Sunday, April 27, 2014

Notes and Comment!

A brief note concerning the current Supreme Court case dealing with state laws that prohibit “false statements” in political campaigns. Um... if you eliminated all false statements from political campaigns, you'd eliminate political campaigns, wouldn't you? And... well... OK, I guess that would be a good thing, by and large.

Then we have retired (praise be!) Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, who has made a – let's admit this much – novel assault on the Second Amendment. He suggests that the wording of said amendment be changed as follows: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” Now... where to begin? The utter idiocy of this idea is clearly brought out if we merely substitute the word “Army” for “Militia”. So then you would have “... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Army shall not be infringed.” Oh, wow – what a notion! People in the armed services being allowed to bear arms! What sort of genius thought that up? So basically, if the amendment were to be altered in such a way, we wouldn't need it at all. An “army”, by definition, consists of people who not only bear arms, but have the right to (except maybe in the Netherlands). So if you have an army, which is provided for elsewhere in the Constitution, you don't even need to talk about any right to bear arms which is limited to members of the Army, do you? Too bad... Mr. Justice Stevens is out there writing drivel when he should, by rights, be resting comfortably in “the home” (as Don Rickles would say). But it's a free country. (No thanks to him.)

There is a revealing – and easily overlooked – line in a recent column by Lawrence Summers (don't get me started!) advocating the “authorization” of the International Monetary Fund by Congress. (Aren't they already “authorized”? Haven't they been ruling the roost for many years now? Who knows?) He says that “reform measures to bolster capital flows and exports to emerging markets are essential. These include, most importantly (emphasis mine), political steps to reassure investors about populist threats (ditto) in a number of countries and provide investor protection and backstop finance.” So what's he saying here? “Populist threats?” Is that anything like the Tea Party, or Occupy? Or their foreign equivalents? Is it anything like the crazy notion that people are more important than banks, corporations, or the stock market? Clearly, governments have to take measures against such nonsense. They have to provide “investor protection” (which I guess means bailouts, like the one that followed the Crash of 2008) and “backstop finance” (ditto). Well... I guess it's good to have, once again, a confirmation of where liberal, collectivist economists stand. And it's good, I guess, to have who's really in charge confirmed once again.

He's back! The proverbial bad penny of U.S.-Israeli relations, namely Jonathan Pollard, has come back, this time in the form of a bribe, er, incentive, for Israel to release 100-plus Palestinian prisoners, AKA “terrorists”. I've discussed Pollard before and will not repeat myself – only to observe that maybe this was, all along, part of the agenda for keeping him behind bars. That is, if the cause were sufficient, he would be offered up, the way we would trade spies with the Soviets in the old days. Of course, we and the Soviets were on opposite sides back then, whereas Israel is our “eternal ally”. Right? Right? (sound of crickets chirping)

Interesting goings-on in this part of the world – the unions are siding with the “fracking” industry against the environmentalists. It's all about jobs, of course – but aren't unions supposed to be politically liberal? And isn't environmentalism the very essence of political liberalism? So why can't they just link arms and sing Kumbaya on the way to the unemployment office?  Kinda reminds me of what happens when union members are allowed to vote, and wind up voting against the "advice" of their leaders.

Kraft Foods is recalling 96,000 pounds of wieners “because they mistakenly contain cheese”. Hmmm... I wonder if they've ever recalled wieners because they mistakenly contained meat?

It turns out that “an engineer driving a speeding commuter train that derailed last year, killing four people, had a sleep disorder.” This was in New York, a stronghold of union strength – not that that would have had any influence on hiring a guy with a sleep disorder to drive commuter trains, oh no...

I always say that “every government program is a jobs program”. And that includes the military. Right now, the officer corps is up in arms – so to speak – about upcoming reductions in force. And government contractors are fighting like demons to hold on to their lucrative deals in the face of budget cuts – including defense, which is usually untouchable. I also say “one person's 'government waste' is another person's income”. Not to mention, they all vote.

Anybody remember when John Kerry was a “peacenik”?

This kid who “allegedly” (even though there were a hundred or so witnesses) stabbed a bunch of his schoolmates over east of Pittsburgh left a note that said, among other things, “their precious lives are going to be taken by the only one among them that isn't a plebian”. Wow – spoken like a true elitist. He clearly has a great future in politics. (Just shows that all it takes is an idea, and a couple of deadly weapons.)

I didn't see any of the usual media debunking of Christ and His Church this Lenten/Easter season, the most reliable perpetrator being Time magazine. Or, maybe I just missed it. Or – maybe they've eased off a bit because they like Pope Francis. Whatever, it's better than nothing.

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