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Free Citizen

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

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and the Socialists' Farce

Rush Limbaugh's radio show has been nationally syndicated since 1988. I first heard him in 1990 and found that he usually agrees with me. Rush validates the thinking of those of us who believe in individual liberty, free markets, and limited government. Over the years, I have been amazed at the number of people-- primarily liberals-- who express opinions on Rush without bothering to actually listen to him.

With the help of hip boots and a shovel, I waded through Leonard Pitts Jr.'s recent moronic column on Rush. After toying with the idea of rebutting Pitts, I decided that it wasn't worth the time or trouble. But now one of Mississippi's most influential blogs, Shira bat Sarah, has concurred with Pitts's piece. Idiocy emanating from Florida is one thing, but homegrown misinformation is quite another.

shira begins, "I've never understood the appeal of Rush Limbaugh. He spews garbage and his fans proudly call themselves ditto heads. How many of those ditto heads hope as well as Limbaugh does that Obama will fail?"

If you really wanted to understand Rush's appeal, you would at least listen to him (which is worthwhile for the parodies alone). A substantial number of liberals listen, and liberal callers are usually put at the front of the line. As Ben Stein has noted, Rush has helped to educate millions of people; he's also very funny.

A dittohead is simply someone who enjoys Rush's show-- whether he agrees with Rush or not. It's the most-listened-to radio talk show in history, and Rush didn't achieve that by putting out "garbage."

Before saying that he hopes Obama fails, Rush explained in great detail what he meant. You would think that Pitts, at a minimum, would have read the transcript before attacking Rush as he did. Pitts is either blissfully ignorant of Rush's meaning, or, more likely, just sees this as an opportunity to attempt to discredit Rush.

Obama is the most radical leftist ever to occupy the White House, and we conservatives do indeed hope he fails to implement his socialist agenda, typified by the outrageous spending scheme that has passed the House. Socialism has never worked anywhere: it didn't work in the Soviet Union, and it certainly hasn't worked in Cuba. By turning away from socialism and embracing capitalism, the Chinese have created a booming economy. The Japanese tried eight "stimulus" plans in the 1990s, none of which succeeded in relieving their economic doldrums.

We, do, however, pray that the president succeeds in protecting us from another 9/11-style attack. I'm certainly no fan of George W. Bush's, but I give him credit for preventing such an attack in the last seven-plus years.

The big question is whether Obama and the Democratic Congress will succeed in herding Americans into a health care collective, euphemistically called "universal health care." It's far from perfect, but our health care system is still the best in the world. If socialized medicine is enacted, there will be no turning back.

So unless Obama applies free-market solutions to the economy, he's bound to fail. I've been watching presidents since the 1960s, and I suspect that a lot of people are going to be bitterly disappointed in the next several years, as they discover that this president is not the Messiah that they thought they were electing.

To understand Rush Limbaugh, one must listen to the entire three-hour show every day for at least six weeks. I challenge Leonard Pitts Jr., shira, and all of Rush's other critics to do so before again commenting on his statements.

shira titles her post, "Send in the Clowns." The next to last verse of Stephen Sondheim's song begins with, "Don't you love farce?" and ends with, "... send in the clowns. Don't bother, they're here."

Yes, they're here, and they'll be running the executive and legislative branches of the federal government for at least the next two years.

God help us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Bell's Daughter Responds To My Post

The daughter of John Bell Williams, Mississippi's governor, 1968-1972, made the comment below on my recent piece, which was responding to a column by Bill Minor. She's certainly correct that the big majority of Mississippi whites-- at least through the 1960s-- favored racial segregation.

The integration of the Magnolia State's public schools was mandated by the federal courts and implemented by President Richard Nixon's justice department. This included the very unpopular practice of forced busing of children to schools that were not the nearest to their homes.

It was also Nixon who initiated federal revenue sharing, through which no-strings-attached money was given to state and local governments. I considered it a dangerous precedent for governments to receive funds which their own taxes had not produced. Besides, the federal government was already operating at a deficit (the liberals should have loved Nixon for his domestic policies, which were very left-wing).

Certain Mississippi governors had to walk on egg shells. Paul Johnson Jr. ran a very pro-segregation campaign in 1963, but he angered many of his supporters with his moderate inaugural address in January, 1964. Johnson's defeat in the 1967 race for lieutenant governor ended his political career.

John Bell Williams Jr., the governor's son, once had a show on WSLI-930AM in Jackson, on which he called himself simply "John Bell." Last I heard, he had a radio talk show in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1992, Rush Limbaugh acknowledged the junior Williams in the foreword of Rush's first book.


"Thank you for publishing this answer to Bill Minor's column pretending to talk about [Connecticut Sen.] Joe Lieberman. In reality he was once again maligning my Dad, John Bell Williams. I am happy you rebutted much of what he said and showed my Dad to be right about things. While he was a segregationist (very few whites in Mississippi were not), he did his best to support his constituency and serve his state and country. And Bill Minor refuses to acknowledge that during his tenure as Governor, public schools in Mississippi officially, and very quietly, integrated. In addition, Mississippi started receiving Federal money for programs, which had not been done before because of the politicians' fear that we'd be forced to do what the Feds wanted. A third thing that people may not realize is that Daddy was the first governor to include the black colleges in the inaugural festivities. The black college presidents sat with the white presidents at the swearing in.

"I did not always agree with Dad, but he was an honest and sincere public servant, doing what he felt was right.

"And none of his kids was ever convicted of bribing anybody."

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Latest On Texas Voter ID

It looks like tough sledding for the 2009 photo voter ID bill in the Texas legislature. I was mistaken in my earlier post about this being a constitutional amendment. Here's why a two-thirds vote is normally required in the Senate:

"... the so-called two-thirds rule, a [parliamentary] procedure that requires two-thirds of the senators present to agree to bring a bill to the floor for a debate and a vote. In the 2007 session, the Republicans had a 20-11 majority, one shy of the two-thirds needed to pass the controversial bill."

The Republican senators, with a current 19-12 majority, have made the Democrats mad by suspending the two-thirds rule for the 2009 voter ID bill, so that a simple majority is needed to send it to the Senate floor. Some are saying that the Republicans have shot themselves in the foot with this action.

The Republicans retort that, when the Democrats controlled the Senate, they occasionally exempted bills from the two-thirds rule.

The prospects for voter ID in the House don't look very encouraging. Despite a 79-71 Republican majority, the 2007 bill barely passed the House. Now the Republicans have a bare 76-74 majority.

This reminds me of the two-thirds rule that the Democrats had in the years prior to their 1936 national convention[1]. A two-thirds vote of the delegates was required to nominate the party's candidates for president and vice president. As a result, the Southern delegates had veto power, and multiple ballots would often be necessary before a presidential nominee was chosen.

The two-thirds rule is also why the Democratic vice-presidential nominee was frequently a Southerner: in exchange for the votes of Southern delegates, a presidential candidate would agree to name a running mate from the South. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice president from 1933 to 1941, for example, was John Nance Garner, a Texas segregationist. In 1944, when FDR was nominated for a fourth term, he nearly picked a South Carolina segregationist, James Byrnes, as his running mate (the two-thirds rule, to be sure, was then no longer in force).


[1] If memory serves, the Democrats adopted the two-thirds rule in 1832, the year that they held their first national convention, when they renominated President Andrew Jackson of Tennessee. They also elected another Tennesseean, James K. Polk, as president in 1844. Even non-Southern Democratic presidents had a substantial number of Southerners in their cabinets, and that's largely attributable to the two-thirds rule.

Municipal Elections Around The Corner

The Clarion-Ledger reminds us in a January 24 editorial that Friday, March 6 is the filing deadline for candidates in this year's municipal elections. The party primaries will be held on May 5; any necessary runoff (or second) primaries will be held on May 19; and the general election will take place on June 2.

"... the 2009 municipal elections for some 2,050 various municipal officials in Mississippi's 296 municipalities."

Most of Mississippi's municipalities will indeed hold elections this year. Some of our special-charter municipalites, however, have their elections in other years. For instance: Natchez, our oldest municipality[1], conducts its elections in the spring of presidential election years.

"Those municipalities include 107 cities, 168 towns and 21 villages as defined by state law."

The secretary of state's Blue Book says that our 296 municipalities consist of 103 cities, 171 towns, and 22 villages.

It should be noted that, in order to hold a municipal primary in a jurisdiction, a party must have a municipal executive committee there. These party committees are deliberately omitted in some of our smaller municipalities, so that the general election is the only election they have to conduct. This, of course, sometimes results in candidates being elected with less than 50 percent of the vote (which is also possible, but less likely, when party primaries are held).

In the Rankin County seat of Brandon, almost all of the candidates in 2005 had filed as Republicans. But a Republican municipal executive committee was not organized, so, at the last minute, all those Republicans had to requalify as independents. Since the city was consequently only able to hold the general election, the current mayor was elected with 47 percent.

For the umpteenth time, I ask: Why do we need party primaries in municipal elections? If we changed to nonpartisan elections-- popularly called "open primaries"-- (1) voters would always be able to choose among ALL the candidates, (2) there would never be more than two rounds of voting, whereas there are now potentially three, and (3) no municipal official would ever again be elected with less than 50 percent of the vote. The great majority of U. S. municipalities have already adopted this more sensible election system.

Few if any of our citizens are now interested in this issue. However, some of them will get VERY interested in it this spring, when they discover that they will be able to vote for mayor or council member, but not both (Hattiesburg and Tupelo were two cities in which voters faced this dilemma in 2005).


[1] Natchez was incorporated on March 10, 1803, and Port Gibson became the second incorporated municipality two days later. Mississippi attained statehood on December 10, 1817.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good News on the Initiative Process

As I have previously noted, Mississippi's already-difficult initiative process was dealt a serious blow in 1998, when out-of-state petition circulators were outlawed. Four federal appeals courts have struck down similar laws in other states, and the U. S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear the state of Arizona's appeal of the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals's ruling in Brewer v. Nader.

The attorney general of Oklahoma, Drew Edmonson, today announced that he won't appeal the 10th Circuit's decision in Yes on Term Limits v. Savage to the Supreme Court. The Oklahoma ban on nonresident circulators was enacted in 1969.

"Edmondson said the chance of prevailing at the Supreme Court was slim."

He likely figured that, since the Supreme Court is considering hearing the Arizona case, it would not accept both the Arizona and the Oklahoma cases.

Edmondson, who has gubernatorial ambitions, also dropped the outrageous criminal charges against Paul Jacob and two other individuals for violating the ban on nonresident circulators.

The "Brewer" in Brewer v. Nader, incidentally, is Arizona's secretary of state. She'll likely be in the news again soon, as she's in line to become governor as soon as Gov. Janet Napolitano is confirmed as a member of President Obama's cabinet.

I believe that the Supreme Court will uphold the 9th Circuit and strike down the Arizona law. If it does, a suit could then be brought against Mississippi's similar law, and it would be an easy case.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Proposal for Voter Registration by Party

South Carolina, like Mississippi, is among the 21 states that do not register voters by party. There have been past efforts to enact party registration in the Palmetto State, and eight state representatives, all Republicans, have introduced a new bill for party registration.

I seriously doubt that this bill will become law. Even if it does, however, all voters will still have their choice of either party's primary, as South Carolina law mandates that primaries be open to all voters. There is a movement within that state's Republican Party to close GOP primaries, but no lawsuit has been brought against the open primary law.

Mississippi's Democrats, of course, recently pursued a federal lawsuit against our similar open primary law. District judge Allen Pepper ruled the law unconstitutional, but the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans dismissed the case on procedural grounds.

The purpose of party registration is to identify voters' party preferences, and it's the most practical method for doing so. Louisiana, for example, has had party registration since 1916. The only other former Confederate states that register voters by party are Florida and North Carolina. When almost all elections were decided in the Democratic primary, there really was no need for party registration.

In the last two decades, the only states to enact party registration have been Rhode Island and Utah. In both states, all voters already registered were deemed to be independents, and the only ones who had to re-register were those who wanted to affiliate with a party. Independents in both states have their choice of voting in either party's primary; consequently, the largest number of registered voters in each of the two states is independents.

Two other states where there have recently been unsuccessful attempts to enact party registration are Idaho and Virginia.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I, Pencil" Revisited

NOTE: Here's the PDF of the 50th Anniversary Edition with a new introduction.

by Sheldon Richman | January 16, 2009

Leonard Read’s classic essay, “I, Pencil,” which is now 50 years old, is justly celebrated as the best short introduction to the division of labor and undesigned order ever written. Read saw an “extraordinary miracle … [in] the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!”

His subject and its relation to freedom and prosperity were certainly worth capturing in such a clever, pleasing, and illuminating essay, which is why it is one of the best-known works in the popular free-market literature.

But there’s another lesson in “I, Pencil” that has been largely overlooked, perhaps by Read himself. “I, Pencil” is also an excellent primer in the Austrian approach to capital theory. It’s worth looking at Read’s essay in that light.

Early on, Read’s pencil describes his family tree, beginning with the cedars grown in northern California and Oregon that provide the wooden slats. But he doesn’t really start with the trees. He notes that turning trees into pencils requires “saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding” and those things have to be produced before a pencil can be produced. “Think of all the persons and the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its refinement into saws, axes, motors; the growing of hemp and bringing it through all the stages to heavy and strong rope; the logging camps with their beds and mess halls, the cookery and the raising of all the foods. Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!”

What emerges here is what Austrian economists call a structure of production. This structure is characterized by two closely related elements: multiple stages (distinguished by their “distance” from the consumer) and time. The pencil that eventually emerges at the end of the process must first proceed, in various states of incompleteness, through a series of stations at which components are transformed in ways consistent with making pencils. The stations themselves have to be prepared through earlier stages of production. Thus before trees can be cut down and turned into wooden slats, saws, trucks, rope, railroad cars, and other things must be produced first. Before steel can be used to make saws, trucks, and railroad cars, iron ore must be mined and processed. And so on. The same kind of description can be provided for each component of the pencil: the paint, the graphite, the compound that comprises the eraser, the brass ferule that holds the eraser.

Tracing the pencil’s genealogy back to iron, zinc, copper, and graphite mines; hemp plants; rubber trees; castor beans; and much more demonstrates the “roundaboutness” of... Read more>>>>

The Problem Wasn't Bush

It was supposedly "small-government" conservatives who blindly followed his foolish agenda.

by James Leroy Wilson

I recently heard some guys on the radio talk about the Bush Presidency. Their argument is that he is a good man and that his Presidency will be judged later on, depending on whether Iraq becomes a vibrant island of democracy in the Middle East. If Iraq succeeds, the argument goes, so will the Bush Presidency, even if we don't appreciate it now.

I turned the dial. What they were hoping for is a ridiculous fantasy.

After all, Western "influence" in the Middle East only serves to radicalize the people. Think of it this way. Let's say the Iranian government, or Chinese government, was the most powerful on earth and exerted heavy influence in our own country. And let's say our own internal political structure was so corrupt and weak that evangelical Christian pastors provided the only effective home-grown resistance to the foreign meddlers. Would it be surprising that even moderates and non-Christian Americans would rally around the "Religious Right" to defeat the imperialists?

Of course not. Likewise, if "democracy" succeeds in the Middle East, the result will most likely be an Islamic, anti-Western (meaning anti-American and anti-Israel) government.

Did this not happen in Palestine? Bush insisted on democracy there, but when Hamas was elected, Bush wouldn't accept the results of democracy. According to the U.S., if the elected government isn't pro-West, then it's not a real democracy.

For the Bush Iraq Democracy Project to succeed in Western eyes, Iraq's foreign policy must be pro-West, respect different religions, and women must possess rights that seem to be contrary to Islamic law. No wonder so many in the Middle East believe this is a new Crusade against Islam!

If Iraq, or the Middle East as a whole, is to become more like "us," that will require a spiritual revolution, or a transformation in consciousness. And these can not be imposed by force, but developed internally within the individual by the quiet persuasion of example. If a Muslim in the Middle East "democracy" votes for the pro-U.S. candidate only because he believes the U.S. Air Force will bomb him to pieces if he doesn't, then he doesn't really live in a democracy. The choice was coerced, not reflective of one's real values. Bullies can't change the hearts and minds of those they oppress, and neither can bomber pilots.

In short, the Iraq project was lunacy because... Read more>>>>

Monday, January 12, 2009

Place Your Bet On Stupidity

by Alan Caruba

We are well into a major recession and I think most people are betting on the stupidity and cupidity of our nation's leaders, elected and appointed, to ensure that it happens. One need only look at previous efforts to effect some control over the economy while, at the same time, running it into the ground.

From the day—August 15, 1971—that President Nixon took the nation off the gold standard, detaching the dollar from the enduring value of gold, America became a place where the dollar was worth whatever anyone thought it was worth. It's a lot like those holiday and post-Christmas sales where a sweater priced at $50 prior to the onslaught of the financial meltdown was priced down to $15. Same sweater, different value. Two suits, one free was the offer of a local retailer.

As columnist Robert J. Samuelson recently wrote, "We have a $14 trillion economy. The idea that presidents can control it lies between an exaggeration and an illusion." Samuelson cited Nixon's imposition in 1971 of wage and price controls in part to prevent inflation from jeopardizing his reelection. "The economy boomed in 1972. But the controls were a time-delayed disaster. When they were removed, inflation exploded to 12 percent in 1974."

President Carter was an even greater disaster while he occupied the Oval Office. His administration imposed credit controls to squelch the raging inflation from the Nixon administration. "The result was a short recession that helped seal Carter's defeat, along with his failure to face down the Iranians who had taken U.S. diplomats hostage.

Like the incoming President-elect, Carter hated the oil industry, imposing a "windfall profits" tax on it and even had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House. The result was to severely impact our domestic oil industry in ways that has rendered the U.S. more dependent than before on foreign oil. When Reagan took office, he cut taxes and instituted spending restraints. He also had the solar panels removed.

So where are we today? Read more>>>>

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sock It To Those Sorry Nicotine Addicts!

In his 2003 campaign for governor, Haley Barbour repeatedly said, "I'm not for raising anybody's taxes." Recent events have put an addendum on that promise: "... unless, of course, a 'blue-ribbon' commission (appointed by me) proposes a tax hike on those pariahs who happen to be addicted to nicotine."

William Shughart, economics professor at Ole Miss, really nails it in his column in yesterday's Clarion-Ledger.

"... politicians and media pundits have been scrambling to find a way to raise a tax that, at 18 cents per pack, is described as being 'among the lowest in the nation' almost as often as Gov. Barbour is referred to as a 'former [Washington] tobacco lobbyist.'"

Since Mississippi's per-capita income is THE LOWEST in the nation, perhaps we should consider cutting the cigarette tax (at this writing, a House committee has approved raising the tax to $1.00 per pack).

"... the excise tax on cigarettes is very unfair. Indeed, because cigarette smoking is much more prevalent among individuals at the bottom of the income distribution than among those at the top, the cigarette tax is the most regressive of all taxes - even more regressive than the sales tax. The commission's proposal to raise the excise tax rate to 50 cents per pack, therefore, amounts to a policy of balancing the state budget on the backs of those who are least able to pay." (bold added)

Yes, the politicians and pundits who have been screaming for a tobacco tax increase truly care about the downtrodden poor, don't they? The polls show 70-plus percent of our citizenry favoring such a tax hike, and that's what really matters, isn't it?

"Careful studies... conclude, however, that smokers already pay their own way at current excise tax rates in every state, including Mississippi. Indeed, the state is more than justly compensated for any such [health care] costs when one adds the $20 million paid into the treasury every year by the major tobacco companies to settle former Attorney General Mike Moore's lawsuit."

Those millions going into government coffers are, to be sure, paid by the end users of the product, as businesses almost always pass additional costs on to the consumer.

"But the Commission wants even more. It recommends imposing a new tax on cigarette manufacturers not already paying into the settlement fund."

If greedy government does enact this new tax, it will also be paid by the nicotine addicts, of course.

"The state can expect further revenue losses as Mississippi's smokers cross borders to make their purchases in jurisdictions with lower tax rates."

When the cost of a product becomes prohibitive, people do indeed change their behavior. During a period of unemployment, a smoker friend of mine stopped buying cigarettes by the pack and instead "rolled his own."

I was introduced to the cigarette bootlegging industry some years ago, when I was leaving Kentucky, which, as a tobacco producer, had low cigarette taxes. As I approached the Mississippi River bridge, I saw a big sign warning motorists of high-tax Illinois's criminal penalties for selling untaxed cigarettes in that state. Today, some terrorists bootleg cigarettes to generate revenue.

"Selective excise taxes represent predatory public finance at its worst. They punish people simply because of their consumption choices. Even more remarkably, the commission's endorsement of discrimination against smokers, along with the gallons of ink that will be spilled over it, is all about a trivial fraction (one-tenth of 1 percent) of total state tax receipts."

"Predatory" is a most appropriate description of governments that reach ever deeper into the pockets of their citizens-- especially poor citizens who use a legal product.

But let's not forget all of the wondrous things that government does with the money that it confiscates from its citizens.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

East L. A. May Choose Chu For Congress

POLITICO has a post on the upcoming special U. S. House election in a southern California district. This is for the seat that is being vacated by Democratic representative Hilda Solis, who has been picked by President-elect Obama as labor secretary. The thrust of the piece is that an Asian-American, Judy Chu, a former Democratic mayor and assemblywoman, could win in the majority-Latino district because of the Latino vote being split among a number of candidates.

"All the candidates will run on a single ballot in the special primary election. If any one of them wins a majority [50-plus percent] of votes, that candidate takes the seat outright. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters will square off eight weeks later in a special general election..."

This is correct that all the candidates will be listed on a single ballot. But if no one gets 50-plus percent, the top vote-getter FROM EACH PARTY, along with any independents, will advance to the general election. As the article notes, the Republicans are not expected to be competitive in this east Los Angeles district.

The piece also refers to Democratic congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis, who first won in the 2006 regular election to succeed Harold Ford Jr., who was the Democratic nominee for U. S. senator against the Republican Bob Corker. The House district is majority black, and Cohen, who is white, was elected because the black vote was divided among multiple candidates.

The House race, of course, was essentially decided in the Democratic primary, which Cohen won with 31 percent, as 50-plus percent was not required. Tennessee is the only former Confederate state that has never had party runoff (or second) primaries (Florida abolished second primaries in 2002).

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

There Was... a House... in Natchez...

When we were teenagers, a friend and I would occasionally phone Nellie and ask her if she had anything for sale. She would usually talk to us, and she was never rude.

Nellie offered both black and white women. There was a story that a man once asked for a white woman, and when she came out, it was his wife!

Nellie was a huge baseball fan. I heard that, for a long period of years, she attended every single World Series game.

At the time of her death, Cal Adams, who also grew up in Natchez, had a talk show on WJNT-1180AM here in Jackson (in addition to his job as a commentator on WAPT-Channel 16). Cal was fascinated by the story and devoted considerable time to it on his radio program.

The following is a reprint from the Houston (Texas) Chronicle of July 22, 1990:


If you wanted a girl at Nellie Jackson’s place, you arrived before midnight and you arrived sober.

They were simple rules, but effective ones. For the better part of 60 years they had helped Nellie Jackson stay in business as the best-known madam in this Mississippi River town.

For that long, the city fathers – police chiefs, mayors, aldermen – had turned a blind eye to the goings on in the nondescript frame house with the red striped awnings on North Rankin Street.

Madam with a heart of gold

In that time, Nellie Jackson, with her heart of gold, bug white Lincoln and small French poodles, became arguably the most colorful and best known person in town, loved by mayors and doctors, saloon owners and neighbors.

Last week, at age 87, they laid Nellie Jackson to rest. They laid her to rest because a 20-year-old kid would not play by the rules.

He didn’t take kindly, the police said, to being told by Jackson to go home when he stumbled up the stairs to her porch in the early hours of July 5 and banged on her door.

He went to a nearby gas station, filled an ice cooler with gasoline and returned. There, police said, he doused Nellie Jackson and her front porch and in the process spilled gasoline on himself. When he struck the match, all three burned [Nellie's dog was killed instantly].

For the next week, Jackson languished in a nearby hospital, slipping in and out of consciousness, while in Natchez they said prayers for her at church and the mayor was among many who donated blood.

She was severely injured, with third-degree burns over 100 percent of her body. She died July 12, 1990.

The suspect, a business student from the University of Mississippi, was badly burned. He is in critical condition. Criminal charges are pending [he died at the Greenville (Mississippi) Burn Center].

Four women and a child living at the house were not injured.

"She was special to anyone who knew her," said Andre’ Farish, a close friend of Jackson’s. "I guess it’s the circumstances, more or less. If I had heard she had just up and kicked the bucket, I’d say ‘Well, she lived a good life.’ It’s just the damned..." Read more>>>>

The "Global Warming" Hysteria

by Timothy Birdnow

Mark Twain, ever the wry observer of human nature, once famously quipped that “everybody complains about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.” (Actually, Twain was quoting the essayist and novelist Charles Dudley Warner, but the colorful humorist gets credit for the line.) Whoever deserves the credit, the point was that there is a folly to human arrogance and some things cannot be “fixed,” are outside of the powers of man. The weather, for example, is governed by forces beyond human control.

But the arrogance of the race is boundless, and there are those who actually believe that man is in the process of destroying the Earth’s weather, or at least climate. Al Gore, the leader of the Gang Green, tramps about the planet in his fuel-guzzling, greenhouse gas-spewing jets to tell people that the world is burning — his speeches are usually given on days of bitter cold — because they are living too extravagantly by, well, heating their homes when cold and driving their cars to work. James Hansen of NASA gives hysterical lectures to Congress and the news media, claiming we face fire and brimstone. Repeatedly we have been told we have ten years left, starting in the 1980s; much like those old end-of-the-world preachers, the date for the end time keeps extending.

In short, there are people who believe that, yes indeedy, we can do something about the weather, or at least the climate. If we just live more frugally, share our wealth, eat lots of natural foods like tofu and pine nuts, and hold hands while visualizing world peace, we can bring carbon dioxide and methane levels down and the world will become a pastoral paradise.

The Gang Green — those who believe that man is destroying the planet via our release of industrial emissions — have struggled to convince the populace that their viewpoint, based almost entirely on computer simulations and not on actual recorded data, is correct. (I often refer to global warming as the Goldilocks theory; if it is too hot, too cold, or just right it must be global warming!) Every time Al Gore gives a speech the temperature drops into single digits. We haven’t had any real planetary warming since 1998, and this year has been unseasonably cool, a likely result of an anemic sunspot cycle and reversals in wind and wave oscillations in the Pacific. So the alarmists are forced to making desperate pronouncements designed to panic the average Joe.

One issue that they’ve employed to good advantage is the loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Just run a quick Google search on “Arctic sea ice vanishing” and you will find a series of breathless warnings of coming doom and pictures of drowning polar bears. The alarmist will triumphantly point to the opening of the Northwest Passage and the unusually low ice levels of 2007 and 2008, claiming this is absolute proof that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) is wrecking the planet. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), for example, recently released a dire warning that “between 1.5 and 2 trillion tons of ice have melted in... Read more>>>>

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Huffington Post: Bombs Away!

The Huffington Post has been joined by (DUM-DE-DUM!) none other than "Dynamite Bill" Ayers, who'll no doubt be one of their more conservative bloggers. He's expected to produce some really explosive posts.

At least as recently as 1996, Arianna Huffington was a Republican... and a fairly conservative one at that. Then her husband left her for a MAN, which experience is enough to turn any woman into a left-wing nutcase.

I just hope that Mr. Ayers doesn't bomb out.