The Locker Room

April 24, 2007

Re: The statist impulse

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 7:42 PM

I should have waited before writing this note; I could have incorporated New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Newsweek column on the topic. 

The subhead says, "The Feds ducked responsibilty on guns. Good thing America's mayors stepped in."

Actually, the Feds' responsibility on guns is captured quite well here:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

If the Constitution still meant what it was supposed to mean when it was written, the text of the Second Amendment would clearly ban Congress from "infringing" on the right to bear arms. The amendment would not stop the states (or localities, if the states permitted local action), to enact their own regulations.

I plead ignorance on the details of current Second Amendment jurisprudence, but I'll accept this Web site's assertion that the right to bear arms has not been affected by the incorporation doctrine. (Our Second Amendment experts should feel free to chime in and correct my errors.)

Regardless of the current status of the case law, the idea Bloomberg and other commentators ignore is the beauty of the federal system of government. If some mayors seek gun control -- and their communities are willing to go along with them -- so be it. (The community's willingness to go along with the restrictions is an important point. A mayor should not push gun restrictions on a community with a strong interest in preserving Second Amendment rights.)

People who object to new restrictions can move to other communities that value a citizen's right to protect himself and his property through ownership of a firearm. Time will tell which communities have more success fighting crime.

A one-size-fits-all approach from the federal government is not only unconstitutional; it's also counterproductive. Rather than "ducking responsibility," the feds are actually exercising the restraint that our Constitution prescribes when they avoid overreaching on gun control.

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Comparisons between that Capt. America burrito guy and Sandy Berger

Posted by Jon Sanders at 4:10 PM

Background: "Meet Dr. Raymond Adamcik. The Florida man, dressed as Captain America and with a burrito stuffed in his tights, was arrested Saturday night for allegedly groping women at a Melbourne bar. ... While being booked, Adamcik asked to use the bathroom. It was then, police charge, that he attempted to flush marijuana, which apparently had been hidden in his blue tights."

Who are we comparing? First, we have a guy caught doing illegal activities with stuff crammed in his pants, and then we have this Dr. Adamcik dude.

Adamcik's a doc who crammed a burrito in his pants; the other guy's a Berger who crammed docs in his pants. Also, Adamcik allegedly groped women and tried to flush the dope. Berger worked for a dope who allegedly groped women.

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Does Wake County Schools need a funding increase?

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 1:30 PM

Today, the N&O reported that the Wake County Schools will ask county commissioners to approve a $30 million budget increase to "keep up with record enrollment growth and state-set increases in salaries and benefits."

What they are not reporting is that Wake County will receive funding for 237 K-3 teaching positions at the 2006-2007 state average salary of $50,626. The estimated $12 million will come from lottery revenue set aside for reducing class sizes.

Statewide, lottery revenue for class size reductions will pay for 2,525 positions at a cost of nearly $128 million. CMS will receive funds for the most position allotments, 244. On the low end, Hyde County Schools will receive funds for less than one position.

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Re: More Party ID issues...

Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:27 PM

I just checked out Gov. Corzine's Web site, where this graphic is at the top:


Nothing, that is, except for driving 91 miles per hour in a 65 speed limit zone in order to meet with Imus

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Talking taxes

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:52 AM

Legislative Republicans used their weekly media briefing to discuss their concerns about taxes.

Highest on their priority list are the temporary sales and income taxes from 2001 that could be extended for another two years. The tax extension could be part of the House budget plan expected next week.

House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, outlined the case against the temporary taxes.

Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, shares similar concerns.

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More Party ID Issues per Ham/Sanders

Posted by Chad Adams at 12:29 AM

Governor Jon Corzine: 

From the NY Times: CAMDEN, N.J., April 23 After 10 days in critical condition with severe chest injuries he suffered in a car crash, Gov. Jon S. Corzine was moved out of intensive care late Monday afternoon.

From the Asbury Press: Medevac arrival time was not a factor in Gov. Corzine's April 12 motor vehicle accident on the Garden State Parkway, according to State Police.

From the Courier News: New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine was critically injured in an April 12 accident.

Kudos to UPI: The 60-year-old Democrat suffered a fractured sternum, 11 broken ribs and a fractured left femur, in the April 12 accident.

With Representative Thomas Wright:

From WWAY-TV-3: RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Political committees have reported more than 270 donations to Representative Thomas Wright's campaign that the campaign hasn't unreported.
(of interest, they do label his accuser however):
former Democratic consultant Joe Sinsheimer accused Wright of breaking elections law . .

From Fox21 in South Carolina: RALEIGH, N.C. The Star-News of Wilmington reports that political committees have reported more than 270 donations to Representative Thomas Wright's campaign that the campaign hasn't unreported.

Is there a bias in not labeling certain partisans as Democrats? None of the stories above (except the UPI story) mention the political affiliation of the elected official.


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Construction costs higher

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:03 AM

Finally, the media is reporting that Wake County's school construction costs are higher than comparable school systems. The John Locke Foundation pointed that out back in February.

Now that the truth of the report is out, members of the school board and the Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee are changing their tune, arguing that the report is not an apples to apples comparison. Compare that message to school board chair Patti Head's comment on the report in January, "It was a nice affirmation that we are doing a lot of things correctly in Wake County."

At that time, the school system believed that construction costs were comparable to other districts. The report never said that they were, but the Wake County Schools spin machine was in full force and nearly everyone, with the exception of JLF, was along for the ride.

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N&O can't say the "D" word either

Posted by Jon Ham at 07:35 AM

Yesterday Jon Sanders pointed out that The Associated Press couldn't bring it self to use the word "Democrat" in its story about former NC Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps getting out of prison. Raleigh AP Bureau Chief Sue Wilson had this to say in response to my email yesterday:

It was a mistake. We should have included it. It will be added to today's stories and those run in the future.
True to her word, the latest versions of the AP story on Phipps point out that she is a Democrat. AP may deserve a little slack (but not much) for yesterday's story because that was a brief written quickly when the news was announced.

The News & Observer doesn't have such an excuse. In a lengthy story about Phipps today, including a biography in a sidebar, readers are never told that this case of corruption, that led to an elected official spending three years in prison involved a Democrat.

As I wrote Sue Wilson in my email, this is one of the biggest complaints media critics on the conservative side have about the mainstream media: that they air brush Democrat from corruption stories and play up party affiliation when Republicans are involved. That this happened twice with two major North Carolina news outlets shows that it's not just our imagination. Call it a mistake if you want, but it looks like bias to me.

(Cross-posted at Right Angles.)

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