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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Tent State blues"


Protesters at the upcoming Democratic National Convention will not be able to spend the night in their self-described "Tent State University" at City Park. And unless they get some approval of their plans in a hurry, the won't be staying there during the day, either.

I predict lots of fireworks in August. It will be entertaining - hippies, protesters, and if we are lucky some water cannons and German Shepherds.

Benevolent city government helps those too stupid to make their own dietary decisions.


Here is another example of a government knowing what is better for people than the people know for themselves.

The City of Los Angeles has put a moratorium on new fast food places in southern LA. The government thinks those people are too stupid to decide what they should eat, so the benevolent government is going to help them.

Since the moratorium only applies to a certain part of town, are the residents in the rest of LA smart enough to eat the way the government thinks they should? Or does the government just not care about the rest of LA?

"Media bias won't win the presidency"


Harsanyi points out that with the proliferation of news outlets, there really is no such thing as the "mainstream media."

Each news source has its own bias, but with so many sources they cancel each other out.

"Can you spare a dime a gallon?"


The Post advocates an additional 10 cent per gallon federal tax. Why? Because the federal government needs more money, obviously.

The Post thinks it unfair that the feds do not get as much money from gas sales since gas prices have risen to $4 a gallon. See, people are buying less gas because it is expensive. When they buy less gas, the feds do not get as much money.

According to the Post's logic, raising the gas tax is appropriate.

Get this - the Post concludes its editorial with this gem:

. . . if motorists have to send $4 a gallon to OPEC oil exporters and international energy companies anyway, paying another dime to fix the potholes on our crumbling highway network at least gives us something tangible in return.

So, taxes to fix potholes is "something tangible," but the ability to drive to work is not? The ability to drive to the store for milk is not tangible? I am baffled.

The ignorance of the Denver Post editorial board is staggering.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Slow down the ethanol juggernaut"


Reasonable people can disagree. When I find myself differing with a reasonable person, my first goal is to find the basis for the disagreement.

It will almost always boil down to a value judgment somewhere. Once I understand the value judgment, I can understand the other person's position.

The "ethanol juggernaut" is a failure, and I can not find the value judgment upon which the program is based.

Originally, misguided but well-meaning people supported the program in an effort to wean the U.S. off foreign oil. I understand that.

But now that it has proven to be a massive failure, what value judgment keeps it alive? Do some people think that rising food prices (that hit the poor hardest of all) are worth whatever benefit ethanol provides?

Where are these people?

Denver Post Endorsements

Republican Primary for the 6th Congressional district: Mike Coffman

BlueCarp agrees. Coffman is currently the Colorado Secretary of State. The Libertarian Party of Colorado has dealt with him and his office on some ballot access issues, and Coffman has been fair and helpful. He applied the law, unlike some county-level bureaucrats who think it is their job to protect their party, not enforce the law. Coffman is above that.

As the Post points out, he is also a "fiscal conservative" and "believes government is part of the country's problems with health care costs."


Democratic Primary for the 2nd Congressional District: Will Shafroth

At least "
he's not a knee-jerk opponent of NAFTA "and doesn't have a long political history."

Those are good things.

Republican Primary for the 5th Congressional District: Jeff Crank

The Post likes Crank over incumbent Republican Congressman Doug Langborn.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Al Gore's Doomsday Clock"

Read this Wall Street Journal piece by Bret Stephens and grow wise.

The lede:

Al Gore gave a speech last week "challenging" America to run "on 100% zero-carbon electricity in 10 years" -- though that's just the first step on his road to "ending our reliance on carbon-based fuels." Serious people understand this is absurd.

"Voters could be asked to kill FasTracks"


Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute*, wants to kill the Light Rail expansion project known as FasTracks.

Why? Because it was sold to the voters at a particular cost and now the Regional Transportation District admits it is going to cost a lot more than that.

The posts underneath the online article are amusing, sad and funny.

Several of FasTracks supporters seem to think that Light Rail is such a great idea, it doesn't matter how much it costs.

It ALWAYS matters how much it costs.

FasTracks promised to give us A at the cost of $X. They can't deliver. The supporters should not blame people if they won't just acquiesce to paying more than $X.

I dare say few would tolerate the same behavior from a contractor at their house.

Voters should not be expected to countenance such behavior either.


* Full disclosure: I'm a member of the Independence Institute.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bad Idea of the Day

This Bad Idea is brought to you courtesy of San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre.

According to the AP, he "filed a lawsuit against Bank of America Corp and its Countrywide unit to prevent the mortgage lenders from foreclosing on homes in his city, which he aims to make a 'foreclosure sanctuary.'"

He intends on filing suit against other mortgage lenders, as well, in hope of creating his sanctuary.

I will assume that he is genuinely well-intentioned and not grand standing for political gain.

What will he gain if he is successful? He'll gain a city where NO ONE, and I mean, NO ONE, will ever get a mortgage again.

What kind of lender is going to agree to loan money when they can not foreclose on the property upon default? None.

Aguirre is attempting to help without contemplating the consequences of his success.

For his failure to consider the unintended consequences, Aguirre is awarded with BlueCarp's "Bad Idea of the Day."

The L.A. Times on Bob Barr

"He's Bob Barr,

and he's running for president"

Some of the comments after the article are interesting. Many are bizarre.

"Indency fine was misguided"


Yes it was.

A federal appeals court struck down the FCC's $550,000 fine on CBS for the Janet Jackson/Justin Tmberlake Super Bowl stunt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Gore's nutty idea"


Carroll mocks Al Gore's "plan" to get "100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years."

"Many Americans have begun to wonder whether or not we've simply lost our appetite for bold policy solutions," Gore said.

Well, Al, "bold policy solutions" equals "government planning."

Most of us have lost our appetite for that. And for good reason. Not only does it taste bad, it makes you sick.

"The VA wrangle"


Take care of our veterans. But don't waste money doing it.

These are not mutually exclusive goals.

"What Obama could learn on vacation"


In an effort to improve his foreign policy bona fides, Obama is touring Europe. Harsanyi points out that Europe, after decades of socialism, is moving away from government regulation of business and taxes, and is succeeding.

As always, there is a lesson to be learned for those that seek the knowledge.

"Transit is still a wise investment"


Voters approved an expansion of Denver metro area light rail four years ago. The expansion, FasTracks, was sold at a cost of $4.7 billion.

Whoops.

Now, the Regional Transportation District says they will need $6.1 billion to deliver on its end of the deal.

Hey, a billion here and a billion there, pretty soon you are talking real money.

Nevertheless, the Post declares "
. . . we believe FasTracks must be delivered largely as promised."

It was promised at $4.7 billion. But that is not what the Post means. The Post means that the entire project must be delivered, regardless of the cost.

It is not a "wise investment" if you can not afford it.


Monday, July 21, 2008

"The great and powerful Obama"

Denver Post Syndicated Column - Charles Krauthammer
Originally published in the Washington Post.

Krauthammer makes me chuckle. He wrote:

...has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements? Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted “present” nearly 130 times. As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself.
It is funny 'cause it's true.

"More realistic plan for base may avoid condemnation nightmare"


The Rocky has no problem with the Army's revised plan to expand its Pinon Canyon training facility if it can actually get the land from willing buyers only.

"Destroying Alaskan refuge isn't the answer"


This column is a great example of arguments made by worshipers at the altar of The Green.

Mr. Hogan sets up a false premise: Drilling for oil will destroy the wilderness.

Regarding the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, he says "Destroying one of the last intact ecosystems on the planet is not an answer to our fossil-fuel woes."

He is right. So it is a good thing drilling in ANWR will not destroy its ecosystem. If that is his only argument for not drilling in Alaska, it fails.

Drilling will no doubt have an impact on the ecosystem, but it will not destroy it.

Hogan's biblical gnashing of teeth and rendering of his garments is misplaced. Hysterical predictions of an environmental apocalypse do not further his argument.

He would be better served by admitting drilling will not destroy the wilderness, but argue that whatever impact drilling does have is not the benefit to the market.

He would still be wrong, but he would not be as wrong.

"Workable plan: four-day weeks"


The Post is cautiously optimistic about a proposal to allow State employees to work four 10-hour days a week instead of the traditional five eight-hour days.

The Post asks better questions about the proposal than did the Rocky in its editorial last week. (The Rocky failed to mention that longer hours during the work week could help people do business with the state without having to miss work).

An internet commenter suggested that the four days a week be Wednesday through Saturday. Not a bad idea.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Al Gore's energetic message"

Denver Post Column - E. J. Dionne
Originally published in the Washington Post

Dionne is a member of the Al Gore Green Cult. While you read Dionne's column, you should have Joni Mitchell playing in the background. But no matter how much wind we harness, we are not going back to the garden. We are not stardust. We are not golden.

Dionne says "promises that more offshore drilling will magically bring down prices are not backed up by the evidence. 'We have been drilling for more oil, and the prices have gone up,' Gore said."

My amazement never ceases at the Greens' inability to understand supply and demand curves. There is no magic involved.

If supply goes up, but demand goes up even more, prices will indeed rise. And this is what the economically challenged do not get: Prices would be even higher if the supply did not rise as much as it did.

If Gore grasps this basic concept, his statement is disingenuous. If he does not grasp the concept, he is a loon. And he may well be a disingenuous loon.

Gore professes to understand that the demand for oil has gone up:

"A lot more oil has been found, a lot more has been produced." In his speech, Gore uttered the disturbing truth that "the exploding demand for oil, especially in places like China, is overwhelming the rate of new discoveries by so much that oil prices are almost certain to continue upward over time no matter what the oil companies promise."

"Disturbing truth?" Only to the economic illiterate.

Yes, burgeoning demand results in higher prices. This is Econ 101 stuff.

But without any growth in supply, we would have even higher prices. Gore inconveniently ignores this truth.

If you listen to Gore, rising supply has had no affect on prices. Even Lewis Carroll would find that notion absurd.

Dionne goes on to praise Gore for his touting of alternative fuels:

Gore's core assertion is that the technology for alternative fuels — wind, solar and geothermal — is far more advanced than we realize.

Who is "we?" T. Boone Pickens realizes it. His "Pickens Plan" calls for the government to get out of the way so private business can pick up the slack.

Gore wants government to lead the way.

And that, my friends, is the difference between those that believe in the free market and those that believe in the government.

The free market is not perfect. But it is whole lot closer than the government is.

Just compare Wal-Mart and FEMA's efforts to assist New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

We need less Gore, more Pickens.

According to Dionne, Gore insists "
that renewables could eventually 'give us the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline.'"

"Eventually" I might get Parker Posey to go out with me. "Eventually" monkeys might fly out of my ass.

When and if it can be done, what does the government need to do other than get the hell out of the way? I have the suspicion that the only way "the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline" is possible involves heavy subsidies. Subsidies are paid by the same people buying the "equivalent of $1 per gallon of gasoline."

Ergo, Gore is proposing a carnival game. "Step right up! For only $5 a throw, you can win a 50 cent stuffed animal! Every throw is a winner!"

Dionne closes by challenging the unwashed masses:

Voters say they hate gimmicks and insist they want bold solutions.

Well, Gore is testing that proposition. He says he wants to "expand the political space" for those actually running for office. Will they take the opening?

The opening for what? The proposition that somehow government is the answer to a market problem?

There is a fundamental truism that neither Gore nor Dionne understand: The government is incapable of producing. Anything.

The government can not produce energy. It cannot produce oil. It cannot produce wind or solar panels.

There is no utopia, Green or otherwise. And even if there was, the government will not help create it.

You, me and everyone else need energy. Dirty, grimy, nasty energy. And yes, someone will make a profit providing it to us.

That is neither good nor bad. It just is.

"Overturn ban on offshore drilling"


The Post breaks ranks with the Democratic Messiah, Barack Obama, and wants Congress to overturn the ban on domestic offshore drilling.

The Post also calls for more alternative energy sources, including nuclear.

Some of the online commenters are hilarious, claiming that the Post is in the pocket of "big oil." Of course, to members of the Cult of Al Gore, anyone in favor of continued use of the internal cumbustion engine is a heretic.

"Don't oversell lottery prizes


The Colorado lottery offers scratch-off tickets with an advertised "Grand Prize." Problem is, even after the Grand Prize has been claimed, they keep selling the tickets without publicizing that the Grand Prize is no longer available.

Seems nigh on fraudulent, doesn't it? Even if it's not quite fraudulent, the Rocky says "[t]here's something fundamentally deceptive about enticing people to play a game advertising a $1 million jackpot that is, in fact, not available."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Illusions about allusions"


The Rocky's resident cranky conservative mocks a Dallas County, Texas, Commissioner for taking offense to the term "black hole."

The Commissioner is a person of color. He took offense to the negative connotation of the term.

Rosen the offended person is "both hypersensitive and an idiot."

Rosen is right.

This incident reminds me of the Washington, D.C., staff person that was forced to resign after using the word "niggardly."

"Bogus attack on Udall"


Carroll calls out Republican Bob Schaffer for his mischaracterization of Democrat Mark Udall's position on the Iraq War.

It is good to see a conservative like Carroll call out a Republican when it is deserved.

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Udall. There is no need to make any up.

"Stations put campaign ads to test"


Salzman is glad to see seveal local television stations analyze political ads for truth during the local news.

He also calls out Republican Bob Schaffer for intentionally misrepresenting his opponent's record while in Congress.

"Jackson's own medicine"


The Rocky points out inconsistencies in Jesse Jackson's opinion about the use of the epithet "nigger."

When Michael Richards used the word, Jesse said it was "hateful" and "sick" and that "a simple apology does not deal with the depth of the trauma."

Now that Jackson has been caught saying he wants to cut off Obama's "nuts" and using the same epithet, Jackson has apologized and said it is time to "move on to address the real issues."

What about the trauma?

Nothing much has been heard from Michael Richards lately. If only the same fate awaited Jackson.

"No four-day week for state "


State Rep. Don Marostica has proposed changing state employees' schedule from five eight-hour days to four ten-hour days.

Marostica thinks the change will cut down on energy costs and on commuter traffic.

The Rocky thinks any such benefits are outweighed by "the loss in public services that would result should state offices be closed an extra day of the week."

The Rocky fails to even mention that the two extra hours a day when the offices are open would make public services more available on those days.

Those two extra hours a day would enable some people to take care of business without missing work.

"Denver must protect the rights of DNC protesters"


Once again, the Post calls for nebulous goals without a single practical suggestion.

To wit,

The key to a successful Democratic National Convention . . . will be striking the proper balance between protecting the rights of tens of thousands of protesters set to descend on the city and maintaining public safety.

The Post must have some suggestions on how to achieve this balance, right? Nope. Just platitudes.

The Post concludes: "To strictly limit access and place Draconian controls on any of these [protest] groups is unacceptable."

That is a very high sounding statement that means absolutely nothing.

What is a "strict" limit? What is a "reasonable" limit? What is a "Draconian" control versus a legitimate control?

The Post offers no answers - just words.

"Back off. I'll get a permit and I won't be afraid to use it."


Wihera doesn't own a guy, but is glad he can. He is concerned, however, that he needs a permit to exercise his right to own a gun. He points out that the does not need a permit to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

"Losing beer HQ is disappointing"


The Post laments the announcement that MillerCoors headquarters will be in Chicago, and not in Golden.

Of course the brewery and canning plants and other production facilities will remain in Golden.

Some suits will move to Chicago. I find that a small price to pay so the company can compete with Anhueser-Busch and keep making that awesome Banquet Beer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Common ground on Pinon Canyon "


The United States Army wants to expand its training facility in eastern Colorado.

At first, the Army wanted an additional 400,000 acres to go with its existing 236,000 acres.

Many ranchers and residents were not down with this, since the power of imminent domain would have forced them off their land against their will. (Some Americans have this crazy idea that they can not be forced to involuntarily sell their land. They can. Let freedom ring.)

The Army now says it only wants an additional 100,000 acres.

The Post thinks this is great. It realizes that some might still be forced to sell their land, but the Post hopes that does not happen.

"Hope" and $2.00 will get you a venti coffee at Starbucks.

The Post calls for compromise. It has no particular compromise in mind, but they are convinced some kind of compromise can be reached.

Calling for compromise without suggesting one is akin to calling for a cake without any eggs.

"Oil production is like milking cows"


Mr. Sharpe is an investment manager for Merrion Oil & Gas.

He compares the oil industry with the milk industry.

It is an excellent piece on basic economics.

As such, most Greens will not get it at all.

Of course, the Post did not put this piece in its print edition. It is only available online.

Voting for President and Eating at Restaurants

You go to the most popular restaurant in town for the first time.

Everybody you know loves this place.

After waiting weeks to get a reservation, you finally get a table.

When you look at the menu, there are only two entree choices.

You do not like either choice. You don't think you could possibly even choke either of them down. Maybe you can swallow one without puking, but certainly not the other.

What do you do? Everyone you know picks one of these entrees, and they all say they love the place.

People are going to ask what you ordered. What are you going to tell them?

You tell them the choices suck and you refused to choose one. You left, went down to a small, obscure diner, and had a tasty meal.

After you tell a few people, some secretly tell you that they don't really like that big famous restaurant either. They follow your example and try out some smaller eateries that they really like.

Before you know it, that big popular restaurant with only two choices isn't so popular anymore. Lots of smaller places start getting business, and a few really start to grow.

The big established restaurant eventually has to change so it can compete with the smaller places.

You should never choke down something you can't stand, just because everyone else you know can do it.

Follow your stomach.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bob Barr on CNN "American Morning" 7/16/08

You do not have to accept the two major party choices. Reject the status quo.

"Convention shouldn't keep commuters from downtown"


The Rocky does not think that the street closures for the Democratic Convention will be that big a deal.

"Your neighbor could be next to lose electricity"


The Post laments the plight of those that can not pay their utility bills.

Indeed, I am not without sympathy.

But the Post has a complete disconnect when it comes to advocating more expensive alternative fuels and how that extra cost affects people.

Somehow, the Post fails to make that connection.

No doubt the Post feels all warm and snuggly when it advocates "greener" energy.

No doubt the Post gets the same feeling when it calls for people to help those that can't pay for that more expensive energy.

The Post can't lose. They feel warm and snuggly no matter what.

Some might even say the Post editorial board is comprised of self-righteous, smug hypocrites.

"DNC road plan shows promise"


The Post is so happy that the Democrats are having their coronation in our dusty old cow town, they do not mind the road closures that accompany it.

"Routt Sheriff found guilty of DWAI"


Here is the Post's blurb in toto:

A jury in Steamboat Springs today found Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall guilty of driving while ability impaired, failure to dim his headlights and prohibited use of a weapon.

The Routt County Court jury rejected the sheriff's defense in the three-day trial — that he was targeted by state troopers and framed when he was pulled over on U.S. 40 last October, the Steamboat Pilot reported on its website.

The sheriff claimed he had only one glass of wine that night, but he refused to do a roadside sobriety tests or submit to any tests of his blood-alcohol level, according to the newspaper.

A sentencing date has not yet been set. The conviction won't affect Wall's job, since he is an elected official, unless voters organize a recall election.

I think it is safe to assume that Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall is familiar with how police work. I think it is safe to assume he knows the best way to handle a traffic stop.

How did he chose to handle his stop?

He refused a roadside sobriety test.
He refused any blood alcohol test.

I wonder why?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Preening Post"


Carroll mocks rival Denver Post's Marie Antoinette-like attitude about factory jobs:

They'll be quaffing champagne over at The Denver Post next month when Butterball LLC sheds more than 200 jobs from its Colorado operations - thus fulfilling a recent announcement - because of the escalating cost of turkey feed.

After all, as the Post loftily explained Monday while discussing Gov. Bill Ritter's fabled New Energy Economy, "Not all jobs are created equal. If a poultry firm wants to hire another 5,000 chicken pluckers at minimum wage, Coloradans would just as soon they look elsewhere. We'd rather work with progressive companies like Conoco-Phillips, Vestas Wind Systems, Fort Collins-based Integware, and other employers offering quality jobs."

If Coloradans would just as soon send chicken pluckers elsewhere, then presumably we'd just as soon bid adieu to those turkey handlers at Butterball's Longmont plant and its turkey farms, too. Sure, let them relocate to a state where such grubby occupations are somehow still tolerated.

But really who needs turkey when they can eat cake?

"Salazar could play big role in getting judges confirmed"


The headline says it all.

More likely, however, our Democratic Senator will wait until after the presidential election in hopes Obama wins and he appoints a different set of district judges for Colorado.

"Elephant in our room"


Forget Fred Barnes' Weekly Standard cover story, The Colorado Model, on why the Republicans have lost control of our state.

According to Quillen, it can be traced back to Republican support of "Referendum A" in 2004:

Referendum A was supposed to help by allowing the state to issue up to $2 billion in bonds for unspecified water-storage projects. It was overwhelmingly defeated that November with only 307,412 votes in favor, compared to 627,716 votes against. It did not gain a majority in a single one of our 64 counties.

...

If there's a "Colorado Model," it's that Referendum A has been the political equivalent of cancer for Colorado Republicans, who have been losing ever since they tried to sell it to us.

"Heedless rush to oil shale"

Denver Post Column - Senator Ken Salazar
originally published in the Washington Post

Salazar lists his reasons why oil companies should not be able to drill for oil shale.

I find it interesting that the Post found space to print this column in its print editions, but Hillman's column (see below) was only published online.

"Colorado's no energy' economy"


Hillman does an excellent job outlining Colorado's top Democratic politicians' ignorance of economics and faith in the government to solve the our energy woes.

Colorado Senator Ken Salazar, Boulder Congressman Mark Udall and governore Bill Ritter are think they are smart enough to micromanage the economy so we will all be better off.

Hillman does not think they are that smart. They aren't.

"Obesity epidemic calls for desperate measures"


According to the Post, "Childhood obesity is out of control in this country."

Interesting. The Rocky Mountain News' resident wacky liberal, Paul Campos, completely disagrees. He says

Many doctors, epidemiologists, eating disorder specialists, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and scholars from other disciplines have concluded that claims we face an "obesity crisis" are either greatly exaggerated or completely false.

The Post, having established in its own mind a national emergency of fat kids, asks "So wouldn't it make sense to employ drastic measures in the face of an epidemic? "

It does to the Post. Of course, calling for drastic measures and fearmongering sells papers.

As Campos points out,

One reason why fearmongering for dollars (described to me by a government researcher as the theory that "we're all going to die if you don't fund my next study") is so perennially successful is that there are almost never any negative consequences for those who engage in it.

The Post knows this, or more likely, does not care. They have papers to sell. Panic sells.

The Post concludes that fat kids should be given anti-cholesterol drugs.

How 'bout giving them a ball and telling them to go outside?

"U.S. should aid Fannie, Freddie"


Of course the Post wants taxpayers to cover the losses of two publicly traded companies.

When Fannie and Freddie were making money, was the profit shared with the taxpayers? Nope.

So why should the taxpayers bail them out? They should not.

Privatize the profit, socialize the losses. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

The Post claims that "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are too big and integral to the already shaky U.S. economy to be allowed to collapse."

No they are not. There is no such thing, actually.

If they, or any other "big and integral" companies, fail, the market recovers. It may take a while, but the short term upheaval is less costly than continued long term policies that protect failed business.

If you throw a rock into a placid pool. there is a splash and ripples that disturb the surface. But the water returns to its original state. This is true no matter how big a rock you throw into the pool.

No matter how big the failed company, the economy will absorb it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bob Barr on Fox and Friends 7/14/08

Disregard the nonsensical graphic that says Barr might push voters to Obama. What the?

"More pressing woes"


Carroll mocks two democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. They were asked to name "the most important issue in today's world."

This is what they said:

Jared Polis: Global warming "is the biggest global challenge we face."
Will Shafroth: "I believe [global warming] is absolutely the most critical issue we face."

Carroll points out that perhaps a few other things are more important to the world than Al Gore's attempt to ban the internal combustion engine and return the earth to a pastoral, sheep herding and farming economy.

"It's satire, for goodness' sake"


Of course it is.

The Rocky is referring to the New Yorker cover depicting Mr. and Mrs. Obama as terrorist muslims. The cover mocks those that make unfounded allegations against Obama - like he is a closet Muslim.

But that is part of the fun of satire.

Some people thought that Jonathan Swift really wanted to eat Irish babies.

"Fed has few options with Freddie and Fannie, and no good ones"


The federal government has a plan to prop up the failing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Rocky notes correctly that "the bailout signals to investors that Washington will prop up failing enterprises - the bigger the potential collapse, the more likely the feds will step in."

Both Fannie and Freddie are public traded institutions. The stockholders should take whatever hit the market delivers. The government should not bail out companies that fail.

Of course, the government doe it all the time. But that don't make it right.

"Cartoons we can believe in"


Harsanyi discussess Obama's week: " First, Jesse Jackson suggests his castration. Now, the beacon of liberal intellectualism cuts his "n@#s" off. "

Harsanyi concludes "that the invested political class (bloggers, journalists, junkies or anyone whose world revolves around politics and power) is a bunch of self-important and humorless flakes."

He could add "pretentious" as well.

"Urgency rising in Afghanistan"


The Post wants to know what Obama and McCain plan on doing about Afghanistan and the search for bin Laden.

They make no suggestions about what the U.S. should do, but want to remind everyone that Afghanistan is still an issue:

The presidential campaign will focus on a host of critical issues, from Iraq to the economy to $4-a-gallon gas, but we cannot forget Afghanistan.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lying cops in the Springs

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Two former motorcycle offcers faulted for exaggerating the number of tickets they wrote engaged in deceptions "so vast and so diverse they are difficult to describe adequately," Colorado Springs police said in a newly released document summarizing the probe that led to the officers' retirement.

I wonder if this happens anywhere else?

"'Hard power' liberating"



Krauthammer discusses the Colombian military's rescue of 15 hostages from the terrorist group FARC and contrasts it with Europe's attempts to free them.

Europe asked the terrorists nicely to free the hostages. They asked again. Then they asked especially nicely.

Six years later, the Colombians, with the help of the US, went in and extracted the hostages without a shot being fired.

Teddy Roosevelt said he "talked softly and carried a big stick." Europe just talks softly.

Sometimes the butt end of a rifle against a kidnapper's jaw is the best communication.

"That phony missile"


The Rocky discusses the foreign policy difference between McCain and Obama.

Specifically, Obama has indicated he would meet with Iranian crazy man Mahmoud Ahmadinejad face to face to try and convince him that he does not really want to destroy the United States and Israel.

McCain would not.

"State's economy is on right track"


The Post notes that "CNBC has just ranked Colorado as the fifth-best state for doing business."

It's not Forbes or the Wall Street Journal, but it is a television network that most people get with basic cable. Just like The Food Channel and Home & Garden TV.

Of course, the Post gives the credit to Governor Bill Ritter. This jibes with the Post's overall philosophy: It is politicians that make for good economies, not business people.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Bad timing for good book"


Knight discusses a new book on immigration by Mark Krikorian, "The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal."

I'll boil it down for you: The United States can not continue to allow immigration and guarantee free stuff to new immigrants at the same time.

Krikorian is absolutely right. We have to stop one or the other. Krikorian says stop the immigrants, but that would be an artificial barrier to entry into the labor market.

My conclusion is to stop guaranteeing free stuff to immigrants and then have open borders (subject to criminal and other security checks.)

If any law abiding person from some other country wishes to come to the United States, work and pay his own way, everybody wins. They contribute to society. They don't suck from the government teat.

When the choice is between a government program or the free market, I choose the free market.

I would get rid of two government programs: 1) free stuff to immigrants and 2) artificial trade barriers in the labor market.







"Lessons on the porch: grammar matters"


This is a sad commentary on my education, but when I saw Lucy Ewing's name, the first thing that came to my mind was Charlene Tilton from the old "Dallas" television show.

I wonder if this Ms. Ewing had to take some ribbing as a kid.... but I digress.

Charlene .... I mean, Ms. Ewing writes about the importance of good grammar, especially the correct uses of "I" and "me."

Me completely agree with her. Me really do.

"Regional bonds produce success"


I was surprised that by "bonds" the Post did not mean ways to sell debt. They used the word in the sense of "relationships" or "friendships."

Who can be against good relationships? Not even me.

I stand firmly with the Post in the pro-relationship camp.

"Dam road"


Ed makes a dam cartoon about the damn drought and the dam road closing.

"Closure of dam road handled without care"


The Post says the Denver Water authority should have at least consulted with the local officials in Summit County before closing the Dillon Dam road.

You know what the problem here is? Lack of a dam relationship.

"To China, like it or not "


The Rocky decides it is okay for the United States to send athletes to the Olympics in Beijing. And it is okay for President G.W. Bush to attend, too.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Proof I was at the Independence Institute's ATF party at Kiowa Creek

That's me on the left. I'm talking the finer points of shotguns with Jim, the certified instructor who assisted our group shoot sporting clays at Kiowa Creek. How ya like that shirt I'm sportin'? That's how I roll.

"McCain protester coverage limited"


Kopel takes both Denver dailies to task for failing to fully investigate the ticketing of Carol Kreck.

Kreck carried a postboard sign that read "Bush=McCain" to a McCain speech and was cited for trespassing.

Kopel points out that Obama and the Democratic National Committee have also done their part to suppress dissent at their events.

"Switch to Invesco for Obama speech boosts Denver"


The Rocky's resident old hippy thinks Obama's acceptance speech at INVESCO Field is gonna be awesome!

I don't think he's been this happy since Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills & Nash.

But Littwin does offer some criticism of the Democratic Messiah:

Forget about the extra cost of moving from the Pepsi Center for the finale. What's $3 million in this campaign? If Obama was worried about raising money, he wouldn't have abandoned every principle he ever had to opt out of public financing.
The only thing that makes Littwin unhappy is his candidate's refusal to take tax money.

"Dillon road closure an irritating necessity"


Denver Water has permanently closed a major road that connects Frisco, Dillon and Siverthorne. Denver Water has authority to do so because the road goes along the top of a dam that provides water to Denver.

The residents of the three towns are not happy about this.

Denver Water says it is necessary because someone could drive enough explosives over the road to blow up the dam and flood several cities and disrupt Denver's water supply.

That would not be good.

The Rocky sides with Denver Water because "[e]xplosive devices no more powerful than those that destroyed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City could apparently compromise the dam's integrity."

If that is the rationale, should we not close all federal buildings? Someone might blew them up. And if they can blow up federal buildings, they can blow up any building. Gotta close 'em.

And the Eisenhower Tunnel? That could get blown up and cut off a major east-west interstate, severely crimping the Amcerican economy. Gotta close it. Before they close it for us.

"Public school evolution"


Peirce extols the virtue of new teaching techniques in public schools, most of which originated in private schools.

I think there is a lesson to be learned here.

"Henry Clay was never president, but he saved the union"


Bob gives us a history lesson about six time Speaker of the House Henry Clay.

"Let Tent City have a campout"


The Post wants protesters at the Democratic National Convention to be able to camp out overnight in City Park.

Currently, "officials" will not allow them to spend the night. They can put up tents, but they have to clear out before bedtime.

Let 'em stay. As long as they pay for their own port-o-lets.

The future?

Thanks to Kaz Vorpal for this rendering of Obama as Che.

Funny thing, most of Obama's supporters will take this as a compliment.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"One nation, one anthem"


The Rocky's resident wacky social conservative takes Rene Marie to task for her performance of the "Black National Anthem" at a Denver City Council meeting.

No one, outside a very small number, has defended Marie. Rosen's raking her over the ashes (the coals have long since burned out) at this point is superfluous.

Rosen does have a funny line:

How ironic that Marie would make this statement of racial injustice and frustration during the presentation of Denver's State of the City address. Denver is a stronghold of liberal Democrats. It's Boulder with minorities.

"JonBenet, again"


The Rocky takes Boulder DA Mary Lacy to the woodshed for her "exoneration" of JonBenet Ramsey's parents.

The Rocky is not as hard as David Harsanyi, below, but concludes that "her dubious behavior once again serves the interest not of justice, but of Mary Lacy."

"There's only one victim in the Ramsey case"


The Jon Benet Ramsey murder took place before I moved to Colorado, so I am not well-versed in the investigation.

Harsanyi is.

And he is no fan of either John or Patsy Ramsey. Or Boulder DA Mary Lacy.

What does Harsanyi think of Lacy?

"[She] has disregarded facts and played the media and the public for a bunch of suckers along the way. She is trying to do it again."

"
Lacy, as anyone who has followed this case knows, has little credibility to offer."

"
Lacy, one of the most incompetent officials working in Colorado law enforcement,"

"
There is neither the space nor the need to discuss Lacy's ham-fisted ineptitude..." (BlueCarp note: It appears it is.)

". . .
a healthy dose of skepticism about the Boulder police department, the DA and everyone involved was entirely justified . . ."

I don't think Harsanyi will vote for Lacy if she runs for higher office.


"Who's to blame for energy woes?"

Denver Post Column - Richard Cohen
reprinted from the Washington Post

Cohen - get this - blames Ronald Reagan for the price of gas today.

Cohen says - get this - that Jimmy Carter had the right plan all along.

Carter's plan was for all of us to wear sweaters in the winter. I have nothing against sweaters. I own several. But it is hardly a substantial policy.

No where does Cohen even pretend to discuss the economics of supply and demand. He just discusses sweaters and Reagan's failure to wear one.

Cohen, in an effort to cut off arguments by people like me, says "This is not to say that government is the answer to all our ills."

Of course not.

But Cohen thinks it is the answer to high gas prices.

That, of course, and sweaters.

"Chain store politics suffocates America"


This is just a column of Sirota complaining about his perception of the United States' "homogenization."

He offers no solution to what he perceives as a problem.

He just bitches about it.

I bet he pounded out this little piece of journalistic gravy while sitting in a booth at Denny's.

"Mayor of Greeley needs to set a better example"


Sounds like the Mayor of Greeley has an anger management problem.

He has pointed a gun at an 18 student after a high school football game. Most recently, he pulled a 15 year old from his motorcycle, wrestled him to the ground and held him there until police arrived.

The Mayor must be compensating for his inadequacies, if you know what I mean.

The practical reality of politics is that we get what we deserve at the ballot box. Enjoy your chosen public servant, Greeley.

"U.S. food safety must be a priority"


Once again, the Post realizes the federal government has failed:

The federal government's maddening inability to get to the bottom of the current salmonella outbreak that has sickened 1,017 people — including 13 in Colorado — would be easy to mock.

But of course, the Post will not mock the federal government.

The Post thinks this inability to do its job should be rewarded with additional funds:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of 80 percent of the U.S. food supply, is sorely lacking in resources and has demonstrated reluctance in asking Congress for additional funds . . ..
So the Post asks for them.

The Post's underlying philosophy? "Ensuring a safe food supply is a crucial government function."

It's really not.

Private businesses have an economic incentive to sell non-poison food. Otherwise they go out of business. Not one grocery store or restaurant needed the government to tell it to stop selling tainted tomatoes (or anything else). Not only will they lose money, they are subject to private lawsuits for their negligence.

Once the bad food got into the stream of commerce, private industry stopped selling it. Mistakes will happen. Bad food will get into the stores, under any scenario.

But the fundamental difference between people that understand economics and the Post is that the Post thinks that if the government, which has no incentive to spend money wisely, gets enough money, they can stop it.

They can't.

But private business can, and business has an economic incentive to do it efficiently and to minimize any negative impact on its costumers.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Party 2008

Yep, I was there. Somehow I didn't make this highlight video.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More abuse of power by a government official

You have to read it to believe it.

Have I mentioned that the government just wants you to trust it?

And somehow people maintain faith in the benevolence of politicians and bureaucrats and the government in general.

The only thing the government needs more of is down time.

Mexicans and Machines: Drew Carey on NAFTA

"Mickey Mouse ruling"


The Rocky's head editorial writer mocks the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its "alarmist tone" regarding the future of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse.

The Endangered Species Act comes into play regarding this rodent.

It makes me wonder what would have happened if the Act would have been enforceable when the dinosaurs went extinct. Or the dodo bird. Or any number of other animals that become extinct before mankind lit a single fire, much less fired up an SUV.

If those animals were going extinct today, the Greens would blame global warming. Or acid rain. Or an oil spill.

Sometimes animals die out. It can even happen without any input from man.

If animals do not adapt, they die. They might even have to adapt to a condo in their meadow.

Perhaps the Greens should read "Origin of the Species." It has more good stuff than the Utne Reader.

"What trespassing?"


A woman was cited for trespassing when she refused to leave a public event in a public place. She was asked to leave a John McCain event because she had a handmade side that said "McCain=Bush."

In some elections, the member of the same party would WANT to be associated with an outgoing president. Not the Republicans in 2008.

I think that sums up the Republican Party. No direction. No underlying principles. Just candidates trying to get power.

The woman should not be facing a charge. The District Attorney should dismiss the ticket. If not, the judge should through it out.

The state should not prosecute a peaceful person holding an innocuous sign on public property.

Let Freedom Ring.

"Anthrax case settlement costly and embarrassing"


Several days after the Rocky Mountain News printed its editorial on the same topic, the Post joins in.

The federal government has settled a civil lawsuit with a man publicly mentioned as a "person of interest" in the anthrax attacks of 2001.

The feds had no case against him. They were just interested. The man lost his job and his reputation.

And, of course, even today the feds want us to trust them with their discretion when it comes to domestic surveilance and law enforcement. They have our best interests in mind, right?

"Licensing audit is a wakeup call"


The Post bemoans the sorry state of the Colorado driver's license agency.

Despite reform efforts and quite a bit of scrutiny, Colorado's driver's license agency is falling short in its efforts to issue secure documents and safeguard the personal information entrusted to the state.

That's according to a recent report from the state auditor that says issuers don't always verify applicants' submitted information, license holders' personal data is inadequately protected, and the state has lax controls to prevent fraud by its employees.

The Post's answer? Give more money to the department. They are as predictable as Rosie O'Donnell at a buffet.



Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Good thing they left that oppressive regime in Cuba

The DEA broke into a family's house, forced owner Noel Llorente to the ground, handcuffed him and drew their guns on him. They did this in front of his wife. They searched the house.

They made a mistake.

Whoops.

The Llorentes had left Cuba and immigrated to the United States, the country formerly known as the land of the free.

Now it is more important that we be known as the Land of the Drug Free.

The DEA must have been looking for a meth lab or crack production facility, right?

Nope. Just reefer.

And they couldn't get that right.

And the feds want us to trust them with their domestic surveillance and keeping people locked up with no charges.

Why shouldn't we? Doesn't the war on pot make you feel SAFER?

"Tancredo demurs"


Carroll responds to Tom Tancredo's response to Carroll's column mocking Tancredo for criticizing Mayor John Hickenlooper's response to the "black national anthem" flap.

Whew.

"Right to expect more outrage from mayor"


Tancredo responds to Vincent Carroll's earlier column mocking him for criticizing Mayor John Hickenloooper's response to the "black national anthem" flap.

"Gatsby would understand"


The Rocky's resident wacky liberal attended some swanky intellectual seminar in Aspen recently.

He realized that rich people, including columnists for the New York Times and others of that ilk, really have no reason to want to change the status quo. Hell, they are rich and the current system made it that way:

Suddenly the whole thing - the swan boat and the prawns and the champagne and the ridge full of $50 million houses that are occupied for 20 days a year, and which loom directly above the conference center where tomorrow we're going to be talking about why the poor eat too much cake - feels very much like France in 1785.

Campos calls out the liberal elite for being out of touch and hints at revolution.

I like it, Paul, I like it. That's two columns in a row that don't suck for Campos.

He is really due for a column calling for more governmental control of our daily lives. Because, of course, he ISN'T out of touch and knows what is best for the rest of us.

"Ethics commission should reject some dubious rules"


The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission may propose rules that do not mesh with its state constitutional mandate.

The Rocky advises against that.

Even if the citizen initiated constitutional provision is inartful, the Ethics Commission can not gloss over the parts it does not like.

"Invesco venue may provide Democrats with another first"


Obama has moved his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention from the 20,000 seat Pepsi Center to the 80,000 seat Invesco Field.

No doubt, the football stadium will be full. Charisma goes a long way.

In a related note, John McCain's Republican acceptance speech will be held in Meeting Room 4 at the Minneapolis Sheraton.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

BlueCarp swims all over the internet!

I reposted this BlueCarp entry on NolanChart.com, where it was then picked up by ThirdPartyWatch.com.

I love the internet.

Quote of the Day

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

John Quincy Adams

"It's the leadership, stupid"


Harsanyi points out the problems with the Republican Party leadership. There are many.

Among them, the GOP's identity crisis:

The social conservatives can't stand the libertarians who can't stand the border conservatives who can't stand free-market conservatives. And no one likes McCain.

These groups do not get along because they fundamentally disagree on the purpose of government. A party that attempts to appease them all at the same time is doomed.

Harsanyi is right that strong leadership is needed to save the party. And Lindsay Lohan needs to stop drinking. Neither is likely in the foreseeable future.

But a Republican leader will fail if he attempts to round up all the different factions and keep them happy. "Social conservatives" and libertarians will not agree. To attempt to merge the two is futile.

A leader has to make tough choices, and any potential leader will have to chose between the philosophies.






"Medicare cuts are ill-advised"


Once again the Post demonstrates its mastery of Orwellian double-speak (and its opposition to slowing the growth of any entitlement).

The Post concludes its argument by stating "both fiscal responsibility and compassion for older Americans join to support the bill forestalling the Medicare cuts."

They can argue about "compassion" all day, but when they equate "fiscal responsibility" with NOT cutting a government entitlement program they become absurd.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Patrick and Olbermann back together again

Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann were tag-team partners and the primary SportsCenter anchors on ESPN from 1992-1997. They were very popular and had a good run.

Now, 11 years after their last collaboration, NBC will reunite them for Football Night in America, the network's showcase for its NFL Sunday night game.

They were good together a long time ago, and now they will try to recreate that magic and cash in on the nostalgia. Kinda like Styx and Journey touring county fairs.

Zogby Poll has Bob Barr with 6% nationwide

Zogby has Obama with 44%, McCain with 38% and Barr with 6%:

The extensive national poll of of 46,274 likely voters also shows Libertarian candidate and former Congressman Bob Barr wins 6% support, eating into McCain’s needed conservative base of support.

McCain is losing support of conservatives for one reason: He is not a conservative. You can't blame Barr, or anyone else, for that.

If you do not believe in big government, you must reject the two major party choices. Otherwise, you are voting for big government and less freedom.

Vote for Barr.

Bob Barr on ABC This Week With Stephanopoulos 07/06/2008

The two party system ain't medicine. You don't have to take it.

"'Fairness' or censorship? "


Some Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, are hinting they might be in favor of reimposing "The Fairness Doctrine."

The doctrine mandates what content is allowed by over-the-air broadcasters. It legislates content from Capitol Hill.

The country needs less government intervention, not more.

Once again, the Democrats and Republicans show, where it really matters, they are barely distinguishable. They both think they know what is best for you.

"When courage and conscience collide"


Ms. O'Brien is a super hot mother of four beautiful kids. (Check out the picture that accompanies the column).

She describes herself as a former conservative capitalist soccer mom who now fights evil corporations because they cause disease.

I trusted that the political values that my family had instilled in me would serve me well. I believed in the system.

And then one of my children got sick. With a blood condition that no one could pronounce and a pediatric mandate requiring immediate enrollment at a children's hospital. And I awoke.

She awoke to the evils of capitalism.

But she, like many others, made a huge jump of logic that ignores causation.

Where is the connection between the evil corporations and the disease? Too many people make that jump without any evidence at all. The author sets up a false paradigm: Over here, we have bad stuff. Over there, we have disease. Therefore, the bad stuff caused the disease.

Yes, bad stuff can cause disease. But a specific connection must be shown between bad stuff A and disease X. The connection can not just be assumed.

Without the proof, Ms. O'Brien and others like her are just stabbing at ghosts in the dark. It is hard to solve a problem you have not defined.

"Lessons in Iraq, worries in Iran"


The Post exercises its 20/20 hindsight:

If the Iraq conflict has yielded any wisdom, it certainly has made a case for cautious contemplation before rushing headlong into a war with shaky evidence, no exit plan and objections from experienced voices.
I think we can all be for "cautious contemplation." That's the type of hard hitting positions we expect from the Post.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yes, this is a fat joke


Sabathia


Bernie


The Cleveland Indians have traded C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers.

It is a great move for the Brewers, since Sabathia will double as Bernie Brewer on his off days.

"A code of behavior for media critics"


As the title suggests, Salzman has proposed a code of behavior for media critics.

It is:

* Thou shalt try to get a response. Journalists should be given the chance to respond to serious criticisms.

Maybe a journalist had a reason for reporting a story a certain way - or he or she has a source for facts that appear wrong. Colorado Media Matters, for example, should ask for a response before posting its criticisms.

Even if no middle ground is reached, public dialogue between journalists and their critics is good. It can help people understand what professional journalism is about. It humanizes the profession.

This obviously won't happen unless journalists can find time to answer their critics, and this can be time consuming. But it's worth it.

* Thou shalt avoid generalizations. Journalism is undermined by critics, like some of Denver's talk-show hosts, who make baseless claims that the local dailies have a systemic liberal or conservative bias. Blow this unsupported hot air out the window.

* Thou shalt focus on facts and specific stories. In place of sweeping condemnations of the Rocky and the Post, focus on errors of omission, improper emphasis, bad sources, twisted quotes and other specifics. There's plenty to choose from.

Sure, there's a place for impressionistic observations, but these kinds of criticisms should be the exception rather than the rule.

* Thou shalt refrain from calling names. For example, on his KOA Web site, talk-show host "Gunny" Bob Newman calls me a "jealous self-proclaimed journalism expert." This type of stuff should be avoided.

On my blog and in this column, I've not always followed my own Code of Behavior for Media Criticism in Denver, but I'm going to do better.

If you're a talk-show host or a self-proclaimed media critic, and everyone can be one on the Web these days, please send me your name and I'll add you to my list of followers of the Code.

I am one of those guys on the web. I emailed Salzman and pledged my support to his code. If I fail, let me know. I will do my best.

I think the only place I have failed so far is in always asking for a response. I feel that a piece of writing speaks for itself. I comment on the writing, and my response speaks for itself.

From now on, I will send my criticism to the author and invite a response. If I get one, I will post it. But I will probably also comment on it. And then invite another response.

Heck, this could be fun.

"Legal marriage obsolete"


Wow. The Rocky's resident wacky liberal actually advocates that the government get OUT of something.

And I agree with him.

This piece advocates doing away with state recognition of marriage. He is right. He sounds almost like a real libertarian. (Unfortunately, I have read him a long time and know he still worships at the altar of the Government. But not this time.)

His overall point is that marriage is a sacred vow. Government's approval of that vow makes it neither more nor less sacred. Government approval is irrelevant to the sacredness of the vow.

Since marriage is a sacred vow between two people before God, what place does the government have? None.

If two people wish to enter into a government sanctioned contract, they may do that. But that ain't marriage. It's a contract.


Digg!

Another Victory in the Drug War!

In what must be a public relations nightmare for FedEx, a misdelivered package resulted in a drug bust in Baltimore.

When a 200 pound package of reefer went to the wrong address, the recipient called the cops.

The cops then delivered it to the intended recipient and busted him.

The residents of Baltimore can surely rest well tonight, knowing that they are safe from hippies getting high around a coffee table, enjoying the effects of black light on the posters they bought from Spencer gifts and giggling at each others' bad jokes.

Now, those hippies will be forced to drink beer.

I know I feel SAFER.

"A bizarre press release from Tancredo"

Rocky Mountain News Column - Vincent Carroll

Part One
Carroll mocks Tom Tancredo for his press release that "condemned Mayor John Hickenlooper, D-Denver, and jazz singer Rene Marie for the national anthem debacle that took place during the State of the City address."

Carroll rightly points out that Hickenlooper had "absolutely nothing" to do with Marie's song choice.

Part Two

Carroll further explains why "evil oil speculators" are not the cause behind rising oil prices:

If speculators thought the scarcity of oil was likely to ease in the near future, naturally their behavior would change. After all, as The Economist magazine explains, speculators act "based on their expectations of future trends in supply and demand, not on whims. If they had somehow managed to push prices to unjustified heights, then demand would contract, leaving unsold pools of oil.

"The futures market does sometimes signal that prices are likely to rise, which might prompt speculators to hoard oil in anticipation. But it is not signaling that at the moment, and there is no sign of hoarding. In the absence of rising stocks, it is hard to argue that the oil markets have lost their grip on reality."

No, the only people who have lost their grip on reality are those who insist on conducting a search for scapegoats.

"Don't scapegoat energy price runup"


The Rocky points out that "speculators" are not the reason gas is at $4 a gallon.

It is a supply and demand issue. OPEC is producing about the same amount of oil it always has.

The demand for oil is rising sharply. China (for example) is a fairly large place with a fairly high population. It is emerging as a world economic power. It needs the same oil we do. So does India. So does the rest of the world.

As demand goes up, price goes up.

Sometimes things are really simple. We like to complicate things so we can blame some nefarious evil-doer. "Speculators" currently fit the bill.

If we want to affect the price, we can lower our demand. We are. People are using more public transportation and buying higher gas mileage cars.

We can also increase the supply by drilling in our own country.

Some, like Obama, complain that domestic drilling will not have any affect for years and years. You know what? My daughter won't be in college for years and years either. I guess I should not plan on paying for it now, should I?

Those years will pass. We can either plan for it now or not. I say we do something about it now. Increase the supply.

Obama and others want to develop alternate energy instead of drilling domestically. Fine. But do not pretend that alternative energies are going to be available at the end of summer. It is going to take years and years to develop, as well. Be consistent with your criticism.

"If they can sell booze, why not cars?"


The Rocky calls for the removal of the state's last blue law: No car sales on Sundays.

Car dealers like the law, but their is some misunderstanding of what a repeal would do:

"For us, it's an economic issue," admitted Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Auto Dealers Association. "Currently, [auto dealers] are in one of the tougher times in history. Even in good times, though, our profit margins are 1 percent to 3 percent. That's lower than Wal-Mart. This [law] is a protection for us. . . . the cost would be another 12 to 14 percent" to car dealers if they had to open for business on Sundays, Jackson said.

A repeal of the law would not require any dealer to open on Sunday. It would only allow it.

Ever been to a mall food court on Sunday? The Chik-fil-a is always closed, just because they chose to be. Mr. Jackson's dealership could do the same.

"You're not flying the friendly skies"


The Post kvetches about air travel.

Its solution? They do not offer a solution.

They just kvetch.

"Obama's call for faith and service"


The Post likes Obama's plan to continue government involvement with private faith and charity groups.

I do not.

These private groups benefit from taking taxpayer money. I do not believe tax payer money should be used in this way.

Let people keep this money and let them decide what to do with it.

(I know. That's crazy talk. Why should the people that earn money be able to keep it?)

A Message to Ron Paul's Republican Supporters

Ron Paul has a huge cadre of believers. His followers are all "small - l" libertarians, but many, like Dr. Paul, are members of the Republican Party.

Ron Paul wants to change the Republican Party from within.

Ron Paul's desire to change the party is noble. In my opinion, and many others, it is futile. Look how he was treated by his party. He was shunned by the "powers that be." He is an outcast within his own party.

Why does he not re-join the Libertarian Party? (He ran as the LP presidential candidate in 1988).

Some suggest it is because Libertarians have zero chance of winning. Well, so did Ron Paul in the Republican Party campaign for President.

I'm not sure how far that argument goes in convincing anyone to stay in the Republican Party. In my opinion, it stands for the proposition that believers in liberty should leave the Republicans to the social conservatives and neo-cons and believers in big government like John McCain.

Believers in liberty are shunned by the Republicans. The Libertarian Party welcomes you.

If Ron Paul had run as a Libertarian, he would get a huge percentage of the vote in the upcoming Presidential race. (20%? More? Perhaps... but he would have made a huge difference.) As it is, he will get zero % of the vote.

Dr. Paul is on a mission beyond this election, I understand. I think all lovers of liberty and freedom are on that same mission. We have just chosen different ways of achieving those goals.

And if the Republicans return to the principles of Barry Goldwater, I'll join up.

I think that is about as likely as Tara Reid winning a Nobel Prize.

If all of Dr. Paul's supporters joined the LP, the LP would be formidable. It would wield power. It could change things. And success breeds success.

The most fertile ground for that success is in the LP. Dr. Paul is sowing the seeds of liberty on the asphalt of the Republican Party. Every time he plants a seed, the Republican elite say "kill it before it grows."

What Dr. Paul has done is tremendous. But even Napoleon had his Waterloo. Staying in the Republican Party is Dr. Paul's biggest mistake in my oh-so-humble opinion.

I hope I'm wrong, because we all want the same thing: Freedom.

I see Dr. Paul and many of his followers as akin to those suffering from "battered wives syndrome." They love the Republican Party they knew years ago, even though it has abandoned them, mocked them, cheated on them, treated them like dirt and belittled them. They know if they love their abuser enough, he will straighten up and it will be like old times.

It won't be.

Like Bobb Barr says, he did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left him.

If any of you get tired of the abuse, you are welcome in the LP.

If not, good luck. We are all on the same side.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Self-indulgent deception detracts from Denver's day"


I find this story amusing.

Rene Marie was asked to sing the National Anthem at a recent Denver City Council meeting.

Instead, she sang something known as the "Black National Anthem."

Mayor John Hickenlooper was not amused.

I get a chuckle when one liberal has to apologize for another liberal's antics.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"The anthrax mystery "


The Rocky discusses the federal government's $2.825 million settlement with Steven Hatfill.

The Rocky explains
officials had little choice but to pay Hatfill after the single-minded, clumsy way the FBI handled its investigation into the mailing of anthrax-laced envelopes in 2001 that killed five, including two postal workers, while sickening a number of others.

Hatfill became the center of the FBI's investigation - and for all we know the bureau's only suspect - after Attorney General John Ashcroft recklessly identified him as "a person of interest." It is the same term that was used when Richard Jewell was wrongly named in the 1996 Atlanta bombing case. You'd think federal officials would have absorbed the lesson from that case. Not so. They'd rather reassure the public in a high-profile terrorist act that the perpetrator is in their sights - even if the full weight of the evidence says something else entirely.

And in the process, they ruined a man's life.

This is why I have have the utmost respect for criminal defense lawyers. Without them, people like Hatfield and Jewell would be railroaded to jail.

As I have said many times: "Anybody can be accused of anything by anyone at any time."

An accusation is not evidence. Too often, the public thinks it is.

Hatfield and Jewell - and many others - prove this.

Remember those Duke lacrosse players? If they had been poor, they would have gone to jail.

(And that is not a slam on public defenders. Public defenders, largely, are among the best criminal defense lawyers out there. It is just that public defenders get 100's of cases they must defend, whereas private criminal defense attorneys can take a few cases at a time.)

The Rocky adds:
Writing on the ABC News Web site, former FBI agent Brad Gannon, based on firsthand experience, offered this explanation: "The anthrax investigation, almost from the beginning, was hampered by top-heavy leadership from high ranking, but inexperienced FBI officials, which led to a close-minded focus on just one suspect and amateurish investigative techniques that robbed agents in the field of the ability to operate successfully."

This type of "close-minded focus" is not limited to high profile or federal cases. It happens every single day in every law enforcement office in America.

Being "tough on crime" does not mean that we should be "tough on the accused."

The accused are not convicted.

Who among us might not one day be accused?

If you are, be thankful for criminal defense attorneys.

"NAFTA's been a road well-taken"


The Post favors free trade. And they should.

Some of my Libertarian friends don't like NAFTA, because "you don't need 10,000 pages to promote free trade."

True enough.

But we are not going to get absolute and complete free trade in one swoop. We have to take steps. NAFTA is a step toward the correct vicinity.

Yes, there are losers with free trade. The losers are those that can't compete. As far as I'm concerned, if you can't compete, you deserve to lose.

We used to call that the American way. Now some of us clamor for protection from countries that can meet our needs cheaper.

We should stop whining and make better products cheaper.

"Go ahead, make McCain's day


Harsanyi uses General Wesley Clark's comment about John McCain (Clark asked if "getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president") to discuss military service among politicians and the criticism thereof.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

It did not work for the General.