Friday, April 5, 2013

The Soapbox: More on the Shady Duck Study, Sweeping CT Gun Control Law & New Technology Shows Concerns at the Border

If we want government to do less, we need to do more.
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The Soapbox: If we want government to do less, we need to do more.
Then & Now: History for Today
April 5

1614 - Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Indian confederacy, married English tobacco planter John Rolfe in Jamestown, Virginia. Their marriage brought a peace between the English colonists and the Powhatans, and in 1615 Pocahontas gave birth to their first child, Thomas. In 1616, the couple sailed to England. The so-called Indian Princess proved popular with the English gentry, and she was presented at the court of King James I. In March 1617, Pocahontas and Rolfe prepared to sail back to Virginia. However, the day before they were to leave, Pocahontas died, probably of smallpox, and was buried at the parish church of St. George in Gravesend, England.

1869 - Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving soldier of the Revolutionary War, died at the age of 109. Bakeman was married to Susan Brewer Bakeman on August 29, 1772. He was 12 years old and his wife 14 years old at the time of the marriage. She died aged 105 on September 10, 1863. At 91 years and 12 days, their marriage is the longest claimed on record and the only marriage claimed to have exceeded 90 years. Bakeman died six months before his 110th birthday, and is buried in Sandusky Cemetery, Freedom, New York. On February 14, 1867, the United States Congress passed a special act which granted a Revolutionary War pension to Bakeman. The act was required because Bakeman lacked documentation to prove that he had served in New York.

1923 - Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, began the first regular production of balloon tires for commercial use. These were large-section, thin-walled tires with a small bead. Earlier, occasional production had been used for experimental or special purposes. Firestone low-pressure balloon tires developed in 1932 revolutionized work on the farm. A wider contact area gave balloon tires a more comfortable ride and reduced the danger of high-pressure blowouts. Now the pounding and vibration of a steel-wheeled tractor could be replaced with pneumatic tires with better grip, less vibration, more comfort, and lower fuel consumption.

Mercury One Moment

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Your Soapbox
Taxypayers who Oppose the Government Using Their Money to Fund ‘Research’ of Duck Genitalia ‘Miss the Basic Point of Science,’ Duck-Genital Researcher Says, Missing the Point. In an offensively pompous article published in Slate, “scientist” Patricia Brennan complained because taxpayers oppose the government using their money to fund research of duck genitalia. It apparently hasn’t occured to her to ask if that’s the role of government. “The commentary and headlines in some of the recent articles reflect outrage that the study was about duck genitals, as if there is something inherently wrong or perverse,” she said. It seems that here, it is she who misses the point. The perverse aspect is that she is using taxpayer money, without our consent, to essentially molest ducks, which is justified as “science” based on the theoretical premise of cross-species  evolutionary biology only to support an abstract feminist critique of gender-worth by attempting to draw an equivalence between humans and ducks.
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Even Progressives Get Annoyed by The Nanny State. This is now the second time that big government cheerleader and progressive figurehead Bill Maher has spoken out against the Nanny State, which is odd because it is headed up by other prominent progressives. While being interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel, Maher lamented: “there's something wrong about the seventh richest man in the world sitting in bed at night thinking: You know what people shouldn't do? Drink too much Sprite. Let's make that a law. That makes me want to join the Tea Party and marry Ann Coulter.” If even Bill Maher can see the perils of the Nanny State, it’s a wonder there are any left who can’t.
“I Must Find Her at Any Cost,” 93-Year-Old WWII Vet Seeks Long Lost Love from Wartime France. After escaping both his Red Army Conscription and a Nazi Prison Camp, Nikolai Vasenin joined with the French resistance fighters against the Nazis and eventually became the commander of a 25-man guerilla detachment. He fell in love with his commander’s daughter who aided him while he was wounded, but the Captain forbade them marriage. Now, many years later (15 of them spent as a political prisoner in the gulag and “internal exile in Siberia”), he searches for her, wanting to see her at least once before he dies. The only words he still remembers in French are “Je t’aime” (I love you), but "it will suffice," he said. Fighting tyranny and fighting for love, this story deserves a fairy-tale ending.
California Dairies Consider Incentives to Move out of State. California dairies produce 21% of the nation’s milk, but state regulations and policies have created hard times for dairy farmers. In most states the federal government regulates the price of milk, but California regulates its own milk price, which is significantly lower than the federal price point. Inexpensive milk in conjunction with expensive feed costs and “burdensome” tangles of red tape regulations from environmentalists have made the state near hostile to dairy farming. Now other states are offering incentives such as “cheaper farm land, lower taxes, fewer environmental regulations and higher prices for their milk,” in hopes of attracting dairies there and all of the economic activity that follows. When government does less, everyone can do more.
Connecticut Passes Sweeping Legislation Cutting and Regulating Firearms and Ammunition Freedoms. At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night, Connecticut’s Senate passed the 139-page  gun control bill that was finally ratified at 2:26 a.m. Thursday. The bill adds an additional 100 firearms to the state’s already existing “assault weapon ban,” sets up eligibility rules for ammunition purchases, adds a requirement for background checks for personal transfer sales of firearms (which can therefore no longer be accurately dubbed “private sales”), and implements a ban on all magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. Concerned about infringements on their Second Amendment freedoms, citizens flooded gun stores all morning yesterday.
The Independent Women’s Forum Reveals Just How Wasteful “Green” Subsidies Are. As illustrated by the waste list the Soapbox shared with you last week, it comes as no surprise that the government can be sloppy with taxpayer money. To clarify, the fact that renewable energy receives 6.4 times the subsidies that fossil fuels receive would be considered irresponsibly risky, but not sloppy. ‘Sloppy’ more aptly applies to the wind energy initiatives the government has implemented across 9 federal agencies since fiscal year 2011. Of the 82 total initiatives, which come with billion-dollar price tags, 68 of the programs overlapped. So, um, why does the sequester mean there will be no White House tours again?
Anonymous Continues Hack Attacks on North Korea; Humorous Photos Included ‘For the Lulz.’ The hacker group “Anonymous” is continuing a string of hacks attacking seemingly all things linked to the North Korean government on the internet. Anonymous took a break from overloading North Korean servers with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to hack the government’s Twitter and Flickr accounts. Among the pictures that the hackers posted in North Korea’s flickr photostream is a “Wanted” poster of Kim Jong-Un, “A.K.A.  NUKE NUKE Mickey Lover,” which depicts the “Supreme Leader” as part-swine with a Mickey Mouse tattoo on his belly and charges him with threatening world peace, starving his people to death, and human rights violations. Surely the murderous rolly-polly despot is less than enthused.
U.S. Radar Shows Border Security with More Holes than a Connect Four Board. A radar system that is operated from a Predator surveillance drone has revealed that border agents are able to apprehend less than half of all illegal border crossings into a “150-square-mile stretch of southern Arizona.” All of this despite claims from the government that the U.S./Mexican border is more tightly secured than ever, with almost 365,000 apprehensions in 2012. Wait, 365,000 is less than half? Perhaps what the government meant to say was that illegal migrations and smugglings are at peak numbers because for those who are crossing illegally the journey is more secure than ever.

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Also in the News
Glad to See Government Officials Taking a Break from Sequester Fear-Mongering to Form a Conga-Line with Celebrities at the White House.
Kuwait Parliament Approves Death Penalty for Those who Insult ‘Allah.’
Here Are The Theoretical Ranges Of North Korea's Missiles.
IWF: “For Feminists, Marriage is Never a Power Move.”
From Zero Hedge: Visualizing Bitcoin – The Encryption Standard.
Ann Coulter Brings You a Few of Those Pesky Little Details That “Serious” News Outlets Have Let Slip Through the Cracks of the Amanda Knox Media Blitz. (Samples of the Media Blitz).
First they Came for the Sugar (and Called it ‘Poison’), and I Did Not Speak Up, Because I Was Not Sugar…

Lasers Can Apparently Cure Cocaine Addiction Now.
“On the Environment, the Alarmists are Still Losing.”

Something to Ponder
“I believe fundamental honesty is the keystone of business." - Harvey S. Firestone

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