Death to the Patriot Act:

The Chicato Tribune ran an article today in defense of the Patriot act. Unintentionally, they provided quite sufficient justification for revoking the act:

[I]t's a voluminous measure with dozens of provisions, many of which are exceedingly complex and technical. But its impenetrability has made it vulnerable to caricature by critics of the administration who portray it as the monster that ate our privacy and liberty.
Easy to fix, that. Repeal the damn thing, and bring up the laws on a point-by-point basis that isn't impenetrable. Then we can evaluate every point and decide which parts of this 'voluminous monster' we actually want.

A free citizenry ought to be able to understand the laws that apply to it. If it can't, the laws are too complicated. We've been there in America for quite a while, and it's a serious problem.

It's a problem because, if you can't understand the law, you can't do a citizen's duty. You can't perform your duty to obey the law, because you don't understand exactly what the law is; you can't perform your duty to hold the government to the law, because you don't know what the limits are; nor can you perform your duty to serve as a juror, which requires that you judge both the question of whether the law was violated as well as the question of whether the law ought to apply. Every duty you have as a citizen passes beyond your means.

A citizen who does not and can not perform his duties is not a citizen, except in name. Those duties, and the powers that go with them, must still be executed. That power therefore passes to a class other than the class of citizen: to the class of lawyers, perhaps, or political operatives, or jurists. The power to interpret the law is as great as the power to write the law, and in such a society, that power passes away from the citizen jury, and comes to rest in the hands of the mandarins.

The health of the Republic requires us to guard jealously not only our rights, but also our duties. I oppose the Patriot Act, and all similar acts, "merely" because it is too complicated. The consequences of that fact are as great a threat to the Bill of Rights, and to the nature of the Republic, as exists.


A certain puppy blender should be ashamed of himself for this. A twinge in the gut is the mark of an effective pun, but this one is a bit too effective.

Ask a Question, Get an Answer:

Two days ago I asked where we could send a check to help out the 80 year old man who defended himself from a mugger. It turns out that, while they aren't taking checks but rather credit, you can follow that link and make your donation there.

Where can we send a check?

A mugger is driven off by an 80-year-old man with a .38 Special, and the cops prosecute--the old man. Lester Campbell, 80, got robbed of his Social Security money, and now has had the gun he used to protect himself confiscated stolen by the cops as well. Plus, he has a court date, all because the Bronx doesn't think an elderly man ought to be able to protect himself without their prior permission.

Is there an address where we can send this fellow some money to replace what was stolen? How about some more money, for a new revolver?

Psychology is Witchdoctory:

Here's an article called "Rorschach Inkblot Test, Fortune Tellers, and Cold Reading". I am always glad to see a respectable publication agreeing with my general assertion that psychology is not a science:

Psychologists have been quarreling over the Rorschach Inkblot Test for half a century. From 1950 to the present, most psychologists in clinical practice have treasured the test as one of their most precious tools. And for nearly that long, their scientific colleagues have been trying to persuade them that the test is well-nigh worthless, a pseudoscientific modern variant on tea leaf reading and Tarot cards.
That is just so.
Zell Miller for President:

It's too much to hope for, alas for our nation. But if you want to know who he thinks should stand at the helm in his place, it is George W. Bush. If you want to know why, today he tells us.

Another Saddam-Qaeda Link:

This one is particularly strange. According to CommonDreams, the Iraqi construction firm Sadoon Al-Bunnia is a founding partner of MIGA (Malaysia-Swiss-Gulf and African) Chamber. MIGA is on the US Treasury Department's list of groups that funneled cash to al Qaeda before 9/11.

Yet, somehow, al-Bunnia didn't get on the same list. To make things even more amazing, al-Bunnia is now doing major contract work in the US-led reconstruction of Iraq. They are apparently subcontracting for Bechtel and others.

Nobody seems particularly bothered by this. Of course, corporations are mercenary by nature. Maybe they just work for whoever is paying the bills--Saddam, who wants them to launder money for al Qaeda, or us, who wants them to build schools and repair power lines.

A Protest of which I Approve:

In Britian, it is High Noon, according to

Thousands of people have gathered around England and Wales to protest against moves to outlaw hunting with dogs.

Organisers said 37,000 protesters at 11 rallies on Saturday and one on Friday, to mark the first day of the new hunting season, signed a pledge to ignore any ban.

Does that sound familiar to my British readers? If not, it should:
28 February 1638: The National Covenant is signed, eventually by thousands of Scots. It seeks to preserve distinctive Scots cultural and religious practices against the increasingly arbitrary and Kingdom-wide approach of Charles I.
The Covenant was an oath sworn between men to oppose any "innovations" from London, specifically on the matter of how worship services would be conducted in church. Not taking this as seriously as he might have done, Charles I continued to assert his authority, with the result that the Covenanters hardened into an actual army--one that captured Edinburgh Castle in the Bishop's Wars, and became for a time the de facto government in much of Scotland. The matter was not resolved for fifty years, a period known in Scottish history as the Killing Times.

Attempting to legislate away a people's way of life is a dangerous business. The British MPs would be wise to remember their history.