the regulation-loving nanny state.

Next came the "war on drugs" roadblocks which the Supreme Court shot down in City of Indianapolis v. Edmond as just a convenience for police wanting to find drug users but void of any "special need."


Gail Atwater, a mother then living in Texas, was driving home one day, her two young children in the front seat not wearing seatbelts in violation of Texas seat belt statutes. An myrmidon cop pulled her over. After a brief dispute, the cop yelled at her that she was going to jail, refused to allow her to settle her children with a neighbor close by, and refused to write her a ticket.

He handcuffed her and took her to jail where she was booked, her belongings searched and she was locked into a cell for an hour. Then she was taken before a magistrate who set bail at $310-over six times the amount of the seat belt infraction.

She sued both the town and the police officer for violating her right not to be unreasonably searched and seized as guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment. Appeals of lower court decisions finally reached the Supreme Court.

The "conservative" majority on the Supreme Court delved into both colonial and British common law to find that police have the authority to make such arrests on nonjailable offenses, apparently assuming the wording of the Fourth Amendment carried the same authority. They seem not to know why a war of independence against Britain was fought nor why the Constitution was written.

The majority also found that courts do not make findings on the Fourth Amendment according to the circumstances of each case.

Mickenberg wrote: "The majority may be the only five people in the nation involved in the criminal justice system who do not recognize that the standard they purport to reject is precisely the one they have imposed on virtually all other Fourth Amendment cases."

The majority also rejected Atwater arguments that citations should be given in fine-only offenses unless there is specific reason not to. The counter argument was that "an officer on the street might not be able to tell the difference between jailable and nonjailable offenses."

Mickenberg's comment sums up the insanity of that statement: "The majority justifies giving police officers enormous power to infringe on personal liberty by assuming that those same officers are too stupid to learn the basic information needed to limit that power."

He also points out that the new ruling combined with another, Wrenn v. U.S. (which allows officers to stop a car for an infraction even if the only reason is to snoop on the driver and his car) gives peace officers real police state power.

They can now follow a car until they see (or pretend) some infraction-of which there are so many in the name of "safety" no one can escape them-make a full custodial arrest, handcuff the driver, search the car and the driver, take him to jail, strip search him, hold him for 48 hours and set excessive bail. All this for an "offense" that can't draw more than a $50 fine.


Mickenberg, in all probability, does not know, nor could he likely accept, a more conspiratorial twist to this ruling.

An off-duty Los Angeles area policeman has documented being stopped late at night last year and viciously manhandled by a uniformed policeman who spoke only heavily accented English. After he was able to show his credentials he asked the reason for the unprovoked brutality whereupon his assailant laughed, remarking in effect, "You Americans are too soft. You don't know what is in store for you."

If, indeed, there are plans being implemented piecemeal to subjugate American sovereignty, either under the UN or under globalist corporate "laws" such as the WTO agreements, there may be many law enforcement officers patrolling our streets and highways who have no inkling whatsoever of our laws-nor care about them.

Under the Global Plantation, "freedom" is rapidly becoming an empty word. This will require action and sacrifice from every person if it is to retain real meaning.

New 'Emergency Health Powers Act' is dangerous expansion of state power

WASHINGTON, DC -- A new proposal that would grant governors the power to declare a "bioterrorism emergency" -- then seize property, order public quarantines, and ration food, guns, and alcohol -- appears to be a classic case of government overreaction, say Libertarians.

"This proposed legislation, which has been introduced in a dozen states already, gives governors astonishing powers, under vaguely defined guidelines, to combat a bioterrorism emergency that may never happen," said Steve Dasbach, executive director of the Libertarian Party.

"Even in light of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Americans should be very reluctant to grant governors these sweeping powers. Just because something is done in the name of 'combating terrorism' doesn't make it right, or necessary, or constitutional."

The draft Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA), written by the Centers for Disease Control, is designed to help state governments cope with a sudden outbreak of smallpox, anthrax, or other bioterrorism attack. Health experts predict that every state will consider the 40-page model legislation at some point this year.

The legislation:

* Gives governors the power to declare a public health emergency, without consulting public health officials, the legislature, or the courts.

* Defines infectious disease as any "disease caused by a living organism," which "may, or may not, be transmissible from person to person, animal to person, or insect to person." Some health experts say the definition is so broad that it could include the outbreak of a dangerous flu or virus.

* Allows public health officials to mandate quarantines for people suspected of having an "infectious disease," and require vaccinations and medical exams. Doctors could be forced to provide them, and fined if they refuse.

* Permits states to mobilize the "organized militia" to seize control of any private property the governor deems "reasonable and necessary" to cope with the emergency, such as "communication devices, real estate, fuels, food, clothing, and health care facilities."

* Allows the governor to destroy private property alleged to be hazardous to public health, in some cases without compensation.

* Empowers the state to "control and restrict alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles."

The first problem with granting governors such awesome powers is that the definition of an "emergency" is so vague, said Dasbach. According to MEHPA, a public health emergency is "an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition...caused by bioterrorism...that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities."

"Is a significant number five, the number of Americans already killed by the anthrax attacks?" he asked. "Is it 500? Is it 5,000? Unfortunately, if your state passes this legislation, a bioterrorism attack will be whatever your governor says it is."

The second problem is that MEHPA appears to be an overreaction to a past government failure, said Dasbach.

"A primary function of the federal government, as defined in the Constitution, is to protect Americans against foreign attack," he noted. "On September 11, the government failed in that crucial role.

"Now, instead of reflexively expanding government power at the state level, perhaps it's time to ask why politicians were so unprepared in the first place.

"Perhaps, if they weren't so busy squandering tax money on things like sports stadiums, museums, welfare programs, and business subsidies, they might already have a sensible, practical, limited bioterrorism response in place -- instead of having to scramble to pass a hastily written law that, frankly, should make every American apprehensive."

Ralph Nader is guilty of 'false advertising' about Green Party status, say Libertarians

WASHINGTON, DC -- Libertarians are charging former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader with "false advertising" as a result of his claim on NBC's Meet the Press that the Greens are the nation's third-largest political party -- a distinction that actually belongs to the Libertarians.

"How can Nader claim he's going to 'clean up the political system' when he can't even come clean on national TV?" asked Libertarian Party Political Director Ron Crickenberger. "Next thing you know, he's going to claim he invented the Internet."

Nader, the rumpled, self-professed consumer advocate who ran for president in 1996 and 2000 as the Green Party candidate, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday to discuss the Enron scandal and other issues. In response to a question about the Florida ballot controversy from moderator Tim Russert, Nader claimed, "The Green Party now is the third-largest party in America."

"Unfortunately for Nader, saying so doesn't make it so," Crickenberger said. "According to any objective standard, the Libertarian Party is today's largest, most successful third party. Year in and year out, we run more candidates for office, and achieve more election victories, than all other third parties combined."

In fact, here's how the Libertarians and Greens really stack up:

* Elected officials: 302 Libertarians, 131 Greens.

* Election victories in 2001: 96 Libertarians, 58 Greens.

* Candidates for office in 2001: 347 Libertarians, 281 Greens.

* Registered voters: 224,713 Libertarians, 194,873 Greens.

* Money raised in 2001: $2.1 million Libertarians, less than $0.1 million Greens.

"Libertarians wouldn't claim that our candidate, Harry Browne, came in third in the 2000 presidential race -- because that distinction belongs to Mr. Nader," Crickenberger said. "In the same way, Nader has no business claiming that his party is larger or more successful overall than the Libertarian Party, because that's not true either.

"The real yardstick for third-party success is how many candidates you run for office, and how many of those candidates win elections. The fact is that the Libertarian Party consistently runs more candidates than all other third parties combined, and we have more people in office than all other third parties combined.

"And those differences can be staggering. For example, in 2000 alone, the Libertarian Party ran 1,420 candidates, nearly twice as many as the Green Party has run in its entire history.

"It's simply irresponsible for Nader to continue to mislead the public and the news media by making claims to the contrary. How can any third-party candidate claim he's different from Democrats and Republicans when he dissembles in the same way that they do?"

Noting that Nader's new book is titled: "Crashing the Party: How to tell the truth and still run for president," Crickenberger said, "Libertarians understand the book has received excellent reviews, and we urge Mr. Nader to read it."

Minimum Wage

I really don’t care how hard it is to raise a family on minimum wage.  Fact is, if you’re not bright enough to earn more than the minimum wage you’re sure not smart enough to be having children. 

Automobile Dealer Advertisements

Why do people leave those automobile dealer stickers and tags on the trunks of their cars? You paid for the car and they are not paying you to advertise their businesses.  It’s a small thing, I know … but it just bugs the hell out of me.

James Madison Quote

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. 
James Madison, fourth US president (1751-1836)

Plato Quote

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

Driving Tip!

Hint:  If you have to turn on your emergency flashers and slow down to 40mph in the fast lanes of an expressway simply because it is raining hard, then you are simply not qualified to be driving on that expressway.  Get off.

Cigarette smoke reeks.

I hate to be around it. But I'm not going to ask the government to intercede when I can handle the problem myself.

School Busing

We have an oil shortage? We need to save fuel? This doesn't make sense. We spend billions of dollars to bus our kids to school (many being picked up door to door) and then build million dollar gymnasiums to give them exercise. What is wrong with this picture?

George Dorunda


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