Links and Minifeatures 10 21 Friday

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Looking around the 'sphere yesterday, there seemed to be nothing but a whole lot of "tail-chasing" going on, so I mostly took the day off from here. Did some work on specialty articles, one of which published this morning.



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Captain's Quarters has a good article up on Wisconsin voter fraud and a congressional investigation. This was only one, albeit the most blatantly obvious, of Donkey antics to sabotage the last election. "We can't win, so we'll cheat, and if anybody catches us, we'll claim voter intimidation and accuse the other side of cheating!"



Speaking of elections, I have recently heard one of the most misleading political commercials ever, and that's saying something: "Propostion 75 will cut the paychecks of Police and Firefighters, hamper their abilities to deal with crises..." yada yada yada.



For those readers who are not in California (and those who are but may not be paying attention yet) what Propostion 75 would do - and all that it would do - is force unions to get their member's approval before spending union dues on political items. Since union dues are supposed to be for things like arbitrations and any unjust job actions, that's not what they're collected for. Well-run unions have adjunct PACs where their members can donate money for political action. But this way they have to keep the agenda to things the membership at large will support, because if they don't the membership will stop contributing. Every professional union seems to be firmly in the Donkey camp - but they also have a large portion of their membership that supports Elephants. In some cases, this can actually be the majority of, you know, working members.



I just don't spend a lot of time watching TV or listening to radio, so doubtless these have been carpetbombing California for a while, but this was the first I heard. I'm disgusted, and I hope you are.



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Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent article on the steady transition to the Iraqis doing the work of democracy.



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Maggie Gallagher has been a guest over at Volokh Conspiracy, talking against same sex marriage. I do not believe it should be treated as a civil rights issue, but am willing to be convinced same sex marriage will do society more good and less harm than the absence of same sex marriage. I voted against the ban California enacted several years ago, but want the activists in favor of it to start talking in terms of societal benefits and convince me that societal good that same sex marriage will accomplish is greater than the harm I see it causing. As far as I'm concerned, the "It's our right!" argument is a non-starter here.



Permalinks to previous her previous articles (in chronological order) several here, then more single column stuff here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.



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Captain's Quarters also has significant new information on the Miers Supreme Court nomination. I link new information whether it's for or against me, and this is against. The thing that CQ notes that catches my interest as to real possible trouble is the large amount of money paid to Miers' firm in the 1998 Texas gubernatorial election:



Reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission show that two payments of $70,000 were made to Miers' Locke, Purnell, Rain and Harrell firm in Dallas within a month of each other during the 1998 campaign. Another $16,000 in payments were made between March and December 1999.

The 1998 totals dwarfed the $7,000 Bush paid Miers' firm during his first run for governor in 1994, and are extremely large for campaign legal work in Texas, an expert said.





People don't just wake up one morning and decide to pay their lawyers $156,000 because they feel like it. The lawyer obviously did some work. What precisely the nature of the work was may be politically damaging.



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Powerline has a good bit that somewhat agrees with what I wrote Wednesday on the Donkeys trying to make DeLay into a sympathetic character. DeLay himself seems to realize he's been given a politcal opportunity. Look at the mug shot at Powerline. I've seen people smile less broadly at their wedding or when they've just won a lottery jackpot.



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Dean's World has an article which delivers an amazingly good smackdown to the notion that earth is overpopulated. It misses the fact that each person's ecological footprint is considerably larger than the actual living space they occupy, particularly in wealthy societies. Nonetheless, it remains a valid article. If it bothers you, consider that we need a certain number of people to make it economically worthwhile to maintain our current technological level, let alone improve it. I consider both maintaining and advancing our current technological level to be very good things; I think that, once we have more places to put them like say, orbital cities and asteroid bases and other such extraterrestrial places, more babies would be an entirely good thing.



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Asymmetrical Information has a very rational article about illegitimate voters disenfranchising legitimate ones, with which I very much agree, including the end part about a national voter card.



I believe that it's past time to raise the bar to voting much higher than it is. I do not favor so-called "motor voter" and similar laws or any such thing. I do not believe that someone who is registered to vote because they have a driver's license is likely to cast a well-informed vote even if they do stumble into the polls on election day. Furthermore, because it's so easy to register people who have no intent of actually, you know, voting, many measures of voter participation are depressed, with implications of federal or judicial intervention (Voting Rights Act, among others) where we just have people who get registered and never vote. If we restrict registration to the people who actually want to vote, that would immediately boost our turnout significantly, as well as lessening the possibility that unauthorized voters slip in accidentally.



Plus I think that voting participation would actually rise due to the fact that people will say "I had to fill out that ****** form! The least I can do is actually vote!"



Lest someone decide they want to misinterpret this, what I am saying is this: people need to fill out an actual form saying they are citizens entitled to vote here (I also think a national voter ID card is a good idea to prevent multiple votes by the same person). If someone tries to keep you from voting (once per election!) after you've jumped over the same bar everyone else has, let me know and I'll volunteer to be part of the phalanx that gets you into the polls and puts a ballot in your hands.



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Mudville Gazette has an excellent article up on recruiting numbers. She (Mrs. Greyhawk made the post) makes an excellent post about those who joined purely as an avenue for advancement versus those who joined because they are willing to "move towards the sound of gunfire" taking risks for all of us. I have no objections to the former so long as they honor the commitments they have made, but agree that the latter are likely to make better soldiers.



In other words, yeah it's cool that we have poor people joining the army in order to get ahead, but we should expect them to act the same as any other soldier when we need the army to fight.



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Q and O has the best article I've seen on why the liability protection for gun manufacturers was necessary and desirable.



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Belmont Club has an excellent article on future "brown-water navy" vessels that the US is planning.



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Lileks Screedblog makes an excellent point.



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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on October 21, 2005 8:23 PM.

State of The Housing Market was the previous entry in this blog.

One Loan versus Two Loans is the next entry in this blog.

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