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05/29/2003 Archived Entry: ""
Cartoon of the day by Jack Ohman -- "You Are Watching Big Brother."
I am quick to criticize Homeland Security in the US and, so, I have an obligation to blast Canada whenever it wantonly violates natural rights in the name of security. The Toronto Star reports "A man being held in a Toronto jail who has not been charged with or convicted of any offence is there solely because he is an Arab Muslim, the lawyer for alleged security threat Mahmoud Jaballah said today. Jaballah, 40, has been held in solitary confinement for 27 months without being charged and without the right to apply for bail." Jaballah is trapped in a Catch 22. A federal court has ruled that his detention constitutes an abuse of power and that he can't be returned to his native Egypt because he faces torture and possibly death. But because he was arrested on a national security certificate, he cannot apply for bail until after a ruling is made on whether the certificate is "reasonable." This is hideous.
Meanwhile, Stateside, as the feds cut taxes, the individual states hike them. The Christian Science Monitor reports, "Faced with budget shortfalls and mounting pressure to avoid cutting social services during economic doldrums, more state lawmakers are abandoning their usual reluctance and raising taxes, some boldly enough to risk their political futures in the process. Alabama, New York, California, and Nevada are moving to raise taxes by record amounts. The growing gap between Washington and states on taxes stems partly from the requirement most states face to balance their budgets - a mandate Washington doesn't have." Meanwhile, some cities are even worse than the states, with New York City being a prime example. The New York Daily news reports, "That black license plate frame that came with your car? Illegal. $55 fine. Taking up two seats on a train? $50. Feeding pigeons in the park? Another $50. It used to be that most cops wouldn't bother writing a ticket for minor and obscure infractions." Other ticketed offenses: blocking your own driveway, riding a bicycle without a bell, and improperly bundling newspapers for recycling. I don't know how long the money-grab can go on. I don't know how long the spree of drunken spending on emergency security can continue. I mean, how long can an "emergency" last?
Today's most interesting email: The following link has an interesting discussion of U.S. government plans to fund research, develepment, and insurance for thousands of small atomic reactors. The reactors would produce power, and hydrogen. The hydrogen could be used to fuel automobiles. The article emphasizes the security aspects, but what I found interesting was the resemblance (in terms of financing) to the original atomic energy program. From a putatively free market administration, we are getting large scale industrial policy initiative. I wonder where the defense tie in is this time.
On the personal front, it looks like "XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography" will be translated into French and re-published in Europe. I'll keep people informed of progress.
Best to all,