On moral busybodies:

First this:
"Texas physicians, distraught over witnessing patients dying as a result of smoking cigarettes, are promoting smoking bans, according to Texas Medicine magazine." (release here, article here)

Houston City Councilwoman Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs compares secondhand smoke to a terrorist attack or epidemic. Dr. Donna Bacchi, an American Hospital Association board member says activism (like her part in supporting bans in Lubbock and Austin) "is physicians' duty."

My favorite quote in support of bans on smoking is from Houston's Dr. Joel Dunnington who says, "Millions of Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke everyday. At a restaurant I prefer to have my food smoked, not me." [emphasis mine]

Why do we need doctors getting the government to prohibit us from doing things that -- admittedly -- are bad for us but we choose to do? If I don't want to sit in a smokey restaurant, what is stopping me from taking my money somewhere else? If smoke bothers so many people, why don't restaurants prohibit it themselves? Oh, wait! They already do, because it's good for their kind of business. Why does the government need to get involved at all?

Where does it end?

Right here...
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-- C.S. Lewis

p.s. -- Remind me to post more on this quote "Every reputable scientific organization in the world that has looked at tobacco smoke pollution has concluded it kills people" [emphasis mine] and what I think (with the help of Ms. Rand) of "reputable scientific organizations" and the people who run them.


And so it begins...

From Texas Insider:

Acie Frizzell owns a couple of vacant lots in the City of Freeport. The city attorney has told her that if she won’t sell her lots as part of a planned economic development project, the city will condemn her land at the price of $100 per lot. The lots might then be turned over to a private developer.

On the other side of town, Wright Gore is the owner of Western Seafood Company. The city also wants to condemn part of his property — 330 feet along the old Brazos River — and turn it over to his next door neighbor to build a marina. Gore says the condemnation threatens the viability of his $40 million-a-year business.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has issued its decision in the Kelo case, the city says it will move “aggressively” to condemn this and other property necessary for the development. (full story)

The land grabs have begun.

Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) Justice O'Connor's prophecy that "the specter of condemnation hangs over all property" is coming true. Are economic development projects tax coffers really worth sacrificing a person's home? A successful, private business? We know the Supremes and the greedy municipal governments of the world think so.

I fear this is just a hint of what's to come...

Sen. Cornyn joins the fight

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) is taking the initiative in forcing the Supreme Court to define "public use" as "public use," instead of the current "whatever the government, in its infinite wisdom, wants it to mean" reading.

Cornyn introduced the "Protection of Homes, Small Businesses, and Private Property Act of 2005" (S.1313, text here, release here) today, a measure that would preclude "public use" from being construed to include economic development. Unfortunately, the law would only apply to (1) exercises of eminent domain power by the federal government, and (2) exercises of eminent domain power by state and local governments through the use of federal funds.

I suppose that's about all that can be done at the federal level. What we need now is a huge grassroots push to get state governments to pass similar restrictions on local governments. A good example: Texas Rep. Frank Corte, Jr.'s constitutional amendment (see previous post here).

It's always exciting (and encouraging) when you have people in government who actually seek to limit its power.

The Prez gets it right

This is something libs have conveniently forgotten:

"We are fighting against men with blind hatred — and armed with lethal weapons — who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras."

Instead, today's Dems -- ok, not all of them, but a whole lot -- rail against their own country's troops and commanders.

If you think America has problems, that's fine -- but how is complaining about an "exit strategy" (something Bush outlined last night, btw) and a supposed "gulag" at Gitmo going to fix anything?

The point is, the ABSOLUTELY most important issue facing the nation is the confrontation with Islamofascism, (go here for a glimpse at that kind of future) and President Bush understands that:

"The terrorists who attacked us [on 9/11] -— and the terrorists we face —- murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent."

If that kind of evil is not marginalized, the Durbins, Pelosis, and Reids of the world won't have a tongue to complain with.

p.s. -- Support the troops! link to America Supports You.


Someone's on the right track...

Texas state rep. Frank Corte, Jr. (R-San Antonio) introduced a state constitutional amendment that would limit the ability of local governments to condemn steal private property. The legislation would prohibit local governments from using eminent domain for economic development purposes.

"The power of eminent domain was never intended to be used to line the pockets of private companies," Corte said in response to last Thursday's Kelo ruling.

Let Rep. Corte know you support him with an email here.

Justice is served?

Effort to condemn Justice Souter's NH home (via Drudge)

p.s. note the reference to the inspiration for this blog in the fifth graf...


"...do you know the hallmark of the second-rater?

It's resentment of another man's achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own -- they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness of an equal -- for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them -- while you'd give a year of your life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors -- hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom -- the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don't respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?"
--Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, p. 333

...then this is the place for you...