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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Sunday - December 16, 2007

And then there was one … because it’s the only one that we really have almost no need for.

On this anniversary of the Bill of Rights, the Cato Institute takes a look at the smoldering remains of a thing called Freedom.

Here’s the CliffNotes version ...

1st: Free speech and religion. McCain-Fiengold. What more needs to be said, except that this misguided fool is running for President, again. For religion, it’s Ok for Santeria to sacrifice animals, and of course Islam is the Religion of Peace, but God help you if put up a manger scene in a public park, or wish people a Merry Christmas if you work retail.

2nd: Keep and Bear Arms. How many thousand gun laws do we have by now? 60, 70 thousand? I’m so glad people understand the word “infringed” or else we’d really have a lot of gun laws. But hey, they’re all just “reasonable restrictions”, right?

3rd: Quarter soldiers in your house. Woo hoo, this one’s solid. Just one case in our entire national history, Engblom v. Carey, and the justices found that this right extends even further than originally written!

4th: Unreasonable search and seizure. Combine the militarization of most police departments with “no knock” warrents and you get a big mess, usually involving stormtroopers wearing jackboots. Remember Elian Gonzales?

5th: Private property. Kelo v New London. What more can even be said? If I’m the government, what’s yours is mine if I can sell it to someone who can use it to generate more tax dollars than you do.

6th: Speedy public trial and an impartial jury. Rather weakened ... Plea bargaining deals - plead guilty to the little rap, because if you go to trial we’ll turn the world inside out to screw you.

7th: Right to trial by jury. So-so at best. Who needs a trial when the gov can slam you with huge fines without one? Cato Institute points out that the government can lay some mighty heavy fines on you without any trial (I’m thinking the IRS and perhaps ATFE) but I’m not sure that argument is a best fit to this Amendment. OTOH, look up the details of the “Lautenberg Amendment” if you gunnies don’t already know the words by heart.

8th: Cruel and unusual punishments abound. Excessive punishments certainly do. Look at the penalties for crack vs cocaine. At the other end of the spectrum, look at the shenanigans going on over the death penalty. Even lethal injection is thought to “cause too much suffering”. Cato thinks denying the deathly ill experimental drugs is a violation of the 8th, but that seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

9th: You have other rights than the ones here, even if they’re not written down. Yeah right. We seem to have a federal agency and a book full of laws for every single aspect of our lives, from what we breath, eat, drink, wear, sleep on, ride in, live in, buy, build, and even say. Not to mention how we run our lives, how we earn our money, how and what we teach our children. Government is total; what unenumerated rights are left for the people?

10th: What the feds don’t get the states and the people do. Wanna bet? The States don’t have it much better than the People. Seems to me that the federal government has been grabbing everything they could since the end of the Civil War. Certainly since FDR was in office. Still, the states go out of their way to impose their crap on their citizens, just in case the feds missed anything. And if the States miss anything, we always have county and town level governments, and even the micro-government of condo associations to fill in the gaps. So please, name me the powers reserved for the people, please.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/16/2007 at 04:40 PM   
Filed Under: • Government •  
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calendar   Monday - December 03, 2007

Bush and Clinton Agree - More Free Ice Cream!

So we have news today that Hillary Clinton and President Bush agree that the poor folks who could not afford their mortgages should not be held to the agreement they made with their lenders.  That those same lenders should not be allowed to collect on their property and recover some of their losses.

No, that would mean responsibility.

Instead, we are going to have the federal government stepping in to wipe the collective noses of all those who bought something they could not afford and tell them it will be OK.  Mommy’s here to make it all better kids.

Clinton Calls for Foreclosure Moratorium, Adjustable Rate Hold

By Kristin Jensen

Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners who default on subprime mortgages.

The New York senator, is also seeking a five-year freeze on the monthly rate for subprime adjustable mortgages and a requirement that the industry report how many mortgages have been modified. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Clinton said she may consider legislation to protect lenders from lawsuits and let them convert certain mortgages into ``stable, affordable loans.’’

Paulson and Treasury officials are trying to craft an agreement with lenders to prevent a surge in defaults in the $11.5 trillion mortgage market. Clinton said any deal should include the provisions she has suggested.

``The administration and the mortgage industry must reach an agreement that matches the scale of the problem,’’ Clinton, 60, said in the letter released by her campaign today. ``If you produce an inadequate agreement, or fail outright, the cost to our economy will be incalculable.’’

Clinton also proposed a fund of as much as $5 billion to help communities suffering from high rates of foreclosures. The moratorium on foreclosures would be at least 90 days and only apply to owner-occupied homes.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/03/2007 at 06:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Government •  
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calendar   Wednesday - November 21, 2007

We’re from the Government, and we’re here to protect your data

Wooops, sorry ‘bout that mate.

UK bank data of millions missing

LONDON, England (CNN)—Britain’s finance minister apologized Wednesday for the loss of two computer discs containing the personal data of 25 million people, calling it “inexcusable” and vowing to continue searching for the material.

The two discs contained the department’s entire database relating to the payment of child benefits—a tax-free monthly payment available to everyone with children—Treasury chief Alistair Darling said.

The data on 25 million individuals and 7.25 million families, includes names, addresses, dates of birth, national insurance numbers, and, in some cases, bank account details.

The loss became public Tuesday and prompted the resignation of Paul Gray, the head of Revenue and Customs, which supervises taxation and welfare payments.

“People are entitled to trust the government or any other institution that holds personal information,” Darling told Sky News on Wednesday. “There has been a colossal failure here which shouldn’t have happened.”

Darling said the loss happened in October, when a junior Revenue and Customs official downloaded the data onto two password-protected discs and sent them via internal mail to another.

The package, which was not registered or recorded, never arrived.

Although the CDs were mailed October 18, Darling said, the loss wasn’t reported until November 8.

Just wait until our .gov controls your healthcare records.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/21/2007 at 01:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Government •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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