Chris Frashure

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Mitch Daniels signs bill allowing force against unlawful police entry

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has signed into law a bill that would allow residents to use force against police that they believe to be unlawfully entering their home:

The governor’s office says that Daniels signed the bill aimed at giving people the right to defend their homes against illegal entry by police Tuesday evening.

The bill that was a response to a public uproar over a state Supreme Court ruling last year that residents couldn’t resist officers even during an illegal entry.

Supporters say the proposal strengthens the legal rights of people against government agents improperly entering their homes. But police groups worry about the measure giving people justification for attacking officers.

This bill precariously straddles the line between rightfully protecting one’s home and giving incentive for unnecessary violence. The distinction must be made between the unlawful entry of a police officer and that of any other person. The intent of the former, be it correct or not, is to enforce law with as little violence as possible. The intent of any other intruder is to steal property or bring harm to an occupant, and thus always merits force against the intruder.

The bill clarifies when a person is legally justified in using force and when they are not, but codifying this sort of legal defense may encourage residents to make that distinction by means of physical force instead of jurisprudence.

Gay marriage opponents plan to use race card

With public acceptance of gay marriage at an all time high, social conservatives are feeling the pressure and are getting desperate. They are now planning to use race to their advantage, as an internal memo from the National Organization for Marriage reveals:

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” read the memo, which outlined a plan to recruit African-American spokesmen to speak out against gay marriage, then organize a media campaign around their objections.

“Provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” the memo read. “No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.”

Apparently NOM’s opposition to social progression doesn’t stop at marriage. Merely a few decades past the civil rights movement for black Americans, they are content to hark back to an era of racial division in an effort to provide a lifeline to their dying, antiquated philosophy of government-sanctioned social inequality.

Using the government to enforce your views onto others is anathema to the principle of liberty, but dividing a people by race to do so is a new level of disgusting.

Did Gerry Connolly endorse Ron Paul?

No, but this tweet from the liberal congressman from northern Virginia will leave quite a few people puzzled about its meaning:

Given that Ron Paul favors major cuts in spending, reducing the debt, reducing government’s role in education, and a frugal foreign policy, it must follow that Representative Connolly is claiming that the Republican Party does not favor these things. He’s certainly right, but it seems to be an interesting admission from someone who accuses Republicans just this sort of “extreme” ideology.

Virginia considers marijuana legalization study

Virginia State Senator David Englin has introduced a bill that would establish an eight member subcommittee to study the impact of marijuana legalization in the Commonwealth:

In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall examine the feasibility and practicality of selling marijuana under the restrictions and conditions as allowed by law, the impact of these sales in Virginia’s ABC stores and on its patrons, as well as the potential revenue impact upon the Commonwealth.

The proposal is likely ill-fated in a legislature that seems poised to reject Governor McDonnell’s ABC privatization plan. However, given that privatization is largely being scrapped due to the revenue it produces for the state, Englin’s bill may yet have a slim lifeline if he can promote it on fiscal grounds and equate the possible benefits to those reaped from the recent record liquor profits. Still, it will be a tough sell to socially conservative Republicans who oppose legalization on a merely personal basis.

In late 2010, Englin expressed his openness to ABC privatization:

Given the increasingly bitter political environment of the past year, it’s refreshing to have a policy debate in Richmond where Republicans and Democrats generally agree: Philosophically, hardly anyone, including me, believes that selling liquor should be a core service of government.

Shakespeare becomes a casualty in war on multiculturalism

From the LA Times:

No longer can the students discuss Chicano perspectives on history. And no longer can Martinez teach Mexican American studies.

After the Tucson Unified School District board voted late Tuesday to suspend the controversial classes to avoid losing more than $14 million in state aid, the students’ world shifted.

Course titles and curriculums changed immediately. Chicano history became American history. Chicano literature became English literature.

State law bans classes that are primarily designed for a particular ethnic group or that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.” Last week, state Supt. of Public Instruction John Huppenthal ruled the Tucson program in violation. The board chose not to contest his decision in court.

Proponents say the classes push Latinos to excel and teach a long-neglected slice of America’s cultural heritage — Latino perspectives on literature, history and social justice.

But its critics, led by Huppenthal, say framing historical events in racial terms “to create a sense of solidarity” promotes groupthink and victimhood.

Teaching history without the history of ethnic groups is unavoidable. Teaching history without the history of victimization is unavoidable. Teaching history without the history of victimization of ethnic groups is certainly unavoidable, given that large swaths of history are comprised almost entirely of some form of ethnic and/or racial oppression (a history that continues to be written to this day). In fact, teaching history as such is to alter the past itself.

Could Gary Johnson play a role in November?

With Gary Johnson all but having officially announced that he will seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President, Public Policy Polling included him in a poll of voters in his home state. The result? While short of Obama by a distant 21%, Johnson trails Mitt Romney by a mere 4%.

Americans are more fed up than ever with the 2 main political parties right now so we also looked to see how Gary Johnson might do in his home state running as a Libertarian and the answer is pretty darn well.  In a 3 way contest with Obama and Romney he gets 23% with Obama at 44% and Romney at 27%.  And in a 3 way with Gingrich, Johnson gets 20% to 45% for Obama and 28% for Gingrich.

What’s interesting about Johnson’s support is that he’s pulling a fair amount from both sides.  His supporters in the match up with Obama and Romney go just 47-33 for Romney in a head to head contest. And his supporters against Obama and Gingrich actually vote for Obama 47-40 in a head to head.  So Johnson’s pulling from across the spectrum. Just because he’s doing that in New Mexico doesn’t really say anything about his ability to do it on a broader scale but it shows that with folks who are familiar with his message he has support across the spectrum.

Herman Cain doesn’t know anything about Cuba

Herman Cain didn’t know that China was a nuclear power. He doesn’t know what is going on in Libya. He didn’t know what the Palestinian right-of-return was. He said it’s not practical to attack Iran because “it’s very mountainous.” And he recently said “I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy,” which is probably a good position to take given that he doesn’t know anything about foreign affairs. More evidence of that comes from his “foreign policy” on Cuba:

Cain, who last week stumbled over questions about what he would do in Libya, seemed to know little about Cuba. His campaign kept reporters at bay, and when asked about the Cuban Adjustment Act and the so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy, Cain seemed stumped.The policy allows Cuban immigrants who have made it to US soil to stay.

“Wet foot, dry foot policy?” Cain asked. His press handlers interrupted as Cain diverted his course and ducked back into the building. Later, when he emerged, he was asked again by another reporter. Cain wouldn’t answer.

Santorum would use government to combat acceptance of gay marriage

It certainly isn’t news that Rick Santorum doesn’t care much for gay people, and he certainly doesn’t lie outside of the mainstream Republican view on gay marriage. What is slightly unorthodox about Santorum’s approach is his view of the government’s role in changing society. Fearful of the “consequence to society of changing this definition” of marriage, the former senator believes that government should have an active role in molding society’s view of gay marriage. Proof of that came when he was asked if he thought he could combat an increasing acceptance of gay marriage:

Christopher Patton, a Gary Johnson supporter, stopped Santorum as he approached his table and asked the candidate if he really felt he could “turn back the clock” on progress for gay marriage, considering that some polls show that a majority of Iowans under 30 years of age support it.

Santorum paused.

“Yeah, I do,” he replied.

It’s one thing to be intolerant of something and even to speak out against it publicly in an effort to persuade others – everyone is entitled to freedom of speech – but to use the power of government to force the masses to adhere to your set of morals is the textbook definition of bigotry.

Gary Johnson’s campaign continues to struggle

Gary Johnson’s campaign is in complete disarray. An initial report stated that all five of Johnson’s New Hampshire staff members had quit, but that story has been amended, claiming that one remained though he has apparently been “let go”:

Matt Simon, who joined the Johnson campaign early on, said he was the first to leave, but he was followed by the four other paid New Hampshire staffers, including State Coordinator Brinck Slattery.

Grant Huihui, Johnson’s campaign scheduler, said in an interview this morning that all of Johnson’s New Hampshire staffers were “let go” in late October, but Simon said that is inaccurate.

“It’s more accurate to say everybody quit,” Simon said. “We don’t want a big public thing like the (Michele) Bachmann campaign had, but definitely the New Hampshire staff quit out of frustration with the national campaign.”

Simon said he personally was frustrated with the lack of organization and the lack of money that was being put into the campaign in New Hampshire.

“They just weren’t giving us the resources needed to execute the plan,” said Simon. “We drew up a plan back in April or May to do well in the New Hampshire Primary. But there was just a lack of resources – not being able to hire people, not being able to get things like yard signs until September when we needed them in May. A lot of people meet Gary Johnson and like him, but they see he doesn’t have a campaign so they’re not going to go out of their way to support him. It’s too bad.”

Demystifying housing shortages in NYC

The New York Times seems puzzled that the laws of economics insist on fulfilling their pronouncements:

East Harlem has been undergoing a resurgence for two decades, yet the neighborhood is still pockmarked with four- or five-story walk-ups where the ground-floor stores are bustling and the apartments above are devoid of life. Their windows are boarded up, blocked up or just drearily empty, torn curtains testifying to no one’s having lived there for years.

Although the vacancy rate in Manhattan hovers at 1 percent, at least some of the landlords of these sealed-up buildings — hundreds of them exist in pockets across the city — are deliberately keeping their buildings mostly vacant, content to earn income from first-floor commercial tenants rather than deal with the trouble and expense of residential tenants.

In some cases, city housing officials say, landlords are waiting for a revived economy to raise rents so that it makes financial sense to repair plumbing and electrical wiring. In other cases, landlords are “warehousing” apartments for the moment that a deep-pocketed developer comes along, as has happened in the blocks just north of 96th Street, East Harlem’s southern boundary. In still other cases, it is simply mystifying that apartments would be left vacant for decades, particularly since East Harlem has been a magnet for Mexican and other Latino immigrants, as well as young strivers looking for cheap space.

This phenomenon is hardly “mystifying” and can be explained almost entirely by basic economics:

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