By Nathan Barton
The end of 2014 approaches, and the beginning of a new, and hopefully better, year for the world. For the weekend between Christmas 2014 and New Year’s 2015, things seem to be pretty slow. At least news-wise. I noticed this when stopping to eat lunch in Alliance Nebraska today (Sunday): the local newspaper (the Times-Herald) main front page story was concerning the benefit of microorganisms in soil, and the second lead story was the local sugar production numbers from Great Western Sugar. And goats eating Christmas trees. Clearly not a “if it bleeds, it leads” sort of place right now.
Nationally and even worldwide, it seems much the same. Yes, another Malaysian jet has disappeared over the water someplace, and no one can find it yet. And there is still fighting and killing across much of the planet. And the UN small arms control treaty went into effect on Christmas Eve (the US did NOT sign it). And stock and commodity prices wobbled, as usual, during holiday sessions. But Congress is NOT in session… always a good thing. And of course, the Fuehrer is spending millions of taxpayer dollars a day enjoying his “homeland” White House in Hawai’i. But there are a few things going on:
For the second time in two weeks, a Memphis homeowner has shot and killed armed attackers in their home, as we start seeing a regular wave of self-defense shootings, and shootings in defense of others. Or just using weapons to stop abuse from taking place, as in Tarrant County, Texas, where an armed observer intervened to stop a man from beating a woman. There are several good things here: first, that people ARE defending themselves and others, with or without having to fire a shot. Second, that these incidents are being reported in news media. It makes it harder for hoplophobes and hoploclasts to push their lies.
More incidents related to the cop-shootings and cop-killings took place this weekend. In one case in Chicago, a black man seems to have drawn the attention of authorities to himself by ranting and raving on Facebook about killing cops and “innocent white children,” but his arrest seems NOT to be for these “threats” but for other laws he violated: assault, possession of weapons by a felon, and such. Of course, as is so often the case in things like this, we don’t yet know and may never know all the facts of the case. But the man sounds really, really stupid.
Of course, many criminals are stupid: consider the man caught four blocks away from the church building where he stole a hearse with the casket (and body) still inside, in Los Angeles! Friends on their way to the funeral were notified and intercepted the hearse before the perp could get away. THEN the cops got involved.
Three cities in St. Charles County, Missouri seek to invalidate the decision of three out of four residents who voted to ban red light cameras. Three towns in Missouri joined together to sue: St. Peters, Lake Saint Louis and O’Fallon are asking a county circuit court judge to overturn the charter amendment banning automated enforcement adopted in November with the support of 73 percent of voters. City leaders argue that the 69,469 residents who voted for the measure had no business limiting the right of local politicians to use automated ticketing machines. “The charter amendment invades the legislative jurisdiction of cities in contravention of state policy, and conflicts with the authority specifically delegated to cities by the state to address their specific needs including traffic and enforcement of traffic regulations,” attorney Matthew J. Fairless wrote in the cities’ complaint. The suit alleges the charter amendment will result in “a loss of revenue” and, therefore, each of the cities has standing to sue. The cities also argue that the Missouri General Assembly gave each city government “exclusive control over all streets, alleys, avenues and public highways within the limits of such city” so that the people who live in the county have no say in the decisions made by political leaders.
Mama’s Note: He might not have even noticed, but this suit finally states clearly what we’ve known for a long time. The purpose of traffic “laws” is not safety or anything else except “revenue.”
The Nanny State not only usurps parents’ authority, but seeks to totally replace them in many circumstances. A very recent example of this is Montgomery County, Maryland where a father was threatened with arrest and losing his children because he allowed them to walk for a mile by themselves (as a treat, not a punishment).
Oh, and the environists are blaming beaver gas for contributing significantly to global warming. I find this hilarious: because beavers build dams which flood areas with trees and shrubs and grass, which then decays underwater and produces methane, they are bad for the world’s climate. Right – so the fur trappers and traders back in the 1800s were GOOD for Mother Earth, I guess. I have recently been helping a client with a beaver problem in his newly constructed fish habitat along a river in Colorado: they eat his trees and block his flumes and culverts between the ponds and people don’t want him to do anything about them because they are (after all) “cute.”
Oh, and speaking of wildlife and the Nanny State, a misguided experiment dictated by the Colorado General Assembly from 2010 to this year, reducing speed limits at night seasonally in certain areas to reduce auto-wildlife encounters, was a royal pain in the neck for motorists and has been abandoned, as no significant and consistent results could be achieved despite the cost and headache of having to limit your speed in some months but not others.
Government can NOT control the world, or even small segments of it. If you are reminded of that very stupid lady who once called into a talk show to say that “deer crossings” should be relocated to places where it was safer for the deer to cross the highway, you are right! The other experiments: the randomly-lighting “wildlife hazard” glow in he dark signs coupled with “detectors” to warn motorists, and the elaborate deer and elk fences with “escape ramps” continue in effect, however.
Correction re: ATT- The US did sign it (Secretary of State Kerry), but did not ratify. You can expect two things:
1. A constant push over the next few years to get the Senate to ratify.
2. An interpretation that the ATT is enforceable international law under the Vienna Convention theory, even on states that did not ratify. (And a third, or “2a”: that the administration will use the Vienna Convention to enforce ATT by executive order.)
Assuming that the economy doesn’t totally implode in the meantime, of course. In any case, an increasing number of people are demonstraing that they could not care less what anyone thinks of it, including the insane guy squatting in the white house.