Archive for June, 2005

 The Death of Personal Property

The State of Florida can’t do anything right. Whether it’s a botched Presidential election, Elian Gonzales, or the recent nonsense surrounding Terri Schiavo, Florida is, any more, like the kid on the playground who gets picked last for kickball. So when they finally do manage to get something right, like the recent “Castle Doctrine” law affirming the basic human right of self-defense, it’s a shame to see it completely negated by an errant Supreme Court decision.

That is, there is not much point in defending one’s home when the local government is now free to completely dispossess you of your “castle.” For a fair market price, of course.

The concept of “eminent domain,” outlined in the Fifth Amendment, has always represented a fundamental flaw (one of several) in our Constitution. The notion that property can be taken by force from its owner if it can be shown to be more valuable to the general public, is nothing if not an exquisite illustration of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

That a Supreme Court justice (John Paul Stevens) would jump onto this Socialistic bandwagon and declare with such fervor that, “The city … believes [it] will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including — but by no means limited to — new jobs and increased tax revenue,” turns my stomach. Is that to be the litmus test from now until the day this country finally destroys itself in an Ouroborostic frenzy of self-looting? Because if tax revenue is the only criteria for deciding whether or not one’s land is ripe for a strip-mall developer’s picking, then there effectively is no such thing as private property in the United States anymore.

Thank you SCOTUS, for turning my homeland into the United Wal-Marts of America.

 My First Video Essay

I guess it’s not bad for my first attempt at a “vlog” entry. The “special effects” aren’t as special as I would like, but I will fix them for my next one. Eat your heart out Rocketboom!

So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time anywhere on the Internet, you can see me rant.

(Topics discussed: Porter Goss, Osama Bin Laden, the Iraq War, the Planetary Society, Cosmos 1, Tom Cruise.)

 Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Take what are widely regarded as the two most beautiful people on the planet (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), give them some guns, and a fairly contrived story, mix well, and what do you get? A cross between War of the Roses and a James Bond flick. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t guarantee a good movie, either. This one was somewhat disappointing. There wasn’t enough humor to call this movie a comedy, but the action isn’t enough by itself to carry a movie (when will Hollywood realize that?). Vince Vaughn was one notable bright spot in the film, but isn’t he tired of playing the same stereotypical unhappily-married guy, or grizzled divorcee? I mean he’s good at it, but seriously, Vince, it might be time to find a new agent.