Irony Alert


The Cabin Boy™ writes this about some advice he has received—P-O20140416Leaving aside the fact that the “harassment” the Cabin Boy™ thinks he has experienced was actually pushback against the harassment he has dished out, it’s interesting to see that Howard County’s idea of the equal protection of the laws is to tell him the essentially the same thing that they told the Walker family when they sought protection from Schmalfeldt’s online harassment.

The Rule of Lawless


That’s the title of an excellent short essay by Kevin Williamson over at NRO.

The relevant facts are these: 1) Very powerful political interests in Washington insist upon the scrupulous enforcement of environmental laws, and if that diminishes the interests of private property owners, so much the better, in their view. 2) Very powerful political interests in Washington do not wish to see the scrupulous enforcement of immigration laws, and if that undercuts the bottom end of the labor market or boosts Democrats’ long-term chances in Texas, so much the better, in their view.

Read the whole thing.

When you’re finished, take a look at this by George Will. His post deals with a fundamental disconnect between Conservatives and Progressives as described in a new book by Timothy Sandefur.

Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.

Progressives consider, for example, the rights to property and free speech as, in Sandefur’s formulation, “spaces of privacy” that government chooses “to carve out and protect” to the extent that these rights serve democracy.

Read all of this one too.

Justice Stevens and the Second Amendment


A few days ago, retired Justice John Paul Stevens published an op-ed over at WaPo promoting his new book coming out later this month. The hook for his piece was an explanation of how to fix the Second Amendment so that it will mean what he wishes it meant. I’ve been puzzling over how to comment on his essay, but a couple of other bloggers have beat me to the punch.

Clayton E. Cramer demolishes Stevens’s shoddy scholarship in a piece over at PJ Media.

Da Tech Guy points out that Stevens does conservatives a favor by reminding everyone that the Constitution means what it says and not what liberals wish it says.

Read ‘em both.

Trust?


Gallup reports that the people of Illinois have less trust in their state government than the people of any other state. Gallup’s polling found seven states where the government was trusted by less than half the people.

Maryland is one of them.

The population size-trust relationship may help explain the finding that trust in state government tends to be higher in Republican-leaning states than Democratic-leaning ones, since larger states tend to be Democratic and smaller states Republican. Using Gallup’s 2013 data on state party affiliation, average trust in state government is 67% in solidly Republican or Republican-leaning states, 58% in competitive states, and 53% in solidly Democratic or Democratic-leaning states.

Read the whole thing.

An Interesting Correlation


Matthew Lillefielt has a piece over at The Examiner about some of the lobbying done by law enforcement officials during the current session of the Maryland Legislature. He notes that those lobbying against loosening the state’s marijuana laws seem to be from the counties that voted for Mitt Romney, while those favoring liberalization are from … well … liberal counties that voted for Barack Obama.

Of course, correlation doesn’t prove causation, but does Lillefielt mean to say that the parts of our state where people are more likely to be clean and sober are the places that vote Republican?

NOTE—I live in one of those few red counties, but I support decriminalizing marijuana in order to make it less of a moneymaker for criminals. While I think dope should be a legal substance, I view it as a potentially destructive one similar to alcohol. I would like to know how marijuana DUI would be handled before I would be ready to change the law though.

Frankenfish!!!!111!!


Hank Campbell has a post at Science 2.0 about an effort in Washington state to require labeling of genetically modified fish. He points out that the anti-GMO crowd is really the left’s counterpoise to the right’s anti-science creationists.

When conservatives want to put a label on science textbooks because they might contain evolution, they are rightfully mocked for being anti-science. But when progressives want to put a label on food because it might contain GMOs, they are applauded as consumer activists. And science media criticizes the former, but enables the latter, by giving credence to claims it is instead about “not trusting corporations.”

Read the whole thing, and then go read this post by Michael Schulson about Whole Foods. The left does trust some corporations.

The Minimum Wage Economy


Governors Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Dannel Malloy (D-CT) sparred at a press briefing outside the White House follow a National Governors Association meeting with the President. Politico reports that Jindal noted that the President placed great stress on raising the minimum wage during the meeting. “The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy. I think we can do better than that, I think America can do better than that.” He spoke out in favor of action such as reduced regulation or building the XL Pipeline that would benefit Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.

Malloy disagreed noting, “So let me just say that we don’t all agree that moving Canadian oil through the United States is necessarily the best thing for the United States economy.”

Jindal replied, “We think we can grow the economy. We think we can do better than the minimum wage economy.”

Jindal’s remarks do describe what some Americans are now seeing. Unemployment and underemployment are becoming the new normal in many places. We have a measure of prosperity here in the DC area that doesn’t exist in large sections of fly-over country. If Republicans can convince voters that they can do better, this will be a very bad year for Democrats. OTOH, if the voters continue to see Republicans as described by P. J. O’Rouke (“The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.”), …

Sometimes Rules Cut Both Ways


The IRS is proposing to rewrite the rules for 501(c)4 “social welfare” not-for-profit organizations in ways that would drastically reduce their political activities. The general buzz is that this is being done at the behest of Democrats in the Senate who worry about organizations such as Americans for Prosperity. Eliana Johnson has a report over at NRO over the Left’s reaction to the proposed rules.

The proposed regulations have a host of left-leaning groups worried that the 501(c)(4) rules could serve as a template for regulations governing 501(c)(5) nonprofits (unions) and 501(c)(6) groups (trade associations), and they are speaking out.

Also, leftwing 501(c)4 outfits are waking up to the threat to their activities. Being able to help deliver votes engage in voter registration is often a key part of the business model of such organizations.

Don’t Know Much About History


Dan Haar of the Hartford Courant seems unhappy that an overwhelming percentage of gun owners have failed to register their “assault weapons” under Connecticut’s recently enacted law. He wants the law to be enforced.

Emerson wrote a poem about an attempted assault weapons ban and confiscation. It begins

By the rude bridge that arched the flood …

If the opinion leaders in New England 240 years ago had been like Mr. Haar, our national anthem would be God Save the Queen.