Saturday, December 31, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Eminent domain by another name

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization and chairman of Sovereignty International. Mr. Lamb presents a strong indictment of the trend toward government zoning laws:

Eminent domain occurs when government takes private property. The Constitution requires that government pay "just compensation" to the owner when eminent domain is exercised.

What do you call it when government takes away the use of private property, but leaves the title in the name of the property owner? The Constitution makes no provision for this function of government, but government is exercising this function with increasing regularity and severity.

The function is called "comprehensive planning"; in reality, it is social engineering...

This resolution in White County will empower government to take away the use of 70 percent of the land of a private owner. The owner must continue to pay taxes on 100 percent of the property, but may use only 30 percent...

Ownership means "to have power over, to control the use of" property. This White County resolution takes away the "power to control the use of" private property and places this power in the hands of an unelected "community development director or designee." The only difference between this abuse of governmental power and eminent domain is that the landowner is forced to continue to pay taxes for the privilege of letting someone else dictate how the property may be used or not used.

There was a time when the term "social engineering" was used to describe a primary feature of communism; it was a term abhorred by Americans. Comprehensive planning is social engineering dressed up in a new name. The White County resolution is a classic example of how comprehensive planning ignores the very principles of freedom upon which this nation was built.

"Government is best when it governs least," is a principle proven through two centuries of development in America. This idea has been abandoned now in favor of the notion that government knows best how every American should live.

"Government should not interfere in free markets," is another principle that went out the window some time ago... Comprehensive planning, in general, puts government in the driver's seat by virtually controlling the real estate and development market.

The fact is government, with all its planning professionals, cannot hold a candle to a free market in which individuals, in pursuit of their own interests, forge progress forward. Mistakes are made, to be sure, in a free market, but a free market is self-correcting. A government-planned society is neither self-correcting nor corrected by government. Mistakes are compounded by self-preserving bureaucracies, supported by taxes extracted from the market place. Eventually and inevitably, planned societies must collapse under the weight of their own administrative and enforcement bureaucracies.

The more government exercises its power to control, the less freedom there is in what once was known as the land of the free.

WorldNetDaily: Eminent domain by another name

WorldNetDaily: 'Brokeback Mountain': Rape of the Marlboro Man

David Kupelian is vice president and managing editor of and Whistleblower magazine, and author of the best-selling book, "The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom. He writes:

"Brokeback Mountain," the controversial "gay cowboy" film... is a brilliant propaganda film, reportedly causing viewers to change the way they feel about homosexual relationships and same-sex marriage.

And how do the movie-makers pull off such a dazzling feat? Simple. They do it by raping the "Marlboro Man," that revered American symbol of rugged individualism and masculinity...

Yes, the talents of Hollywood's finest are brought together in a successful attempt at making us experience Ennis's suffering, supposedly inflicted by a homophobic society... We do indeed leave the theater feeling Ennis's pain. Mission accomplished...

What is important to the moviemakers, rather, is that the viewer be made to feel, and feel, and feel again as deeply as possible the exquisitely painful loneliness and heartache of the homosexual cowboys – denied their truest happiness because of an ignorant and homophobic society.

Thus are the Judeo-Christian moral values that formed the very foundation and substance of Western culture for the past three millennia all swept away on a delicious tide of manufactured emotion. And believe me, skilled directors and actors can manufacture emotion by the truckload. It's what they do for a living...

Film is, by its very nature, highly propagandistic... And when you leave the theater, unless you're really objective to what you've experienced, you've been changed – even if just a little bit.

Do we understand that Hollywood could easily produce a similar movie to "Brokeback Mountain," only this time glorifying an incest relationship, or even an adult-child sexual relationship? Like "Brokeback," it too would serve to desensitize us to the immoral and destructive reality of what we're seeing, while fervently coaxing us into embracing that which we once rightly shunned...

Inevitably, such a film would make us doubt our former condemnation of adult-child sex, or at least reduce our outrage as we gained more "understanding" and sympathy for the participants...

Ultimately, propaganda works because it washes over us, overwhelming our senses, confusing us, upsetting or emotionalizing us, and thereby making us doubt what we once knew...

This is how the "marketers of evil" work on all of us. They transform our attitudes by making us feel as though our "super uncomfortable" feelings toward embracing unnatural or corrupt behavior of whatever sort – a discomfort literally put into us by a loving God, for our protection – somehow represent ignorance or bigotry or weakness...

WorldNetDaily: 'Brokeback Mountain': Rape of the Marlboro Man

Monday, December 26, 2005

Secession by Charley Reese

Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years. He reminds us that there is more we can control than we sometimes realize. He writes:

It's my observation that most of what people vociferously complain about are not things they are forced to do, but things that other people choose to do. A favorite phrase of my father – "None of your business" – seems to have become obsolete in our busybody society...

The government should not regulate people's private lives at all. It should protect them from force, fraud, usury, foreign attacks and the rape of our share of the planet. Other than those, if some people wish to self-destruct, it's nobody else's business, least of all the government's...

Most of today's polluted culture comes into our homes via television and the Internet. Neither is a necessity. Both are easily controlled by thoughtful people. Nobody forces us to watch or read anything. Nobody forces us to buy anything or to spend more than we earn. Blaming our bad habits on advertising or the entertainment industry is just passing the buck. We can turn off and discard those aspects of modern culture we find offensive...

We have plenty of freedom, but too often we cede it to commercial interests, which tell us to watch this, do that, buy this, go here or go there. We can, however, by active concentration lead a quiet, thoughtful life free from the clamoring crowd...

Secession by Charley Reese

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Economic Lessons of Bethlehem by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and editor of He puts in a good word for the innkeeper who made his stable available 2000-odd years ago.

The Economic Lessons of Bethlehem by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Opinions from PC Magazine: Net Censorship and Democracy's Fall

John C. Dvorak is a contributing editor of PC Magazine. Dvorak has won eight national awards from the Computer Press Association. Dvorak's work appears in several magazines and newspapers. He is the author of several books on computing. His radio show, "Real Computing," can be heard on National Public Radio. He is also the host of TechTV's "Silicon Spin."

John has an interesting column on net censorship in the 27 December 2005 issue of PC Magazine. It's ironic that his column, which includes a lament about corporate internet filtering and monitoring, would appear directly opposite a full-page ad for Spectorsoft ("Record Everything Your Employees Do on the Internet").

Mr. Dvorak writes:

A Catholic high school in New Jersey banned all student online activity, at home or school. This includes chat rooms, blogging, and message boards. The lame excuse was that the rule would protect the students from predators...

More important, looking at their kids' blogs can give parents insights into the teaching practices and quality at a school, since the kids will bluntly and openly comment on the teachers. That's the real reason that keeping the kids offline is so important to the school. While American schools talk a big game about parental involvement, if it actually happens the schools want no part of it.

Opinions from PC Magazine: Net Censorship and Democracy's Fall

The Transit Strike in New York City by Gary North

Gary North is the author of Mises on Money. He is also the author of a free 17-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible. He has some interesting thoughts on the New York City transit workers strike. He writes:

The modern trade union movement is the product of special legislation. Businesses are compelled by law to honor unions that receive a majority vote by employees. Employees are then able to gain above-market wages because businesses are forbidden by law to make offers to potential employees who would otherwise underbid the unionized workers. These would-be employees are referred to by union members as "scabs." The idea of competitive, open-entry bidding is anathema to trade unions.

The trade union movement is not a pro-labor movement. It is an anti-labor movement. It exists in order to benefit a minority of workers at the expense of a majority of would-be workers who would be willing to work for less, but who are prohibited by law from being allowed to...

Trade unionism is dying in the United States. It has enrolled about 10% of the work force, and almost all of this is in unions working in various levels of civil government. Without the Wagner Act and the National Labor Relations Board, there would be almost no trade unionism in the United States...

New York City is different. The union has New York City's transportation system by the neck. This is because the state of New York and New York City jointly put the transportation system in this position. By outlawing open-entry private competition for transportation in and around Fun City, the civil authorities turned the streets of New York, not to mention the tunnels, into a disaster zone.

The Transit Strike in New York City by Gary North

Selling Ideas by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of and author of Speaking of Liberty. He writes:

So long as there is government, it will be corrupt, and for one reason: the business of government involves activities that, if you and I attempted them in the private sector, would land us in prison. If someone wants to root it out and expose it, we can only cheer...

I prefer the old 19th-century style journalism in which party hacks made their attachments explicit. But of course the political parties would much prefer it if the same case for their looting could be made without the motives being disclosed.

The innovation of the think tank was the first step toward helping the parties put a veneer of science and public spiritedness on their looting. Beyond their pretensions, however, it is the dreadful reality that government-centered think tanks are nothing more than intellectual covers for special interests, and this is true of the right and the left. Today their main function is to launder money so that intellectuals and others within their walls can appear to avoid overt conflicts of interest.

How can you know the difference between the fake and the real institutions of research? Their proximity to power is the best clue.

Selling Ideas by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. :: Columns :: The freedom to hate Wal-Mart by Paul Jacob

I came across this story in the "GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS" section of the 5 Dec 2005 biweekly issue of "The Liberator Online" free e-mail newsletter, by James W. Harris.

Paul Jacob serves as the Senior Fellow of Americans for Limited Government. His syndicated radio commentary, Common Sense, is aired daily by more than 100 stations in 48 states. I like what he has to say about Wal-Mart, including the following:

Some folks don't like Wal-Mart. Okay. Fine. It's a free country. No one should be forced at gunpoint to shop at Wal-Mart. Or to work there.

And no one is. That's what a free market is all about: the freedom to trade goods and services, to trade one's time and labor as an employee, one's dollars as a customer. Or not to.

Wal-Mart has found enormous success in the marketplace only because many people have voluntarily chosen to shop and work there...

Still, we witness a sustained and hysterical assault against the company...

As for employee pay and benefits, if Wal-Mart is so terrible, why didn't these employees choose to take the better jobs offered elsewhere?...

The most serious charge — in fact, the only serious charge — made against Wal-Mart is that the company has received subsidies and favors from government...

But this is something left and right and center should all be able to agree upon: such subsidies corrupt the marketplace as well as politics. They should be ended not just for Wal-Mart but for all businesses everywhere at all times...

Is there something more to do, after establishing rules of fair play? Sure. To those who talk trash against Wal-Mart: Boycott the company. Teach Wal-Mart a lesson. That's your right.

And it'll leave a little more room for the rest of us to get our shopping carts through those crowded and narrow aisles. :: Columns :: The freedom to hate Wal-Mart by Paul Jacob

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How Intelligent Is Intelligent Design? by Gene Callahan

Gene Callahan, the author of Economics for Real People, is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a contributing columnist to While I don't agree with quite a bit of this article, I do find he hits the nail on the head with the following points:

Anyone who follows the US news in even the most casual fashion is aware that great amounts of energy are being expended on the battle over whether Intelligent Design (ID) should be included in school curriculums as a serious competitor, for the task of explaining the diversity and complexity of life on Earth, to the dominant theory, which is typically called Neo-Darwinism...

If ID is included in a biology course, the enrollees should certainly be informed that Neo-Darwinism is currently the orthodox view... But it is precisely such firmly entrenched orthodoxies that most cry out for challenges. Even if the dominant theory succeeds in repelling all rivals, they still can serve to rescue the mainstream from the danger of self-satisfied complacency. Furthermore, many of yesterday’s orthodoxies are now regarded as quaint curiosities, because some lonely dissenters refused to accept the prevailing wisdom. To me, teaching students that all scientific ideas should be open to criticism and that broad acceptance of a theory is no guarantee of its truth seems even more valuable than conveying the details of any particular theory...

Opponents of teaching ID in schools... still protest that ID is not a genuinely scientific alternative to Neo-Darwinism. They often castigate it as "agenda-driven science," an irredeemably biased venture unworthy of serious consideration. I think this complaint rests on unsustainable picture of "real science" as an entirely objective enterprise, pristinely untouched by scientists’ personal beliefs about the nature of reality. An honest appraisal of how major scientific advances were arrived at in the past will reveal the mythical character of that image... Most great scientists and most great scientific advances have been inspired by a passionately held vision of the fundamental character of the world we inhabit. That is true of the defenders of Neo-Darwinism no less than it is of the proponents of Intelligent Design, despite the gulf separating their respective visions: the Neo-Darwinists take such umbrage at their critics because of their pre-scientific commitment to a mechanistic worldview...

Then why wouldn’t it be more important that high school students learn that scientific theories are always tentative, that they must face competing theories, and that scientists are fallible, than that they learn the details of Neo-Darwinian evolution? The only reason I can see is an ideological one: students are being taught that scientists are quasi-magical people who bring enlightenment to the masses, the job of whom it is just to shut up and listen.

How Intelligent Is Intelligent Design? by Gene Callahan

WorldNetDaily: 1st Amendment 'doesn't create church-state wall of separation'

Some common sense today from a court on the mythical constitutional "separation of church and state."

A U.S. appeals court today upheld the decision of a lower court in allowing the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse display, hammering the American Civil Liberties Union and declaring, "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state." ...

The panel voted 3-0 to reject the ACLU's contention the display violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution...

Judge Richard Suhrheinrich said the ACLU's "repeated reference 'to the separation of church and state' ... has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state." ...

The court said a reasonable observer of Mercer County's display appreciates "the role religion has played in our governmental institutions, and finds it historically appropriate and traditionally acceptable for a state to include religious influences, even in the form of sacred texts, in honoring American traditions."

"This is a big victory for the people of Mercer County and Kentucky generally," Manion said. "For too long they have been lectured like children by those in the ACLU and elsewhere who claim to know what the people's Constitution really means. What the 6th Circuit has said is that the people have a better grasp on the real meaning of the Constitution; the court recognizes that the Constitution does not require that we strip the public square of all vestiges of our religious heritage and traditions."

WorldNetDaily: 1st Amendment 'doesn't create church-state wall of separation'

Masson's Blog: Indy Star article on unsupervised Presidential spying on U.S. citizens

Doug Masson is an attorney practicing in Lafayette, Indiana. In a follow-up to Doug's post, Jason wonders what the federal government should be doing to protect us, if not warrantless searches. I suggest securing our southern border, for a start.

Doug writes:

The Indy Star has an article on the recent revelations that President Bush has authorized spying on United States citizens without even the rubber-stamp oversight of the FISA court...

First, these are not extraordinary times... To the contrary, I think these are extremely ordinary times. History is full of somebody done somebody wrong songs...

If I might posit a self-evident truth, certainly the Founders were not ignorant of a nation's executive's desire to impose his will on his subjects during times of war. If the authority to spy on one's citizens without approval of the Congress were something the Founders had in mind, I do not believe they would have overlooked writing it into the Constitution.

The Founders were smugglers who had just overthrown their own executive. They wrote protections into the Bill of Rights to limit the authority of the government. The Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Third Amendment prohibition against quartering troops in citizens' homes. The Fourth Amendment prohibition against warrantless searches and seizures. I doubt they just "forgot" to mention that the executive had the authority to conduct warrantless searches if we had entered into a war of choice in a foreign country or if some brigands knock down a few buildings.

Suffice it to say I do not share the Star's certainty that the President has powers that are anywhere near this far reaching even in a "war-time climate". Secret prisons. Torture. Military tribunals. Now, warrantless searches of U.S. citizens. It's time for Congress to assert the authority of its branch of government and come down on the President in a big way. They gave him some leeway. He's been abusing it. It's time to reel him in.

John M follows up:

In short, following FISA would have little or no practical effect on the ability of the Bush administration to monitor phone calls. The Bush administration is standing on principle. The principle, of course, is that the President’s Constitutional powers as commander-in-chief allow him to do whatever he wants, at home or abroad, even in the absence of a declared war. It is consistent with the Bush administration’s philosophy, which is the accumulation and exercise of executive power. As I said in a comment below, this is the sort of thing that should send a shiver down the spine of any Bush supporters who claim to be Jeffersonian, libertarian conservatives...

Would following FISA be “just as effective”? Probably not, although the difference would be minimal. It is more difficult to lead a nation that has constitutional protections than to rule one that does not. Unfortunately for King George IV, that is (or should be) part of the deal.

Masson's Blog: Indy Star article on unsupervised Presidential spying on U.S. citizens

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Backdoor to Military Rule in America by Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He writes:

Without any doubt, the most dangerous threat to the freedom of the American people in our lifetime lies with what might be called the Padilla doctrine, an exercise of such raw military power that, if upheld, will totally transform life in America as we know it...

One of the legitimate functions of government is to arrest, prosecute, and punish people who commit acts of violence against others... However, the obvious question arises: How do we really know that the person has truly committed the offense with which he is charged?

Obviously, one option would be to leave the matter up to federal officials. We could simply place our blind faith in their good judgment, trusting them to punish only the truly guilty and to leave everyone else alone.

That’s not the option that our forefathers chose, however, when they brought into existence the U.S. federal government. They instead brought forward, through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, a criminal-justice system that recognized procedural rights and guarantees that had long been accorded people accused of a crime...

Why were such rights carved out over the centuries and why did people require the king or the president to recognize and honor them? Because people realized that, while the government is charged with the important job of punishing violent lawbreakers, government officials oftentimes abused or mishandled such power by wrongfully accusing innocent people of crimes. Thus, the protections that were built up over centuries were designed with one purpose in mind: to ensure that people were not convicted of crimes that they did not commit...

The Padilla doctrine is a back-door attempt by the Pentagon to sabotage America’s federal criminal-justice system. The doctrine threatens to destroy the centuries-old rights and guarantees. It is impossible to overstate its ominous and dangerous implications...

History is replete with examples of governments that used the criminal-justice system to round up and punish innocent people, especially those who have had the audacity to tell the truth about government abuses and wrongdoing...

Under the Padilla doctrine, there would be no check on the power of the military to take people into custody and punish them, even execute them. The military’s power over the American people would be absolute...

If the Pentagon ends up winning in the Padilla case, Americans will ultimately discover why the Pentagon was fighting so hard to prevail and how victory in the Padilla case will have provided the Pentagon with a backdoor to military rule in America.

The Backdoor to Military Rule in America by Jacob G. Hornberger

$210 Billion Down the Hole by Joe Schembrie

Joe Schembrie is an engineer and writer living in Washington. He evaluates whether the taxpayers have gotten our money's worth in Iraq. He writes:

According to the latest estimates, the United States government has spent over two hundred and ten billion dollars on the war in Iraq. How do we put that in perspective?

We could divide $210 billion by 300 million Americans. That would tell us that the war has cost $700 for every man, woman, and child in America.

(How about you? Do you personally feel that you have received seven hundred dollars worth of freedom and security thanks to all the bombs we've dropped in Iraq?)

We can also divide the $210 billion by seventy million American taxpayers. That tells us the war has cost $3000 per taxpayer. Are those taxpayers satisfied with the 'freedom' from life and limb that our weapons have brought to so many Iraqi children – or would those taxpayers have preferred to 'selfishly' spend the money on college tuition and health care for their own children? ...

what have the Iraqis received – aside from demolished cities – for our $210 billion dollars?

Well, they haven't received enough to eat... The twenty-five million people of Iraq could be fed on $75 million a day, or $27 billion a year. That's only a small fraction of the $210 billion we've spent on Iraq. Yet, amid the ruins created by our violent occupation, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children are malnourished...

Nor has anywhere near the bulk of the spending on the Iraq War gone to our soldiers. Divide $210 billion dollars by 160,000 American soldiers in Iraq, and you see that we're spending $1.3 million per soldier. These are the same soldiers complaining about no air conditioning in 110-degree weather, poor medical care, the lack of body armor, the need to scrounge junkyards for vehicle armor, and a shortage of ammunition. None of our soldiers seem to have even $1300 worth of camping gear, let alone $1.3 million worth of high-tech equipment. And they sure aren't receiving $1.3 million apiece in pay...

Perhaps you think that the $210 billion dollars went toward offensive military capability. But it is estimated by President Bush himself that the US military has at most killed only thirty thousand Iraqi insurgents, and if you divide $210 billion dollars by that number, you see that it is costing us $7 million to kill each insurgent. If George Washington had wasted $7 million in logistics to kill each Redcoat, the Continental Congress would have stripped him of command and regarded him as more damaging to the Patriot cause than Benedict Arnold! Today, however, the Bush Administration awards medals to generals who have achieved that astounding level of inefficiency in the Iraq War...

$210 Billion Down the Hole by Joe Schembrie

What's Up With the Police? by Steven LaTulippe

Steven LaTulippe is a physician currently practicing in Ohio. He was an officer in the United States Air Force for 13 years. He writes:

Traditionally, police work in America has been a local and state affair. The conventional model was that of the local, blue-collar guy who spent much of his time walking the beat and interacting with the public. He rarely got into armed confrontations with civilians, and when he did, it was to stop unambiguously criminal activity...

Unfortunately, as our nation has drifted towards a more aggressive, centralized form of government, the character of policing has changed.

First, law enforcement was relentlessly federalized during the course of the hideous 20th Century. Back when our society actually followed the constitution, the only armed federal law enforcement agents were those of the secret service...

All of this changed when the government began to discard the constitution’s limitations and moved to consolidate power in Washington...

At first, many Americans expressed dismay that the federal government was treading onto soil that had traditionally been forbidden to it. The consolidation of a federal police force had generally been considered "un-American" and a precursor to "Caesarism." ... Many were concerned that this development heralded the beginning of the end of our republic.

Once the camel’s nose was under the tent, the power and scope of federal law enforcement relentlessly expanded, culminating in the siege at Waco and the unprecedented growth of federal power accompanying the passage of The Patriot Act...

Now that our government has nearly completed the transformation into empire, the aggressive nature of law enforcement is working its way through the system. The rights of our citizenry are being eroded and the powers of the state are being inexorably expanded...

The use of the military for civilian law enforcement is an overt sign of degeneration into despotism. This trend accelerated after 9/11 and the Katrina disaster...

[In Miami] police are planning "in-your-face" shows of force in public places... As an example, uniformed and plainclothes officers might surround a bank building unannounced, contact the manager about ways to be vigilant against terrorists and hand out leaflets in three languages to customers and people passing by...

Traditional law enforcement is a noble calling and plays a vital role in protecting individual rights. Violent criminals exist in all societies and we should be thankful that there are men and women willing to join the police force and guard against them. But statism is contaminating American law enforcement and causing it to approach the precipice of authoritarianism.

"Protect and serve" is being mutated into "shock and awe."

This is, unfortunately, yet another pothole on our tragic road to empire.

What's Up With the Police? by Steven LaTulippe

President Takes Responsibility for Wrongheaded Invasion of Iraq! by Karen Kwiatkowski

Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel. She writes:

Our shining President reminds us that no matter what was said and done, it was always, only and ever about forcing a fresh friendly democracy on Baghdad. And look! Nice elections are happening there! ...

And just look at what our President has achieved in Iraq. A nice big constitution, completed in record time! ... Just think — it took Americans 230 years to get the Patriot Act and embrace the intense protofascist degree of government interference in our daily lives and permanent federal abrogation of the Bill of Rights. Iraq is already there, with roving military forces, curfews, and instant justice conveniently provided in both 120 mm and 5.56 mm varieties. Only the bipolar in this country can count on that kind of freedom and democracy, so far.

Speaking of the Bill of Rights, the one we wrote for the Iraqis is way longer than the quaint little one we use here in Amerika...

Sure, we left out the right to bear arms, but armed citizens protecting their property and lives is so old-school, don’t you think? Not to mention a drag on the free exercise of government power! ...

Rice told the adoring, loyal and patriotic Hannity audience that "next time" we do "this," we will do a far better job than we did in Iraq. Our central planning and our five-year plans will be more robust, more realistic, more wonderful in every way!

What is "this" exactly, you ask? "This" would be, of course, creating a fake intelligence storyline, in order to build popular and congressional support, in order to invade a small weak country, in order to kill tens of thousands of human beings without legal, moral or defensive justification, in order to establish new military bases and long-term natural resource extraction contracts, in order to enrich our corporate friends and closest allies...

President Takes Responsibility for Wrongheaded Invasion of Iraq! by Karen Kwiatkowski

Rigoberto, Requiesce in Pace by Becky Akers

I sympathize with Becky Akers' perspective on the Miami airline passenger shooting. She writes:

So now we add murder to the sexual assault and robbery that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) commits against us...

The Alpizars had arrived in Miami's airport from South America, endured the rude, hostile welcome of US Customs, and were catching a connecting flight home to Orlando – a flight which tragically included two air marshals among its passengers. Rigo suffered from a bipolar disorder. He was already agitated when he boarded the plane, but in the final moments before the jet pulled away from the gate, his anxiety became so acute he bolted from his seat and ran for the door. And why not? Everything connected with American aviation anymore traumatizes those in perfect emotional health, let alone anyone struggling with bipolarism.

Trying to justify the murder of this innocent man, Leviathan has changed its story, as liars do. The Feds originally had Rigo declaiming about a bomb while running "up and down" the plane's aisle. But at least seven passengers deny that Rigo mentioned anything about a bomb, and several insist he did not speak at all...

Shooting unarmed, obviously distraught Americans who are hurrying to disembark without having asked permission before their plane pushes away from the gate... Clearly, the system worked exactly as designed... Neither the perverts groping us at the TSA's checkpoints nor the bullies whose pathology finds an outlet in "air marshalling" have anything to do with protecting us. They are there to dominate, intimidate and control us. And to shoot those they can't.

Further proof that the TSA exists to dominate, intimidate and control passengers comes from the abuse of Flight 924's surviving ones... That sent a variety of brutes, from SWAT teams to local police, swarming aboard the plane. They ordered passengers who had committed no crime nor broken any law to put their hands on their heads...

Another passenger told Time Magazine, "I was on the phone with my brother. Somebody came down the aisle and put a shotgun to the back of my head and said put your hands on the seat in front of you. I got my cell phone karate chopped out of my hand. Then I realized it was an official... They were pointing the guns directly at us instead of pointing them to the ground. One little girl was crying. There was a lady crying all the way to the hotel." ...

Cops frisked the passengers before marching them off the plane for more domination, intimidation, and interrogation. No news account I've seen mentions a search warrant. I wonder whether any brave soul asked to see one or refused to be felt up in its absence.

The death of Rigoberto Alpizar is... the logical result of a people eagerly trading its freedom for security... Tragically, these babies look to their Congressional nannies for a protection they shouldn’t want and don’t need. And Congress happily rushes to oblige. Rep. Mica boasted to USA Today, "We've got a small army out there ready to protect and defend the flying public."

Yep. And like any army, it shoots to kill.

Rigoberto, Requiesce in Pace by Becky Akers

The National Snoop Agency (NSA) by D. T. Armentano

Dom Armentano is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hartford (CT). He writes:

Last week the New York Times revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been secretly intercepting telephonic and email communications between U.S. citizens since 9/11. This systemic non-court-sanctioned domestic spying is, of course, strictly illegal but President Bush quickly and casually rationalized all of it in the name of "protecting us from terrorism." ...

But to be "shocked" by the recent New York Times revelations is, frankly, to have been fast asleep for the last 50 years...

Am I outraged by the recent spying revelations? Of course. There should be no government monitoring of private communications (telephone, email, cable, etc.) absent prior approval from a judiciary that demands the highest proof of a national security "risk." But am I surprised that agencies like the NSA have, again, illegally snooped on Americans, this time with a presidential sanction? You must be kidding.

The National Snoop Agency (NSA) by D. T. Armentano

Thought Experiments by Christopher Westley

Chris Westley is an assistant professor of economics at Jacksonville State University, Alabama. He writes:

The State claims the right to bring life in the world, to end it, to control the weather – to do anything. To deny its right to torture is to deny its omnipotence. Some people argue that the medieval scholastics’ development of Just War theory actually served to provide the king with the moral justification to engage in war. Maybe today’s torture debate is serving a similar purpose: to provide justification for the State to engage in torture.

Thought Experiments by Christopher Westley

War on Drugs a Big Success by Michael S. Rozeff

Michael S. Rozeff is the Louis M. Jacobs Professor of Finance at University at Buffalo. He writes:

For the State, for politicians, for government bureaucracies, and for many others, the War on Drugs is a big success, a program for other government programs to emulate.

For all these reasons, it is not hard to understand why in 2005, the U.S. continues its War on Drugs, even though it inflicts ever-rising harm on many U.S. citizens with no countervailing good to the public at large.

For all these reasons, it’s not hard to understand that when the authorities totally fail at the futile aim of preventing individuals from using selected molecules, when they inflict enormous damage on citizens of the United States, they are succeeding in the War on Drugs. They are accomplishing their aims.

The War on Drugs exemplifies the State strangling the society it governs. It is government of the State’s minions, by the State’s minions, and for the State’s minions. For them, the War on Drugs is a winner.

War on Drugs a Big Success by Michael S. Rozeff

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Conscription = Communism by William Norman Grigg

William Norman Grigg writes, regarding the draft:

The fundamental premise of the draft is that people exist to serve and protect the State, and can be used as seen fit by those who control it...

The general notion was that Conscription was a feature that belonged exclusively to despotic Governments...

the draft is based on the assumption that the State has a right "to every dollar and every right arm in the country for its protection"...

Those of us who love liberty and peace should also understand war: It is the State reduced to its essential functions – destruction, regimentation, pitiless violence. Similarly, we must understand that conscription indisputably rests on the assumption that each individual is the State’s property, to be sacrificed when those controlling the State deem it necessary for their protection...

Thousands of Americans, both young and not-so-young, have been left dead, limbless, sightless, or mindless because of the actions of soft-handed, soft-bellied servants of the State. That same ruling elite is quietly preparing to re-instate the draft, now that the pool of willing enlistees is drying up...

Conscription = Communism by William Norman Grigg

Midwifery: the Revival an Old Profession by Heather M. Carson

"If women really knew the risk at which they put themselves and their babies by allowing themselves to be subjected to the Medical Model of care where unnecessary interventions are the norm, often with terrible side effects for the mother and baby, they certainly wouldn’t do it."

Midwifery: the Revival an Old Profession by Heather M. Carson

Friday, December 16, 2005

The invisible air war in Iraq

Seymour Hersch has an interesting article on the "invisible" air war in Iraq:


The American air war inside Iraq today is perhaps the most significant—and underreported—aspect of the fight against the insurgency. The military authorities in Baghdad and Washington do not provide the press with a daily accounting of missions that Air Force, Navy, and Marine units fly or of the tonnage they drop, as was routinely done during the Vietnam War...

In recent months, the tempo of American bombing seems to have increased. Most of the targets appear to be in the hostile, predominantly Sunni provinces that surround Baghdad and along the Syrian border. As yet, neither Congress nor the public has engaged in a significant discussion or debate about the air war...

The Air Force’s worries have been subordinated, so far, to the political needs of the White House. The Administration’s immediate political goal after the December elections is to show that the day-to-day conduct of the war can be turned over to the newly trained and equipped Iraqi military. It has already planned heavily scripted change-of-command ceremonies, complete with the lowering of American flags at bases and the raising of Iraqi ones...

Meanwhile, as the debate over troop reductions continues, the covert war in Iraq has expanded in recent months to Syria. A composite American Special Forces team, known as an S.M.U., for “special-mission unit,” has been ordered, under stringent cover, to target suspected supporters of the Iraqi insurgency across the border. (The Pentagon had no comment.)


The New Yorker: Fact

The Missing Air War in Iraq by Tom Engelhardt

Murdering the Bill of Rights by Anthony Gregory

Anthony Gregory writes:


Every year around this time some politicians will say something obligatory about Bill of Rights Day [15 Dec 1791] and the cherished freedoms and liberties of America's heritage, and perhaps about how the troops fighting in the foreign war du jour are fighting for those very freedoms and liberties.

As these politicians describe it, government is the mother of liberty. Freedom is granted by the state. The Bill of Rights is just one of the many charters that empowers the state and enables it to give freedom to its subjects...

The Bill of Rights is, as best understood, an anti-government document. Its main purpose is not to call upon the government to provide rights; it is rather a list of restrictions on federal authority, spelling out some particular rights that the government shall not violate. It is a prohibition on the federal government from engaging in... any and all activities not specifically authorized by the Constitution.

In this sense, the Bill of Rights underscores a radical conception of liberty: that the state does not create liberty, that in fact the state’s actions inflict harm on liberty, and that to protect liberty all we must do is keep the state away.

If the government actually obeyed the Bill of Rights, it would do virtually none of what it is doing now. Practically every federal law, regulation and activity is an affront to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. These two provisions have long been ignored completely, at least since Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

A horrifying amount of what the government now does is also specifically prohibited by the first eight amendments. According to the document that supposedly justifies the government’s existence, almost every action carried out by its officials is illegal, and those officials are criminals in violation of the law. For any of them to talk about the greatness of the Bill of Rights is akin to Al Capone sermonizing on the virtues of temperance...

Human liberty is a natural right. It existed before the Bill of Rights. It will exist after the Bill of Rights. It exists wherever it is left free to exist. Those ten amendments supposedly protect liberty, but they are not the origin of liberty, no matter what anyone says to the contrary.

The rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness were not invented by the Founding Fathers. The Founders only recognized the natural rights that humans were born with and attempted to defend them more rigorously than had ever been done before...

Ultimately, no law can bind people unless it is upheld in people’s hearts and minds. This includes Constitutional law. To arrive at a day when the Bill of Rights means anything, the principles it presumably defends must first be shared and cultivated among society.


Murdering the Bill of Rights by Anthony Gregory

How Congress Has Assaulted Our Freedoms in the Patriot Act by Andrew P. Napolitano

Former judge Andrew P. Napolitano describes how our Fourth Amendment rights are being stolen away by our elected representatives.


The compromise version of the Patriot Act... is an unforgivable assault on basic American values and core constitutional liberties. Unless amended in response to the courageous efforts of a few dozen senators from both parties, the new Patriot Act will continue to give federal agents the power to write their own search warrants – the statute’s newspeak terminology calls them "national security letters" – and serve them on a host of persons and entities that regularly gather and store sensitive, private information on virtually every American.

Congress once respected the Fourth Amendment until it began cutting holes in it...

The deepest cut came on October 15, 2001 when Congress enacted the Patriot Act. With minimal floor debate in the Senate and no floor debate in the House (House members were given only 30 minutes to read the 315 page bill), Congress enacted this most unpatriotic rejection of privacy and constitutional guarantees. Together with its offspring the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal 2004 and the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, the Patriot Act not only permits the execution of self-written search warrants on a host of new subjects, it rejects the no-criminal-prosecution protections of its predecessors by requiring evidence obtained contrary to the Fourth Amendment to be turned over to prosecutors and mandating that such evidence is constitutionally competent in criminal prosecutions.

The new version of the Patriot Act which the Senate will debate this weekend purports to make all of this congressional rejection of our history, our values, and our Constitution the law of the land...

Why would Congress, whose members swore to uphold the Constitution, authorize such a massive evasion of it by the federal agents we have come to rely upon to protect our freedoms? Why would Congress nullify the Fourth Amendment–guaranteed right to privacy for which we and our forbearers have fought and paid dearly? How could the men and women we elect to fortify our freedoms and write our laws so na├»vely embrace the less-freedom-equals-more-security canard? Why have we fought for 230 years to keep foreign governments from eviscerating our freedoms if we will voluntarily let our own government do so?

The unfortunate answer to these questions is the inescapable historical truth that those in government – from both parties and with a few courageous exceptions – do not feel constrained by the Constitution. They think they can do whatever they want. They have hired vast teams of government lawyers to twist and torture the plain meaning of the Fourth Amendment to justify their aggrandizement of power to themselves. They vote for legislation they have not read and do not understand...

The Fourth Amendment worked for 200 years to facilitate law enforcement and protect constitutional freedoms before Congress began to cut holes in it. Judges sit in every state in the Union 24/7 to hear probable cause applications for search warrants. There is simply no real demonstrable evidence that our American-value-driven-constitutional-privacy-protection-system is in need of such a radical change.

A self-written search warrant, even one called a national security letter, is the ultimate constitutional farce. What federal agents would not authorize themselves to seize whatever they wished? Why even bother with such a meaningless requirement? We might as well let the feds rummage through any office, basement, computer, or bedroom they choose. Who would trust government agents with this unfettered unreviewable power? The Framers did not. Why would government agents bother going to a judge with probable cause seeking a search warrant if they can simply write their own? Big Brother must have caught on because federal agents have written and executed self-written search warrants on over 120,000 unsuspecting Americans since October 2001.

Is this the society we want? Have we ultimately elected a government to spy on all of us? The Fourth Amendment is the lynchpin of our personal privacy and individual dignity. Without the Fourth Amendment’s protections, we will become another East Germany. The Congress must recognize this before it is too late.


How Congress Has Assaulted Our Freedoms in the Patriot Act by Andrew P. Napolitano

Smoking foes try to stop parents from lighting up

Here's an example of where the anti-smoking zealots are heading. It does not bode well for people who believe parents have the ultimate God-given responsibility for rearing their children. Just imagine where the camel might head after getting its nose under the edge of this tent.

E.g., what if the government starts to worry that a religious upbringing is not in the best interest of children?

Anti-smoking activists who are driving cigarettes from public places across the country are now targeting private homes -- especially those with children...

An appeals court upheld the ruling, but not before one judge raised questions about the extent to which a court should become involved in parental rights and whether certain behavior is harmful or simply not in a child's best interest...

If there's no health issue, it isn't the court's place to say someone can't do something that's perfectly legal, just because the other spouse doesn't want them to...

The smoking-at-home issue also sparked debate about whether such rulings will lead courts to become involved in such matters as parents' making poor TV programming choices for their children...

Smoking foes try to stop parents from lighting up?-?Metropolitan?-?The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

2005-2006 Top Ten Conservative Colleges

The Young America's Foundation 2005-2006 “Top Ten Conservative College” list features ten institutions that proclaim, through their mission and programs, a dedication to discovering, maintaining, and strengthening the conservative values of their students.

The listed colleges offer an alternative to the liberal status quo, because they allow and encourage conservative students to explore conservative ideas and authors. They offer coursework and scholarship in conservative thought and emphasize principles of smaller government, strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values. Furthermore, they avoid trends in academe by continuing to study Western Civilization instead of straying toward the study of Marxism, feminism, sexuality, postmodernism, and other modern distractions that do not give students a complete understanding of our country, our culture, and its founding principles.

Hillsdale College
Grove City College
Franciscan University
Indiana Wesleyan University
Thomas Aquinas College
College of the Ozarks
Liberty University
Patrick Henry College
Christendom College
Harding University
Honorable Mention

2005-2006 Top Ten Conservative Colleges

Indiana's Version of Eastern Time

Another grassroots vote for putting Indiana in the central time zone.

Amen Corner >> Blog Archive >> Indiana's Version of Eastern Time

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Some Events Of Late-April (Indiana time zones)

I found this blog entry interesting for a couple of reasons. First was the "outsider's" perspective on Indiana time zones. Second his/her observations on Wabash College in Crawfordsville were interesting to me since Crawfordsville is less than ten miles north of the little Indiana town where my wife grew up.

A little more white space (paragraphs) would make it a little more to my liking.

White Hat News Group - Weight Watcher Values - Some Events Of Late-April

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Our elected baby sitters - Jonetta Rose Barras

Jonetta Rose Barras hits the nail on the head with the following comments:

They're changing diapers and washing bottles in the D.C. Council chamber over at the John A. Wilson Building. Playpens are expected to arrive soon. Twelve of the city's 13 policymakers have morphed into old-fashion, but high-priced, nannies.

Claiming concern for District workers, lawmakers gave preliminary approval this week to a smoking ban in restaurants, bars and taverns. (All will be expected to go smoke-free by January 2007.) The ban comes after a two-year, well-funded battle and the introduction of multiple bills to two different council committees.

Legislators-cum-nannies assume that citizens in the District aren't intelligent or responsible enough to choose for themselves a dining or entertainment establishment that meets their own health standards. They also presume that workers, most of whom are over 18 years old, are incapable of determining when an environment is or isn't safe.

Smoking is a dangerous habit. It didn't take the U.S. surgeon general to provide that warning for me...

Studies have differed on the dangers of secondhand smoke. Statistics can always be manipulated. Whether those reports are true or not is not the issue. The District has more than 200 restaurants and bars - an ample supply - that prohibit smoking. There are numerous others that have significant portions of their establishment sectioned off for nonsmokers. In other words, thinking adults have a choice... Further, if the council is concerned about employment opportunities for those individuals who work in bars or restaurants where there is smoking, it could set up a job-counseling agency...

Washington Examiner: Columns

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Letter to the editor: earliest sunset December 7

Today (December 7) happens to be the earliest sunset of the year in Indianapolis.

A common thread of objection to statewide central time for Indiana is that winter sunsets would be "too early".

After so many years effectively in the wrong time zone from October through April, I suspect that many of us in Indiana have become less aware of the typical winter sunset time at our latitude. The only way to get significantly more evening sunlight is to take it away from those who prefer the benefits of that scarce hour of sunlight in the winter mornings, e.g., for melting snow and ice off vehicles and roads, and burning off any morning fog.

I have shown Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, and Terre Haute in the following table twice, to help compare their earliest sunset time with that of several other cities. I concluded that our sunset time is much more in line with comparable areas of the rest of the country on central time than it would be if we remained on eastern.

Before there were standard time zones, the local sunset time on December 7 for Indianapolis (and all points due east and west) was 4:35pm. Determining this median sunset time for our latitude really helped to open my eyes and calibrate me on what sunset time to reasonably expect in Indiana this time of year. Perhaps others will find it as helpful as I did.

With our one-hour-wide time zones, locations in the eastern half of the nearest time zone (like Chicago, Indianapolis, and New York) should experience their earliest sunset from 4:05 to 4:35pm. Conversely, sunset time in the western half of each time zone should range from 4:35 to 5:05pm. The following table confirms that this is exactly how it works out in various cities across the country, and confirms that central time provides a more equitable distribution of our scarce winter sunlight than eastern time would.

4:05pm, eastern boundary of each time zone
4:12pm, Boston MA
4:12pm, Fort Wayne (central time)
4:14pm, South Bend (central time)
4:20pm, Chicago IL
4:20pm, Indianapolis (central time)
4:26pm, Terre Haute (central time)
4:28pm, New York NY
4:31pm, Evansville IN (central time)
4:35pm, Denver CO
4:35pm, Philadelphia PA
4:35pm, Reno NV
4:40pm, St. Louis MO
4:45pm, Sacramento CA
4:46pm, Washington DC
4:54pm, Youngstown OH
5:05pm, western boundary of each time zone

5:12pm, Fort Wayne (eastern time)
5:14pm, South Bend (eastern time)
5:20pm, Indianapolis (eastern time)
5:26pm, Terre Haute (eastern time)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

sun time matches clock time in Herndon

Having taken a very strong interest in time zones and clocks the last few months due to Indiana's changing time situation, I found it an interesting coincidence to discover that I had arrived at my hotel in Herndon, Virginia yesterday (December 5) on one of the only two days of the year when the sun happens to pass directly overhead here at noon (the other is September 28).

At 77.4 degrees longitude, Herndon is 2.4 degrees west of the middle of the eastern time zone (75 degrees). Thus, its local mean time is about ten minutes behind clock time. However, the correction due to the equation of time exactly cancels out the longitude correction on these two days.

The irony was not lost on me that the closest the clocks in Indianapolis will come to ever reading 12:00 when the sun is overhead if we are on eastern time is 12:28pm on November 23. Worst case falls on July 26, when our clocks will read 1:51pm as the sun passes overhead in 2006.

If we were on central time, the clocks would read approximately 12:00 noon with the sun overhead in Indianapolis on February 11.

Frugal Hoosiers: Livin' life by the clock

My reply to the following post:

I don't think it's a secret that there are also a number of Republicans, including me (elected precinct committeeman), who want to see it kept alive just long enough to get at least 95 percent of Indiana's counties into the central zone, where we have been for 7 out of every 12 months the past several decades.

Central time would put Indianapolis clocks within 15 minutes of local mean time five months of the year, give us 45 minutes of extra evening daylight the other seven months (as it has been doing). Eastern would put our clocks a whopping 105 minutes off local time for those same seven months, which a lot of Hoosiers just think is too much.

Frugal Hoosiers: Livin' life by the clock

Masson's Blog: Rep. Torr's letter to the USDOT

Doug makes an excellent point:

By hiding the ball with respect to Eastern Daylight Time, an impression of illegitimacy has been created. Had the legislation specified Daylight Saving Time and designated a preferred time line, then there wouldn't be a great deal to argue about. As Rep. Torr suggests, if the time zone debate been conducted explicitly, it may have failed. True. But too bad. Honorable failure is more respectable than sneaky success. As it is, Rep. Torr's legislation has created a roiling time zone mess. If the Republicans lose seats -- and possibly the House of Representatives over this -- the loss will be based in large part over their failure to be forthright about the time zone issue.

Masson's Blog: Rep. Torr's letter to the USDOT

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Evansville CourierPress: Daniels not in favor of Central vs. Eastern time referendum

The Evansville Courier & Press has an article today titled "Daniels not in favor of Central vs. Eastern time referendum".,1626,ECP_734_4285801,00.html

Bob Plymire of Evansville has an extensive follow-up comment.

I think the words of a very wise man may apply to Mr. Plymire's comments.

"The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."

I won't try to comment on everything he wrote. In my opinion, much of it falls into the categories of conjecture and personal preference, including which time zone might better provide for the safety of public school children, which might be better for business, for lowering crime, for saving energy, etc.

I agree with Mr. Plymire that a statewide referendum should be unbiased, perhaps asking for a vote between putting the entire state on central, the entire state on eastern, or just leaving it however the DOT rules next month.

Mr. Plymire writes, "... you usually find those people really don't understand what the differnece [sic] between central and eastern time means... WEll, logicly [sic], if you were to look at a map of time zones, they really had to stretch the time zones to get Indiana to be in the central time zone to begin with. Take a look at a time zone map. If you were to compare it to a worldwide map, Indiana is well withing [sic] the eastern time zone."

First, I'm not sure what map he is looking at, but the U.S. Code defines the time zone locations and names. Title 15, Chapter 6, Subchapter IX, Sections 261 and 264 read, "the standard time of the first zone shall be based on the mean solar time of the sixtieth degree of longitude west from Greenwich; that of the second zone on the seventy-fifth degree; that of the third zone on the ninetieth degree... The standard time of the first zone shall be known and designated as Atlantic standard time; that of the second zone shall be known and designated as eastern standard time; that of the third zone shall be known and designated as central standard time."

From this section of federal law, it is pretty obvious that the middle of the eastern zone runs near Philadelphia. The middle of central is near Peoria or St. Louis. The mid-point between the two (82.5 degrees longitude) bisects Ohio around Mansfield. When I check my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I come to the opposite conclusion from Mr. Plymire. The natural time zone boundary runs very near the eastern borders of Michigan and Kentucky. Contrary to Bob's assertion, I have to conclude that where the real stretch came was getting all of Ohio, most of Michigan, and half of Kentucky into the eastern zone.

I present these facts for the enlightenment of those who wish to try to minimize the emotion in this discussion.

Second, I point out that not all studies of the relationship between health and sunlight conclude that more sunlight at the end of the day is better.

For example, a study titled "Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders" by Dr. Daniel R. Wagner finds, "Exposure to light in the morning is an important and probably a crucial element in the treatment of DSPS [delayed sleep phase syndrome]... [and] Avoidance of bright light (>500 lux) from the late afternoon through the evening is advisable."

Lee Siegel and Stephanie Watson, in an article for the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah, write, "Some research indicates light therapy is more effective if it is synchronized with a patient's internal clock, which is why some patients are treated with exposure to bright light early in the morning."

"A 1998 clinical trial showed that morning light treatment was generally more effective than evening light treatment (Terman although evening treatment was still more effective than placebo."

Yet another article says, "In those cases where people cannot fall asleep at night and are unable to get out of bed in the morning, exposing them to bright light at the time they should be awakening gradually resets the sleep pattern toward a more normal range. The theory for this is that bright light exposure in the morning shuts off the production of melatonin early and initiates the activity phase of our circadian rhythm cycle."

Sincerely, Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana (Bartholomew County)
Sat, 3 Dec 2005

Evansville CourierPress: Daniels not in favor of Central vs. Eastern time referendum

Friday, December 02, 2005

Steve Heim: House Prayer

I just added my comments on the ruling about sectarian prayer in the Indiana Statehouse to Steve Heim's blog.

Steve Heim: House Prayer

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Canossa: Ken Grant on Gov. Mitch Daniels

Ken Grant writes:

Gov. Mitch Daniels (governor of Indianapolis) decided a number of months ago to wade into the murky time zone reshuffling waters by asking the counties to finally decide just which time zone that they wanted to be in...

Of course, he was rather specific about telling the counties to make up their own minds, and petition the Department of Transportation accordingly...

Well, St. Joseph County, in its somewhat flawed wisdom, decided that they wanted to move to the Central time zone...

Not good enough for the governor of Indianapolis. Nope, our man Mitch decided that the county chose poorly, and has now written to the DOT to encourage them to turn down St. Joseph County's petition to move to Central time. Yes, indeed, the man who triggered the whole bit of nonsense has suddenly realized that some folks actually took him seriously regarding the determination of the time zone.

Can't have that. No sir. Not at all. Gov. Daniels simply could not have folks make their own decisions on an issue wherein he told them to make their own decisions...

Canossa: Political Idiot of the Day - Gov. Mitch Daniels

Letter to the editor 1 Dec 2005, local time vs clock time

I recently had an e-mail exchange with an Indiana state representatives who strongly favors Eastern time. He wonders why so many people have such a strong preference for having their clocks somewhere near noon when the sun is overhead. This preference seems to be particularly strong among Indiana residents who favor Central time.

We could adjust to just about any time zone if there were some compelling reason to do so. Our whole country could set their clocks to local mean time (aka local time) of Los Angeles, or New York City, or (splitting the difference) even Sioux City, Iowa. For that matter, the whole world could decide to use Greenwich Mean Time.

Most people would figure out a schedule to sleep when it's dark, be awake when it's light, eat breakfast somewhere near sunrise, supper somewhere near sunset, and lunch somewhere in the middle, regardless of what the clocks may say.

There are some places in the world that have actually learned to tolerate having their clocks significantly different from local time like this -- Western China and parts of Alaska, for example.

While I don't have an airtight explanation why so many prefer having their clocks set close to local time, I do see a couple of pieces of evidence that indicate pretty strongly that it is so.

First, when the time zones were instituted in the 1880's, why did they choose one-hour-wide zones? Fewer wider zones might have been even more convenient for commerce. I surmise it was at least partly because many people are willing to set their clocks up to 30 minutes faster or slower than local time for the sake of convenience of commerce, but not a whole lot more. I elaborated on this thought further in my DOT docket comments of 20 November 2005 (

Second, when I look up "noon" in the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, it says "midday; twelve o'clock in the daytime", indicating that midday and noon are strongly associated. The American Heritage Dictionary reinforces this association with "the time or point in the sun's path at which the sun is on the local meridian; the highest point". The further our clocks deviate from local time, the weaker these traditional associations become, and the more compelling a justification is required.

Granted, dictionary definitions may offer an overly simplistic explanation, but they give substantial empirical evidence of just how deeply ingrained these conventions are in our collective cultural psyche. Anybody who proposes that it's worthwhile to deviate significantly from these norms has a pretty uphill battle cut out for them, as is readily observed in Indiana now.

Making this more specific to Indiana, when Indianapolis last observed Central Standard Time, the clocks were only 15 minutes behind local time (our eastern and western borders are only about 5 minutes different from Indy). When we observed year-round Eastern Standard Time (aka Central Daylight Time), the clocks were only 45 minutes ahead of local time. Although exceeding the 30-minute threshold, this seemed a reasonable compromise to many Hoosiers -- 45 minutes or so of morning sunlight shifted to the evening year-round.

If we observe Eastern Daylight Time in 2006 and 2007, the clocks in Indy will be 105 minutes ahead of local time (110 in Terre Haute) for 7 and 8 months of the year.

This apparently sounds like a near-unequivocal benefit to those who support Eastern time, but, to those who support Central, having the clock so skewed from local time doesn't sound that great at all. Absent a statewide referendum, it's just anybody's educated guess, at best, which view predominates among Hoosiers.

Perhaps this helps to explain why the northwest and southwest counties seem largely content to remain on Central time, why so many other counties have petitioned to join them, and why so many Hoosiers in the rest of the state (based on docket comments and hearing reports) are clamoring for their elected legislators and governor to seize the opportunity in the January 2006 legislative session to petition the DOT to reunite at least 95 percent of Indiana's counties in the Central time zone.

cc: Indiana legislators, Governor Daniels, Mayor Stephen Luecke