Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Conservative Republicans Have Only One Choice in 2008 by Chuck Baldwin

Chuck Baldwin writes:

Let's cut to the chase: conservative Republicans have only one choice for President in 2008: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Unlike the GOP frontrunners, Paul is the real deal...

He has a twenty-year record as a conservative congressman that is virtually unblemished. Unlike the vast majority of congressmen and senators in Washington, D.C., Paul consistently honors his oath of office to support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States...

Ron Paul's commitment to the sanctity of human life goes beyond rhetoric...

In addition to being willing to stop the illegal alien invasion, Ron Paul is one of only a handful of congressmen that dares speak out against the emerging North American Union, NAFTA superhighway, and the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement, all of which are being promoted by the White House in concert with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)...

Because Paul truly supports the Constitution, he truly supports "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Period...

Not ignorant of military matters (he is an Air Force veteran), Paul subscribes to a historical American approach of no entanglements with foreign nations. In fact, in the area of foreign policy, Ron Paul stands alone as a traditional, constitutional, American statesman...

Unlike his neocon counterparts, Ron Paul believes in an independent America. He believes that it is not America's responsibility to police the world. He believes America's political leaders are duty-bound to protect the interests of the United States, not the interests of internationalists. Accordingly, he opposed the unprovoked and preemptive invasion of Iraq. Time has certainly vindicated Dr. Paul's principled position...

If the United States government had listened to Ron Paul, we would not have lost nearly 3,500 American soldiers and Marines, spent over $1 trillion, and gotten bogged down in an endless civil war from which there is no equitable extraction. Furthermore, had we listened to Dr. Paul, Osama bin Laden would no doubt be dead, as would most of his al-Qaeda operatives, and we would be less vulnerable to future terrorist attacks, instead of being more vulnerable, which is the case today...

Should Ron Paul win the Republican nomination, he would almost certainly win the general election. His constitutional, common-sense ideals would be attractive to such a broad range of voters, I dare say that he would win a landslide victory, no matter who the Democrats nominated. Conservatives, independents, libertarians, union members, and even some liberals...

Face it: the big money interests, the Chamber of Commerce crowd, the international bankers and GOP hierarchy will never support Dr. Paul. He is too honest, too ethical, too constitutional, and too independent for their liking. Therefore, the only chance Ron Paul has of winning the Republican nomination is for every Christian, every conservative, and every constitutionalist within the GOP to get behind him.

Conservative Republicans have only one choice for President in 2008: Ron Paul.

Conservative Republicans Have Only One Choice in 2008 by Chuck Baldwin

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ten Reasons Why Ron Paul Can’t Win by Thomas Eddlem

Ten Reasons Why Ron Paul Can’t Win by Thomas Eddlem

Padilla Jury Opens Pandora’s Box by Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts writes, "There is little doubt that Padilla’s conviction, and probably also the convictions of the two co-defendants, is a terrible injustice. But the damage done goes far beyond the damage to the defendants. What the red, white, and blue "Padilla Jury" has done is to overthrow the US Constitution and give us the rule of men..."

"when law becomes a weapon, liberty dies regardless of the form of government..."

"The incompetent 'Padilla Jury' has done Americans and their liberty far more damage than will ever be done by terrorists, other than those in our criminal justice (sic) system..."

"The Padilla case was the way the Bush Justice (sic) Department implemented its strategy for taking away the legal principles that protect American citizens. Padilla is an American citizen. He was denied habeas corpus and his rights to an attorney and due process. He was tortured in an attempt to coerce him into self-incrimination. In treating Padilla in these ways, the US Department of Justice (sic) violated both the US Constitution and federal law. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Justice (sic) Department committed far more crimes than did Padilla..."

"The 'Padilla Jury' has opened Pandora’s box. Unless the conviction is overturned on appeal, American liberty died in the 'Padilla Jury’s' verdict."

Padilla Jury Opens Pandora’s Box by Paul Craig Roberts

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ron Paul: The Unoriginal Candidate by Rick Fisk

Rick Fisk writes:

Ron Paul would turn back the clock on many original ideas put forth by past Presidents. Wilson's income tax? Gone. The Iraq war and pre-emptive war, the two Bush additions to original Presidential thought gone as well. The department of Education? Homeland Security? Welfare? All Gone. No original idea would be spared from the boring veto pen of a Paul presidency

Ron Paul: The Unoriginal Candidate by Rick Fisk

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More on Indiana's time zone

Jeremy (#76) wrote, "... you have to admit that this quote is irrelevant. Think of how much has changed since 1953... There has been a change in the country and these statistics have absolutely nothing to do with Central/Eastern timezone... think about all of the cities (and just land) in between Philly, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Denver, etc. Each of those cities are located pretty close to the middle of their respective time zones. Indianapolis is located at the edge of its time zone (whether that's Eastern or Central)..."

Thanks for your thoughtful comments Jeremy. I agree that we cannot make too much of the state's per capita income history. About all I make of it is that there was no apparent harm to Indiana's economy when the entire state was on one time zone and when we were on the same time zone as our western neighbors, and I doubt that it would do any harm to the state economically to return to that situation.

You accurately point out that the four cities that I picked as examples are each very near the central meridian for their respective North American time zones, as well as being near the same latitude as Indiana. Therefore, there are pretty representative of "normal" for our distance from the equator.

We were on year-round eastern standard time for so long, which was effectively central daylight saving time given our longitude, that it is really easy to lose track of what is typical for our latitude. During that time, we averaged about 45 minutes of DST year-round -- about 45 minutes of sunlight shifted from the morning to the evening.

The time zones were laid out so that places like these four cities that are near the central meridian for their time zone (75, 90, 105, and 120 degrees longitude) would set their clocks to match their local mean time (solar time averaged out over the year). Locations in the eastern half of the time zone would have their clocks up to 30 minutes slower than their LMT and those in the western half would have the clock up to 30 minutes faster than their LMT.

The mid-point between these meridians for eastern (75) and central (90) is 82.5 degrees. This natural boundary runs near the eastern edge of Michigan and Kentucky, and right down the middle of Ohio. It's pretty easy to see why Ohio asked the national government to move the boundary to their western border, so the entire state could be in a single time zone. It's harder to figure out why Indiana would have asked to have it moved even further west to divide us into two zones. Quite a few Hoosiers can attest how awkward it is to have the boundary running between the counties within a state.

"USDOT decides" (#83) wrote, "Time zones are decided by the USDOT, not a governor, not the legislature, and local politicians..."

While that is technically correct, the DOT certainly weighs heavily the input and requests of state and local politicians, as the duly elected representatives of the people, when they make these sort of decisions.

In 1967, for example, six years after the federal government had first divided us by moving half of Indiana from central to eastern time, Governor Branigan petitioned the DOT to place all of Indiana back in the central time zone.

In their opening post (Docket OST-2005-22114-1), the DOT's position is, "The General Assembly and Governor of the State of Indiana have asked the Department of Transportation (DOT) to initiate proceedings to hold hearings in the appropriate locations in Indiana on the issue of the location of the boundary between the Eastern and Central Time Zones in Indiana. The General Assembly and Governor did not, however, take a position on where the boundary should be..."

The strong implication from the DOT is that if the General Assembly and Governor took such a position, the awkward county-by-county petition process would no longer be needed.

Thu, 12 Jul 2007, 7:12 am EDT

Ex-congresswoman enters race for Indiana governor - Topix

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ex-congresswoman proposes return to Central time for Indiana

I wrote:

Politics aside, I certainly like to hear anyone in a position of influence talking about trying to return the entire state to the central time zone again.

For my taste, and compared to average for our latitude, the sun sets about 45 minutes too late in the summer and rises about 45 minutes too late most of the rest of the year. Just check out Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, or Reno if you want to see what is normal for our latitude.

On central time, our sunrises and sunsets are only about 15 minutes earlier than typical for our latitude.

Long Thompson said she also would consider seeking to move the entire state to the Central time zone. "It's pretty ridiculous when it's still daylight to almost midnight," she said.

Terry Martzall (#2) wrote, "... apparently the sun goes down later in northern Indiana because in central Indiana it is dark by 9:30 p.m.... if her definition of 'close' is 2 1/2 hours... perhaps we should review the other things she promises?"

It appears likely that Long Thompson was using hyperbole. Depending on whether you consider the daylight hours over at sunset, civil twilight, nautical twilight, or astronomical twilight, the latest daylight on June 28 in Indy on eastern daylight time was either 9:17, 9:49, 10:30, or 11:18 pm. Astronomical twilight is getting pretty close to midnight, although 10:33 pm is the typical astronomical twilight for our latitude that day.

Jeremy (#6) wrote, "For everyone who is in favor of being on central time, remember that means it will get dark between 3:30 and 4:00 PM during the winter. Do you really want to make winter days any shorter?"

Again, I guess it depends on what you mean by dark. The earliest sunset of the year is about Dec 8. On eastern time, the sun sets about 5:20 pm in Indy, with twilight at 5:50, 6:23, or 6:56 pm depending on which definition you use.

The typical latest sunset at our latitude (see Phila, Denver, etc.) is about 4:35 pm. On central time, the latest sunset in Indy would be 4:20, with twilight at 4:50, 5:23, or 5:56 pm -- only 15 minutes earlier than normal for our latitude.

As far as making the winter days shorter, that has nothing to do with the time zone. There are only 9 hours 21 minutes from sunrise to sunset in Indy from Dec 18 through Dec 25, no matter what time zone we are in. The only way to have longer winter days is to move closer to the equator.

"Come on Jill" (#58) wrote, "How embarassing (sic) for her that she has no ideas except to criticize Daylight Savings Time."

I didn't see any criticism of DST in this article -- only a comment about which time zone might be preferable for Indiana.

Central DST is still DST. It just shifts 45 minutes of sunlight from morning to evening instead of one hour and 45 minutes like eastern DST.

Bryan (#71) wrote, "People we are always going to have two time zones. We have had them for over 40 years and got along just fine."

Conversely, we had virtually a single time zone for over 40 years before that and got along just fine then too.

By the state's own figures (pdf page 7 of 44), Indiana's per capita income was 106.4 percent of the national average in 1953 (when most or all of the state was on central time year-round, and had been for decades). By 2006 this figure had dropped to 91.4 percent.

Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana
Wed, 11 Jul 2007

Ex-congresswoman enters race for Indiana governor - Topix

No, Mr. President: The Iraq War Is Not the American Revolution | The John Birch Society - Truth, Leadership, Freedom

Gary Benoit writes:

The president’s high praise of our modern-day citizen-soldiers who are willing to leave their homes and place themselves in harm’s way to defend our freedoms is well deserved. Tragically, however, through no fault of our soldiers, they are not being used to defend our freedoms, despite the president’s claims to the contrary...

Yes, our “men and women of the Guard” do stand ready to “fight for America.” Yet many of them have been maimed and killed in Iraq for reasons unrelated to defending our beloved country in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks...

If America were attacked by Iraq on September 11, then the Congress should have immediately declared war against Iraq. But that is not what happened. Iraq did not attack us, and Congress did not declare war.

In fact, as President Bush himself acknowledged on September 17, 2003, months after our invasion of Iraq was launched, “We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th [attacks].” Even today, that admission may sound surprising to many Americans who mistakenly believe we went into Iraq because Iraq attacked us here. After all, in his public speeches, including his recent Independence Day speech to West Virginia’s Air National Guard, President Bush has repeatedly juxtaposed references to Iraq with that of 9/11. These juxtapositions have created the false impression that Iraq had attacked us, without the president actually saying it...

Today’s freedom-loving patriots who wear the uniform were deployed overseas to attack a country that did not attack us, and they are there now propping up a new regime that, unlike Saddam Hussein’s old regime, is closely aligned with Iran, a radical Islamic terror state identified by President Bush himself as part of an “axis of evil.”

“We must support the Iraqi government,” Bush declared in his July Fourth speech. Yet that government, which would never have come into existence without American blood and treasure, could prove worse than the admittedly despicable regime it replaced.

“If we were to quit Iraq before the job is done, the terrorists we are fighting would not declare victory and lay down their arms — they would follow us here, home,” Bush warned on July 4. But what job is supposed to be completed in Iraq? Originally, Bush repeatedly stated that we needed to go into Iraq to enforce United Nations Security Council mandates forbidding Iraq to possess weapons of mass destruction. But no WMDs were found. We also, according to Bush, needed to rid the world of Saddam Hussein’s regime, but Saddam Hussein is now dead. And now we supposedly need to prop up the new Iraqi regime in the midst of what has become a civil war, until such time as that regime can take care of itself.

President Bush may glowingly cite the American War for Independence and the Founding Fathers when he trumpets his Iraq policy, but the truth of the matter is that his Iraq policy runs totally contrary to the intent of the Founders when they fought the War for Independence and later drafted the Constitution.

Bush is not upholding American independence by launching an offensive war against a foreign nation. He is not defending our freedom by sending our troops abroad to put in place and then prop up an increasingly radical Islamic regime in the midst of a civil war. He is not even helping the victims of the civil war by doing that.

The Founding Fathers recognized the follies of interjecting ourselves into foreign quarrels and warned against it. “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world,” George Washington wisely counseled in his Farewell Address to the nation.

In an Independence Day address in 1821, John Quincy Adams said: “America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own…. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.”

Does that sound like a description of what’s happening in Iraq? It obviously does not sound like President Bush, who certainly is not on cue with the Founding Fathers.

Nor is President Bush emulating the Founding Fathers when he behaves like a king, sending the nation into war without a congressional declaration of war. The power to declare war, recall, was assigned to Congress — and Congress alone. The Founding Fathers assigned this power to Congress because they did not want a single man to be able to plunge the nation into war as Bush has done (and as other modern-day presidents have done before him).

Our modern-day citizen-soldiers should never have been sent to war against Iraq, and they should not be there now. If we truly want to celebrate the Founding Fathers who won our independence for us, and support our modern-day citizen soldiers who have been placed in harm’s way in Iraq, we would bring our soldiers home — now!
No, Mr. President: The Iraq War Is Not the American Revolution The John Birch Society - Truth, Leadership, Freedom

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Slandering the Dead: The American Massacre at al-Khalis by Chris Floyd

So here we have a local guard, an admirable example of Shia-Sunni cooperation, working with the Iraqi government against suspected insurgents, ground into mulch by American bullets then denounced by American brass as killers and terrorists. Thus yet another village has been turned against the blind and brutal occupation; thus many more seeds of revenge and bitterness have been planted.

Is this part of the much-ballyhooed "counterinsurgency doctrine" crafted by the sainted General Petraeus to win hearts and minds, to teach peace to the conquered? Or just the inevitable product of a war of aggression, an action conceived in deceit and callous inhumanity?

Slandering the Dead: The American Massacre at al-Khalis by Chris Floyd

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Slouching Toward a Police State by Matthew Hart

Matthew Hart writes:

On the evening of May 19th, in the course of a purported investigation into drug trafficking at a local homeless shelter, two Oklahoma City police officers handcuffed a woman and tasered her to death because, as a police spokesman said, "the officers felt that she was not under control." The victim, a 35-year-old homeless woman, resided in the shelter with her husband while recovering from a drug addiction. She was not involved in the initial drug investigation, yet apparently began to scream and attacked one of the officers. After attacking a second officer, she was "taken to the ground and handcuffed." At this point, this 35-year-old female crack addict, handcuffed and on the concrete, still represented a great enough danger to two heavily armed male police officers that they deemed it necessary to electrocute her fatally. This murder earned the two officers paid administrative leave...

From seatbelt laws and speed limits to anti-drug and anti-smoking laws, who really believes that the State’s interest lies in saving us from ourselves? Law number one should be "no victim, no crime." Increasingly obvious is the fact that, far from protecting and serving the people, the police exist everywhere and always to protect the State and its ill-gotten gains from the people, and we pay them to do it. In the course of "protecting the people" from free and private transactions between consenting adults, these two officers murdered a woman guilty of what amounts to a lack of control...

These are but two local examples of what amounts to a major problem with state-subsidized "law enforcement." Where may innocent victims of this rampant abuse of power turn for justice in this day and age?

... few view the abuse as it really is. Indeed, most seem to applaud the work of the nanny state as it strips us all of the right to do as we see fit absent the trespass of others’ rights to do the same. On this march toward our own undoing, will we watch wordlessly as our fellows are overrun by the massed machinery of the State?

Slouching Toward a Police State by Matthew Hart

Of Hobgoblins and Quarantines by Becky Akers

Becky Akers writes:

And when our manipulative masters muse, the toadies in the mainstream media race to furnish a microphone. Banks of them, in fact, as well as the reams of newsprint they aren’t devoting to Ron Paul.

Meanwhile, consumptive Andrew Speaker seems to be one of those rare Americans who trusts his own judgement. He realizes that "infection specialists," doctors, and other "experts" belch, hiccup, and start off in diapers like the rest of us. Heavens, they even make mistakes now and again. Andy refuses to kowtow, especially when said experts put their interests ahead of his.

Which is precisely what the assorted busybodies in this sad tale are doing...

From New York, Andy went to Denver. He’s now under guard and firmly in the CDC’s clutches, with the agency precariously balanced between its veneer of compassion and its lust for control. Its employees are supposed to be concerned and caring. But they’re also government officials who can force treatment on their victims – not a happy vision after Josef Mengele. And so they pussy-foot around their power over Andy...

The CDC blames its abuse of sick folks on the Constitution: "The federal government has authority under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to prevent the interstate spread of disease." That’s another whale of a whopper. Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 merely authorizes Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."

But the CDC’s tyrants are too busy finessing Andy’s kidnapping to worry about the Constitution. "Normally when someone has tuberculosis, we influence them through a covenant of trust," CDC Director Julie Gerberding sniffed. Poor gal: Andy’s odyssey left her no choice but to issue a "federal isolation order," though she allows that "in this case the patient had a compelling personal reason for traveling." She also admits that he "broke no laws in his travels." A pity: that would certainly save face as the CDC stations an armed deputy before Andy’s hospital room.

Justifying Julie’s crime is Lawrence Gostin, a "public health law expert" at Georgetown University. Larry’s never met a quarantine he didn’t love...

Other CDC bureaucrats tried to excuse Andy’s imprisonment...

Can we improve our systems? Absolutely. There will be many lessons learned from this. Why do I suspect they’ll all teach Leviathan to forge more chains?

And so Andy is guarded in his hospital bed as heavily as a politician or other criminal...

Of Hobgoblins and Quarantines by Becky Akers

Friday, April 13, 2007

WorldNetDaily: The Imus lynch party

Good points by Patrick Buchanan.

"Where are the demands for apologies from the talk-show hosts, guests, Duke faculty members and smear artists, all of whom bought into the lies about those Duke kids – because the lies comported with their hateful view of America? ..."

"The issue here is not the word Imus used. The issue is who Imus is – a white man, who used a term about black women only black folks are permitted to use with impunity and immunity..."

WorldNetDaily: The Imus lynch party

Friday, March 16, 2007

Letter: Government has no place in personal decisions

My letter to the editor ran in today's issue of "The Republic" in Columbus, Indiana.

3/16/2007 2:10:00 AM

Letter: Government has no place in personal decisions

From: Bill Starr, Columbus
Received: March 10

I was glad to hear recently that a proposal to increase cigarette taxes was defeated in the Indiana House.

I am for smaller government, not bigger.

I am not a smoker, but I dislike seeing government trying to save people from the consequences of their decisions by raising the price on a pleasure that others consider a vice.

I think the best approach is to look for ways to make every person in society, including smokers, bear the responsibility and true costs for their own decisions to the greatest extent possible, not to try to create artificial consequences by making the hand of government ever heavier.

One way of doing this would be for state law to permit and encourage insurance companies and employers to take the voluntary lifestyle risks of their customers and employees into account when determining what rate a person is offered for health and life insurance, and even whether they are offered insurance at all.

This should help serve as a wake-up call to the true costs of this choice, beyond what is paid at the cash register.

There are many repeated lifestyle choices besides smoking that people make every day that have long-term consequences, such as whether to watch a game on TV or get out and take a walk, whether to order a salad or a milkshake. I would rather have my elected government representatives stay completely out of all personal decisions of this sort.

There are enough long-term natural consequences to these "little" daily choices, without paying our elected representatives to think up artificial ones and force them upon us at the point of a gun (what almost every government decree ultimately comes to if we do not comply voluntarily).

I think everyone "buys in" to better choices when they make them themselves voluntarily, rather than being coerced by their elected "representatives" in government into making decisions that someone else thinks are "better" for them.

Aren't our armed forces supposedly putting their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms? Why fritter them away?

As Patrick Henry wrote, "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."

Thomas Jefferson also said, "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, (A)nd if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education."

Let us apply our powers of education and persuasion to our children and peers.

If they are exposed to the same facts as we are, and yet reach a different conclusion about smoking than we do, that is just the way a free society is supposed to work, and I urge the busybodies to just get over it.

Letter: Government has no place in personal decisions

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Can Ron Paul Win? by Murray Sabrin

Murray Sabrin, Ph.D., is professor of finance in the Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey, where he is executive director of the Center for Business and Public Policy.

Dr. Sabrin writes the following about my favorite candidate for president and one of my favorite Congressmen.

"Clearly, the establishment media’s virtually blackout of Ron Paul’s candidacy is a magnificent case study in: media incompetence? bias? laziness? All of the above? ..."

"Currently, the Internet is abuzz about Ron Paul. As the year unfolds, if more and more young Republicans people gravitate toward the Paul campaign just as young Democrats did for Dean in 2004, the GOP establishment will be apoplectic..."

"Ron can become a top tier candidate and a serious contender for the nomination if he can raise more funds than his own advisors, I suspect, think is possible by December 31, 2007..."

"Ron’s political base is fiscal conservatives, anti-tax citizens, anti-war Republicans, Democrats and Independents, constitutionalists, hard-money advocates, small business owners, civil libertarians, anti-universal healthcare physicians, pro-lifers, parents who home school, and anyone else who considers himself a real patriot..."

"In the final analysis, about 50,000 to 100,000 Americans could determine the next presidential nominees of both parties. In the GOP presidential primary, if Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, or any other lesser known candidate excites GOP voters for the next 12 months, then Rudy, McCain and Romney will prove that in a marathon it is not who leads the pack that counts but who is the turtle in the race."

Can Ron Paul Win? by Murray Sabrin

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Battling the Current: Time...thought I made friends with time

On "Battling the Current", EC writes:

"The time change is always a rather bizarre event because the entire country suffers from jet lag for a few days. There is a legitimate reason for daylight savings time and then there is the one politician’s claim. The claim is that we do this for energy savings. That by shifting the clocks ahead an hour people will use less light bulbs and less electricity and the world becomes a nicer place. That is, in fact, complete and utter bullshit."

"The real reason is pure economics. Give people an extra hour of sunlight in the evening and they are much more likely to have a weekday barbecue. Or try to fit in nine holes of golf after work. Or go to Home Depot and get cracking on that home repair project. Or even do what I did today, take advantage of the warm weather and see if I can hit a restaurant while it’s light out. The idea isn’t that we’ll spend less money on electricity. It’s that we’ll spend much more money on everything else in our lives."

I definitely think he's on to something. Yesterday, I had the weird sensation that I was plunged back into the middle of winter in the morning, yet in the middle of summer by evening.

Columbus sunrise yesterday was 8:00, about the same as we had on January 18. Yesterday's sunset of 7:47 is what we used to get about May 12, when we were on central daylight time (aka eastern standard time) year-round from the 1960's until 2005.

At our latitude, the typical latest sunrise is 7:21 am, from Dec 30 to Jan 10, and the sun would typically set at 7:47 or later only from April 24 to August 22.

Battling the Current: Time...thought I made friends with time

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Masson’s Blog - A Citizen’s Guide to Indiana » DST: Bad for Drinking

Doug posted a musing on whether the governor has legal authority to keep the bars open an extra hour early Sunday morning when the clocks change. It kicked off a discussion of sunrise/set times and time zones. Following were my contributions (most recent to oldest).

Since it takes the sun about 15½ minutes to pass overhead from Indianapolis to the middle of our nearest time zone (90 degrees longitude), the corresponding times to 7 am and 5 pm would be about 6:44:32 am and 4:44:32 pm for Indianapolis.

So if Indiana were back in the central time zone again, we would expect to see the sunrise after 6:45 am from about Nov 29 to Feb 9 and the sunset before 4:45 pm from about Oct 31 to Jan 15.

This was the norm for Indiana on central time until the 1960's when most of the state went to year-round central daylight time (aka eastern standard time).

Fri, 9 Mar 2007, 7:43 am EST

"T" wrote, "And those of us who’ve hated the pre-5pm sunsets can’t wait…"

Although Hoosiers are not very used to them, pre-5pm sunsets are at least normal for our latitude.

Simplifying, it would be reasonable to expect that the sun would rise after 7 am and set before 5 pm during the time of the year that there is less than 10 hours of sunlight (5 before midday and 5 after).

Indianapolis has less than ten hours of daylight from about Nov 15 until Jan 26 -- just under 2½ months.

Before there were time zones, Indianapolis and everyone due east and west around the world (latitude of 39.8 degrees north) had their sunrise after 7 am the 2½ or so months from about Nov 28 until February 9 and had their sunset before 5 pm the 2½ or so months from Oct 31 until January 15.

If you look at the USNO riseset figures for the "sister" cities of Indianapolis at about our latitude and very near the center of their time zones (Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, and Reno), you can see that this is very typical for our latitude.

Most of us in Indiana just had full-time central daylight time (aka eastern standard time) for so long, which amounted to about 45 minutes of year-round daylight saving time for our longitude, that these times seem kind of unusual to us, although they are really typical for our distance from the equator.

Fri, 9 Mar 2007, 7:14 am EST

Hi, Doug. Thanks for the post. I had seen the news item, but had not thought about it going against the concept of the executive branch "executing" the laws duly passed by the legislative branch.

We seem to have enough trouble these days with legislation from the judicial branch, without the executive branch jumping in as well.

By the way, I think you're in the Lafayette area. It's just a little quibble, but the USNO gives a sunrise of 8:06 am for Lafayette on 11 March 2007 with DST.

Indy is only 8:03 am.

However, I am a big fan of establishing what is the baseline for reasonable, and also a fan of earlier sunrises for Indiana. The "normal" or "typical" sunrise time for locations at Indiana's latitude is 7:18 am. Before DST was shifted back to the second Sunday of March, it would have been 6:18 am. You can confirm this pretty easily by plugging in cities near Indiana's latitude and near the center of their time zones into the USNO page.

Philadelphia is 6:19 am (pre DST), Saint Louis 6:19 am, Denver 6:18 am, Reno 6:17 am.

Between being in the wrong time zone and going on DST earlier, the Hoosiers like me who like to see the sun in the morning are really getting robbed.

Regards, Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana
Thu, 8 Mar 2007, 7:17 pm EST

Masson’s Blog - A Citizen’s Guide to Indiana » DST: Bad for Drinking

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Update on the Empire by Laurence M. Vance

Laurence M. Vance is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. He is also the director of the Francis Wayland Institute.

Mr. Vance writes:

"If it is true, as Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) said, 'War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography,' then empire must be God’s way of making Americans masters of the subject since the United States now has troops in 159 different regions of the world..."

"We know this is true, not because some opponent of U.S. imperialism says so, but because the Department of Defense publishes a quarterly report called the 'Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and by Country.' "

"I first reported on this... on March 16, 2004... the U.S. had troops in 135 countries... I then showed on October 4, 2004... that the U.S. empire had increased to 150 different regions of the world. The last time I reported on the extent of the empire, December 5, 2005... it had grown to encompass 155 different regions of the world. Today it pains me to report that the U.S. empire has now extended its tentacles to 159 regions of the world: 144 countries and 15 territories."

"Since there are 192 countries in the world besides the United States, this means that the U.S. military has troops in over 70 percent of the world’s countries. And this doesn’t include territories that are not sovereign countries..."

"Although Donald Rumsfeld once claimed that the United States is not imperialistic and doesn’t seek empires, what else are you going to call this global presence in 159 regions of the world? Do all these countries want U.S. troops on their soil? Is there really any reason why the United States still has 64,319 troops in Germany, 33,453 troops in Japan, and 10,449 troops in Italy – sixty years after World War II? ..."

"The issue is U.S. troops on foreign soil. They have no business there. Period. No bases, no troops, and no military advisors..."

"Echoing the inscription on the Liberty Bell, President Bush closed his second inaugural address with the statement that 'America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof.' But rather than proclaiming liberty, the stationing of soldiers in 159 different regions of the world and garrisoning the planet with military bases does just the opposite. Instead of proclaiming liberty, it proclaims imperialism, interventionism, militarism, and jingoism – all with devastating consequences for those countries that dare to question American hegemony."

Update on the Empire by Laurence M. Vance

A call for separation of school and state - The Boston Globe

Jeff Jacoby is an award-winning political columnist for the Boston Globe. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Globe is the largest newspaper in the New England area, and is the 15th largest-circulation newspaper in America, with over 600,000 readers.

I agree with Mr. Jacoby. He writes:

"Parker v. Hurley, in other words, was not just a victory for gay-marriage advocates or a defeat for Judeo-Christian traditionalists. It was a reminder that on many of the most controversial subjects of the day, public schools do not speak for the whole community..."

"When school systems deal with issues of sexuality, religion, politics, or the family, there is always an overriding agenda -- the agenda of whichever side has greater political clout. Parents who don't like the values being forced down students' throats have two options. One is to educate their children privately. The other is to find enough allies to force their own values down students' throats..."

"Once Americans may have agreed on what children should be taught, but that day is long gone. On any number of fundamental issues, parents today are sharply divided, and there is no way a government-run, one-curriculum-fits-all education system can satisfy all sides. The only way to end the political battles over schooling is to depoliticize the schools. And the only way to do that is to separate school and state."

"Parents should have the same freedom in educating their kids that they have in clothing, housing, and feeding them. You wouldn't let the government decide what time your kids should go to bed, or which doctor should treat their chicken pox, or how they should spend their summer vacation, or which religion they should be instructed in. On matters serious and not so serious, parents are entrusted with their children's well-being. Why should schooling be an exception?"

"Get government out of the business of running schools, and a range of alternatives will emerge. Freedom, innovation, and competition will do for education what they do for so much else in American life: increase choices, lower costs, improve performance -- and eliminate conflict. So long as education is controlled by the state, the battles and bad blood will continue. With more liberty will come more tolerance -- and more resources spent on learning than on litigation."

A call for separation of school and state - The Boston Globe

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Words None Dare Say: Nuclear War by George Lakoff

George Lakoff is is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, and a founding senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute. He writes:

"The time has come to stop the attempt to make a nuclear war against Iran palatable to the American public. We do not believe that most Americans want to start a nuclear war or to impose nation destruction on the people of Iran."

The Words None Dare Say: Nuclear War by George Lakoff

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Political Mavens » Who owns you?

Eric Peters makes a great point. Why should the state care more about whether I wear a seatbelt than they do about whether I am overweight?

Mr. Peters writes:

The point is not whether something is (or isn’t) in your own best interests. It is who should have the final say? You? Or Big Momma? When we turn 18 and achieve legal adulthood, in theory at least, we are supposed to be masters of our own destinies — and our right to choose (for good or ill) sacrosanct — at least, so long as we’re not harming anyone else in the process.

Electing not to wear a seat belt surely falls into that category. We may be injured (even killed) in the event of an accident. But the only person directly affected in that event is — us. And please, no nonsense about “society” or the effect on loved ones. The same could be said — and then some — about sedentary, overweight people who choose to risk an early death from atherosclerosis and impose enormous costs on “society” (principally in the form of increased health care expenditures, etc.).

Interestingly, we don’t waylay overweight, sedentary people outside McDonalds, do we? There are no “Operation Weighty Waddlers” — no Girth Checkpoints.

Why is it ok to exercise choice (even if it’s clearly a bad choice) for the one — but not the other? ...

But the core issue here is — who owns us? If my body is my property, then it follows I have the right to use it as I please, so long as no direct harm to others is involved. No one (yet) has dared to suggest that people who enjoy skiing, motorcycle riding or other “risky” activities be fined or jailed for deciding to assume the extra risks involved. But the state feels no compunction about asserting its ownership rights when it comes to buckling up.

Is there a distinction that justifies this? If so, I cannot discern it...

As with the “war on drugs” — which targets some drugs (pot) but not others (alcohol) — it is simply a matter of laws blowing with the winds of political correctness. Being fat and unhealthy (or jabbering on a cell phone)? Hey, that’s ok. But fail to buckle up for safety — and it’s $100 bucks, chief.

We submit to this at our peril, though. Because having established the principle that it may intervene in our private affairs on any one count, it has established the idea that it may do so on any account. Those who fervently believe in the soundness of seat belt laws may not like it so much when the Health Laws are passed a few years down the road (at the behest of HMOs, no doubt) and they find their big bellies and hammy jowls in Big Momma’s crosshairs, too.

Political Mavens » Who owns you?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Highway Robbery | The John Birch Society - Truth, Leadership, Freedom

Jim Capo gives some interesting commentary on the article in the current issue of Mother Jones magazine which provides insight into the sell-off of the Indiana Toll Road and other public infrastructure assets in the US to foreign investors.

Highway Robbery | The John Birch Society - Truth, Leadership, Freedom

Saturday, January 06, 2007

3000 American Deaths in Iraq by Ron Paul

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas. Dr. Paul delivered the following words before the US House of Representatives, 5 January 2007. I agree with him that this war would most likely never have been fought if Americans had demanded that their Congressmen follow the Constitution and declare war before sending troops to Iraq.

The regime in Iraq has been changed. Yet victory will not be declared: not only does the war go on, it’s about to escalate. Obviously the turmoil in Iraq is worse than ever, and most Americans no longer are willing to tolerate the costs, both human and economic, associated with this war.

We have been in Iraq for 45 months. Many more Americans have been killed in Iraq than were killed in the first 45 months of our war in Vietnam...

The election is over and Americans have spoken. Enough is enough! They want the war ended and our troops brought home. But the opposite likely will occur, with bipartisan support...

Three thousand American military personnel are dead, more than 22,000 are wounded, and tens of thousands will be psychologically traumatized by their tours of duty in Iraq. Little concern is given to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in this war. We’ve spent $400 billion so far, with no end in sight.

This is money we don’t have...

Where the additional U.S. troops in Iraq will come from is anybody’s guess...

Some Members of Congress, intent on equitably distributing the suffering among all Americans, want to bring back the draft...

Instead of testing the efficacy of the Selective Service System and sending more troops off to a war we’re losing, we ought to revive our love of liberty. We should repeal the Selective Service Act. A free society should never depend on compulsory conscription to defend itself.

We get into trouble by not following the precepts of liberty or obeying the rule of law. Preemptive, undeclared wars fought under false pretenses are a road to disaster. If a full declaration of war by Congress had been demanded as the Constitution requires, this war never would have been fought. If we did not create credit out of thin air as the Constitution prohibits, we never would have convinced taxpayers to support this war directly from their pockets...

3000 American Deaths in Iraq by Ron Paul

Gil's Libertarian Mix Tape by Gil Guillory

Gil Guillory is an engineer in Houston. It's fun seeing a couple of my favorite bluegrass songs (The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn, Bright Sunny South) by one of my favorite artists (Alison Krauss and Union Station) on Mr. Guillory's list of songs expounding libertarian ideas.

Gil's Libertarian Mix Tape by Gil Guillory

Duke: The Anatomy of a Hoax by William L. Anderson

William L. Anderson, Ph.D., teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Dr. Anderson writes:

As the criminal case against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans continues to fall around Durham County District Attorney Michael Nifong, and as Nifong’s own future becomes even more uncertain, it is time to take a cold, hard look at how this hoax ever got legs and has advanced as far as it has. Make no mistake about it; this is a hoax, yet as I write, the three young men still face felony charges that could put them in prison for most of their lives.

No one, except perhaps the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP and its supporters, along with Wendy Murphy, still claims that the young men raped, much less kidnapped and assaulted Crystal Gail Mangum on March 14, 2006...

Duke: The Anatomy of a Hoax by William L. Anderson

Friday, January 05, 2007

Putting More Globalists in Charge of Iraq War Won't Bring Needed Change

John McManus echoes my thoughts on the Iraq War.

What [President Bush] should do is begin removing our forces and cease attempting to force his brand of government on nations that don't want it. It certainly isn't based on freedom, because that cannot be forced on anybody

Putting More Globalists in Charge of Iraq War Won't Bring Needed Change | The John Birch Society - Truth, Leadership, Freedom

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Indiana's a natural for Eastern DST? -- not!

As others have pointed out, eastern time is centered on 75 degrees (Philadelphia) and central on 90 degrees longitude (Peoria). The natural boundary is the average -- 82.5 degrees. Checking the atlas shows that this boundary runs down the middle of Ohio and down the eastern borders of Michigan and Kentucky.

It takes the sun about 45 minutes to travel from Philadelphia to Indianapolis, but only about 15 minutes to travel overhead from Indy to Peoria.

From a historical perspective, there is evidence that being on central time was not bad for Indiana business, and may even be better for business than eastern time.

By the state's own figures (pdf page 7 of 44), Indiana's per capita income was 106.4 percent of the national average in 1953 (when most or all of the state was on central time year-round, and had been for decades).

By 2006 this figure had dropped to 91.4 percent. This is about four decades after beginning the grand experiment of having a big chunk of the state move from Chicago to New York time for the cooler portion of the year.

It's hard to avoid noticing that the state economy really seemed to be "hitting on all cylinders" when the whole state was on central time and things have really come apart since most of the state started to flirt with eastern time.

As far as when it gets dark this time of year, that's more a function of our latitude than our time zone. With only about 9 hours 25 minutes of sunlight on January 2, the average sunrise and sunset times for places at Indy's latitude around the world are about 7:21 am and 4:47 pm. Since we're not in the exact middle of a time zone, the closest we can get to these natural times is on central time, which would give Indy a sunrise of 7:06 am and sunset of 4:31 pm.

As far as whether daylight saving time really gives the benefits it is purported to, that's another bag of worms for another day.

Tue, 2 Jan 2007, 7:20 am EST

State's a natural for Eastern DST

Monday, January 01, 2007

Zoning: The New Tyranny

James Bovard is the author of Shakedown (Viking Press, 1995) and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (St. Martin's Press, 1994).

Mr. Bovard writes:

The essence of zoning is the shotgun behind the door — the pending call on police to drag someone away in handcuffs and bulldoze their home. Zoning is not simply a question of bureaucrats and local politicians coming up with Byzantine ordinances — but of the full force of government waiting to fall on the head of anyone who violates one of the constantly changing local land-use decrees...

Government abuses of zoning laws were clearly foreseen back in 1926 by Supreme Court Justice Willis Van Devanter. In his dissent to the Euclid vs. City of Ambler decision — the case that opened the floodgates to zoning — Van Devanter wrote: "The plain truth is that the true object of the ordinance in question is to place all property in a strait-jacket. The purpose to be accomplished is really to regulate the mode of living of persons who may hereafter inhabit [the community]." A brief in that case declared: "That our cities should be made beautiful and orderly is, of course, in the highest degree desirable, but it is even more important that our people should remain free."

Zoning: The New Tyranny

Zoning: The New Tyranny

James Bovard is the author of Shakedown (Viking Press, 1995) and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (St. Martin's Press, 1994).

Mr. Bovard echoes my sentiments on zoning when he writes:

The essence of zoning is the shotgun behind the door — the pending call on police to drag someone away in handcuffs and bulldoze their home. Zoning is not simply a question of bureaucrats and local politicians coming up with Byzantine ordinances — but of the full force of government waiting to fall on the head of anyone who violates one of the constantly changing local land-use decrees...

Government abuses of zoning laws were clearly foreseen back in 1926 by Supreme Court Justice Willis Van Devanter. In his dissent to the Euclid vs. City of Ambler decision — the case that opened the floodgates to zoning — Van Devanter wrote: "The plain truth is that the true object of the ordinance in question is to place all property in a strait-jacket. The purpose to be accomplished is really to regulate the mode of living of persons who may hereafter inhabit [the community]." A brief in that case declared: "That our cities should be made beautiful and orderly is, of course, in the highest degree desirable, but it is even more important that our people should remain free."

Zoning: The New Tyranny