Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Lots of goings-on

AKA, the one big catch-up blog post! Here I'll comment on a bunch of things I've been meaning to but haven't had the time to make happen.

First, the Kelo Kicker: As if it's not bad enough that the residents of New London have to surrender their homes to the city and to Pfizer, but now the city is suing the residents for five years of back rent. Seems they've been living on city property, lo these past five years since the city first declared its use of eminent domain and seized the land and buildings. Some of the rent being charged - anywhere from $57K to over $300K over that 5-year span - would be considered astronomical by any rational human being. But let's face it, city council members can hardly be said to have it all together upstairs, especially when they're blinded by the prospect of vastly increased tax revenue. And oh - did I mention that the city is pushing for the "just compensation" part of the Fifth Amendment to be based on what the market values of the property were in 2000? Heh.

Citizens of Kalifornia, your senior Senator and representative of you and your interests to the federal government! I give you, Senator Dianne Feinstein:
"Senator Daschle, the Internet is full of pornography and pedophilia, and until that's clean [sic] up, I don't think the Senate should be on the Internet."
Wow. Just... wow.

Next up, an excellent column in the OC Register from Costa Mesa's mayor, who's also an Orange County Sheriff's Deputy (and therefore a member of the public employee union AOCDS). Finally we see someone stating exactly what Proposition 75, the Paycheck Protection initiative, will do: restore the free speech of each individual member of public employee unions - who are paid out of our taxes - by not forcing them to contribute to political causes with which they disagree.

Finally, via The Heritage Foundation, the US has responded to a UN proposal that would give the UN a whole heck of a lot more power over the private industry that is and runs the Internet - the US basically told the UN, "Hands off the Internet". While that is indeed an admirable response and a principled position, it just makes me wonder where these free market, free Internet, property rights stalwarts were when they and their compatriots over at National Review Online were giving the Republican party line rah-rah to CAFTA, several provisions of which forced the implementation in Central and South American countries of DMCA-style regulations. And of course as any free enterprise advocate knows, the essential result of the DMCA was to stifle legal technological innovation by one industry - equipment manufacturers - in order to protect the profit margins of another industry - music labels and movie studios. Free trade - it seems so simple, doesn't it? Speaking of CAFTA - one thing I never understood was why national governments need to pass laws and treaties about free trade. Wouldn't it serve free trade better just to get governments out of the way entirely?


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