Thursday, September 29, 2005

He would be caught dead there

Another anti-free market Republican rears his regulation-happy little head :
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker thinks strip malls are no place for the dearly departed -- he wants to ban funeral parlors from setting up shop there.

''To put it in a strip mall next to a Hooters or an auto parts store doesn't serve the industry or consumers well,'' said Rep. Phil Montgomery, a Republican. ''Consumers have a certain expectation for a funeral home. Most people would be taken aback.''

He said his measure is aimed at protecting people from funeral parlors that could come and go quickly from the malls.
I think a funeral parlor next to a Hooters would be a great modern memento mori.

Montgomery's Republican colleagues ought to reject out of hand this small addition to Wisconsin's anti-business climate. And ask him to join the Democrat Party.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Since when do the servants tell the employers how to...


Peggy Noonan in OpinionJournal, on the response to the recent hurricanes :
No one took responsibility, but there was plenty of authority...

And they did things like this: The day before hurricane Rita hit Texas, last Friday, I saw on TV something that disturbed me. It was not the usual scene of crashing waves and hardy reporters being blown sideways by wind gusts. It was a fat Texas guy swimming in the waves off Galveston. He'd apparently decided the high surf was a good thing to jump into, so he went for a prehurricane swim. Two cops saw him, waded into the surf and arrested him. When I saw it the guy was standing there in orange trunks being astonished as the cops put handcuffs on him and hauled him away.

I thought: Oh no, this is isn't good. This is authority, not responsibility.
The responsibility was once his. No longer, in America.

Jerry Pournelle on energy and Middle Eastern oil

Pournelle is an old techie and sci fi author:
Regarding energy and the market: at the moment we subsidize gasoline and fuel oil prices by paying for military operations required to keep Middle East oil flowing. If the true costs of those operations were added as a tariff on imported oil, the market would be a great deal different, and domestic energy production would get more investment -- as would conservation measures. But we don't do that...

...You can certainly heat your house with electricity. Right now. And for $300 billion you can both build nuclear power plants and develop fuel cells. And subsidize replacement of inefficient cars with more efficient ones. Three Hundred Billion Dollars is a lot of money.

And, of course, the war is going to cost more.

Perhaps the simplest measure would be to put a tariff on oil imports large enough to cover the costs of the Middle East operations. Then see what happens.
To the extent that our military presence in the Middle East is indeed about oil, he may just have a point.

But make petroleum users pay the real cost? eGad.

"Suspicious behaviour on the tube" by...

...David Mery is well worth a read.

Thanks to Jerry Pournelle for the lead.

Remind me to rethink any urge to visit England in the near future.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Leftie Christopher Hitchens takes on the "anti-war" left

He has a low opinion of them :
To be against war and militarism, in the tradition of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, is one thing. But to have a record of consistent support for war and militarism, from the Red Army in Eastern Europe to the Serbian ethnic cleansers and the Taliban, is quite another. It is really a disgrace that the liberal press refers to such enemies of liberalism as "antiwar" when in reality they are straight-out pro-war, but on the other side. Was there a single placard saying, "No to Jihad"? Of course not. Or a single placard saying, "Yes to Kurdish self-determination" or "We support Afghan women's struggle"? Don't make me laugh. And this in a week when Afghans went back to the polls, and when Iraqis were preparing to do so, under a hail of fire from those who blow up mosques and U.N. buildings, behead aid workers and journalists, proclaim fatwahs against the wrong kind of Muslim, and utter hysterical diatribes against Jews and Hindus....

How nice to have a "peace" movement that is either openly on the side of the vermin, or neutral as between them and the cleanup crew, and how delightful to have a press that refers to this partisanship, or this neutrality, as "progressive."
Well, nobody's perfect.

Thanks to Instapundit for the lead.

Hawaii Gun Registration

I registered the guns yesterday. Decent enuf guys behind the bullet proof counter glass, with a pass thru like a gas station in a bad neighborhood. Guess what: To get to that fortified registration room you have to walk past another counter with no protection, just a normal everyday counter, with clerks at desks behind it. Like no one intent on shooting cops would even think to take out the clerks, go over the counter, and keep shooting.

I brought the guns in from out of state so I didn't have to apply for a Permit to Aquire them, but I still had to sign medical waivers.

Since one of my pistols was already registered (when I was here in the 1980s) and they still had the records for that one, I didn't have to be fingerprinted, but did get photographed. Also I had to give them my local doctor's name and address, and a release form for all medical records, including psychiatric and with a check mark for release of any records of AIDS. Like AIDS drives ppl to kill? How does knowing if someone has AIDS make the public safer- especially since I doubt that they access any of these records until one gets arrested for something, in which case they could have supoenaed them anyway. There was no time termination limit on the access permission. They can access forever, and since the local doctor will soon have my old doctor's records, they will have perpetual access to all.

Is this the future? Governments with instant access to databases of all conceivable information on everybody? Tie together all your credit card info, checking account records, highway U-Pass toll info, telephone records including recordings of calls, medical records, passport usages, ATM records, car registrations, gun registrations, airline flights, hotel records, property rental and ownership records, tax records, driver's license info, Amazon and B&N records....The Nazis and Stalinists did not have that information in their wildest dreams and we are turning it all over to ppl beyond control, because if we refuse we can be prosecuted for not obeying the law.

As Jerry Pournelle likes to say: We were born free.