the “Riot Act”

With all the evictions of the Occupy movement lately, I was thinking about the Riot Act. While I have occasionally been “read the Riot Act”, I had never actually read the Riot Act. To wit:

Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God Save the King!

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

An Illegal Immigration Analogy

I got an e-mail yesterday with an analogy that tries to clarify (one perspective) on the illegal immigration situation in America. I’ve posted the whole message and my reply elsewhere, but the analogy itself, and my counter-analogy are included below.

From the original message:

Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.
Let’s say I break into your house.
Let’s say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.
But I say, “I’ve made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors.
I’ve done all the things you don’t like to do.
I’m hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).


Why can’t people see how ridiculous this is?! Only in America …..

From my response:

Maybe this would have been a better analogy?

Let’s say you break into a house.
Let’s say you evict the current occupants, then ship them off to some really undesirable place you don’t want (yet).
Let’s say while you’re at it, you rape and murder many of them.
Let’s say you then kidnap and enslave some other people to level the old house, and build you a bright shiny new house.
Let’s say while they’re at it, you rape and murder a few of them.
Let’s say once the house is done, you throw the slaves out with nothing but the shirts on their backs (and no land for them either)
NOW Let’s say I break into THAT house.
Let’s say that when you discover me in “your” house, you insist that I leave.
But I say, “I’ll do the work you don’t want, and I’ll pay rent, and I’ll contribute to making the house better.
I’ve done all the things you don’t like to do.”
I’m hard-working and honest (except for when I acted just like you in the beginning).
Have I mentioned that I’ll pay rent?”

So basically the lying, thieving, rapist, murdering, kidnappers want to evict the maid for breaking and entering.

Leave a comment, and let me know where you stand on illegal immigration in the U.S.

Global warming…

I can’t believe that some boneheads in a school district placed absurd restrictions on showing ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘ just because global warming is a theory. For christ’s sake it’s 63 degrees in the middle of January and I only live about 100 miles south of Valley Forge (you remember the place where the Revolutionary Army was almost defeated by the frigid winter), we had better start looking for solutions instead of humoring paid shills for the oil companies in their attempts to continue our absurd energy policies.

On a related note, when will school board members (and journalists) be forced to pass a 6th grade science class so they know the difference between a scientific hypothesis, scientific theory, and a scientific law? The article includes this statement from the school board president Ed Barney:

Asked whether an alternative explanation for evolution should be presented by teachers, Barney said it would be appropriate to tell students that other beliefs exist. “It’s only a theory,” he said.


I have nothing against Evangelicals

What I am opposed to are people that belong to a political party because of single-issue politics, “other-side is evil”, or “my parents were *, so I am too”. Faisal linked to a great article that sums up some of the reasons that I’m opposed to the current republican party, “When Would Jesus Bolt?“.

I’m interested in many of the same issues that conservatives across the country care about: safety, security, economic prosperity, lower crime rates, lower abortion rates, and bringing our military servicefolk home safe. I might disagree on the methods of accomplishing these goals, but I’d be interested in open discussion about the issue and any progress on these goals would be better than what we’re getting today. The current GOP simply fosters hate and discord to further their own political agenda – an agenda that only focusses on the interests of big business.
But that focus on big business doesn’t improve America when the big business being catered to isn’t even american; the president’s ill-fated attempt to turn our ports over to middle-eastern companies is a perfect example. The interests of big business are well-cared for by their money and influence; they don’t need our govenment to protect them. But that protection is what they receive, and in spades – just look at Enron, WorldCom, Microsoft, telcos, tobacco, and the oil industry. This country wasn’t founded on the protection of the corporate profit, and no company has ever bled for freedom. Men and women, american men and women, have given their lives to protect our freedom, and we should honor their memory by electing a government that is willing to live up to those ideals – that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are individual liberties not the rights of Wall Street. What this country needs is a government that looks out of the interests of it’s people, all it’s people. And on this I think we can all agree.

We cannot, and should not, ask our elected government to change. We can only tell them that their time has ended and to replace them with civil servants dedicated to the cause that so many have died to protect. We have no rights as a people where we will not accept the responsibility to act in defense of those rights. Take back your government; reclaim the rights our fore-fathers paid so dearly to obtain, so “…that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

I’m tired of this…

Between our current lousy administration and the local government enacting legislation just to force students out of the community, I’m really getting fed up. This time, Congress has proposed cutting NPR & PBS budgets by 23% now, and completely in 2 years.

From an article in the Boston Globe:

On a party-line vote, the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees health and education funding approved the cut to the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes money to the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio.


The same appropriations subcommittee called last year for an even more drastic cut of $223 million from public broadcasting programs. At the time, Republicans attacked the PBS for programming they said represented out-of-the-mainstream viewpoints, …

Check out the article yourself for more details, and sign the petition against this move over at

Erosion of State

This country is eroding out under us as our government strips the citizens of Constitutional rights.

Today, I took my friend Chris’ advice, I joined the EFF and ACLU. My next step is get hooked up with the Maryland Democratic Party and see what I can do to help.

For the record, Maryland’s primary elections are Sept. 12, 2006 and the general election is Nov. 7, 2006. I plan on voting in both (electronic voting machines nothwithstanding).

I urge you to take action: do some, or all of the above; leave me a comment about other ways to make a difference; or simply take action on your own.

If we start acting like we care about what happens in this country, maybe we can make it a better place (again).

BTW: for those who are wondering what’s gotten into me, check out this and this.

Uncommon Sense: That About Sums it Up

While I don’t often agree with Richard Nikoley over at Uncommon Sense (not that I always disagree either), his post, “That About Sums it Up” is right on the money (well, except that Democrats are evil bit).

From the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:

…”Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus, 1883