Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Get off the streets and back in school, you sanctimonious fools.

I have no problem with immigration. Immigration happens because of economics: we have more jobs here than we have people to take them, so we have immigration: unskilled labor from poor countries, skilled labor from developing countries. With all the proposals in Congress right now over immigration - some draconian, some laughable, none workable - students in various cities, including Dallas, are walking out of their high schools and protesting.

Yesterday, a girl in a car driven by a 15-year-old on their way to the protest had both her hands severed as the car flipped over. Later, the students, waving Mexican flags, stormed city hall.

Whoa now.

The idea behind immigration is that the immigrants, or at least their children, assimilate. That means not storming government buildings waving foreign flags. Of all the things to do do get the government to expand immigration, that isn't it.

Looks like they'd have done better staying in school.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Stop and think harder.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex now has an easy, convenient way to identify opinionated morons: those with Stop and Think signs in their front yards. Unsurprisingly, the signs lead you to a website, which raises concerns about repealing the Wright Amendment, my personal favorite being
If the Wright Amendment changes, what changes next?
I usually find such overpowering stupidity humorous, until it comes to this: hardcore conservatives who probably think that lesbians really do destroy capitalism, and then don't see the contradiction when they support a law that eliminates competition.

The main argument against repealing the law is that it will hurt D/FW airport.


The fact is, Love Field is small, and has no room to expand. D/FW is the size of Manhattan. Love Field can't handle the cargo or the passengers that D/FW does, and it never will. Love is, however, convenient for Dallasites, so we use it, but only, at this point, to get to a select handful of locations. Increasing Love Field's traffic will only temporarily decrease that of D/FW, if it does so at all. Competition helps the consumers, though maybe not occasionally profitable monstrous bureaucracies like American Airlines. Which is more important?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Don't like getting made fun of? Don't go outside.

Tucker Max is getting sued.

Tucker Max's respectability is essentially a moot point, so this post should not be taken as defending his actions, though I personally find the guy hilarious. What matters here is that he's being sued for posting a story on his website, because he made fun of some guy's party which fizzled and died. This guy, however, owns a Pittsburgh PR firm, and has already sued the restaurant which hosted the party and several other entities over the fact that he sucks at partying.

The law he's being sued under is one I posted about earlier, one which I think (hope) is so clumsy no sane judge would uphold it. Max is a smart guy who'se been sued once before (he won), so I think he has a good chance - and if he fails, we're all in big trouble.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

...And they're still talking.

I've received two letters by email in response to mine, and the DMN printed another today. Here are all three:
Jared Ambra (”Legal drugs? Nonsense,” 3/15/06) bases his conclusion on a false assumption. There is no evidence that legalizing all drugs would lead to a sharp increase in drug use. On the contrary, the only drug that has shown a marked decrease in use during the drug war is tobacco. It has always been legal in this country. The FDA is even precluded from regulating it.

In January, 2004 the United Kingdom decriminalized marijuana use. By September, 2005, regular use was down slightly, mostly among those aged 11 to 15.

The Dutch have the most famously different drug laws from ours. They use marijuana at less than half the U.S. rate. The average age of first use of marijuana in

The Netherlands is 20. In the United States, it is 16. The rate of heroin addiction in The Netherlands is less than one-third the U.S. rate.

While drug prohibition does little to deter drug use, it insures the continuation of a business that funnels $12 billion per week (a UN estimate) to thugs who operate without regulation and use violence and corruption as ordinary business practices.

Suzanne Wills
Drug Policy Forum of Texas

This letter gives some nice ammo to use against folks like Ambra. The second:

Re: “Legal drugs? Nonsense,” by Jared Ambra, March 15 letter.

Not as many people laughing at Nigel Watt's “If drugs were just legal” March 11 letter as Jared Ambra thinks. Among those not laugh are Mayor Rocky Anderson, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Walter Cronkite, Hugh Downs, Former Police Chiefs Penny Harrington and Joseph McNamara and Norm Stamper, Former Governor Gary Johnson, Former Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach,, Former Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy, and Former Mayor Kurt Schmoke.

Judge Nancy Gertner criticized the "drug war" for spending too much federal funds while depriving Americans of liberty saying, “...I'm joined with a whole litany of judges which I didn't realize before I started this. Really, senior judges..., not so senior judges, active judges, state, federal all across the political spectrum. They are not just Clinton judges. They are not [just] Bush judges. They are Reagan judges. All across the political spectrum, as I said, have called out and talked out against this war on drugs from a perspective of people from the front line. So I'm not alone. Why are we here? What is it that we see?”

Please explain your thoughts and “common sense” to these folks, Jared.

Odis Ellis

A (to me) previously unknown judicial perspective. The third, published in the DMN today:
Re: "Legal drugs? Nonsense," Wednesday Letters to the Editor.

Jared Ambra suggests that legalizing street drugs, which compete directly with legal drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, prescription pills and methadone, would have disastrous effects on society. All of these drugs have a negative impact on society. Alcohol has done tremendous damage. Why pick on some drugs and not all drugs? Because big business can't compete with street drugs, since demand for illegal drugs has never faltered. If you look at the statistics since we declared war on drugs, the people on drugs have been winning. We can stay the course on our illogical war on drugs and keep defense lawyers happy, but if we don't change our approach, we will always get the same, losing results.

Jimmie Blanton, Mesquite

Always nice to know there are rational folks out there.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A response, and mine to it.

The DMN published a response to my letter (post below) on Wednesday, this:

Re: "If drugs were just legal," by Nigel Watt, Saturday Letters.

This laughable letter makes the simplistic argument that since drug violence is caused by drugs' illegality, if we would use a little thought and common sense, we would legalize all of them and therefore rid ourselves of the violence and millions of tax dollars spent curtailing drug-related crime and its related issues.

What about the health care burdens of rampant drug use? What about the effects on families and teens who are already more susceptible to trying new things? Overdoses? Car wrecks, shootings and assaults caused by people who were high?

It's not too difficult to foresee the potentially disastrous effects of legalizing drugs. It just takes a little thought and common sense.

Jared Ambra, Cedar Hill

OK, several points:
  • I didn't give it that silly title, the paper did.
  • He concedes my main point (that drug violence is caused by their being illegal) and then ignores it: "Car wrecks, shootings and assaults caused by people who were high?"
  • He fails to realize that anybody who wants drugs today can get them, so "rampant drug use" wouldn't suddenly happen if legalization did.
  • Health care burdens caused by people destroying themselves are the best argument against medical welfare programs.
  • There's never any call to be rude.
Unrelatedly, the Texas LP has a contact list of candidates for this year.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Woohoo, the Dallas Morning News actually published one.

Letter sent in response to drug-related violence in Laredo and published in this morning's Dallas Morning News:

There's an easy solution to the violence on both sides of the river caused by the Zetas and other drug cartels, a solution that would also save hundreds of millions, if not billions, of taxpayer dollars: legalize drugs.

A little thought and common sense is all it takes to realize that drugs only lead to violence because of their illegality: There are no Colombian coffee cartels or Chilean copper cartels, because cartels are not a viable business model for trading a legal product.

Nigel Watt, president, Highland Park High School Libertarians, Dallas

Monday, March 06, 2006

Federal money comes with strings attached? Who could've guessed?

Supreme Court rules that colleges that accept federal money must allow military recruiters

As much as the various tentacles of the federal government often contradict each other (like the EPA fining the DoE), it's no secret that the government, like any organization, has a set agenda, and part of that agenda is military. So if colleges accept federal money, they've got to accept federal guidelines.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

What is this, Pyongyang?

There's some controversy in my part of the Metroplex (Highland Park) about widening the main thoroughfare through the area, Mockingbird Lane. (This Google Map shows the importance of the street.) Due to the small population of Highland Park and the fact that both termini of Mockingbird are in Dallas, most of the traffic on Mockingbird is Dallasite in origin and destination. Currently it's a two-lane streeth throughout Highland Park, which makes it an absolute nightmare to drive on during any reasonable time of day. So recently, the HP Town Council brought up widening the street - only to meet with horror from residents. After some consideration, I've decided that widening the street is in fact a bad idea, because it simply cannot function as a major artery. Houses are built rather close to the street along it, and between Douglas and Armstrong, it's covered by 20-mph school zone around 8AM - inconvenient for anybody trying to get to work. A few recent articles in the Dallas Morning News only strengthened my position, if only because their arguments for widening Mockingbird were obnoxiously populist in nature. So, as usual, I sent them a letter which they won't publish, and they'll print a few more columns against the residents of Highland Park, and all is well.