What Do You Think The ACLU Will Have To Do With This Case?

Yahoo! News – 1996 Olympics Bombing Suspect Arrested

MURPHY, N.C. – Eric Robert Rudolph, the Olympic Park bombing suspect who became almost a mythic figure during his years on the run in the Appalachian wilderness, was arrested early Saturday as he scavenged for food behind a grocery store.

I am probably one of the most unsympathetic people there is when it comes too bombers. I was very nearly the victim of one on July 26 1970 at Camp (now Fort) McCoy, Wisconsin. I am really not enamored of them.
However, I wonder if all the protesters are going to be as supportive of him and suspicious of the government’s case as they are in the cases of Muslims? Will the newspapers print the best pictures of him after he is cleaned up and well dressed? Or do you think they will use whatever will make him most look like a mad bomber.

Give The Weasel Some Rope.

Chirac Seems Intent on Challenging U.S. Foreign Policy (washingtonpost.com)
A third rate country with a failing economy, a military that has specialized in retreat for the past hundred years, and Chirac wants to play with the big boys? I think Mssr Chirac has been visiting the local vineyards a little too often.
The best thing Bush can do is give this idiot as much rope as he needs to strangle his pretensions. I believe there is a move to put French troops in the Congo.
Let them go in, but let’s hold them to the same standards as they do Americans, No killing of civilians by the French, they must also prevent any killing of civilians by the various “militias”, no destruction of property, and they are to be held responsible for any looting by the militias or civilians. If they manage to control the place without having to ask for American assistance, (we’re much too busy with our responsibilities in Iraq and Afghanistan) They must instantly restore order and install a open democratic society based upon the rule of law

Bring Back The Colonialists?

Stories like this make me wonder if the colonial governments were so bad after all. I know that Belgium was pretty brutal when they ruled the Congo, but I don’t think they even approached what is going on all over Africa today.
It’s probably heresy, but it sure looks like things were better with those evil colonialists.
A report from Congo

Over the past four years, Congo’s war has claimed more lives than any other. The International Rescue Committee, an American aid agency, says that by the middle of last year, 2.5m people had died because of the war in eastern Congo alone. Some were shot or hacked to death; many more succumbed to starvation or disease as nine national armies and a shifting throng of rebel groups pillaged their country. By now, the death toll is probably over 3m, although this is the roughest of estimates. As one UN worker puts it: “Congo is so green, you don’t even see the graves.”

Link from Andrew Sullivan

Twilight Zone

Some days I just want to bang my head on the desk until the New York Times start making sense.
I just read another letter in the Portland Oregonian implying that the road to economic recovery is increased taxation and the creation of more government jobs. Where do these people come from? Are they from another planet? Where do they think the money to fund all their cherished programs and projects comes from?
I have a clue. In fact I have so many clues I’ll share them with those so obviously without.
The money to fund every government program and pay every government employee comes from the same place. Private Enterprise. There is absolutely no money that didn’t originate in the private sector. Not the government employee’s wages, not the public employee’s taxes, none, zero, zip, nada.
I am amazed with how many people that I meet that do not seem to be aware of this simple truth.
I was having a discussion with a co-worker one day about some program or another that our then-governor Kitzhaber was proposing. I’m not even sure what it was, but with his record I’m sure it was warm, green, fuzzy and expensive. My co-worker was really in favor of whatever it was, but I was questioning how it would be paid for. (rotten bastard that I am.) My co-worker told me “That’s OK, the government will pay for it.”
I just about came apart from together. I explained to him, without physical violence, (I’m very proud of myself), that the government, County, State or Federal, doesn’t have any money. The only ones that have money are people. He stared at me like I had completely lost my marbles. “Of course they do.” He said, “They pay us.”
We were both county employees at that time.
That’s when I realized that the end of civilization as we know it, was near.
At no level does the government generate wealth. Only private enterprise can do that. Do people think that the Feds just woke up one day and decided that X trillion dollars was the correct amount to have in the economy and put the order in to the Treasury to print that many bills? Some evidently do.
Right now all the newspapers are full of stories of legislatures trying to come up with funding to keep from laying off bureaucrats and the only thing they can do is talk about raising taxes.
Wrong approach. Everybody likes to point to the budget surpluses in the years 1996-2000. The deficit didn’t disappear because someone raised taxes; it disappeared because the economy grew faster than the politicians could spend it. But they did try, and are still trying.
The proper approach would be to see what they could do to make the State or country more attractive to private business. That would cause increased economic activity. People would have jobs, they would make money, they would pay taxes, tax revenue would go up. Businesses would make money, they would pay taxes, tax revenue would go up. The rich would get richer, the unemployed would get jobs. (all right, that’s probably not to attractive to the left.) Both would pay taxes, tax revenue would go up. What is so hard about this? This is not rocket science.
What happens when you tax things? You get less of them. When cigarette taxes were raised, people quit smoking. The cigarette tax revenue dropped, so they raised taxes some more. High taxes discourage investment too. Has anybody read the stories of how venture capital has dried up? You know all those amazing things they are coming up with in nanotechnology? They aren’t going to be built unless someone invests in them. How about all those wonder drugs and the cutting edge computer technology? Yeah, the government is doing research. Do you know what government research leads to? Research papers. Those research papers have to be put to use by someone, and it’s not going to be a government bureaucrat. In order to make something new, you must take risks and getting a government bureaucrat to take a chance would be like teaching your cat to take showers.
The Democrats are whinging to establish the kind of make-work projects that FDR had in the thirties. You know what? They didn’t work then and they won’t work now. Except that now, we would never be able to get rid of them. They would become full time, make-work, rocking chair jobs for life.
I am not an economist, nor do I play one on TV. I’m just some poor schmuck. According to my high school transcripts, I graduated with a 2.00 GPA, in other words, barely. Why does this stuff seem obvious to me and not to others, it makes me wonder if I am hallucinating or something? Am I in the Twilight Zone?
Remember, the government generated not one dollar that it spent, the money had to be taken, through taxes and fees, from an individual or company. It may circulate through the pockets of the government workers, but they did not generate it. It came from somewhere else. Private enterprise.

Maybe I Was Wrong About Bush Rolling.

After reading the posting by Stephen den Beste regarding the deal with the UN for the recovery of Iraq, it would appear that my posting saying how disappointed I was in the Bush administration was in error.
In my own defense, I did qualify that if the reporting of the Washington Post was true, it was a rollover. Stephen den Beste goes to the actual resolution and reveals that far from being a rollover by Bush, it was a total walkover of the UN by the U.S and UK.
Unfortunately I made the mistake of taking the reporting at face value. I’m sure if I had read more carefully I would have found the weasel wording that is always used. I’ll try to be more careful.

Bush Lashes Out at Europe

Bush Lashes Out at Europe (washingtonpost.com)

President Bush today accused Europeans of perpetuating starvation in Africa by subsidizing agricultural exports and by objecting to the use of bioengineered crops, raising another grievance with Europe at a time of already tense transatlantic relations.

President Bush is just telling it like it is. The Europeans, for there own selfish reasons, tell Africa that if they accept GM food from the US that they will not trade with them anymore. The African governments knuckle under and Africans starve. It sounds like the WaPo disapproves of telling Europeans the truth. If dead Africans upset the delicacies of the Euro-weenies, So What?

Politicians Prove Resistant To Voters

In my local area we had the following:Albany schools’ levy fails. It passed the majority test, turnout was 50.3% But it failed on the vote.
The people in Portland were sufficiently Mau-Maued by their teacher’s unions to pass the brand new county income tax.

Multnomah County income tax measure passes This has a good side, if people will only recognize it. The Education poo-bahs in Multnomah County bitched and moaned and blamed all their woes on lack of funding. They assured everyone that this tax was sorely needed.
OK, now you got it. It’s time for some performance.
Don’t come back next year and the year after and the year after saying that you need more money. You have your funding. Deal with it. And, by the way, we want to see some performance and accountability.
Meanwhile in the little town of Sweet Home, the place that thrived on the timber industry, things are a little tight; Sweet Home library to close. Thank you Portland and Eugene, your concern is overwhelming.
And down in Salem, in the Oregon State Legislature, there is another reality. Tax votes resonate in Capitol

In a post-election meeting Wednesday morning between legislative leaders and Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Senate President Peter Courtney took the floor and stated: “We will have new revenue. Is everybody on board?”

There it is. There will be nothing done to encourage private business, create jobs, revive the economy; there will be no talk of making Oregon a place where you can do business; nothing suggested that would bring in employment for those citizens without a college degree or a high school diploma; nothing even that will encourage a business to hire the ones that do have higher skills.
The ONLY thing that the legislature will work toward is new taxes. That’s it. New taxes, fees, “contributions” whatever you call it. The migration of the money from Oregon citizens into the state coffers to be dispensed “for the children” and incidentally some favored groups who weigh heavily in Mr Courtney’s political universe.
At a time where the unemployment in the Portland Metro area is 8%, they are increasing the taxes on those very people who are actually making the money and providing the jobs. There may be a mechanism where this will increase employment in the area, but I don’t see it and none of the proponents have deigned to explain it.
The unemployment in my area is 11.2%. That, however, does not sell newspapers in the metro areas and so is brushed aside as unimportant. Once this area had farms and timber and mills. Then came the environmental groups. Now there are two mills left. The farms used to grow strawberries. raspberries, blackberries and string beans. The canneries would run all summer with three shifts. Now there is one cannery left and it is shut down most of the time. There is only the timber on the tree farms and Weyerhauser land. The only industries that are still operating are two pulp mills and a metallurgical plant. Both are constant targets of our environmental betters in Portland and Eugene.
What are you going to do, Mr Courtney? Why are you going to concentrate on clearcutting the incomes of those earners left.
In Salem they moan constantly about the programs that will be cut, the service that will be curtailed and all the good work that will remain undone unless they have the funds. All these programs and services are undoubtedly valuable in some way to the disadvantaged. But these same programs and services can only be paid for with a strong economy. Without the means to pay for schools and social programs, they will be cut.
The answer is not “How do we raise taxes to pay for this.” but it is “How can we make the economy strong enough to generate the revenue to pay for this.”