If You Like The Drug War, You Should Love Obamacare

Posted November 17, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

Here’s a good example of what I was trying to say in this post (and comments thereto):

If the generation of “limited government” lawmakers freshly chosen to man the trenches in Washington wishes to be taken seriously, the butcher’s bill must include some of the social conservatives’ sacred cows.

Starting with the War on Drugs.

Many conservatives have long argued that the federal government is broadly empowered to prosecute the drug war under Congress’s authority over interstate commerce. In the name of the drug war, they have been willing to allow federal law-enforcement officers to prosecute seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana in compliance with their states’ laws.

Many of those same conservatives are now finding that the terrible, swift sword of expansive federal power that they endorsed in the name of drug prohibition has now been turned on them in the form of Obamacare’s individual mandate.

Of course, I’m not discussing the wisdom of either. The issue is whether either is constitutional. Go ahead and search Article I, section 8 for the part that allows Congress to regulate drug use, or health insurance. Actually, let me save you the effort: You won’t find either. Both laws, rather than finding explicit, or even obvious implicit, sources in the text of the Constitution, are results of very, very broad readings of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. As the article explains, the Government is currently using drug war cases expanding the commerce clause as justification for Obamacare.

In other words, this is yet another opportunity for the newly vocal limited government crowd to demonstrate some bona fides. If the real concern is an overreaching Congress, then Obamacare and the Drug War must die. If one escapes? Something other than passions for limited government is the real concern.


New (To Me) Music

Posted November 16, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

Sometime last summer, I picked up Push the Button by the Chemical Brothers from the used cd store. After one listen, I lost it. Two days ago, I found it in – shockingly – my cd collection, in the C’s. Like I said, it’s not new other than to me, but I’ve had it on repeat in the car since finding it.

The first track is good stuff, especially since it features Q-Tip.

The penultimate is probably my favorite.

Tea Partiers Support (Or At Least Won’t Attack) Civil Liberties?

Posted November 15, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized


A gay conservative group and some Tea Party leaders are campaigning to keep social issues off the Republican agenda.

In a letter to be released Monday, the group GOProud and leaders from groups like the Tea Party Patriots and the New American Patriots, will urge Republicans in the House and Senate to keep their focus on shrinking the government.

From the letter:

Already, there are Washington insiders and special interest groups that hope to co-opt the Tea Party’s message and use it to push their own agenda – particularly as it relates to social issues.  We are disappointed but not surprised by this development.  We recognize the importance of values but believe strongly that those values should be taught by families and our houses of worship and not legislated from Washington, D.C.

We urge you to stay focused on the issues that got you and your colleagues elected and to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit holes in order to appease the special interests.

To this point, I’ve generally scoffed at any tea partier who crows about “limited government,” or who fears “tyranny.” Why? For the same reason I scoff at people who whine about state’s rights, or judicial activism. In the vast majority of cases, those terms are nothing but pretexts for more specific policy preferences. In other words, just as the same people who want states to decide the issue of abortion also want a federal law banning gay marriage, the same people who think an increase in the top  tax rates is the return of George the III also are just fine with the president claiming the authority to, sua sponte, execute American citizens.

I don’t want this to be the case. I really wish we had a large group of actual voters who really want liberty of all kinds. So, I hope I’m wrong about the Tea Partiers. I’d love it if they’d attack not just Obamacare, but also the Patriot Act.

Does this letter mean that will happen? Dunno. My hopes are not high. First, as many have emphasized in many ways, there is no Tea Party, just groups of folks using the name. Sure some leaders have signed this letter, but that carries no official weight. Second, the nut cases who have taken over the GOP over the last few decades have a lot of money and influence. They are not going to give up their power. Third, and most disappointingly, the letter does not ask Republicans to actually work in favor of liberty. There’s nothing about ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or ending extraordinary rendition. All the letter does is ask the Republicans to resist attacking civil liberties; not “to run down any social issue rabbit holes.” I’ll be happy if they take that advice, but not nearly as happy as I’d be if they’d actually support all kinds of liberty, instead of the type that only involves their donors’ pockets.

For Once, Regional NFL Coverage Didn’t Suck

Posted November 14, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

I hate, hate, hate when we get stuck watching the Texans. There are no Texans fans anywhere outside Houston, if even there. Why the networks think anyone in North Louisiana would rather watch them than the national game is beyond me. So, normally, I skip the NFL when we’re stuck with regional coverage.

This week, however, we had a complicating factor – Gus Johnson was calling the game. Bill Simmons, writing for ESPN last week about today’s Houston-Jacksonville game, explains:

The Law of Gus Johnson is sweeping the nation: He’s called four straight weeks of games that were genuinely exciting (Jets-Lions, Bills-Chiefs, Bengals-Falcons, Chiefs-Texans) and this battle between two David Lee teams (all offense, no defense) looks like No. 5.

I keep mentioning the Law of Gus without ever really defining it, so let’s do it right now. If Gus Johnson is calling an NFL game, the odds quintuple that (A) the lead will change hands in the fourth quarter; (B) someone will complete a long pass in a big moment that will make Gus’ voice hit an octave only dogs can hear; and (C) the game will go into overtime or at least come damned close. It seems impossible that the mere presence of an announcer would alter the course of the game, but here’s my theory: I think God sits in his Man Cave on Sundays and says, “Which game is that Gus Johnson calling? I get a kick out of that guy. I think I’ll make his game exciting and see if he completely loses his mind.”

Taking the law to heart, I watched. The outcome? Check, check and check. The final play was one of the most ridiculous events I’ve ever seen, and yes, my dog howled at Gus’ call.

“Cam Newton linked romantically to your mom”

Posted November 13, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

Be sure to click on the image so you can read all of it. Awesome.

Drew Brees, Veterans Day, And Dwight Eisenhower

Posted November 11, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

First, thank you to all  Veterans.

Second, by writing this Veterans Day editorial for USA Today, Drew Brees once again proves that in addition to being the World’s Greatest Quarterback, he’s also a hell of a guy.

These [WWII] veterans are leaving us. Now in their 80s and 90s, they are dying at the rate of 797 a day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. I urge families to seek out these veterans. Thank them for their service. Ask them questions. Let your children listen.

They will learn about battles fought in Burmese jungles and on Italian hills. Hear of the heroism displayed on Normandy’s beaches and in submarines beneath the Pacific. And it wasn’t just the soldiers. Millions of American women streamed into the factories to build planes, tanks and ships so vital to our victory. These women symbolized the “we can do it” spirit of the home front. . . .

America’s freedom was endangered. They fought for it, and they saved it. And our children need to know it. Our vanishing WWII vets can teach them that a nation, united and working together, can secure any victory.

Third, about the man who officially made it Veterans Day. We had a very nice Veterans Day program at school, put on by our Air Force JROTC program, and attended by several local vets. It was, though, absent any history of the holiday. To remedy that, I took about fifteen minutes of class to show a quick video, and have a discussion. To make sure the students paid attention, I gave them several questions to answer as they watched, one of which was: “Who changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day?”

Easy question; everyone who was awake during that part of the video got it correct. But, check out some  ways they spelled the answer.


D. White

President D. Isenhoward

D. Isenhire

Dwight Isenthourse

And my favorite.

White D. Isac Howard

Glad I’m not an English teacher.

Right, And My World Geography Text Puts Too Much Credibility In The Theory Of A Round Eath

Posted November 10, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

Ugh, the stupid, it hurts:

Some proposed high school biology textbooks are under fire because critics say they put too much credibility in the theory of evolution, officials said Monday.

A state panel is set to review the issue Friday after Louisiana’s top school board last month delayed action on the textbooks amid questions.

Critics contend some biology I, biology II and other school books under scrutiny  for public classrooms put too much credence in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Note the criticism comes from the Louisiana Family Forum, a gay bashing socially conservative religious group, and not any kind of scientific organization. Note also the proposed addition to the text is not another scientific theory, but the new creationism: Intelligent Design.

This crap bugs me. Evolution is the scientific explanation of how life became what it is today. Any serious faith ought to be able to deal with that. If it can’t, well, faith that exists in denial of reality ain’t much of a faith. And in any event, religious theories of life have no business in public schools, especially in science classes. Teach it at home.

Cam Newton Channels Mark McGwire

Posted November 9, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

Weak sauce in response to allegations he left his first school after stealing one student’s laptop and another’s research paper:

“I’m not going to entertain something that happened, not three months ago, or six months ago, but two years ago,” Newton said of the cheating allegations. “I’m not going to stand up here and say whether I did or did not do it. I don’t want to beat a dead horse. It’s not going to affect me in any way, shape or form.

McGwire, of course, said the same thing to Congress about allegations he used steroids. McGwire’s statements were pathetic at the time, only to become more so when he later admitted his steroid use. Newton’s are pathetic now. We’ll see about the future.


If This Is True, Cam Newton Is A Piece Of Trash

Posted November 9, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

Allegedly, while at Florida, before transferring to Junior College and then Auburn,  he was not only a cheater, but a worthless thief:

Newton was arrested for the theft of a laptop from a Florida student’s dorm room in November 2008. He again violated the university’s honor code by putting his name on another student’s paper and turning it in, according to the source. Newton was caught after the instructor asked the real author of the paper why he had not turned in his work, the source said.

According to the source, after the student said he had turned in a paper, he and the instructor went through all the submissions and discovered that Newton had put his name on the paper in question.

Shockingly, the Prof let Newton have time to submit another paper. Newton did so, but it was a paper he purchased from the internet.

I’ve enjoyed watching Newton play this year; even him slaying LSU was amazing. (Or would have been if I had been able to watch it. Damn you KSLA!) I’m also more than willing to give him a pass on the allegations about his representative (not an agent!) seeking cash from several schools in exchange for Newton’s services. But stealing another student’s laptop? And, worse, stealing someone else’s hard work because Newton was too damn lazy to do it himself? Unforgivable. If these allegations are true, I will forever root for Newton to fail at everything he does.

As If Yesterday Wasn’t Enough

Posted November 7, 2010 by Wheeler
Categories: Uncategorized

The Saints dominated today. Ditto the Giants, scoring forty-one for the second straight game. I have no idea when (or if) that last occurred. So all my favorite college and pro teams won.

Tempering my glee, some of my most despised pro teams won. But if the Cowboys can drop to one and seven tonight, that’ll make up for the good fortune of the Vikings, Jets and Eagles.

Update: Yes!