Leave Us Alone!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."

That old saying has been attributed to Mark Twain, Gideon J. Tucker, and probably others. Whoever said it first, it still holds true today. Here's an excerpt from a commentary, by Amity Shales, that I heard on Marketplace last Friday:
They call it the Congressional Effect: the fact that Wall Street does better in periods like August, when Congress is on holiday. And not just somewhat better.

Nearly all the gains in the Dow over a century have come when Congress was on holiday. That's what two scholars, Michael Ferguson and H.D. Witte, recently demonstrated. The S&P 500 also shows a strong correlation between Congressional breaks and gains.

The market fears Congress and so tends to keep its head down when Congress is sitting.

You can read or listen to Ms. Shales' entire commentary here.

M_____f___ing Lobsters on a M_____f___ing Plane!

From NPR, here's an interesting interview with Tony Jabbour, general manager of a company that sells lobsters to passengers in the Halifax airport.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Are British Drug Warriors Objectively Pro-Hezbollah?

From the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs:
Israeli forces report finding night vision equipment manufactured in the UK in the possession of Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. News accounts indicate that the equipment was sold by the UK to Iran and was intended to "bolster Iranian efforts to combat heroin smuggling across the Afghan border as part of the UN Drug Control Program."

(entire article here, link via The Volokh Conspiracy)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Branch of the Linden is Leafy and Green

This column, by Arthur C. Brooks, which appeared in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, has attracted a lot of attention from the blogosphere. Professor Brooks writes:
Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%--explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.

(entire column here)

Does this mean that we'll be ruled by social conservatives in our old age, as these Republican children reach maturity? I'm skeptical.

If this trend has been going on for the past thirty years, that would mean that voters under the age of thirty would tend to vote Republican, right?

Well, most polls indicate just the opposite. A George Washington University poll of 18-30 year olds found that "...more young voters say they are Democrat than Republican (39% to 31%)." A Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month found 18- to 29-year-old voters to be less likely than their older counterparts to hold conservative opinions on social and cultural issues. In 2004, CNN's exit poll found that 56% of voters under the age of 30 voted for John Kerry.

As these youngsters age, and vote in greater numbers, I don't think they'll give the Democrats too much to worry about.

Monday, August 21, 2006

More Quick Links

I'm sorry I haven't posted my own thoughts for a while. I've been preoccupied with other matters. Here's some reading material for you while you wait for me to come up with an original thought of my own.

At The Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr links to Thomas Davies' "Recovering the Original Fourth Amendment."

Radley Balko of The Agitator links to a persuasive anti-drug war video from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

I was surprised to see Brooke Oberwetter of Parenthetically endorse a hotline to report smoking ban violations, but upon reading her post, I must admit that her logic is unassailable. Ms Oberwetter writes:
...if there's a hotline, we can track down the people who call it and arrest them on charges of insufferable douche-baggery.
In another post, Ms. Oberwetter asks for your vote in this poll.

I was sad to read that Chris Baker, editor of the Ohio 2nd Blog, is calling it quits.

At Nobody's Business, Rogier van Bakel paints a nighmarish picture of life in the United Kingdom, where the police state and nanny state are running amok:

Ah, Britain. Where you can be fined for saying 'fuck' in a private conversation. Where every single child will soon be fingerprinted. Where all people will be ordered to carry an I.D. card at all times, to be swiped every time they withdraw a fairly small amount of money from the bank, buy an airline ticket, apply for a fishing license, purchase property, apply for a library card, get a prescription filled, and so on. Where the government wants to make the possession of "abusive porn" a crime. Where you can be sentenced to 80 hours of community service for wearing the wrong T-shirt. Where having a pen knife in your car can get you arrested. Where being too fat can get you carted off to a mental institution. Where government workers will come to your home to verify you're not using too much electricity, and to note whether or not you smoke. Where all vehicles' whereabouts will soon be monitored by satellite 24/7. Where you'll get fined for using a pencil instead of a pen when filling out a form. Where people are captured by video surveillance cameras some 300 times a day. Where officials tell you how to go to the bathroom.

(link via The Agitator)

Lawrence Taylor of the DUI Blog asks whether breath-alcohol test machines discriminate against women.

The Lope was recently in my ancestral homeland of Southwest Ohio, and has some great pictures of Cincinnati's Union Terminal, the Aglamesis Brothers' ice cream shop, the U.S. Air Force museum, and Lebanon, Ohio.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quick Links (Security Panic Edition)

Recommended reading on the latest terror plot and the ensuing panic:

Ron Bailey of Reason magazine, puts your risk of dying from terrorism in perspective.

Also at Reason, Jacob Sullum critiques the new TSA security rules.

At Wolfesblog, Silver makes a good point about a previous liquid bomb attack on an airliner.

Glenn Greenwald of Unclaimed Territory refutes the claim that the liquid bomb plot shows the need for President Bush's illegal, warrantless domestic spying scheme.

Jennifer of Ravings of a Feral Genius laments the demise of the Fourth Amendment. She also makes a good point about all the supposedly potentially dangerous liquids that were confiscated from passengers.

At Boing Boing, Mark Frauenfelder asks "If the liquid could be explosive, why are you dumping it in a crowd?" (link via As Ohio Goes)

Finally, some words of wisdom from Bruce Schneier (link via Battlepanda):
And if you want to know what you can do to help? Don't be terrorized. They terrorize more of us if they kill some of us, but the dead are beside the point. If we give in to fear, the terrorists achieve their goal even if they were arrested. If we refuse to be terrorized, then they lose -- even if their attacks succeed.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Operation Iraqi Freedom, Part IX

It seems that Saddam Hussein's rape rooms have been re-opened under new management. Here's a link to audio of a report I heard on NPR's Morning Edition last week. Jamie Tarabay interviewed women serving time or awaiting trial in Iraqi prisons and jails. Several of the women report being raped by Iraqi police or tortured into giving false confessions.

These are the people our government helped put into power, and whom our government continues to prop up. Yep, freedom is on the march!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"Or Some Other Candidate?" (Part II)

I'd have a lot more faith in these Survey USA polls (link via Buckeye State Blog) if they didn't give the respondents the option of selecting "some other candidate." The filing deadline for independent candidates was back in may, so no "other candidate" will appear on the ballot.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Races of the Week, Part II

Yesterday I promised selections for the Clement Hirsch Handicap and the Haskell Invitational. I also mistakenly identified the Haskell as a handicap race. It always used to be a handicap. When did they change it?

Invasor came through for me yesterday in the Whitney, and in the Hirsch, I'll bet another Argentine import. Star Parade has been winning every other race lately. She likes today's distance of a mile and a sixteenth, and she has tactical speed. The Daily Racing Form provides free past performances.

My selection in the Haskell is Deputy Glitters. Deputy Glitters has tactical speed, and appears to like a two-turn mile and an eighth. Equibase and the Form provide free past performances.

Finally, this is the last "Races of the Week" post here at Leave Us Alone. No, I'm not quitting. I've decided to spin off the weekly horse racing selections into a new blog, The $2 Window. Over there, I'll continue to post weekly selections, and some other stuff relating to racing and gambling. Next week, I'll see you at the $2 Window.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Races of the Week

It looks like I've started a new streak. Last week, both of my selections finished out of the money again. Sunriver finished last in the Jim Dandy Stakes and Carthage was fifth in the Bing Crosby Handicap. I'll try to break my losing streak this weekend.

This week, the Daily Racing Form's races of the week are the Whitney Handicap, to be run today at Saratoga and the Clement Hirsch Handicap, to be run tomorrow at Del Mar. Equibase's race of the week is the Haskell Invitational Handicap, scheduled for tomorrow at Monmouth Park.

My selection in the Whitney is Invasor. I'm still marveling at the impressive move he made to come back and win the Pimlico Special a couple of months ago. The Daily Racing Form provides free past performances.

I'll post my selections for tomorrow's races later today or early tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's Hot Outside. Blame the Mayor

Here's an item from Andrew Warner's latest litany of grievances against Mayor Mark Mallory (D-Cincinnati):

"And while utility bills and a scorching heat wave are beating the every day person down, Mayor Mallory has offered no relief."

Apparently Mr. Warner wants a mayor who can control the weather. I think that might require a charter amendment.