Many people make a point to refer to the Fourth of July as Independence Day. I used to do that.

But that doesn't make much sense, since July 4, 1776, was merely the date on which a few landowners declared the American colonies to be "Free and Independent States."

But declaring oneself free does not make one free.

The following riddle has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln, the great enemy of Free and Independent States: If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, four, because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.

That's true. And declaring the American colonies Free and Independent States did not make them so.

Particularly on July 4, we seem to accept the notion that the colonists gained their independence via a declaration. Via rhetoric. But that's nonsense. The colonists gained their independence by defeating their nation's army, by shooting agents of their country's government.

Harsh.

Perhaps we should celebrate our Independence on October 19. That was the date, in 1781, that General Cornwallis, by proxy, surrendered at Yorktown.

If not October 19, then perhaps September 3, the date, in 1783, on which the Treaty of Paris was signed, formally ending the Revolutionary War.

Remember: July 4 isn't so much about American independence as it is about American balls. It's about openly declaring that governments are instituted among men for the sole purpose of securing unalienable rights, that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that when governments exercise too many unjust powers, it is the right and duty of the People to make a big change.

It's not really a radical idea, throwing off one's government. It's not like it's never happened in world history, or anything. What's radical is not throwing off a government that becomes destructive of the happiness and well-being of the People.

But "throwing off" a government is not necessarily revolutionary. After all, any time a nation rewrites its constitution, it is altering its government, if not abolishing it and throwing it off.

Does the typical American today think it was so horrible that thirteen American governments were altered in 1781 with the ratification of the Articles of Confederation?

Does the typical American today think it was so horrible that the federal government was altered, if not abolished and remade, when the U.S. Constitution went into effect in 1789?

Have you heard of the bloody revolution that recently took place in Iceland, wherein the people threw off their government? Of course not, because it didn't happen. But the people did indeed throw off their government by rewriting their constitution from scratch.

See? Not that big of a deal.

By the way, I am not advocating rewriting or altering or abolishing or throwing off anything, okay?

So should we celebrate the Fourth of July? Should we celebrate that at one time, Americans declared and actually believed that "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it"?

Should we celebrate the notion that "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"?

Well, before you celebrate too enthusiastically on July 4, understand that if you agree with the sentiments expressed in the Declaration of Independence, you are a potential danger to your government, according to your government. That is, if you agree with what was once the prevailing American sentiment, you are now at odds with the current American government.

Big time.

Don't take my word for it. See for yourself what your government has to say about the likes of you. A report entitled "Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008," published January 31, 2012, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, contains some real gems.

Citing a 2011 report entitled "Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States," the DHS "Hot Spot" report includes among its definition of terrorists — and, by extension, the types of Americans who are a potential danger and should be monitored — those who are "suspicious of centralized federal authority [and] reverent of individual liberty."

While the signers of the Declaration did not expressly state that they were suspicious of centralized federal authority, they were indeed that and a lot more. I think it's safe to say they were way past the suspicious stage by July of 1776.

The signers did, of course, expressly mention liberty, but with a capital "L," like this: Liberty. So today we have the feral government naming those "reverent of individual liberty" as a potential danger, whereas, at least at one time, the prevailing American sentiment was that of reverence toward individual liberty.

My, how times have changed.

Instead of celebrating the Declaration of Independence, perhaps we should be mourning the declaration by the feral government that what was once a great notion is now a potential threat.

 
 
Who would object if President Bomb The Hell Out Of Everybody signed the following executive order?

"1. Investigative agencies are directed to speed up the cases of those accused of the preparation or execution of acts of terror.

"2. The Department of Justice is directed not to hold up the execution of death sentences pertaining to crimes of terrorism in order to consider the possibility of pardon.

"3. The Department of Justice is directed to execute the death sentences against terrorists immediately after the passage of sentences."

Hardly anyone in Washington not named Ron Paul would object. I'm guessing many Republicans would publicly applaud the bold order from President Drone Strike and ask why he didn't do it sooner. Millions of Americans who disagree with President Collateral Damage on almost everything else would admit that he finally got something right.

Yup.

And no one would notice that the order is almost exactly the same as an order issued by Joseph Stalin on December 1, 1934, with the names of the agencies as the only significant difference. The order was actually signed by Abel Yenukidze, Secretary of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee, "on Stalin’s initiative without the approval of the Politbiuro," according to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in his speech to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956 (otherwise known as his "Secret Speech").

If apologists for President War Is Good were made aware that they support an order that came straight from Stalin, they no doubt would argue that no one is all bad, not even Stalin, and even he got some things right. This, for example.

Okay, except the whole point of Khrushchev's speech was to denounce Stalin and emphasize the importance of "preclud[ing] any possibility of a repetition in any form whatever of what took place during the life of Stalin."

"Okay, fine," the apologists would say. "So what that Khrushchev had a huge problem with just about everything Stalin? How do we know the directive about terrorism was seen as bad?"

In Khrushchev's own words: "This directive became the basis for mass acts of abuse against socialist legality."
So here we have the Soviet Premier, in 1956, speaking out against a tyrannical directive that practically all of today's Washington and a disturbingly large number of Americans would support.

Ah, but of course President Peace Love Hope Change would never abuse an order like this.

Wait! What am I thinking?! The point of Stalin's directive was to expedite the show trials that the Soviets staged. Here, President Mob Boss just draws up a kill list and orders a hit.

All is well. Return to your normal programming.


 
 
The reported high in New Orleans yesterday was 96. I'm not sure if that was Fahrenheit or Celsius, but it didn't much matter. With the humidity we have to deal with here, 96 anything is frickin' hot.

Satan, a frequent visitor to New Orleans, left early in the afternoon on account of the heat. It was that bad.

It was under these conditions that I was tricked into playing a kickball game with five kids and two other adults as foolish as I. I think the three large Jim Beam and 7UPs had a hand in it.

In the bottom of the second I asked that someone make a preemptive 911 call. No one did, but another Jim Beam and 7UP made things right.

In the top of the third, one of the kids booted a deep one way over my head. I turned and ran, keeping my eye on the ball the whole time. This is normally correct procedure, unless, of course, there is a parked car in one's path. Collision with said car becomes inevitable at that point, and quite a surprise indeed at the moment of impact.

Not that it should come as a surprise. After all, someone could have, oh, I don't know, frickin' yelled something. But, no. Everyone remained silent while Jim Beam and I ran full tilt into the back of a 1998 Subaru, smashing the hell out of my thumb and doing a number on my right testicle.

Thanks, everyone.
Discolored thumb, and me trying not to die after the game.

Which brings me, at last, to the point: Warnings can be very important. That sounds ridiculously simplistic and obvious, but many people seem to downplay the value of a good, old-fashioned, wake-the-dead warning. Those are the people who say that the person pointing out the problem must also offer a solution if he is to have any credibility.

Nonsense.

If I'm walking down the street and notice that your house is on fire, should I shout a warning only if I can also offer a solution as to how to extinguish the blaze? And during a kickball game, if I see you and Jim Beam blindly running full-tilt toward a parked car, should I yell a warning only if I can also offer a solution as to how to avoid the collision? Here's a hint: Yell something next time, guys. Anything.

So, listen — Here is the root of many of the world's problems: debt-based money. Don't expect me to offer a solution. I have no idea. But If you don't know that money springs into existence only at the moment it is borrowed, and if you can't see the associated problems and inherent fraud in such a system, and how it leads to financial catastrophe, wars, and massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the super wealthy, then research it for yourself and start educating others, whether you can offer a solution or not.

Oh, yeah: We won, 10-7.
 
 
The eurozone debt crisis is coming to a head, and, as I have been saying publicly for many months, there is no way it can survive much past this summer, if indeed it makes it that long.

I am reminded of New Year's Eve 1988. I'm not sure where I was exactly, but it was somewhere on the northern Oregon coast and I was drunk, naked, running along the beach and being chased by a large dog. Lucky for me, that was back in the day when I could run pretty damn fast, and there were three slower (and, yes, naked) drunks between me and the dog. I'm still married to one of those slow, naked drunks, but there's no way she will read this, so I won't get into any trouble on that front.

I know what you're thinking: What does the drunk, naked, chased-by-a-large-dog thing have to do with the eurozone debt crisis?

And the entirely unsatisfactory reply is this: It has nothing to do with it, but it got your attention.

And that's all that the script readers in the corporate-controlled media have been doing the last few months when discussing the economies of the eurozone and the U.S. Their game plan has been to fill the airwaves with moronic platitudes about the recovery in such-and-such a sector, or optimism about such-and-such a bailout plan, or whatever, and hope that boobus americanus falls for it.

It's as if the talking heads are reading from the same script. Here's why: They are reading from the same script. And the script tells us, always, that Average Joe would be screwed unless his overlords steal his money and give it to bankers and bureaucrats. Here's some good news for the script readers and their overlords: boobus americanus falls for it every time.

If you want to know what's in the eurozone's near future (and, sadly, ours), read on. If you want lies from script-reading shills, turn on the nonsense they like to call news.

As the debt and currency crises worsen, the government will seize even more control of the economy and our lives (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.); bank failures will increase (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.); banks will take holidays or place very low limits on how much cash customers can withdraw (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.); poverty will increase (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.); the U.S. will enter into another major war (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.); holding more than a few ounces of gold will be illegal (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.); many Americans, for the sake of Homeland Security, of course, will find themselves detained without charge (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.); and the financial catastrophe will last many years (see Roosevelt, Franklin D.).

The lying, script-reading shills will ignore as much of the above as possible, and spin the rest as being good for Average Joe.

Drunk, naked, and being chased by a large dog is starting to look pretty good.

 
 
For the last couple years I have been saying that Barack Obama would win a second term. I explained my reasoning in detail in my post of April 22, 2011

But now I'm not so sure.

I have heard reports that some insiders are referring to Obama as "damaged goods." Then there's the increasing number of antiwar lefties who are upset that "Change" evidently meant an increase in attacks on our civil liberties and in the number of innocents we slaughter overseas. That sounds more like "Cheney you can believe in," than "Change you can believe in."

Assuming Mitt Romney prevails at the Republican National Convention in Tampa (the Republican establishment will see to it), voters will yet again be left with a "choice" between a Democrat who supports an inflationary monetary policy, massive borrowing, massive spending, unending wars, globalism, and an increase in state power at the expense of civil liberties, versus a Republican who agrees with him on all that stuff.

Oh, sure, the D and the R always quibble about a few things on the periphery, but they fully agree on screwing us so as to enrich the military-industrial complex, the banking-industrial complex, the pharmaceutical-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, the surveillance-industrial complex, and on and on.

There is one party in Washington: the War-Banker party. The D or R in front of a candidate's name merely indicates whether the liar in question campaigns from the War-Banker party's Democrat wing or its Republican wing. And so, while I am downgrading Obama from lock to favorite, remember that it really doesn't matter whether we get a War-Banker party D or a War-Banker party R, because the wars, inflation, borrowing and spending will continue.

I am reminded of Bill Murray's motivational speech from the movie "Meatballs." As he said, "It just doesn't matter ... 'cause they got all the money."

 
 
A couple weeks ago I wrote about my first full-body TSA pat-down. This is about my second.

I was at Portland International Airport, which travelers routinely rank as the best in the country. The terminal looks like a fine hotel. A fine hotel crawling with TSA blueshirts, that is.

The ratio of blueshirts to travelers was ridiculously high. There were blueshirts everywhere. It looked like an umpires' convention, minus the white canes and seeing-eye dogs.

I'll fast-forward to when I reached Checkpoint Charlie, the point I had clearly left the American sector and where everyone is either felt up or x-rayed as punishment for committing the horrific crime of flying while American.

At Checkpoint Charlie, I told Mr. Checkpoint Blueshirt that I would not be going through the millimeter wave scanner. Talking into his shoulder, he said quietly, "Male assist."

A young, giant (but very soft) blueshirt answered the call. I told him I did not consent to any searches, that any search would be against my will and under duress, and that what he was about to do would be a violation of my Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Talk about seizures — when I finished, he looked as if he was ready to have one.

Now it was his turn to talk into his shoulder. I couldn't hear what he said, but apparently he called for backup because another young, giant (but very soft) blueshirt appeared within seconds. Mr. Backup Blueshirt never did much except stay real close and watch me carefully.

I wondered whether either of them had an inkling what the Fourth Amendment says.

The first young, giant (but very soft) blueshirt — I'll call him Mr. Molester Blueshirt — asked me whether I had anything in my pockets.

"No," I said. "I just emptied them." But as I was saying that, I was also double-checking, and sure enough, I found a tissue. I proceeded to toss it into a nearby waste basket.

As the tissue was floating toward the waste basket, the two blueshirts didn't exactly panic, but they sure snapped to. "No!" they both exclaimed.

Then, with the tone he would have used had Wile E. Coyote tossed a package marked "TNT" into the garbage, Mr. Molester Blueshirt ordered Mr. Backup Blueshirt: "Take that out and check it!"

"Careful! I cried on it. I was visiting my dad in the hospital," I warned them as seriously as if tears were plastic explosives. But that was not an entirely accurate statement. I had actually snotted all over the tissue as a result of crying in the hospital. Take that, Mr. Backup Blueshirt.

Finally it was time for Mr. Molester Blueshirt to commence with the molestation. Like my first TSA pat-down a week earlier in New Orleans, this one wasn't grotesquely invasive. But this guy took it a little farther.

He asked, "Is it okay if I place my fingers in your waistband?"

"No, it is definitely not okay."

This stopped him cold and even flustered him. He glanced over at Mr. Backup Blueshirt. Mr. Molester Blueshirt was clearly at a loss, so I decided to help him out. I volunteered, "It's not okay if you place your fingers in my waistband, but I have to get to New Orleans, so do what you have to do to get me out of here, and I won't resist."

And in the next instant, I went from aggressively giving orders to passively allowing a stranger to place his fingers in my waistband and run his hands all around me, like a good, wimpy American that almost all of us have become.






 
 
Regular listeners know I brag about my daughter every few shows. To friends and family, I brag about her every few minutes. Sorry about that.

Today is a good day to brag about her again, because she finished her undergrad work yesterday, a full two years early, a 4.0 GPA in her major (English) and in her minor (history), and with highest honors, summa cum laude.

Because I am extraordinarily lazy, I will borrow from some of my previous posts.

In January of 2011, my daughter announced to me that if she worked hard, she could graduate in the spring of 2012. I told her she must have done her math wrong, because she still had about seventy-five hours remaining. Undaunted, she showed me her plan and explained that if she took heavy loads every semester, she indeed would graduate in May of 2012.

Okay, I told her, say you are able to graduate then. Understand this: You won't be able to attain your goal of graduating summa cum laude, because you would need all A's the rest of the way, and there's no way you can take heavy load after heavy load after heavy load and make all A's. Forget summa cum laude, or forget May 2012. Something has to give.

But for her, not graduating summa cum laude was not an option, and her mind was made up: She would finish in May of 2012.

Good luck with that, I thought. No way.

What was I thinking? I should have known better. She pulled it off. Of course she pulled it off.

Since she was little I have reminded her of what Danny Thomas told his daughter Marlo: "I raised you to be a thoroughbred." Except I always modify it. I remind my daughter that Twice A Prince, My Gallant, Private Smiles, and Sham were thoroughbreds, too. They were the thoroughbreds who were at the starting gate with Secretariat at the 1973 Belmont Stakes but were in another zip code when Secretariat crossed the finish line. I show that race to my daughter. I tell her, "You're Secretariat." I tell her that thoroughbreds don't have a chance against her. She believes me.

She has her sights set on a master's degree within two years, a second master's within two years after that, and a PhD three years after that.

She'll do it, too.

This apple fell far from the tree.





 
 
I just experienced my first full-body TSA pat-down. One sentence in, and I'm already ahead of myself. First, the propaganda.

Right before getting to the first checkpoint, I saw a sign telling me how professional and important the TSA screeners are. It ended with a directive to treat them with the respect they deserve. My first thought was, "I would be in serious trouble if I stooped to treating them with the respect they deserve."

Overhead, a propaganda video featuring TSA administrator John Pistole informed us cattle that the TSA is the only reason the ghost of D.B. Cooper is not haunting the Friendly Skies. Or something like that. I wasn't paying much attention.

Belt and shoes off, pockets empty, scrotum tightening in anticipation of the feel-up that was in my very near future, I placed my baggage on the conveyor belt and walked toward the millimeter wave scanner, with no intention of going through it.

When it was my turn, all I said was, "No, thank you."

The extremely bored young kid asked, "You prefer a pat-down?"

"I do to that thing, yes."

Based on many cases I have read about, I figured the bored young kid would come to life and make a scene by yelling, "Opt out! Opt out!" as he called for backup. But he didn't do anything like that.

Here is what he did: About as quietly as he would have said, "Dude, check out the hottie at ten o'clock," and with the non-inflection of the terminally bored, he said, "Male assist." He got no response, which was not a surprise because I'm pretty sure no one heard him but me. He said it again a few seconds later, with no more volume or sense of urgency than the first time.

"Male assist."

Male escort is more like it, I was thinking.

I was anticipating someone like Charon, the ferryman of Hades, but instead the guy who showed up was quite polite. He really was. He picked up all my baggage and, without stealing anything at all, carried it to where we would have our mandated man date.

I did not tip him for this.

He asked me, "Would you like a private screening room?"

I did not ask if there was an up-charge for that. All I said was, "No, thank you. Let's do this in public."

"Are you familiar with the full-body pat-down?"

"No, but I am familiar with that thing," indicating the x-ray naked scanner that the other human cattle were being herded through. "That's why I chose this."

He said, "Okay, I'm going to pat down your entire body, using the back of my hand in private areas." He was wearing blue gloves. And I don't think he actually used the word "private." I don't remember for sure, but that's what he was getting at.

Then he asked: "Do you have any sensitive areas?"

And I answered: "My body," followed by, "And I do not consent to this. I am allowing it under duress. It is in violation of my Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. But today is your lucky day. I love my dad more than I hate this process, and I have to get to Portland to see him. So there it is."

Great. Here we go.

Several months ago I interviewed a guy who was sexually molested by a TSA screener. As in, the screener reached into the poor guy's underwear and touched his genitals. The beans and the wiener. More than once. Then there's the former Miss USA who was reduced to tears by the molestation she received at the hands of a TSA pervert who touched her genitals four times.

Why do you think I was afraid to treat them with the respect they deserved?

But when Mr. Friendly TSA Screener did his thing, it was no big deal at all. No touching of private parts, no hands under the waistband, nothing grossly offensive, and it was over in about half a minute.

Not that I think that this not-so-full-body pat-down is acceptable. It's not. But it sure beats a full-on groping.

But I wasn't done yet. Next, he tested his gloves for explosives residue. I knew, of course, that an accurate reading would come up negative. But what if it wasn't accurate? False positives are not exactly unheard of, and I would certainly miss my plane if he got one this time.

Ah, but he didn't. And the pat-down, eventful for its uneventfulness, was over.

 
 
In my most recent column, I said my next one would be about the destruction of our liberties. I lied.

That wouldn't be the first time.

I'll get around to writing that column soon enough. But for now, I just have to comment on a press release posted at the web site of the Greater New Orleans Republicans. I'll quote their entire press release, a little at a time, with my comments interspersed. In the press release, GNOR expressed their intense displeasure with the Louisiana Republican caucus. For the record, 150 delegate slots at the Louisiana Republican State Convention were up for grabs last Saturday at the caucus, and Ron Paul supporters won 111 of the 150, or 74 percent.

GNOR press release
"The Greater New Orleans Republicans call for the resignation of the leadership of the Republican Party of Louisiana in response to the debacle of (Saturday’s) caucus."

My comments
I agree with the resignation part. I just disagree with the when and the why. I think they should have resigned four years ago after they broke several of their own rules in an effort to stifle the efforts of Ron Paul's supporters. Alternatively, they could resign on general principle, the general principle being that they have a long history of supporting candidates who support undeclared wars of aggression overseas, a war on civil liberties here at home, and borrowing and spending ad nauseam, if not ad infinitum.

As for the caucus being a "debacle," I must confess that I would agree with that assessment if I supported Ted Kennedy, uh, that is, Mitt Romney.

Moving along . . .

GNOR press release
“ 'We congratulate Ron Paul supporters for apparently capturing their first state delegation in this Presidential election cycle through an excellent get out the vote effort today,' stated GNOR Chairman Sarah Roy."

My comments
Hey, Sarah: Only six days before the Louisiana debacle, in Minnesota Ron Paul won 20 of 24 Congressional District delegates to the Republican National Convention, with 16 more delegates still up for grabs. I stink at math, but I'm pretty sure Ron Paul won Minnesota (okay, so at worst he could tie for first).

GNOR press release
“However, the result of this ill-conceived and confusing caucus clearly does not represent the will of the vast majority of Louisiana Republican voters as Ron Paul recently received only six percent of the vote in the Louisiana Presidential Primary.”

My comments
Actually, here I will quote Doug Wead, senior adviser for the Ron Paul campaign:

"Months ago the Ron Paul campaign looked at Louisiana and decided that the best strategy was to concentrate on the caucus.  The rules in Louisiana  apportion 20 of the states delegates from the votes in its statewide primary, which was held last March and 24 delegates from it caucus system which elects delegates at the precinct level to go to district conventions where they elect delegates to go to the state convention where the final delegation will be chosen.

"What would you do?  Spend your money trying to win the 20?  Or spend your money trying to win the 24?"

GNOR press release
"This odd and undemocratic result unfortunately will embarrass and distract Governor Jindal, as he labors to pass his Legislative agenda, and presumed Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as he clinches the nomination and turns his attention to defeating President Barack Obama."

My comments
The result was certainly not "odd." The so-called "leadership" of Louisiana's Republican party probably saw this result coming a mile away. After all, they had to have known that Ron Paul had recently drawn several crowds of several thousand people in many parts of the country. Combine that with ballots that are: a) paper; b) guarded by a sheriff's deputy; and c) counted under the watchful eyes of an observer from each campaign (as opposed to hackable, trail-less, electronic voting we are subjected to at the primaries), and what should we expect?

The result was undemocratic? Hmmm. It looked like one person, one vote to me, with no qualified voter turned away, and with paper ballots counted in public.

The result "will embarrass and distract Governor Jindal"? Really? You mean embarrass him more than his laughable endorsement of Rick "Oops" Perry? Distract him more than his out-of-state fund-raising junkets? If he can be distracted from anything of importance by the result of a caucus, GNOR should be calling for his resignation as well.

The result "will embarrass and distract . . . Mitt Romney, as he clinches the nomination and turns his attention to defeating President Barack Obama"? First, Romney has not clinched the nomination. Second, he SHOULD be embarrassed by being overwhelmed by a candidate who has been alternately ridiculed and ignored by the national and local media, not to mention the political machinery. And again, if Romney can be distracted from something so important by a single caucus defeat (however humiliating), he shouldn't be running for dog catcher, let alone president.

GNOR press release
"Several members of GNOR ran in the caucus, and GNOR, along with the Romney Campaign, attempted to motivate Republican voters to turn out.  However, sparse and obscure voting locations, morning voting hours, scheduling during the Zurich Classic, Jazz Fest and Legislative Session, combined with setting the caucus so late in the Primary season that all major challengers to Mitt Romney had dropped out, made it all but impossible to offer voters a rationale to caucus."

My comments
All those things didn't make it all but impossible for Ron Paul's supporters to offer voters a rationale to caucus. I wonder why. I know a few of the people who were elected at the caucus. They have never been involved in politics, yet they crushed many long-established party insiders, including two former U.S. Congressmen. And the Greater New Orleans Republicans, instead of looking at what makes Ron Paul so appealing, look for excuses.

GNOR press release
"Further, after Rick Santorum, who garnered the most votes in the Louisiana Primary, left the race, members of GNOR proposed a unity ticket, comprised of supporters of Santorum, Gingrich and Romney, allowing those who would support the eventual nominee to run as one.  However, state party leaders, unwilling to share delegates with the Romney campaign, vetoed the approach."

My comments
First, don't ever say "comprised of," dammit! It ain't good grammar. Look it up.

Second, maybe "state party leaders" finally got one right by being "unwilling to share delegates with the Romney campaign." After all, Romney has had more positions than David Vitter in a brothel, and a lot of Republicans simply don't trust him. Okay, they trust that he'll flip-flop from here to eternity, but that's where the trust ends.

GNOR press release
"Today’s debacle clearly lies at the feet of State Party leaders, who with combined arrogance and incompetence, ignored warnings that the Byzantine system they had conjured could be manipulated, ignored calls for unity and common sense, and instead caused the State of Louisiana, Governor Jindal and likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney embarrassment.  They should own up to their misdeeds and resign."

My comments
Cool. Establishment Republicans calling other establishment Republicans arrogant, incompetent and lacking common sense. I don't think I've ever seen Democrats say that about Democrats, though they certainly should.

And did they hold caucuses in Byzantium?






 
 
We live in a free country.

At least that's what we have been told since we knew the difference between red, white, and blue.

But what does it mean to be "free"? For a clue, let's look at some of the mundane, daily activities in the life of an average American we'll call Tom.

But first, a note. The source for what follows is the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Part 305.

1. Soon after waking up in the morning, Tom is free to turn on the lights. Which lights? Why, lights approved by the feral government, of course, which recently had the decency to replace the evil incandescent bulb — which had been destroying the environment for more than a century —  with the kinder, gentler compact fluorescent lamp.

My favorite thing about our freedom to use CFL's instead of incandescent bulbs has been expressed beautifully by the feral government itself. My prose being no match for the prose of a committee of bureaucrats with a purpose, I shall let the EPA explain: epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.pdf.

Now that's showing concern for our safety and the environment!

Ah, but what if Tom has exercised his freedom to use a lighting source other than CFL's? Thankfully, the feral bureaucrats are a step ahead, and they extend their infinitely wise control to:

— START OF BUREAUCRATIC PROSE — (feel free to fast-forward through this; I have provided a convenient note at the end that says "END OF BUREAUCRATIC PROSE")
(k) Fluorescent lamp: (1) Means a low pressure mercury electric-discharge source in which a fluorescing coating transforms some of the ultra-violet energy generated by the mercury discharge into light, including only the following:

(i) Any straight-shaped lamp (commonly referred to as 4-foot medium bi-pin lamps) with medium bi-pin bases of nominal overall length of 48 inches and rated wattage of 28 or more;

(ii) Any U-shaped lamp (commonly referred to as 2-foot U-shaped lamps) with medium bi-pin bases of nominal overall length between 22 and 25 inches and rated wattage of 28 or more;

(iii) Any rapid start lamp (commonly referred to as 8-foot high output lamps) with recessed double contact bases of nominal overall length of 96 inches and 0.800 nominal amperes, as defined in ANSI C78.1–1978 and related supplements (copies of ANSI C78.1–1978 and related supplements may be obtained from the American National Standards Institute, 11 West 42nd St., New York, NY 10036); and

(iv) Any instant start lamp (commonly referred to as 8-foot slimline lamps) with single pin bases of nominal overall length of 96 inches and rated wattage of 52 or more, as defined in ANSI C78.3–1978 (R1984) and related supplement ANSI C78.3a–1985 (copies of ANSI C78.3–1978 (R1984) and related supplement ANSI C78.3a–1985 may be obtained from the American National Standards Institute, 11 West 42nd St., New York, NY 10036); but

(2) Fluorescent lamp does not mean any lamp excluded by the Department of Energy, by rule, as a result of a determination that standards for such lamp would not result in significant energy savings because such lamp is designed for special applications or has special characteristics not available in reasonably substitutable lamp types; and

(3) General service fluorescent lamp means a fluorescent lamp which can be used to satisfy the majority of fluorescent applications, but does not mean any lamp designed and marketed for the following nongeneral lighting applications:

(i) Fluorescent lamps designed to promote plant growth;

(ii) Fluorescent lamps specifically designed for cold temperature installations;

(iii) Colored fluorescent lamps;

(iv) Impact-resistant fluorescent lamps;

(v) Reflectorized or aperture lamps;

(vi) Fluorescent lamps designed for use in reprographic equipment;

(vii) Lamps primarily designed to produce radiation in the ultra-violet region of the spectrum; and

(viii) Lamps with a color rendering index of 82 or greater.

(l) General service lamp means:

(1) A lamp that is:

(i) A medium base compact fluorescent lamp;

(ii) A general service incandescent lamp;

(iii) A general service light-emitting diode (LED or OLED) lamp; or

(iv) Any other lamp that the Secretary of Energy determines is used to satisfy lighting applications traditionally served by general service incandescent lamps.

(2) Exclusions. The term general service lamp does not include--

(i) Any lighting application or bulb shape described in paragraphs (n)(3)(ii)(A) through (T) of this section; and

(ii) Any general service fluorescent lamp.

(m) Medium base compact fluorescent lamp means an integrally ballasted fluorescent lamp with a medium screw base, a rated input voltage range of 115 to 130 volts and which is designed as a direct replacement for a general service incandescent lamp; however, the term does not include--

(1) Any lamp that is:

(i) Specifically designed to be used for special purpose applications; and

(ii) Unlikely to be used in general purpose applications, such as the applications described in the definition of “General Service Incandescent Lamp” in paragraph (n)(3)(ii) of this section; or

(2) Any lamp not described in the definition of “General Service Incandescent Lamp” in this section and that is excluded by the Department of Energy, by rule, because the lamp is--

(i) Designed for special applications; and

(ii) Unlikely to be used in general purpose applications.

(n) Incandescent lamp:

(1) Means a lamp in which light is produced by a filament heated to incandescence by an electric current, including only the following:

(i) Any lamp (commonly referred to as lower wattage nonreflector general service lamps, including any tungsten halogen lamp) that has a rated wattage between 30 and 199 watts, has an E26 medium screw base, has a rated voltage or voltage range that lies at least partially within 115 and 130 volts, and is not a reflector lamp;

(ii) Any lamp (commonly referred to as a reflector lamp) which is not colored or designed for rough or vibration service applications, that contains an inner reflective coating on the outer bulb to direct the light, an R, PAR, ER, BR, BPAR, or similar bulb shapes with E26 medium screw bases, a rated voltage or voltage range that lies at least partially within 115 and 130 volts, a diameter which exceeds 2.25 inches, and has a rated wattage that is 40 watts or higher;

(iii) Any general service incandescent lamp (commonly referred to as a high- or higher wattage lamp) that has a rated wattage above 199 watts (above 205 watts for a high wattage reflector lamp); but

(2) Incandescent lamp does not mean any lamp excluded by the Secretary of Energy, by rule, as a result of a determination that standards for such lamp would not result in significant energy savings because such lamp is designed for special applications or has special characteristics not available in reasonably substitutable lamp types;

(3) General service incandescent lamp means:

(i) In general, a standard incandescent, halogen, or reflector type lamp that--

(A) Is intended for general service applications;

(B) Has a medium screw base;

(C) Has a lumen range of not less than 310 lumens and not more than 2,600 lumens; and

(D) Is capable of being operated at a voltage range at least partially within 110 and 130 volts.

(ii) Exclusions. The term “general service incandescent lamp” does not include the following incandescent lamps:

(A) An appliance lamp as defined at 42 U.S.C. 6291(30);

(B) A black light lamp;

(C) A bug lamp;

(D) A colored lamp as defined at 42 U.S.C. 6291(30);

(E) An infrared lamp;

(F) A left hand thread lamp;

(G) A marine lamp;

(H) A marine signal service lamp;

(I) A mine service lamp;

(J) A plant light lamp;

(K) A rough service lamp as defined at 42 U.S.C. 6291(30);

(L) A shatter resistant lamp (including a shatter-proof lamp and a shatter-protected lamp);

(M) A sign service lamp;

(N) A silver bowl lamp;

(O) A showcase lamp;

(P) A traffic signal lamp;

(Q) A vibration service lamp as defined at 42 U.S.C. 6291(30);

(R) A G shape lamp (as defined in ANSI C78.20–2003 and C79.1–2002) with a diameter of 5 inches or more;

(S) A T shape lamp (as defined in ANSI C78.20–2003 and C79.1–2002) and that uses not more than 40 watts or has a length of more than 10 inches; or

(T) A B, BA, CA, F, G16–1/2, G–25, G–30, S, or M–14 lamp (as defined in ANSI C79.1–2002 and ANSI C78.20–2003) of 40 watts or less.

(4) Incandescent reflector lamp means a lamp described in paragraph (n)(1)(ii) of this section; and

(5) Tungsten halogen lamp means a gas filled tungsten filament incandescent lamp containing a certain proportion of halogens in an inert gas.

(o) Light emitting diode (LED) means a p n junction solid state device the radiated output of which is a function of the physical construction, material used, and exciting current of the device. The output of a light emitting diode may be in B

(1) The infrared region;

(2) The visible region; or

(3) The ultraviolet region.

(p) Organic light emitting diode (OLED) means a thin-film light-emitting device that typically consists of a series of organic layers between 2 electrical contacts (electrodes).

(q) General service light-emitting diode (LED or OLED) lamp means any light emitting diode (LED or OLED) lamp that:

(1) Is a consumer product;

(2) Is intended for general service applications;

(3) Has a medium screw base;

(4) Has a lumen range of not less than 310 lumens and not more than 2,600 lumens; and

(5) Is capable of being operated at a voltage range at least partially within 110 and 130 volts.

— END OF BUREAUCRATIC PROSE --

Got that? If you want to keep the feds in the dark about your light, try black lights, traffic lights, bug lamps, or something else on their list of exclusions.

2. Soon after turning on the lights, Tom heads for the bathroom, where he is free to use the toilet. Which toilet? Why, a toilet approved by the feral government, of course, meaning a toilet of which the tank contains no more than 1.6 gallons of water. Again, because my powers of description are vastly inferior to those of a committee of feral bureaucrats, I include here the feral bureaucracy's definition of a toilet, or "water closet": 

— START OF BUREAUCRATIC PROSE --
Water closet means a plumbing fixture having a water-containing receptor which receives liquid and solid body waste and, upon actuation, conveys the waste through an exposed integral trap seal into a gravity drainage system, except such term does not include fixtures designed for installation in prisons.
— END OF BUREAUCRATIC PROSE --

Do you know what "waste" the government uses to test whether a given water closet meets the minimum standard for conveying "the waste through an exposed integral trap seal into a gravity drainage system"? I do. Soy paste. According to feral regulations, every water closet better damn well convey 250 grams of soy paste with a single flush of 1.6 gallons of water.

3. Next, Tom is free to wash his hands. So, he turns on the faucet, which, as you probably have guessed by now, is regulated by feral bureaucrats. More on that later.

Tom, being a hygiene-conscious fellow, wishes to apply soap to his hands. But what is soap? Thankfully, feral bureaucrats, who regulate this sort of thing, provide the answer. The following is an excerpt from "Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?)," by the infinitely wise bureaucrats at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (read the full article, if you can stand it).

— START OF BUREAUCRATIC PROSE --
And what if it's "soap"?
Soap is a category that needs special explanation. That's because the regulatory definition of "soap" is different from the way in which people commonly use the word. Products that meet the definition of "soap" are exempt from the provisions of the FD&C Act because -- even though Section 201(i)(1) of the act includes "articles...for cleansing" in the definition of a cosmetic -- Section 201(i)(2) excludes soap from the definition of a cosmetic.

How FDA defines "soap"
Not every product marketed as soap meets FDA's definition of the term. FDA interprets the term "soap" to apply only when --

    The bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product's detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds, and
    The product is labeled, sold, and represented solely as soap [21 CFR 701.20].

If a cleanser does not meet all of these criteria...
If a product intended to cleanse the human body does not meet all the criteria for soap, as listed above, it is either a cosmetic or a drug. For example:

If a product --

    consists of detergents or
    primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids and
    is intended not only for cleansing but also for other cosmetic uses, such as beautifying or moisturizing,

it is regulated as a cosmetic.

If a product --

    consists of detergents or
    primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids and
    is intended not only for cleansing but also to cure, treat, or prevent disease or to affect the structure or any function of the human body,

it is regulated as a drug.

If a product --

    is intended solely for cleansing the human body and
    has the characteristics consumers generally associate with soap,
    does not consist primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids,

it may be identified in labeling as soap, but it is regulated as a cosmetic.

— END OF BUREAUCRATIC PROSE --

Isn't it comforting to know we have feral bureaucrats keeping track of this, obviously for the sake of freedom?

4. After washing his hands with a product a) in which the bulk of the nonvolatile matter consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product's detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds, and b) that is labeled, sold, and represented solely as soap, per [21 CFR 701.20], Tom is ready for the shower, the showerhead of which is regulated by the feral government, as is the faucet in number 3 above, pursuant to "standards established in subsection (j) of section 325 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 6295(j)."

Obviously, the feral bureaucrats have taken a great interest in our water, given their control over our showerheads, faucets, and toilets, er water closets. So much interest do these feral bureaucrats have in our well-being, they even allow municipalities to dump fluoride into our water supplies.

After washing the rest of himself in the shower with a product a) in which the bulk of the nonvolatile matter consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product's detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds, and b) that is labeled, sold, and represented solely as soap, per [21 CFR 701.20], Tom steps out of the shower and reaches for a towel. Lucky for him, the feral government does not regulate what Tom dries himself with, because all of his towels are dirty, and he has to dry himself with the t-shirt he wore to bed.

5. Later in the course of his morning, Tom will use several household conveniences. Here is a partial list of those conveniences regulated by feral bureaucrats:

Refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, water heater, air conditioner (central and window unit), clothes washer, furnace, heat pump, fluorescent lamp ballast, medium base compact fluorescent lamp, general service lamp, incandescent lamp, light emitting diode (LED), organic light emitting diode (OLED), general service LED or OLED, showerhead, faucet, water closet, urinal, pool heater, metal halide lamp fixture, ceiling fan, and television, [per 52 FR 46894, Dec. 10, 1987, as amended at 59 FR 34031, 34032, July 1, 1994; 59 FR 49563, Sept. 28, 1994; 59 FR 67525, Dec. 29, 1994; 71 FR 4984, Jan. 31, 2006; 72 FR 49966, Aug. 29, 2007; 73 FR 63067, Oct. 23, 2008; 76 FR 79057, Dec. 21, 2011; 76 FR 1050, Jan. 6, 2011].

Now that is freedom! And Tom hasn't even left the house yet!

In the next Baldy's Bombast, we'll look at all the wonderful freedoms awaiting Tom outside his home.