Skip to main content

RANDOM THOUGHTS #4 - B.B. KING, WYOMING/FIRST AMENDMENT, FAST TRACK/PROGRESSIVES

B.B. KING
Rest In Peace.

I'm not capable of adding significantly to what will be written about B.B. in the coming weeks and months. But here's a tip. If you're not into guitar-driven blues, and I understand that not everyone is, give a listen to Let the Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan. It's mostly swing and jive. It's upbeat and fun. And the players are top notch. You won't hear overmuch of B.B.'s guitar but you'll get a good feel for the man's joyous feel for music.


WYOMING/FIRST AMENDMENT
Slate reports that the Wyoming legislature has just passed a law making it illegal on open lands to gather data intended for use to report, among other things, environmental crimes to the state or federal government. The report suggests that taking a photograph of a criminal environmental act in Wyoming (illegal dumping in a watercourse on federal land, for instance) would result in a jail term for the photographer.

Folks out West are fond of saying that the federal government has overreached its authority, that it's time for citizens to take back their government. Instead of government telling us what to do, so the rationale goes, we should be telling the government what to do. Well, how do you take back your government if your government criminalizes that act of exposing lawlessness? How do you tell your government that your neighbor has polluted your water if your government doesn't allow you to provide the proof?

Libertarians should be up in arms. My Libertarian friends have justified defunding the EPA to me by insisting that citizens have the right to sue polluters who befoul their air and water. That should be enough, they say. But how do citizens sue polluters if citizens are prevented from gathering evidence against them? How can the First Amendment be twisted sufficiently to ban photography on open lands, notwithstanding the First Amendment right to petition the government?

Shame on Wyoming, whose legislature is over 80% Republican. I wonder. Do they call themselves Conservatives?

FAST TRACK/PROGRESSIVES
There's nothing more disappointing to an old-school Liberal than being presented with proof that Progressives are just as intellectually dishonest as Conservatives.

Senate Democrats continue to oppose Obama's request for 'fast track' trade pact authority. Understand, the Senate is not considering a treaty. The Senate is considering fast tracking the treaty, whether or not to hold an up-or-down, simple majority, no amendments, no filibuster vote on whatever treaty Obama eventually negotiates and sends to the Senate. It seems like just yesterday that Senate Democrats were excoriating their Republican counterparts for interfering with Obama's ability to negotiate with a foreign power (Iran), interfering before the terms of the deal were known. In the recent past, Senate Democrats have also spoken forcefully for up-and-down, no filibuster, simple majority votes on any number of issues.

Shame on Senate Democrats. Shame on Progressives. They have acted with no more philosophical consistency than their Conservative counterparts.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless. From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch. Let me count the ways... RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking ab

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t

FINDING A HOUSE IN FRANCE: FIRST STEPS #2

  First, be advised. I am not an expert in anything except my own experiences. And my experiences are confined to a particular time and place. If you have issues, I welcome them in Comments. We've been house hunting in Herault on several occasions since 2003. (Herault is a French department, somewhere between an American county and a state.) We twice visited to find a holiday home from which to learn about and explore the region. After deciding that this region of France was where we wanted to settle in our retirement, another search led to our current home of seven and a half years. And recently, we searched for a home with broader, gentler stairs given the state of our old bones. So I do speak from experience. As always, my advice is free of charge and worth every penny. There's no multiple listing service in France. Each agent has their own website and, while some agencies do cooperate with partner agencies, it can easily be the case that there is a house for sale next door