Surly Curmudgeon

   The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
  • Somewhere in the crusty outer layer of small towns surrounding the warm creamy center that is Oklahoma City.
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    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    More Killer Cops

    J.J. Johnson has yet another killing-by-cop that apparently warrants not so much as a yawn from the powers-that-be.

    "Of course police officers should get the benefit of the doubt. They're only here to protect us, and their job is so hard."

    Posted by Tom, 2/22/2005 6:34:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Monday, February 21, 2005

    Eminent Tyranny

    Conn. residents fight for homes

    On Tuesday, the court will hear an appeal from Kelo and about a dozen other holdout owners of property near Fort Trumbull State Park. They are trying to prevent the city of New London from seizing their land to clear the way for a private development project that would include a hotel, a conference center and offices.


    Kelo and the other property owners involved in the case say the city's plan does not represent a "public use" for the land. The city disagrees and says all the town's residents would benefit from the project.

    I'm just waiting to hear which of the city leaders are in the pocket of which developers leading the charge on this project.

    Posted by Tom, 2/21/2005 6:21:00 PM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    One of these days I'll learn this

    Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

    Philippians 2:12-13

    Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. As opposed to being overconfident, perhaps, in your own goodness and ability to please God. Or constantly monitoring the spirituality of others. Or playing mouthpiece to the world, preaching hellfire and damnation to everyone who doesn't agree with you.

    Work out whose salvation? And with what attitude?

    Kind of reminds me of a song...

    Lord have mercy
    Christ have mercy
    Lord have mercy on me...

    -- Michael W. Smith

    Posted by Tom, 2/21/2005 6:59:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    George Bush: Drug Dealer

    Bush tries to sell Social Security to the young.

    President Bush (news - web sites) is counting on younger Americans who are skeptical that they'll ever see a dime from Social Security to embrace his plan for reshaping it: Adding individual investment accounts and reducing guaranteed benefits, giving workers greater risks but also the prospect of higher rewards.

    Since Social Security was created 70 years ago, debates about changing it have been dominated by the voices of those who already are retired or hope to be so soon. But this time, proponents and opponents of Bush's proposal are targeting younger Americans.

    The president is trying to cultivate their support while calming older people's concerns; he's promised those 55 and older that they won't be affected by any changes. Rock the Vote and MoveOn, organizations with youthful miens that played active roles in last year's presidential election, are launching major campaigns on Social Security this year.

    "This little blue pill is called NannyState. Just as addictive as heroin, but the nasty side effects take a really long time to kick in. Try it, you'll like it."

    Posted by Tom, 2/17/2005 6:54:00 PM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    Resistance is Futile

    Well, not really, but darn close. Check out the latest from Lew Rockwell over at

    If you have read the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, you know that the Devil is an expert in turning good impulses toward evil ends, and in leading people to misapply virtues in ways that serve the cause of evil.

    Well, so it is with the state. In every age, it takes the intellectual and political fashions alive in the culture, and turns them toward power for itself, money for itself, authority and affection for itself. The end is always and everywhere the same and as predictable as the tides. However, the means the state uses to achieve this end are forever changing in ways that surprise us.


    How to avoid the trap? How does any political movement that begins by being opposed to the state avoid being absorbed by the state? The most crucial step is to decide what you are for and what you are against from the very outset. It is not enough to be against a particular government program or for a particular institution such as the family. What we need is a comprehensive ideology of liberty to displace the comprehensive ideology of statism – with no compromises.

    In the struggle against power, the battle is too important to risk absorption by the enemy. There are no proxies for genuine liberty. Using rhetorical maneuvers to disguise the movement for freedom as something else is dangerous business indeed.

    Posted by Tom, 2/16/2005 7:16:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Thursday, February 10, 2005


    I don't even know where to start.

    Parents Protest Student Computer ID Tags

    The only grade school in this rural town is requiring students to wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move. Some parents are outraged, fearing it will take away their children's privacy.


    Cantrall said he told his children, in the 5th and 7th grades, not to wear the badges. He also filed a protest letter with the board and alerted the ACLU.

    [Principal Earnie] Graham, who also serves as the superintendent of the single-school district, told the parents that their children could be disciplined for boycotting the badges — and that he doesn't understand what all their angst is about.

    There's no discussing the issue with a nitwit like Graham. Do I need to spell it out? Very well...

    H-O-M-E S-C-H-O-O-L

    Totalitarianism draws inexorably closer with every harebrained idea like this that comes along. The second season of Penn & Teller's Showtime show, "Bullshit!" is now out on DVD. I highly recommend Volume 1, episode 2, about people who capitalize on fear. Penn's language is rather unnecessarily harsh, but he makes his point with passion. Nitwits like Graham need to be shot out of a cannon.

    Posted by Tom, 2/10/2005 9:43:00 PM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Friday, February 4, 2005


    Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
    though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
    though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
    yet I will rejoice in the LORD ,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

    Habakkuk 3:17-18

    Posted by Tom, 2/4/2005 5:31:00 PM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Big Government Bush

    Power by Any Other Name...

    Gotta love the Lord of the Rings reference in the accompanying picture.

    Posted by Tom, 2/4/2005 7:03:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Wednesday, February 2, 2005

    Wake up and smell the irony

    Taser International Implements Background Checks on Buyers

    Toledo Prisoner Dies After Being Shocked [by Police] With Taser

    Somehow I think the police will still be able to get Tasers, even with background checks.

    Posted by Tom, 2/2/2005 6:57:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...

    Happy 100, Ayn Rand... old grouch.

    Rand Redux
    Ayn Rand at 100
    Ayn Rand's Contribution to Freedom

    Rand was a significant player in my philosophical development, and while I find much to dislike about her, I think the core of what she was trying to express is still valid and valuable.

    Posted by Tom, 2/2/2005 6:54:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...


    Ruf-Betten’s Ruf Cinema Bed

    Posted by Tom, 2/2/2005 6:52:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...