Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Update: 'Too Close for Comfort' Star Loses Chance to become Legal Tender

Wyoming's House Bill 85, which would have - among other interesting things - empowered the state to institute its own military draft as well as issue its own currency in the event of a national catastrophe, has been defeated. A narrow margin (30-27) decided the final fate of the so-called "Doomsday Bill," a favorite topic of controversy in recent press.

Just think, only three more votes and perhaps a likeness of Wyoming's favorite son Jim J. Bullock might have one day smiled up from a $20... while everyone else in the Cowboy State was pressed into military service.

Kind of makes you wonder what would have happened without all that press, doesn't it?

Wyoming Legislator Hedging Bets with the Mayans

"This isn't about doomsday," State Representative David Miller recently responded when interviewed about Wyoming House Bill 85, aka 'The Doomsday Bill.'

Currently making its way through the statehouse, the bill Miller sponsored would create a task force to prepare for food shortages, disruptions in energy and communications, and possibly even create Wyoming's own currency in the event of a collapse in the federal government. (Kinda sounds like doomsday, right?) Plans to implement a state-mandated military draft and the purchase of an aircraft carrier have been stricken from the bill.

I'll continue to track the progress of this bill and let you know as more details become available.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lawmaker Says Girl Scouts are a Bunch of Skanks

Okay, maybe he didn't say that in so many words, but it was certainly the gist of his message.

Indiana State Representative Bob Morris recently sent a letter to his fellow lawmakers indicating his refusal to sign a letter recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America because, he claimed, the organization is "sexualizing young girls" and acts as a propaganda arm of Planned Parenthood in which "liberal progressive troop-leaders will indoctrinate the girls in their troops." He also stated that, of the fifty female role models mentioned in a Girl Scout educational seminar, only three of them were acceptable - "all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or Communists."

The constituents of Indiana must be so proud.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Politicians Behaving Badly

I decided to do a quick roundup of politicians who have recently been caught behaving badly. As you read this list, please ask yourself if these are the people who should be deciding the fate of our country...
  • Michigan State Representative Bob Genetski (R) was arrested for impaired driving on January 20th. When he failed a field sobriety test, he too refused a breath test.
  • Georgia State Rep Kip Smith (R), author of a bill that would require welfare and unemployment benefit recipients to submit to drug testing, was also charged with DUI after running a red light in January. During his arrest, Smith changed his story several times, failed a field sobriety test, and objected to taking a breathalyzer until being told that to do so would result in an automatic arrest. (Apparently January was a rough month for politicians.)

Make your opinion matter. Vote.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Strange Light Spotted over Texas

Last week, the sky above Texas briefly lit up with a mysterious pulsating light. "It kept getting bigger, and the color kept changing," Little River Academy Police Chief Troy Hess told Austin's American-Statesman newspaper. Hess happened to capture the intriguing light with his dashboard video camera during a routine traffic stop, but he was far from alone in his sighting. Witnesses from Oklahoma City to Houston reported seeing the light, cities some 450 miles apart.

The FAA has examined the footage and declared that what witnesses saw was "most likely" a meteor or other natural space debris burning up upon reentry to the Earth's atmosphere. Others seem to disagree. Just ask Texas resident Lloyd Lawrence. "I saw the object in question while driving in, just outside of Big Spring. It was yellow with no trail, moving slow. Did not appear to be a meteor."

I'll update on this event if and when more information becomes available.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sno-Cone Machines Fight Terrorism

Not really. But the West Michigan Shoreline Development Regional Commission (WMSDRC) would like you to believe that they do.

Recently filed documents reveal the WMSDRC bought thirteen of the concession machines with a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program. The total cost was $11,700, but sadly that is just a drop compared to the millions of dollars that are misappropriated nationwide each year. Here are some other notable examples:
  • A Chevy Monte Carlo for Los Angeles County officials. ($20,000)
  • A Ford Expedition for Garfield County, Washington (pop. 2,060). ($28,000)
  • Retirement money for a civil servant in Kentucky. ($10,000)
  • Two Camaros for some lucky Texas politicos. ($62,000)
So tell me, does any of this actually make you feel more secure, or just taken advantage of...?

Friday, February 3, 2012

What Mitt Romney is Really About

"We must not forget what this election is really about: defeating Barack Obama."

Those are the words Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney chose to launch his latest fundraising drive, and they're very revealing. Mitt isn't worried about the economy. (Probably because, according to his own tax returns, he made more than $42 million in the last two years alone). He isn't worried about the millions of out-of-work Americans. (In fact, in a recent speech, he said he likes firing people.) He certainly isn't worried about cleaning up Wall Street, not when the top three contributors to his campaign this election cycle are Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Morgan Stanley. And as much as he rails against taxes, Romney gave away more money in charity than he paid in income taxes (which is, I'm sure, a problem most Americans would love to have).

If you ask me, it seems pretty obvious Mitt Romney is focused on the wrong thing.

This isn't a competition.

This election isn't about Republicans vs. Democrats, conservatives vs. liberals, rich vs. poor, or race. It's about daily survival for millions of Americans. It's about trying to feed your children and, in some cases, your grandchildren. It's about trying to hold on to what you've worked your whole life for, and watching it slip away.

Until Mr. Romney understands that, he isn't fit to be President.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Indiana, You're Screwed

Today I'd like to draw your attention to a nasty little bill working its way through the legislative process. Indiana's HB 1091 would guarantee payment of legal fees for any CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) or other agricultural complex found not guilty of a nuisance lawsuit.

HB 1091 is interesting for a number of reasons...

  • HB 1091 was authored by Majority Floor Leader Bill Friend (R), who is owner and operator of Friend Farms and President of Green Acres Ham LLC. Several years ago, he converted his swine production complex into a confined feeding operation (CAFO).
  • CAFOs dump animal manure into "lagoons". These lagoons release ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and other gases into the air as the manure decomposes. The emission of these gases is commonly described as smelling like sulfur or rotten eggs.
  • People living near CAFOs often complain that the gas emissions cause headaches and other health problems. One of the few avenues of recourse available to such people is to (you guessed it) file a nuisance charge against the offending CAFO.
  • HB 1091 would provide CAFOs special protection under the law. It would take away the presiding judge's option of awarding legal fees to defendants found not guilty of such lawsuits and instead require that those fees be awarded. Agribusiness would become the only industry afforded this protection under Indiana law.
At best this bill seems like a conflict of interest, and an assault on free speech at its worst. CAFO operator/bill sponsor Bill Friend claims the legislation is intended to discourage frivolous lawsuits, which he claims are a major problem in his industry. Yet, when asked by Indiana's NUVO News Weekly, the fifth-generation farmer admitted he'd "had no problem with lawsuits".