Archive for February 2004

That Which is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen

Echos of Bastiat ring in this article: Congressional miracles

Chicago has been home to many of America’s candy manufacturers, but today they’ve fallen on hard times. In 1970, employment by Chicago’s candy manufacturers totaled 15,000, and now it’s 8,000 and falling. Brach used to employ about 2,300 people; now most of its jobs are in Mexico. Ferrara Pan Candy has also moved much of its production to Mexico. Yes, wages are lower in Mexico, but wages aren’t the only factor in candy manufacturers’ flight from America. After all, Life Savers, which for 90 years manufactured in America, has moved to Canada, where wages are comparable to ours.

One of the ignored stories in the clamor and demagoguery over job losses, not only in the candy industry but in others as well, is the devastating impact of congressionally created “miracles” on our industries. American sugar producers fight tooth and nail to keep foreign sugar imports out of our country. They’ve spent $722,000 in campaign contributions to both Democratic and Republican congressmen to enact sugar import tariffs and quotas.

As a result of their successful effort to get Congress to do their bidding, our domestic sugar prices are about three times higher than the world market price. While that’s a miracle for the sugar industry and its employees, unfortunately, the miracle story doesn’t end there. We all know that for every benefit there’s a cost.

According to the Sugar Users’ Association, an organization that represents companies who use sugar as an input, such as candy manufacturers, the protectionist miracle that Congress has created for the sugar industry has cost anywhere from 7,500 to 10,000 jobs in sugar-using industries due to higher sugar costs. Higher sugar costs make U.S. candy manufacturers less competitive in both domestic and world markets. Life Savers became more competitive simply by moving to Canada — it saved itself a whopping $10 million dollars a year in sugar costs.

This isn’t rocket science, people. Economics is simple cause and effect. When you increase the price of something, someone has to pay it. If you increase the price too much, it is easier for someone to go someplace else to buy it cheaper.

The government rarely accounts for That Which Is Not Seen.

Two Amendments Violated for the Price of One

Spread the word.

David Codrea wrote a letter to certain San Francisco Officials in which he attempted to redress a grievance against the government.

You see, I also belong to a group that is forced by social prejudices to keep a low profile—often times to hide my choices and practices lest I suffer disapproval and ultimately, life-threatening persecution by the state.

I am a gun owner and I live a gun owner life style.

I don’t know if I was born with a tendency to be this way, or if it was an acquired disposition. All I know is, I don’t see why I should be forced to change. Truth be known, I like owning guns, and am happy with who I am. I hope I suffer no repercussions by “coming out of the safe,” but I just can’t hide the truth any longer.

We gun owners have been living and working among you. Our kids go to school with yours. We may be your doctor, or minister, or your child’s teacher. We may even work in city administration, or the courts, or on the police force. And we are sick of being abused for simply being who we are, all because of hoplophobic* prejudice and fear. We don’t see any reason why we should have to put up with it any more.

Which brings me back to my dilemma and the reason I am writing you.

You have shown progressive thinking and tolerance for that which the majority condemns. So I was thinking of coming up to San Francisco and exercising my right to keep and bear arms, maybe showing up at City Hall with a state-banned AR-15 and a couple 30-round magazines, and also carrying several pistols concealed without a permit.

Yes, I know, it will be a violation of California laws, but you’ve shown that you’re willing to disregard those when it serves your goals. And because I am a peaceable citizen, I should easily meet Judge Warren’s criterion that no immediate damage would be done by allowing this.

So what do you think, if I visit your city and proudly display my lifestyle choices, can I count on your support? As a private citizen, don’t I have as much right to disregard laws I find reprehensible as you public officials? Isn’t that what equality is supposed to be all about, where no class of citizen enjoys privileges and immunities not extended to all?

How about it? You wouldn’t have me arrested, would you?

Please let me know if I have your support.

This is political speech — no question. It is a letter addressing both misconduct by the government and violation of enumerated civil rights, and deserves to be addressed. If the officials disagreed, then the response should simply be, “No, you would not have our support.”

That isn’t what happened. Instead, he became the target of an ongoing investigation.

On behalf of, I asked Brian Puckett to contact Peter Walsh — the officer who conducted the phone interview of David Codrea regarding his article. We published Codrea’s letter, and we have a vested interest in this matter. After all, we publish the email addresses of various public servants from time to time, encouraging The People to share their thoughts. We’d like to know if doing so is now considered justification for investigations being launched against our members.

Puckett called Walsh and left a message on the afternoon of Feb. 17. He left another message on the morning of Feb. 18. He finally received a callback on Wednesday afternoon from an SFPD employee in the public relations department. Puckett wasn’t sure if it was an officer or not.

The SFPD “public relations” person indicated that he couldn’t answer any questions about the case since it was an “ongoing investigation.”

“I made certain we were talking about David Codrea,” reports Puckett, “to which he responded in the affirmative. I was able to ask two general questions, but he wouldn’t answer any questions that remotely touched on this investigation.”

Among the general questions Puckett asked that the SFPD official was willing to answer: “What is the Special Investigations Division?” of which Peter Walsh is a member.

The response was that they “investigate protection [security?] matters, bomb threats, gang related matters, and hate crimes.”

These sorts of strong-arm tactics are done quietly because they cannot survive the light of day. If we make enough noise, then these rats will scurry back into thier holes and leave this man along.

Spread the word.

(Via The Unca Monkey)

Funnier Than Frank J

So I’m not good enough to try to Win Frank’s Funny huh? Am so!

The topic of the first assignment is:

“Top Ten Ways the Loony Moonbat Left Will Make Themselves Look Even MORE Hopelessly Ridiculous in 2004”

  • 10. Al Sharpton pimp-slaps Hillary for supporting the war
  • 9. Michael Moore has a wardrobe malfunction
  • 8. PETA offers $20,000 to any Senator that will stop putting pork in spending bills
  • 7. Robert Fisk discovers GW Bush possesses weapons of mass destruction
  • 6. Kucinich’s alien symbiote jumps out of his chest at the Democratic Convention
  • 5. Nancy Pelosi marries Dick Cheney’s daughter in San Francisco
  • 4. Kerry outdoes Gore’s convention kiss by fingerbanging Teresa Heinz onstage
  • 3. Amnesty International sues on behalf of Saddam Hussain for fluffier TP
  • 2. starts a petition to impeach GW Bush for perjury about getting his teeth cleaned in Arkansas
  • 1. Kerry – Moore ’04!

I’m funnier than any of those chumps. The contestants, I mean. Even I don’t stand a chance against the moonbats.

Quizes, we do quizes

We do quizes every day… it seems like at least.

Yankee or Dixie quiz

80% (Dixie). That is a pretty strong Southern score!

And they didn’t even ask me to define “holler”.

(Via (that leg’s gotta come off) Steve)

My Life is Complicated

After checking out The Geek Hierarchy, I feel kinda bad. I’m not sure where I am becuase I fall so many places on the chart, and so do the people that I socialize with. I qualify for:

  • Comic Book Fans who read Superhero comics (does Deadpool count as a Superhero?)
  • Anime fans who insist on subtitles
  • Roleplaying Gamers
  • Piers Anthony Fans (although I haven’t liked anything he has written in the last 10 years.)
  • Science Fiction Television Fans

The good news is that I don’t even rate on the Sci-fi writer and artist and Ren Fair branches. And I have never, ever, ever ever ever even considered being a furry.

I don’t need to. I am already a very hairy man. (Think Pierce Brosnan in the hotel lobby in You Only Die Twice or whatever that one was called.) At least I’m not at the bottom of any of the branches.

(Via Wil Wheaton)

If I Build It…

Ultimate Secure Home — this is so close to the plan that I have been building for years that it is scary. Of course, now that it is for sale on the internet, one of the primary security features — few people knowing it exists — has been breeched. I wouldn’t like that photos are out on the internet either. But it is very, very close.

After spending 2 ½ years studying every kind of alternative home construction, everything from earthships made out of spare tires, to rammed-earth construction, to monolithic domes, they ultimately realized there was only one kind of construction that would afford them the kind of security they wanted: an earth home (made with Formwork’s patented thin-shell concrete construction technique). The house they finally built is not just any earth home. It is what has come to be known in the industry as a “secure home.” It is an unparalleled model of the ultimate secure home. Its many features will amaze you.

Oh yeah. Daddy like.

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