THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 405, February 11, 2007
"When you end up having to force people to behave
as if they agreed with you, it's almost certainly
because what you're peddling is horseshit."
The Worst Person In The World
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
Forget the "Ugly American" tourist overseas. There are a number of ugly Americans right here in America, a good number of them government employees of one form or another. Leaving aside the usual suspects (King George III and his merry band of Death Eaters), I am taking a page from MS-NBC commentator Keith Olberman and presenting for your consideration a number of ugly Americans that need to step away from the crack pipe.
Bad: A tie between California and Texas legislators
Two California Assembly drones have introduced a bill that would make the possession, sale and use of incandescent light bulbs illegal by 2012. Granted, incandescent is old technology. Granted, switching to florescent will reduce See-Oh-Two emissions from powerplants by 1300 pounds per bulb per year, starving a lot of trees in the process. Just one problem: The claimed $55 savings over 8 years will not happen, particularly if you live in an area served by National Grid.
Voice of experience talking here: National Grid bills are based less on the amount of electricity you use and more on what they think you should pay them in a given month. You could have a nuclear generator in your back yard and you would still have to cough up $40 for zero kilowatt-hours used from their grid. So much for "deregulation."
Incentives to use alternate lighting is a good thing, particularly when the bugs get worked out of the full-spectrum white LED's, which are even more efficient than fluorescent. Sending the "Lightbulb Police" to kick in doors a la Fahrenheit 451 is not.
From the Granola State we travel to the State of Hubris. Another legislative drone, Wayne Smith, this time in Texas, has decided to turn parents who don't attend Parent-Teacher conferences into criminals. It would be a "C" misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Sounds like an incentive to homeschool to me. Now not only children are being forced into the government concentration camps designed to beat the joy of learning out of them over the course of twelve years, adults would be required to interact with the pedagogy degree-waving child abusers on pain of a criminal record.
Fortunately, this particular bad idea seems to be going nowhere, but you have to wonder about the thought processes (or lack thereof) of those who manage to buy elected office. Are they stupid? Insane? Or just plain evil? I would suggest bastinado or staking over a fire ant nest for corrective action, except that these types probably enjoy it. When dealing with the BDSM proclivities of the legislature, the safeword is always "more".
Worse: Michael Bloomberg, Asshat of New York City
Demonstrating that he is not really a Republican, and disapproves of the Bill of Rights, and the right to self defense in particular, Bloomberg has collected his own private posse of investigators and lawyers for the purpose of expanding his Victim Disarmament policies beyond the borders of the Five Boroughs. Ignoring that most of the crime issues in the city are home grown and firearms play an insignificant part in them (unless you're trying to defend yourself). A perfect example of government as a disease masquerading as its own cure.
For months, Bloomberg has been getting away with state and federal felonies, in fact parading said felonies in front of the mainstream media despite protests from firearms organizations. Finally, Attorney General Gonzales has decided to get up off of his superannuated fundament and investigate the actions of Bloomberg and his little off-budget street gang. Hopefully, despite his money and his legal team, Bloomberg will trade the affections of his leather-clad dominatrix for a cell-mate named "Meat" over at Allenwood.
Not holding my breath, though.
Worser: The governments of Boston and Massachusetts
"To arms! To arms! The Lite-Brites are coming! The Lite-Brites are coming!"
I believe Paul Revere would be embarrassed to see how his town turned out. Two weeks after a marketing firm hired by Cartoon Network placed LED pictures of a character from a cartoon shown on Adult Swim, the government of Boston finally noticed. And shit themselves sideways.
Not even bothering to read the sticker on the device that identified it as the property of Cartoon Network and included a toll-free telephone number for inquiries, the Boston Police promptly closed major arteries of the city, called in the State Police and the National Guard, and started blowing up harmless cartoon characters.
After demonstrating to the world that Boston police officers have their sense of humor surgically removed at the Academy, they compound their errors by arresting the only two people they can get their hands on, charging them with "creating a hoax", a rather specious charge since neither person ever claimed the cartoon signs were an "infernal device". This charge could literally be a matter of life and death for one of those charged: Peter Berdovsky risks deportation back to his native Belarus where he is likely to suffer gravely at the hands of the government there.
The government overreaction and subsequent issuing of charges to save face is described by one commentator as "McCarthyism, only stupider." I can only agree and wonder just how much more stupid it can get. This author has personally been confronted and detained by law enforcement in New Jersey (Port Authority Police) for the "crime" of carrying ham radio equipment in public. One sergeant (gold badge #318) arrogantly declared that should get on my knees in thanks for their powers of observation not to mention unlawful detention. I can only wonder if next time I'll be arrested for possession of an "infernal device".
Asshat Bloomberg gets an honorable mention here for being "unimpressed" that his on-budget street gang, the NYPD, failed to notice the danger presented by four "D" cells, five feet of 18 gauge wire, and about 50 blue and green LED's.
Worst: A CPB officer and a doctor (and I use that title loosely)
This is a case of two people who should be arrested for practicing medicine without a license. In August 2006, a 48 year old UK man suffering from an anal fistula was coming into the US at an unspecified New York Airport. During entry formalities, an unnamed Customs and Border Protection officer decided to exercise his unique authority to strip search the man.
In the course of this strip search, the seton being used to treat the anal fistula was discovered. The CPB officer decided to give this surgical suture device a hard yank, causing extreme pain. Who knew that Homeland Security was hiring sadists?
"The patient was refused entry into the country unless the seton was removed. Given the somewhat stark choice, he chose removal of the seton, which was done by a doctor at the airport who claimed never to have come across one before. The patient now requires an examination under general anaesthetic to insert a replacement."
Now, this author is a lowly EMT-Basic, the bottom of the food chain as far as medical licensure goes. It took me 90 seconds on Google to find more than I ever wanted to know about setons and their uses. Could it be that the airport was too cheap to provide their doctor with a laptop and air card? Or is this "doctor" merely incompetent, which would explain why he's working at the airport and not a hospital or private practice.
Yet another example (as if we needed any more) of too much power and not enough brains, making these two clowns the Worst Persons In The World.