.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ron Paul Is A Nut

Because "respectable" opinion must make sense, right?

by James Leroy Wilson | December 27, 2007

Ron Paul is a nut, and his supporters are crackpots. If you are a conservative, it is better to support Obama or Clinton than Paul, and if you are a progressive, it is better to support Giuliani, McCain, Romney, or Huckabee than Paul. Because if you are a reasonable Democrat or Republican, you acknowledge and embrace several core ideas that have evolved over the past century, which Paul has the audacity to question. Paul's views on the Constitution, national security, and money are just too far out of the mainstream. Moreover, they are crazy.

While there may be some room for quibbling around the edges, most educated, rational people would agree with all, or almost all, of these seventeen principles:

1. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which states "The Congress shall have power ... To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes," gives the federal government the power to tell you what decisions you can make regarding your own property.

2. The penumbra of the Bill of Rights creates a "right to privacy" that forces states to respect a woman's right to choose abortion, but does not force the federal government to respect a woman's right to choose medical marijuana.

3. The United States has an obligation to fight poverty worldwide - and also has an obligation to create even more poverty through economic sanctions against certain regimes we don't like.

4. Iraq was a failure in execution, but not in principle; in principle America's young men and women should be sent overseas to fight wars that have nothing to do with the security of the United States.

5. Inflationary policies are good for the poor, and falling prices relative to precious metal-backed dollars are bad for the people.

6. Deficits don't matter.

7. There should be compulsory national service (military or civil) for young people; the Constitution's prohibition against "involuntary servitude" means something else.

8. The Second Amendment empowers the federal government to restrict personal firearms ownership.

9. If you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't trouble you that the government is monitoring your activities.

10. When the country starts an ill-conceived war, rather than end the war...Read more>>>

Not Your Ordinary Birthday Celebration

What must Jesus be thinking?

by Greg Asimakoupoulos | The Partial Observer | December 21, 2007

They say it's your birthday.
Is that a rumor or is it the truth?

If true, it certainly isn't like any birthday celebration
I've ever known.
I see candles, but they don't crown a cake.
They light a wreath of evergreens.

I see presents. Lots of presents.
Mounds of brightly wrapped boxes. Gifts galore.
But the names on the gift tags are those
of family members, neighbors,
colleagues at work and friends.
I don't see your name anywhere.

This month has been marked by holiday parties.
But the invitations to those occasions
did not indicate you were the guest of honor.
Curiously, the fact that it was your birthday
was not even mentioned.

What a ruse. What a rip-off.
What a rotten way to respond
to this anniversary of your arrival to planet Earth.

Aren't you bothered by this, Jesus?
By all appearances
it looks like we are seizing your special day
as an occasion to have ourselves
a merry little Christmas.

Don't you care, Jesus?
Don't you want a piece of the action?
Or at least a piece of birthday cake?
I can't help but think
that you would want a little recognition
on this your special day.

Don't you want your birthday
to result in something more than
after-party hangovers, year-end bonuses
and long lines at return counters
(not to mention sensory overload)?

Don't you want to be reminded
that those you came to redeem
haven't forgotten why you were born in the first place?

Don't you want us to be still
and know that you are God-with-us?
Wouldn't such a silent night bring joy to your world...
and ours?

Forgive us, Jesus.
We know not what we do.
Or do we?

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are -
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

~~ Author unknown

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Honor of Ron Paul

by Joseph Sobran

I guess I've known Ron Paul for a quarter of a
century now, and I don't remember how we met. My first
memory of him is a quiet dinner on Capitol Hill, during
the Reagan years. He told me with dry humor of being the
only member of Congress to vote against some bill Reagan
wanted passed. For Ron it was a matter of principle, and
he was under heavy pressure to change his vote.

What amused him was that the Democrats didn't mind
his voting against it; all the pressure came from his
fellow Republicans, professed conservatives, who were
embarrassed that anyone should actually stand up for
their avowed principles when it was unpopular to do so.

That was Ron Paul for you. Still is. The whole
country is getting to know him now, and the Republicans
still want to get rid of him. The party's hacks, led by
Newt Gingrich, have even tried in vain to destroy him in
his own Texas district.

They're right, in a way. He doesn't belong in a
party that has made "conservative" a synonym for
"destructive." George Will calls him a "useful
anachronism" because he actually believes, as literally
as circumstances permit, in the U.S. Constitution. In his
unassuming way, without priggery or histrionics, he
stands alone.

He may have become at last what he has always
deserved to be: the most respected member of the U.S.
Congress. He is also the only Republican candidate for
president who is truly what all the others pretend to be,
namely, a conservative. His career shows that a
patriotic, pacific conservatism isn't a paradox.

If they can't expel Ron Paul from the party, they
can at least deny him the nomination. The GOP
front-runner...Keep reading>>>

Friday, December 21, 2007

Man-Made Global Warming Busted

Sen. James Inhofe... a great American!

From Newsmax.com, December 21, 2007:

Claims that there is a consensus among scientists on man-made global warming have been denied by over 400 prominent members of the scientific community and published in a report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma.

This new “consensus busters” report, Inhofe’s office says, “ is poised to redefine the debate.”

Many of the scientists questioning the consensus are from the very U.N. panel making the claims.

The report states, “The voices of many of these hundreds of scientists serve as a direct challenge to the often media-hyped ‘consensus’ that the debate is settled.”

The report comes on the heels of U.N. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Chairman Rajendra Pachauri's implication that there were only “about a dozen" skeptical scientists left in the world, echoing former Vice President Al Gore who has claimed that scientists skeptical of climate change are akin to “flat-Earth-society members” and similar in number to those who “believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona.”

Among others insisting that there is a consensus...

Liberals Salivate at Prospect of Huckabee Nomination

I keep wanting to call him "Hucklebuck," after the dance popularized by Chubby Checker's hit song in the early 1960s. While I wouldn't call Huckabee "stupid," this is nevertheless a great column. In today's edition, The Clarion-Ledger cut out part of Coulter's piece, and the link below will also take you to tons of comments.

by Ann Coulter | December 20, 2007

Despite the overwhelming popular demand for another column on Ron Radosh's review of Stan Evans' book, this week's column will address the urgent matter of evangelical Christians getting blamed for Mike Huckabee.

To paraphrase the Jews, this is "bad for the evangelicals."

As far as I can tell, it's mostly secular liberals swooning over Huckabee. Liberals adore Huckabee because he fits their image of what an evangelical should be: stupid and easily led.

The media are transfixed by the fact that Huckabee says he doesn't believe in evolution. Neither do I, for reasons detailed in approximately one-third of my No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism.

I went on a massive book tour for Godless just last year, including a boffo opening interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today," a one-on-one, full-hour interview with Chris Matthews on "Hardball," and various other hostile interviews from the organs of establishmentarian opinion.

But I didn't get a single question from them on the topic of one-third of my book.

If the mainstream media are burning with curiosity about what critics of Darwinism have to say, how about asking me? I can name any number of mathematicians, scientists and authors who have also rejected Darwin's discredited theory and would be happy to rap with them about it.

But they won't ask us, because, unlike the cornpone, we won't immediately collapse under gentle questioning. It's one thing to be "easily led" by the pope. Huckabee is easily led by Larry King.

Asked on CNN's "Larry King Live" Monday night about his beliefs on evolution...Keep reading>>>

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Tax his land,
Tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes are the rule.
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirts,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.

Tax his booze,
Tax his beers,
If he cries,
Tax his tears.

Tax his bills,
Tax his gas,
Tax his notes,
Tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers,
Tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.

Tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom!"

And when he's gone,
We won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance TAX!!

~~ Author unknown

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax ("death tax")
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),
Liquor Tax,
Luxury Tax,
Marriage License Tax,
Medicare Tax,
Property Tax,
Real Estate Tax,
Service charge taxes,
Social Security Tax,
Road Usage Tax (Truckers),
Sales Taxes,
Recreational Vehicle Tax,
School Tax,
State Income Tax,
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),
Telephone Federal Excise Tax,
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax,
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,
Telephone State and Local Tax,
Telephone Usage Charge Tax,
Utility Tax,
Vehicle License Registration Tax,
Vehicle Sales Tax,
Watercraft Registration Tax,
Well Permit Tax,
Workers Compensation Tax.
[And in some places, like New York City, there's a CITY INCOME TAX.]

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

Farewell to Dan Fogelberg

Mourning the band director's son...

by Greg Asimakoupoulos | The Partial Observer | December 18, 2007

The leader of the band we knew
was Dan's dear aging dad.
But wow, could his son write and sing.
A brilliant gift he had.

Much, much too soon young Fogelberg
has bid us all goodbye.
And like his lyrics bout his dad,
his death has made us cry.

At fifty-six he barely lived.
We can't help but miss Dan.
I only wish his time with us
had been ... well ... longer than.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Huckabee: the Republican Jimmy Carter?

From Newsmax, December 18, 2007:

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter says GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is the “Republican Jimmy Carter” and nominating him would be a big mistake for the party.

Appearing with John Gibson and Heather Nauert on Fox News’ “The Big Story,” Coulter was asked about Huckabee’s recent surge in the polls.

“I’m getting tired of this being blamed on the evangelicals,” said Coulter.

Huckabee’s rise is actually “bad for the evangelicals,” she asserted. “Mike Huckabee is the Republican Jimmy Carter.”

Nominating the ordained Baptist minister “would be a big mistake,” Coulter opined. “He has many good qualities. Unfortunately, the things that are upsetting to the mainstream media about Huckabee are what normal Americans like.”

She cited as examples...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Last Knight of Liberalism

Ronald Reagan sometimes quoted Ludwig von Mises in his speeches. Too bad he didn't attempt to put more of Mises's ideas into practice.

From Barron's, December 17, 2007:

LUDWIG VON MISES (pronounced "meezis") had an unusually active existence for a person who mainly led a life of the mind. That life makes for a good story, skillfully told in Mises (Mises Institute, 2007) by economist Jorg Guido Hulsmann. To find this lengthy biography enthralling, however, it is probably necessary to feel some connection to Mises' intellectual achievement as the dean of the Austrian School of economics. Hulsmann makes us aware of the man's stunning originality. But a useful companion volume to the biography is the great work Human Action (Mises Institute, 1998), which Mises first published in English in 1949, nine years after he and his wife fled Hitler for New York City.

Ironies abound in Mises' story. Had he not been a Jew forced to flee the Nazis, he would not have taught his legendary seminar at New York University, or published in English, which inspired his brilliant American disciples. And as an almost delicious irony, documents taken by the Nazis from Mises' Vienna apartment were later taken by the Red Army, only to be discovered in a Moscow archive in 1991 -- after the demise of the economic system whose doom Mises anticipated -- so that Hulsmann could eventually use them for his biography of Mises. The biography's subtitle, The Last Knight of Liberalism, should also be read ironically. Mises was also the first knight of an intellectual movement that has disciples all over the world.

Of Wealth and Virtue

Pretty wise for a 33-year-old who had been brought up by a single mother...

"As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails
in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as
only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things
will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real
disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable
member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortunate that
awaits our State constitution, as well as all others."

-- Alexander Hamilton (speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 1788)

Reference: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Cabot Lodge,
editor, II, 26.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Look! Up in the Sky: It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...

The blimp is now in flight. The only problem so far is that some people have mistaken the blimp for Algore.

by Kenneth P. Vogel | December 7, 2007 | Politico.com


Up in the sky: It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s ... Ron Paul?

If a whimsical publicity stunt goes as planned, a blimp hyping the long-shot Republican presidential campaign of the Texas congressman will launch next week.

The Ron Paul blimp is set to fly from North Carolina, over Washington, New York and Boston, before heading to New Hampshire, where the Jan. 8 primary offers the iconic libertarian perhaps his best chance of translating his zealous Internet support into votes.

Like the unprecedented online fundraising behind Paul’s bid, the blimp effort, which appears on pace financially, isn’t affiliated with the official campaign and pushes traditional political conventions.

And that’s not just because it likely would be the first blimp to be turned into a flying billboard for a White House hopeful.

It also tests... Keep reading>>>

Friday, December 14, 2007

Letters Defend William J. Simmons

These letters appeared in The Clarion-Ledger, the first on December 6, 2007, and the second on December 14, 2007.

Shame on The Clarion-Ledger for dishonoring one of the most gentle men I have ever known. You should have asked a few Jacksonians if they knew Bill Simmons ("Simmons: 'Council' he led harmed the state," Dec. 1 editorial).

Obviously, you did not know Bill Simmons. I knew Bill Simmons, and I will always respect his memory as one who studied both sides of every situation.

Did you know that he read just as many books on integration as he did on segregation? Yes, his views were against the untried course of public policy, school integration, but the eventual results of this social engineering have been much less than successful. The loss of neighborhood schools is perhaps the greatest social malfunction in a century.

Naturally, I recount the famous phrase of another's passing, and remind you here:

"O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me."

-- J. Henry LaRose


Bill Minor's column following the death of my friend Bill Simmons ("Obituary didn't mention segregationist group deceased led," Dec. 7) recounted Mr. Simmons' association decades ago with the Citizens Council. But the column simply cannot stand as the last word on Bill Simmons' life.

Yes, the Citizen Council was just awful. But Bill, with the blessing of a long life, a keen intellect, and the support of a loving wife, Carol, later made it a point to thrust out his hand in sincere friendship across the racial and economic divides, renewing friendships with many - like my own father - who had earlier found it necessary to resist or oppose the Council.

And I am happy to report that Bill became my good friend as well as we worked together for the improvement and security of the Belhaven neighborhood for whom he became an essential patron and presence.

While others talk a good game for diversity and inclusion, I watched Bill Simmons live it. Every morning at his breakfast table at the Fairview Inn he owned with Carol, Bill breakfasted with the traveling public of all races and conditions.

And later, when Bill and Carol needed community support to extend their use permit to include a restaurant, the support was there across all racial and economic lines.

Bill was also a "Believer," so that in the end any contradictions between his past and present are resolved in Christ. As the comforting words of the prayer of commendation remind us, I say: "Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Bill. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive Bill into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen."

-- Robert P. Wise

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Aloha, Democrats

The Hawaii Democratic Party may file suit for the right to decide who votes in Democratic primaries. The state convention has approved such a suit, and there may be another vote on the matter at next month's meeting of the party's state central committee.

Similar lawsuits brought by Virginia Republicans and the Mississippi Democratic Party are pending in the federal courts. A federal suit filed by a group of 71 Idaho Republicans was recently dismissed on a technicality, and a resolution calling for a new lawsuit will be presented at the January meeting of the Idaho Republican Central Committee.

There is also a movement among South Carolina Republicans for a closed primary.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"The Design of Providence"

John Jay was the first U. S. chief justice and later served as governor of New York.

"This country and this people seem to have been made for each
other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that
an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren,
united to each other by the strongest of ties, should never be
split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties."

-- John Jay (Federalist No. 2)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Romney, North Carolina's Mental Illness, and More

by Devvy Kidd (the "Dynamite Redhead") | December 10, 2007

On December 6, 2007, Flip Romney gave his "speech to the nation" after being introduced by former president, George H.W. Bush, who sold out this country and remains in the eyes of those of us who understand the big picture, a traitor to everything this country has ever stood for and was built upon. Perception is everything: former president, presidential library - all to give Willard Romney that statesman-like appearance. He was also given a massive amount of free advertising time dressed up as what? A press conference?. Flip Romney's carefully crafted grease job was nothing more than an infomercial with pomp and puffery and huge dollars worth of free air time, not to mention all the publicity following his pitch. Can you imagine the same being provided to Congressman Ron Paul? Of course not, nor would Dr. Paul ever consider such pandering on national television. As is his way, he quietly, but firmly states his beliefs and then backs up his words with action.

[... .]

"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide." -- John Adams

"A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way." -- Fisher Ames, known as one of America's "forgotten" Founding Fathers

"Democracy is the most vile form of government... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." -- James Madison, who wrote the Constitution. More of this great column>>>

Ron Paul Rejects the Libertarians

From ThirdPartyWatch:

As reported in The Austin American-Statesman:

Paul turns down invitation to seek Libertarian Party nomination
Lake Jackson congressman won’t run for president on third-party ticket.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Ron Paul turned down a Libertarian Party invitation on Sunday that could have kept him in the 2008 presidential race even if his long-shot bid for the GOP nomination fails.


The [former Rep. Bob] Barr resolution urged Paul to seek the Libertarian Party nomination that will be awarded at the party’s May national convention in Denver.

But Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said it would not happen.

“Ron has no intention to run third party whatsoever,” he said.

The fallout from this resolution is just beginning… rumors of a ‘throw out the entire LNC bums’ movement are already appearing, from folks in both LP Reformers and LP Radicals, and a number of chairs and vice chairs have voiced being unhappy with the way this has gone down. We have not heard the last of this…

If he was going to reject this resolution so quickly, did nobody on the LNC even bother to check unofficially if he’d consider accepting it? You don’t go asking out the most popular girl in school to the prom, if you know she’s not interested in you, and will publicly humiliate you by saying No right away. Oh, wait, we’re talking about LNCers here… most of them likely didn’t go to their prom. (Well, maybe Angela did…)

All of the times Ron clearly refused to run 3rd party, on CNN, Fox, etc. he was pressed and pressed and refused to say 100% no… so leave it to the LP to force his hand this early and slap them down within hours of the news. Read comments>>>

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Oklahoma 3 are Re-indicted

You may have heard of the Jena 6. But have you heard of the Oklahoma 3?

From The Sam Adams Alliance, December 7:

Following his quiet dismissal of the original indictment against Paul Jacob, Susan Johnson and Rick Carpenter, the politically-motivated attorney general of Oklahoma [Drew Edmondson] has issued a new indictment against the "OK 3."

Paul Jacob made the following statement today regarding the new indictment:

“This is absolutely the lousiest Christmas present I’ve ever received. But I’ve got stronger objections to this action than Edmondson’s holiday timing. While we endeavor to keep our sense of humor, there is nothing funny about the Attorney General’s politically-motivated prosecution. It is an effort to intimidate, to silence, not just me, but the people of Oklahoma. It is an attack against the initiative process itself. But the AG’s prosecution will not succeed. We’ll stand up against these bullying tactics and defend the fundamental right to petition one’s government.”

Visit FreePaulJacob.com for regular updates.

Friday, December 07, 2007

What Ever Happened to Mississippi's Initiative Process?

The initiative is a tool for citizens to use to bypass the legislature in enacting laws. Some states have had the initiative since the early 1900s. In 1992, Mississippi adopted the initiative process for amending the state constitution. It's important to note that, with a few exceptions, any measure that can become a statutory law can also be written into the constitution. That's why some state constitutions are some ten times as long as the U. S. Constitution.

In 1998, Mississippi changed the law so that only state residents are eligible to circulate initiative petitions. That may seem like a good idea at first blush, but it effectively killed our state's initiative process. Mississippi's rules for getting an initiative on the ballot are quite complicated, and we have few if any experienced in-state circulators. And paid circulators are much more productive than volunteers, so it takes money as well as time to get the required number of valid signatures.

For years, we've had well-paid out-of-state political consultants working in our election campaigns here. If that's all right, why should it not also be OK for out-of-state circulators to gather signatures to qualify initiatives for Mississippi's ballot? Only two initiatives have ever reached the ballot here, both involving term limits (1995 and 1999). There is, on the other hand, a long list of measures that have been sponsored, but which failed to get enough signatures within the mandatory year's time.

To my knowledge, only South Dakota, Colorado, and Oklahoma have similar laws banning out-of-state circulators for initiative petitions.* A federal lawsuit, Yes on Term Limits v. Savage, has been brought against Oklahoma's law and is now in the 10th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Last September 7, a federal district judge issued what, in my view, was a misguided ruling upholding the Oklahoma law. I cannot imagine the U. S. Supreme Court validating such a statute, but, at any rate, this suit bears watching, as it may well have ramifications for Mississippi.

The hypocrisy of Oklahoma's attorney general, Drew Edmondson, and the state Supreme Court on this issue has been monumental. Edmondson, who clearly has higher political ambitions, has sought to imprison Paul Jacob and two others for up to ten years for circulating petitions in the Sooner State. The Supreme Court has practiced a double standard: it seemed to consider out-of-state circulators to be OK for a measure that it liked (banning cock-fighting) but nullified an initiative for a proposal that it disliked (the 2006 Taxpayers Bill of Rights). An Oklahoma state legislator has written a letter to the Wall Street Journal decrying the outrage.

I would like to see a citizens' initiative here for something that the Mississippi legislature won't pass: nonpartisan elections (popularly called "open primaries") for our county and municipal officials. I'm convinced that, if we could get such a measure on the ballot, the voters would approve it decisively. Repealing the law banning out-of-state petition circulators would be a helpful step toward accomplishing that.

* California in effect has a residency requirement. Circulators must be registered voters or eligible to register. The District of Columbia has a residency requirement, but each circulator may have a non-resident "helper/advocate."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Why We Have Two Houses

49 states-- all but Nebraska-- have two-house legislatures.

"The history of ancient and modern republics had taught them
that many of the evils which those republics suffered arose
from the want of a certain balance, and that mutual control
indispensable to a wise administration. They were convinced
that popular assemblies are frequently misguided by ignorance,
by sudden impulses, and the intrigues of ambitious men; and that
some firm barrier against these operations was necessary. They,
therefore, instituted your Senate."

-- Alexander Hamilton (speech to the New York Ratifying Convention,
June 1788)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A View From North of the Border

The Memphis Commercial Appeal today editorializes about the great importance of Mississippi having a special election for Sen. Trent Lott's seat much sooner than next November.

"The scenario works out nicely for Barbour's Republican Party. But it also muzzles Mississippi voters who would prefer to voice their decision sooner rather than later about who they want to represent them in the Senate next year."

[... .]

"Whether [Lott's] announcement was timed to delay the special election or not, Barbour's decision to put it off until next November ultimately violates the spirit of Mississippi election law, however. The law is intended to give voters a chance to fill the vacancy without a year-long delay."

It's routine in many states for the governor to appoint someone to fill a Senate vacancy until the next regular congressional election. A recent instance of this came right there in Tennessee, where Algore was re-elected to a six-year Senate term in 1990. He resigned the Senate seat after his election as vice president in 1992, and Gov. Ned Ray McWherter, a Democrat, named a "caretaker" senator to serve until November 1994, when Fred Thompson was elected to serve the remaining two years. (Thompson, of course, was elected to a full six-year term in 1996.)

It would be interesting to know whether the Commercial Appeal was critical of that process.

Finally - Ron Paul Makes Front Page of NY Times

I've been an admirer of Mark Levin's for quite some time, having seen him a number of times on TV. I recently got his book about the U. S. Supreme Court, Men in Black, and, as a fellow dog lover, I also intend to read his latest work, Rescuing Sprite. Last night, for the first time, I tuned in to Mark's radio show, and I must say that I lost a great deal of my respect for him. He was rude to a caller who supports Ron Paul for president, and he made it sound like he thinks that all of Congressman Paul's backers are nut cases. I was truly disappointed in Mark's attitude toward those who disagree with him.

Sunday, December 16 is the date for the Ron Paul Boston Tea Party Campaign.

by Joseph Mercola, M. D. | November 27, 2007

Not long ago, I reported on how supporters independent of Paul’s campaign raised $4 million online, and an additional $200,000 over the phone in a single day -- a record among this year’s Republican candidates. That support has had even more results than the money alone, since Paul says it has caused an additional “$10 million worth of free publicity.”

It has landed him both on Face the Nation (see Paul’s masterful handling, and sincere responses to tough questions in the video [linked below]), and in a front-page story in the New York Times (please see the link below.)

What Can Ron Paul Do For Your Health?

Ron Paul supports all the basic principles of the Constitution – including limited government involvement.

What does this mean for your health?

Just as I encourage you to Take Control of Your Health, Ron Paul seeks to maximize your individual freedom, including those basic rights that pertain to your health. Keep reading>>>

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Politically Incorrect Jews and Christians

This is an exchange between my friend Howard and me from December 3, 2007.

Apparently there's going to be a student concert Thursday at Dayton [Nevada] Elementary School at which Christmas carols in all their unedited glory will be performed, and my reaction as a Jewish family is . . .

ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT!! God bless the principal and the staff for the thumb in the eye of those PC ACLU bastards. I would give anything to have William just understand what is to transpire, let alone have his poor widdle fewwings hurt.

My only hope is that the same scene is taking place all across red state America. As President Andrew Jackson once said about the Supreme Court, "They made their decision, let them enforce it!"

Which reminds me, there was a brave black principal named Bishop Knox in your neck of the woods who DID do the same some years back, and they did in fact come after him. Do you know what ever became of him?


Howard: Yes, he was principal at Wingfield High here in Jackson. Kirk Fordice was governor, and it must have been '93 or '94. Bishop Knox allowed students (GASP!) to give devotionals over the school intercom. The female student body president talked about this issue on 'Larry King is Alive,' where Jeanne Meserve was the guest host. The young lady said "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am," and I must admit that I became a little emotional watching it.

As I recall, Bishop Knox applied for the post of school superintendent here in Jackson. Last I heard, he was a superintendent in north Mississippi-- in Corinth, I believe.

Back in the Dark Ages, when I went to public school, a member of the Gideons came into Mrs. Trippe's third grade classroom and gave each of us a New Testament. He said there was only one string attached: we had to READ the testament. I think even my pal Larry Abrams got a free NT...

Which reminds me: once in the high school cafeteria, we had ham for lunch, and Larry scarfed it up. I was surprised and told him I thought that Jews weren't supposed to eat ham. He said, "Steve, I've been eating ham as long as you Baptists have been dancing."

We once had our annual high school French Club banquet at the Holiday Inn. Before the meal, our teacher, Rudy Williams, stood and recited a long prayer in French. As soon as he had finished, Larry whispered to me, "Were we supposed to face Mecca on that?"

P. S. Is the ACLU the Atheist and Criminal Liberties Union... the Anti-Christian Lawyers Union... or the Anti-Christian Litigation Unit?

Tom was an Originalist

Jefferson (1743-1826) wrote this near the end of his life.

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should,
therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense.
Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties
which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Johnson, 1823)

Nor should their meaning be sought for in the laws of foreign

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Joys of Socialized Medicine: P. J. was Right

"If you think medical treatment is expensive now, you should see what it costs when it's free." -- P. J. O'Rourke, author and humorist

Do we really want the same bunch who run the post office and the IRS to run the U. S. healthcare system? Besides, if we nationalized healthcare-- one-seventh of the U. S. economy-- where would Canadians go for medical treatment?


I saw on the news up here in Canada where Sen. Hillary Clinton introduced her new healthcare plan... something similar to what we have in Canada. I also heard that Michael Moore was raving about our healthcare in his latest movie. As your friend and someone who lives with the Canadian healthcare plan, I thought I would give you some facts about this great medical plan that we have here.

1) The healthcare plan in Canada is NOT free. We pay a premium every month of $96 for Shirley and me to be covered. Sounds great, eh? What they don't tell you is how much we pay in taxes to keep the healthcare system afloat. I am personally in the 55% tax bracket. Yes, 55% of my earnings go to taxes. A large portion of that, and I am not sure of the exact amount, goes directly to healthcare, our No. 1 expense.

2) I would not classify what we have as a healthcare plan; it is more like a health diagnosis system. You can get in to to see a doctor quickly enough so he can tell you "yes, indeed, you are sick," or "you need an operation," but now the challenge becomes getting treated or operated on. We have waiting lists out the ying yang; some as long as two years down the road.

3) Rather than fix what is wrong with you, the usual tactic in Canada is to prescribe drugs. Have a pain? Here is a drug to take - don't find out what is causing the pain and why; no time for checking you out because it is more important to move as many patients through as possible each hour for government reimbursement.

4) Many Canadians DO NOT have a family doctor.

5) DO NOT require emergency treatment, since you may wait for hours in the emergency room.

6) Shirley's dad cut his hand on a power saw a few weeks back, and it required that his hand be put in a splint. To our surprise, we had to pay $125 for the splint because it is not covered under healthcare, plus we have to pay $60 per visit for him to get it checked out each week.

7) Shirley's cousin was diagnosed with a heart blockage-- and put on a waiting list. He died before he could get treatment.

8) The government allots so many operations per year. When those have been done, no more operations unless you go to your local newspaper and plead your case and embarrass the government; then money suddenly appears.

9) The government takes great pride in telling us how much more they are increasing the funding for healthcare, but waiting lists never get shorter. Government just keeps throwing money at the problem, but it never goes away. But they are good at finding new ways to tax us. By the way, they don't call it a tax anymore; it is now a user fee.

10) A friend needs an operation for a blockage in her leg, but because she is a smoker they will not do it, despite her having paid into the health care system all these years. My friend is 65 years old. Now there is talk that maybe we should not treat fat and obese people either, because they are a drain on the healthcare system. Let me see now... what we want in Canada is a healthcare system for healthy people only. That should reduce our healthcare costs.

11) Forget about getting a second opinion; what you see is what you get.

12) I can spend what money I have left after taxes on booze, cigarettes, junk food and anything else that could kill me, but I am not allowed, by law, to spend my money on getting an operation I need because that would be "jumping the queue." I must wait my turn unless I am a hockey player or other athlete; then I can get looked at right away. Go figger. Where else in the world can you spend money to kill yourself, but are not allowed to spend money to get healthy? [NOTE: When a U. S. citizen reaches age 65, he has two choices: sign up for Medicare or DIE-- unless he can afford to go to another country for healthcare. A U. S. medical professional who treats a senior citizen who does not have Medicare can go to jail-- even if the treatment is FREE.]

13) Oh! Did I mention that immigrants are covered automatically at taxpayer expense, despite never having contributed a dollar to the system and paying no premiums?

14) Oh, yeah, we now give free needles to drug users to try and keep them healthy. Wouldn't want a sickly druggie breaking into your house and stealing your things. People with diabetes, who pay into the healthcare system, have to pay for their needles because needles are not covered.

I send this out not looking for sympathy, but as the election looms in the States, you will be hearing more and more about universal healthcare down there, and the advocates will be pointing to Canada. I just want to make sure that you hear the truth about healthcare up here, and have some food for thought and informed questions to ask when this subject is broached.

Step wisely, and DON'T make the same mistakes we have.

Several years ago, I went to Deaconness Hospital in Cincinnati to visit with Lewis Foster, an esteemed professor of The Cincinnati Bible Seminary (now Cincinnati Christian University). He had just returned from an extended visit in England. While there, he had what the doctors thought was a heart attack. I was talking with Betty, his wife, and she said they went to a doctor who thought he probably had a heart attack, but couldn't be totally sure as the doctor did not have an EKG machine in his office.

The doctor explained that there was a three-month wait to get into a hospital in the U.K., regardless of your problem. They asked if the doctor thought Lewis could make it back to the States. The doctor "supposed" he could, and they arranged a flight as soon as possible. Betty said he had a rough time of it, and they had an ambulance waiting at the Greater Cincinnati Airport to bring him straight to Deaconness Hospital. He did recover. Betty went on to explain that there was no incentive for a British doctor to buy any expensive equipment, as it would put nothing more in his pocket to do so. That certainly opened my eyes to the "lackings and failures" of a socialized medical system.

~~ Melanie Long

*** Here's a link to more material on this subject. Included is a YouTube video, "A Short Course in Brain Surgery," which is about a Canadian man with brain cancer who gets medical care in the U. S. because of his country's rationing of healthcare.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Passing of William J. Simmons

I was thinking about William J. Simmons not long ago and wondering if he was still living.

Medford Evans (father of M. Stanton Evans) was another leader in the Citizens Councils. Medford Evans spoke at Mississippi College when I was a student there, but I don't remember what he talked about. I recall once seeing him-- he had the demeanor of an undertaker-- coming out of the Jackson Municipal Library with a big stack of books under his arm. (The library was then located at the corner of Yazoo and State streets, across from the present Eudora Welty Library.) Evans was once a college professor in Louisiana but lost his job because of his racial ideas.

I remember when Simmons announced that the Citizens Councils were disbanding and he was going to run a bed and breakfast inn full time. He had a little controversy a few years ago when he wanted to expand the parking space for his inn, which was located in a residential area near Millsaps College.

The Citizens Councils established a group of white-only schools, one of which was in a two-story building in the Fondren area of Jackson; it was on Downing Street just off State Street. I'm not sure what is in that building now, but I used to walk by there and see a sign that said "YANA." I was curious about what that meant, and I finally caught someone coming out of the building one evening and asked him. He said it was an organization that counseled alcoholics, and YANA stood for "You Are Not Alone." The building was later used for music lessons, and an assistant state attorney general, Giles Bryant, was mugged and murdered while he was waiting out front there to pick up his children.

Another thing I remember about the Citizens Councils involved my friend Lawrence Abrams Sr., one of the owners of Cole's department store in Natchez. Mr. Abrams told me that the council pressured him to fire an older black man who had worked for him for a long time, but he refused to do so.

At any rate, I wonder if Simmons ever gave any in-depth interviews. It would be interesting to know whether he changed his views on race. (If memory serves, he had a cameo appearance in 'Eyes on the Prize,' the PBS documentary about the civil rights movement.)

The Associated Press | November 27, 2007

JACKSON, Miss. -- William James Simmons, a leader of the segregationist white Citizens Council in the 1950s and '60s, died at his home in Jackson. He was 91.

Simmons, who was born in Utica in 1916, died Saturday [Nov.24]. The cause of death was not made public. Funeral services were held Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church of Jackson.

Simmons served as executive director of the statewide organization of the Citizens Council from 1954 to 1967.

The Citizens Council was created in 1954 in response to Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said segregated schools were unconstitutional. Hodding Carter, a newspaper owner in the Mississippi Delta, described the Citizens Council at the time as an "uptown Klan."

The council operated white-only schools and worked closely with the Sovereignty Commission, a state spy agency, to spread rumors and misinformation about the civil rights movement.

Bill Minor, a journalist who has covered Mississippi politics since 1947, said the Citizens Council "would enlist businessmen, lawyers and doctors in towns throughout the state in a powerful alliance to...Read more>>>