Help a fellow blogger out

I’ve been out of town and busy since about this time last week, and my internet time has been minimal. So while I’ve been aware of it, I haven’t been able to post about Tam’s recent skin-cancer diagnosis. Fortunately (for given values of ‘fortunate’), it’s “just” basal cell carcinoma, which is, as Tam so eloquently puts it, “cancer’s farm team”.

Still, cancer sucks, whether it’s  the farm team or the major league. The worst of it, though, is that Tam is (as she puts it) “self-unemployed”, and unfortunately also uninsured.

Cancer treatments are expensive.

Facial surgery is expensive.

Follow-up care for both of those is expensive.

Cancer can leave you financially hurting even with insurance. Without insurance, it can be a nightmare. Tam could use a little help (or probably a lot of help, really).

Fortunately, Tam has us. The bloggers and followers that rely on her for our daily dose of grade-A snark. Right now, there are several raffles, auctions, and other fundraisers going on to help her out JayG has a good round-up here, and Tam has a good link-farm, too. Plus, she has a tip jar on her own site that we can use for donations.

I have to wait until payday, but I will be hitting that tip jar. Let’s all chip in and give a good woman a hand, shall we?

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Quote of the Day – 2012-10-15

From an article at United Liberty by Doug Mataconis.

On the whole, the conservative argument to libertarians regarding the 2012 election has been dismissive, insulting, and based more on the false assumption that we want to be loyal Republicans.

This is, in a vast majority of the cases I’ve seen or experienced so far, unarguably true – libertarians who complain about Romney and talk about the possibility of voting for Gary Johnson are met with insults and ridicule, and occasionally even outright hostility.

Food for thought. And while you’re digesting that, think about the possibility that, if everyone who thought that “A vote for [$LIBERTARIAN] is a vote for [$LEAST_DESIRED_CANDIDATE]” stopped accepting that fear-mongering self-fulfilling prophecy, maybe the Libertarian candidate would actually have a chance of winning.

Don’t accept the FUD. Vote for the candidate you want, because voting for the lesser of two evils again and again only results in more and more evil.

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(h/t PostLibertarian by way of Borepatch)

I keep hearing that a vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama.

Well, maybe not.

PPP’s newest Nevada poll finds Barack Obama’s lead in the state falling to 4 points at 51-47. [...] When Gary Johnson’s included he gets 3% and actually takes mostly from Obama, pulling his lead over Romney down to 48/47. That could be something worth keeping an eye on.

Emphasis mine.

One thing to remember is that the Libertarian platform – and Johnson’s campaign in particular – has many points that appeal to nominal Democrats as much as it has points that appeal to nominal Republicans. In particular, there are many Democrats who are financially conservative but who abhor the Republican Party’s continual pandering to the socially conservative crowd. When given an alternative, they will happily – and even eagerly – vote for that alternative. Many Democrats are greatly disillusioned with Obama, even angry. But they can’t bring themselves to vote for Romney because of the Republican Party’s social baggage. They, too, would willingly vote for a third party to express their dissatisfaction.

Johnson will draw votes from both main candidates, not just from Romney. The old saw that “third parties can’t win” is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if enough people stop listening to it now, more people will stop listening to it the next time, and eventually the third parties will be able to win.

Continual voting for the lesser of two evils has brought us nothing but more and more evil. Stop listening to the FUD and vote your conscience. It’s the Right Thing to do.

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[Source: Public Policy Polling article, retrieved 10/11/12]

(h/t Politico)

What government does.

Threatens to sue a man for cleaning up 40 tons of garbage from an abandoned lot. It was city property, see, and the city not only refused to do it themselves, but refused when he asked for permission to do it himself. So the city wants him to put it back.

But the Daily News reports that Feibush went ahead with his plans anyway, reportedly spending more than $20,000 of his own money not only to remove the trash but also to level the soil; add cherry trees, fencing and park benches; and repave the sidewalk.

[...]

However, the city agency was less excited, demanding that Feibush return the vacant lot to its previous condition and saying it is considering legal action against him.

Why would the city do this? After all, they got a free cleanup and significant improvements to city property, right?

“Like any property owner, [the authority] does not permit unauthorized access to or alteration of its property,” Paul D. Chrystie, director of communications at the Office of Housing and Community Development told the paper. “This is both on principle (no property owner knowingly allows trespassing) and to limit taxpayer liability.”

Hmmm. I smell bovine excrement in that answer. I bet the real answer is that he either made someone look bad, or that there was some backroom deal that he inadvertently interfered with. In the eyes of city hall, either one is an unforgivable offense that must be punished.

The “unauthorized alteration” of city property may be a legitimate issue, but it’s certainly a threadbare one. That trash-filled empty lot was very probably hurting his business. But, technically, the “proper” way for him to address that problem would be to spend thousands of dollars to take the city to court (costing the city money at the same time), suing them for the damage to his business, and tying the whole issue up in the courts for the next couple of years while trying to define the nebulous amount of any damages his business was suffering because of the city’s failure to properly maintain its property, with little to no chance of success.

Every city employee involved in this fiasco needs to be fired, publicly humiliated, permanently barred from public employment and office, and run out of town on a rail. Tar and feathers optional, but strongly encouraged.

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[Source: Yahoo! News article, retrieved 9/20/12]

Quote of the Day – 2012-03-13

Today’s QOTD comes from Linoge, by way of yesterday’s QOTD at Walls of the City.

No, a third party is not going to win this election, and it does not even really have a chance of placing that well in the overall poles… which is primarily due to the fact that no one votes third party, which is due to those people convincing themselves that third parties cannot win, which is due to the fact… And ’round and ’round we go.

What can I say? Circular logic makes me giggle.

That is exactly what has been running around and around in my head (how appropriate!) most of this election season, but that I haven’t really been able to put into words in a coherent fashion.

Third parties don’t have a chance because everybody assumes they don’t have a chance, and because nobody wants “the wrong lizard” to win because a third party has split the slightly-less-wrong lizard’s vote. So nobody votes for the human, and we are forever ruled by lizards.

I have a novel idea. Let’s try voting for the human, this time, okay? If everybody who is sick of voting for the lizards votes for the human for a change, he might just have a chance.

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Emily gets her ammunition.

Emily Miller has successfully navigated that labyrinthine laws regarding how to legally purchase ammunition in Washington, D.C. The trick is that you can’t. You have to go somewhere else.

The guide says the sale and transfer of ammo is prohibited unless the seller is a licensed firearms dealer. Well, there’s only one legal gun dealer in the District, Charles Sykes, and he doesn’t sell ammo. He just transfers guns.

[...]

The registration packet does not mention the possibility of ordering ammo online. When I explored that route, I found many big retailers don’t ship to the District. [...] It’s not against the law for retailers to send ammunition through the mail to D.C. residents*, but it seems these stores are all afraid of running afoul of the jurisdictions with the stiffest gun-control laws.

Mere possession of a single round of ammunition for a gun you are not registered to own is punishable by up to a year in jail. This has nothing to do with public safety or crime prevention. As Emily says, “What’s the worst I could do with ammo, but no gun? Throw it hard and knock a tooth out?”

Also note how the DC Police feed her misinformation about Virginia’s gun laws. I am convinced that it is done deliberately. They don’t want the peasants to have guns, so they make the process of legally owning one as onerous and fraught with peril as possible.

The other big trick is lawfully possessing and transporting the ammunition.

In Washington, D.C., it is illegal to posses ammunition if you don’t have a gun registered. It is also unlawful to have ammo that is not in the same caliber or gauge as your legal gun. The penalty for holding a round of the wrong caliber is up to a year in jail — as stiff as the punishment for illegal gun possession.

[...]

Officer Harper told me that ammunition had to be transported in a separate container than locked gun and out of reach of the passenger seat. I put the ammo in a bag in the way back of my SUV.I was still concerned about correctly following D.C. laws, but I needed to save a few rounds to take home so that my gun was no longer just an expensive paper weight.

Check out her whole series, “Emily Gets Her Gun“, if you haven’t already. She illustrates just how the gun laws in our nation’s capital are ridiculously restrictive, and place an onerous burden on the exercise of a Constitutional Right.  They need to be abolished.

* One commenter at the article points out DC Code Title 7 Chapter 2502.02, under which it is probably is illegal, but there is the question of whether this DC law can be applied to an out of state retailer. I can understand why the retailers don’t want to find out.

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[Source: Washington Times article by Emily Miller, retrieved 2/28/12]

Andrew Napolitano brings a brilliant message – Quote of the Day 2012-02-15

With a scathing condemnation exposing the truth of the current political system.

Wow. I don’t think it can be said any better, but I do want to point out, as today’s Quote of the Day, what he says starting at about 2:58.

What if Mitt Romney is being embraced by voters who want anyone but Barack Obama, but they don’t realize that Mitt Romney might as well be Barack Obama on everything, from warfare to welfare.

This is what I’ve been saying all along. Mitt is Obama with less melanin and an “R” behind his name.

Unfortunately, I cannot support Ron Paul, either. His views on the 14th Amendment and the role of the federal courts in enforcing the Bill of Rights against the states, and especially this bill that he introduced in Congress in 2009, are just plain wrong, and are downright dangerous to liberty the protection of civil rights.

It looks like I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson for President this time around. If the current field is the best the Republican Party can put forward, it’s time for them to go the way of the Whigs. The sooner it happens, the better our chances of recovering from the current death spiral without total collapse or chaos are.

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(h/t SayUncle)

Blackout! Stop Government Censorship!

Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. Please watch the video below to learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom, then scroll down to take action.

Support your overseas soldiers

Just in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere, or as a reminder if you have, Linoge is doing a fundraiser for Soldiers’ Angels, a non-profit charity supporting our soldiers abroad and at home.

“May No Soldier Go Unloved,” encapsulates the motivation behind Soldiers’ Angels.   The volunteers of Soldiers’ Angels work tirelessly to demonstrate active care and concern for veterans, the wounded, deployed service members and their families.

To date, our volunteers have sent hundreds of thousands of care packages and letters to “adopted” deployed service members; we have supplied the wounded with over 25,000 of our First Response Backpacks directly at the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan and the major military hospital in Germany, as well as provided care and comfort to those in stateside military and VA facilities; we have provided emergency aid to military families in need; we have partnered with the Department of Defense to provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptops to over 6,000 severely-wounded servicemembers, as well as other technology that supports rehabilitation; we have provided flights to soldiers on leave or in emergency situations, and to their families wanting to be with them upon return from overseas; we provided Level III KEVLAR armored blankets to give personnel extra protection in their vehicles when it was needed early in the Iraq war; and we help to honor and uphold the families whose loved ones have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and safety. With the assistance of our generous supporters , the many volunteers of Soldiers’ Angels have accomplished this and much, much more on behalf of the grateful citizens of the United States of America.

What Linoge is doing is a drawing and prize giveaway, where every five dollars to Soldiers’ Angels nets you one “ticket” towards the prizes – and he has a lot of really good prizes, including one of the new (as yet unnamed) pocket holsters from Dragon Leatherworks and 3 Crimson Trace LightGuards! Go to Walls of the City for a complete list and the rules, then go check out the Soldiers’ Angels shops he links to – or just donate directly!

It’s a good cause, and you might even win some good stuff out of it. And we should all thank Linoge for making the effort.

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Reminder – Operation Campus Safety at Virginia Tech Today

Just a reminder, VCDL‘s Operation Campus Safety is at Virginia Tech today.

We have approval for the protest from 8 AM to 4 PM on Thursday, November 17th.  While some of us will be there early, the main protest will start at 11:30 AM and run until 4 PM.  Speakers will start at 12 Noon and continue until 1:30 PM.

[...]

The protest will be held in front of the Squires Student Center (College Ave./Otey Street side), not far from the town of Blacksburg or the VT Drillfield.

I’m going to try to show up during my lunch, if I can, for at least a little bit. Unfortunately, my remaining vacation time for the year is already allocated, and my lunch time is limited.

Campus Carry bans do nothing more than create Victim Disarmament Zones, and they must no longer be tolerated. VCDL deserves all the support we can give them in this endeavor. (They also need a new website design that better reflects their current activities, but that’s another issue.)

And remember, when a university or college asks for money, tell them:  NO GUNS?  NO FUNDS!

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[Source: VCDL email alert from 10/26/11]

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