Different perspective on Kelo

Today, I started reading "A Libertarian Defense of ‘Kelo’ and Limited Federal Power" by N. Stephan Kinsella with 'what are you smoking?'

But it does make sense in that the State (and local) rights are affirmed by this decision. The only problem is that the whole Constitution would be thrown into question of what rights do I really have if the limitation applies only to the federal government. Things that the Constitution prohibits the feds from doing can now be (un)done by the state or local government. What was assumed to be a restriction to all levels of government is now redefined to apply only to the federal government.

Also, Kelo decision expands the meaning of "public use" -- if it can be shown that more tax (income tax for feds) can be generated, then eminent domain can be exercised -- even by the feds. (This was not totally made up by yours truly -- my coworker helped in the discussions to come up with these words I now write.)

(I'm not a lawyer so I could be all wrong, of course.)


SCOTUS: police need not protect

Today's ruling by SCOTUS: one does "not have a constitutional right to police enforcement of the court-ordered restraining order"

So much for "to protect and serve." The court struck it down to be only "to serve" ("whom?" is the right question to ask).


Allodial and Patent Land Title

At voxday's blog, commenter Bob helped me find a new word in property rights: allodial.

Too bad it is hard to obtain, let alone maintain it. Sigh.

Update: Common Lawyer had 3 more links: Here, here and here.


Kelo vs. New London

The SCOTUS decision is being discussed all over the blog world, liberal to libertarian, even in the tech world. Since I didn't see any Japanese articles (via google nor yahoo) 4 hours ago, I went ahead and posted my own blurb in Japanese. I can only read various comments and shake my head. I don't have much to add myself.

My favorite comment: All your homes are belong to us.

Home Educators using Public Facilities?

I caught "Taught at Home, but Seeking to Join Activities at Public Schools" and also found related "Home School sports".

As much as I am anti-public schools, I see it OK to take advantage of such opportunities. I think that trying to avoid it as much as possible is the right answer but we can't avoid completely the tax supported public "goods."

The question is how much is too much? That, I don't have the answers. (I'm being taxed, so I want to benefit from it to some extent -- I can't afford to be taxed and then try to replace public services with post-tax dollars.)

Men better off with wives doing the house work

I though the report "Married men earn more if wives do the chores?" might be interesting but turns out kind of lame: only 3% diff between the single men vs. married men whose wives do the house chores. I would have expected a much greater gap -- maybe if things like networth and overall stresss level (life expectancy?) might give a better picture (or not).


Taxation in Japan

In Japan, a typical employee (median?) makes about 7 million yen (about $65k). Due to various exemption, they get taxed on 2.6 million yen (about $24K) which works out to be 210k yen (about $1,950) of taxes. They are looking at decreasing the exemption so that taxable amount will be 4.1 million yen (about $38K) which works out to be 380K yen (about $3,500) of taxes.

No wonder things can be expensive in Japan yet people seems to have lots of disposable income (I worked in Japan for 3 years but didn't bother to look at my tax statements). It only takes about 1 month of work (out of 1 year) to pay for taxes while in the US we have to work for 4 or 5 months to pay our dues.


Rethinking Unschooling

I've been trying to understand Jesus' model of discipleship: He called the 12 men, and then proceeded to disciple them by His messages, stories, encouragements, guided internships, rebukes and, most importantly, generally living along side with Him, 24x7.

He showed something attractive to the men He called (rough men like fishermen would not have followed a wuss) and then He guided them in their training.

I personally believe in the unschooling philosophy of education because I want my children to be intrinsically motivated rather than extrinsically. However, because we are sinful creatures, we can lose our way and be motivated for selfish gains (pride, lust, greed, etc.). (My wife is uncomfortable with unschooling so we practice delayed academics, but considering that they spend at most an hour of honest book study, it still is pretty much hands off.)

So, how do I guide my sons without being overbearing? or resorting to some kind of (constant) force? I'm struggling with how to call out my oldest son into manhood and get him slowly get used to the world of adults (before he becomes 18) and give him the right skills to live as an adult. I also want him to learn Japanese, since he is a dual citizen of Japan and U.S. Yet, I don't want him to learn things, including Japanese, just to please his parents (or grudgingly go through it because he has too).


In honoring my father

As much as I like to dog schooling, I do appreciate my father, a former school teacher, for doing what he can to raise his children, yours truly and my sister. By being raised by a single mother, he didn't have a father to mentor him. And even though he became a Christian in Japan before he met my mother, like most American churches, I do not think he was mentored in being a Christian man let alone a priest of the family. Or if he was, he didn't live such an example that I was able to learn from. Much of the spiritual life in our home seemed to be driven by my mother.

However, he made some significant life changes which impacted my life forever: He was living with his mother and sister on a debt-free, relatively prime real estate and could have lived a life of ease and comfort (renting out parking spaces still pays for their monthly expenses). Instead, he choose to follow his calling and serve as a poorly paid church school teacher away from his home. We were dirt poor in Japan, so much that I recall my mother telling me how she would buy the bread's ends (which are normally cut off and today are given away for feeding birds).

The other is for him to emigrate his family to the US to work on his college degree. He never did finish since feeding and schooling his children became a priority. Both him and my mother worked here in the States so that my sister and I could attend church schools (we were so poor, we got scholarships from church and we still needed hand-me-downs from church friends and even rides to/from school). I recall of times when we didn't have any sweets in the apartment to eat such that I turned to eating just sugar!

In the end (for now), both of his children have received graduate degrees (Master's for me, M.D. for my sister) and are working full time and have obtained some measure of financial success. (You can read my older entries on what I personally think of these matters, but I'll leave it be for this entry.)

So, thank you Papa for all that you've done for us!

(Why do I write this when my parents do not even have internet access and even if they did, they won't be reading any English web pages? Maybe it's for my posterity?!?)


Bootstrapping via poker

I love this story about company founders playing on-line poker to fund their business (i.e., pay their personal and business expenses).


Why public school should be abolished #724

The Seattle Times reports:
A middle-school teacher previously reprimanded by the Tacoma School District for sexual misconduct is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student.
Why do taxpayers put up with this? Get rid of public schools NOW! (grin)

Don't let school get in the way of your career

Apple's cofounder Steve Jobs gave a graduation speech at Stanford U. and I like the following quote:
dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he ever made because it forced him to be innovative — even when it came to finding enough money for dinner.
Note that it was reported on Monday (I've posted it in Japanese that day in US time zone, or the next day in Japan time zone) but some bloggers like Michelle Malkin didn't mention it until Thursday -- kind of slow for "internet time."

Update 6/20: Here's the full text.


Why Public Police is a problem # 126

CBS has a brief article on L.A. Cops Gone Wild and their consequences:
Thirteen sheriff's deputies will be disciplined for firing about 120 shots at an unarmed driver last month, an incident that sparked outrage in the community and prompted some deputies to apologize.
And for all this shooting, what happened to the lucky shootee?
Winston Hayes, 44, was struck by four bullets in the May 9 shooting, which was captured on videotape following a brief pursuit of Hayes' sport utility vehicle. The vehicle matched the description of one thought to be involved in a previous shooting. It was later determined that Hayes was not involved in that incident. Hayes was hospitalized for about two weeks and now faces charges of evading police and driving under the influence of drugs.
He didn't kill anyone. He wasn't wanted. He was just minding his own business driving his car. And for all that, he gets shot up for mistaken ID! I'm surprised that people in Compton aren't lynching the police, considering that when compared to Rodney King (only one man was beaten up), this incident involved the whole neighborhood:
The shooting spurred anger in Compton, where bullets smashed through windows and hit houses.
With the tax funded bullets hitting homes, no place is safe! Drive by shooting is least of our worries, when police gone wild can shoot up our homes willy nilly! The irony of property tax paying for the cops and their weapons (which damaged the said tax generator) goes without saying...


Heart change first

I've resonated with Linda Schrock Taylor's article "The Attitude Towards Parents" esp. the quote from Confucius:
To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.
It all starts with the heart and without it pointing in the right direction (not money, not selfish "happiness" but eternally focused return of unconditional love), nothing else will go right in the long run.

Unfortunately, you can't force it on children. Hopefully it will rub off on the children through the examples of our (parents') lives. As well as continual prayers!

Faith and freedom

I like how Guinness points out in reviewing "SACRED AND SECULAR: Religion and Politics Worldwide." By Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, that:
Far from setting up "Christian America," or establishing any orthodoxy, religious or secular, the Framers envisioned the relationship of faith and freedom in what might be called a golden triangle: Freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith (of some sort), and faith requires freedom. If the Framers were right, then as faiths go, so goes freedom - and so goes the Republic.
Freedom is closely tied to faith and as long as faith is scientism or statism, then there can only be force over freedom and other competing faiths.

The beauty of the biblical Christian faith is that its foundation is not force (either carrot (reward based) or stick (punishment based)) but love, unconditional love. (I'll be the first to confess that I may not always exemplify this unconditional love -- all the more reason I need the forgiveness offered through Jesus Christ.)

True love, unlike force, does not bring out fear but, eventually, love in return -- something which can linger on. Force, on the other hand, has to be constantly exercised or else people will do whatever. As the old saying goes: when the cat's away, the mice will play. Or to put it in more modern terms: mice (people) gone wild!

The question is how to raise children to live under the faith of love rather than the force of carrot and/or stick....


Naval Gazing and Self-Analysis

I wrote my last post this morning and then when Jonathan replied I was upset and reacted rather than thoughtfully posted. As a result, my track back got erased and probably left bitter feelings. I'm sorry for my hasty response.

Based on his initial comments, I guess Jonathan was offended with my entry usage of "Orwellian" and using the example of eye for an eye vs turning the other cheek. I was more reacting to demonizing and asking for "quote and rebut" so I quickly added the quotes I thought were appropriate but that wasn't what he was looking for.

Lessons learned: Some people are more sensitive to name calling (I, as a sinner, am not exempt). I need to choose my words more carefully. I still think my examples are appropriate but maybe the linkage needs more details (I thought making the leap from point A to point D was obvious but may not always be so clear when people cannot read my lucid mind -- just kidding). Last but not least, use trackbacks more sparingly: some bloggers will be offended.

I guess the inability to communicate irony and sarcasm with on-line text can readily trample people's feelings: but then this isn't the first time I've done it (I've been writing on-line since 1987 back in the days of USENET).

With that said, I'm not sorry for what I've written. I stand by my text. (Or maybe I'm just being stubborn and selfish? -- Naval gazing goes on...(not))

Public Educational Goals: not with my children, you don't

Gene pointed out OverEducation's blog entries: "What are Schools For?" and "On Homeschooling and John Gatto." The latter links to DaveShearson's entry "Parents & Schooling."

Updated 9:54 AM based on OE's comments (I added two quotes):

It seems to me that OverEducation's Orwellian "training" has been complete and seems to desire total control over the children's mind, not just scholastically but morally as well, as implied in the quote:
the parent-child relationship has coercive or choice-inhibiting tendencies; that is, parents are unable to give their children access to a limitless range of choices, because they are limited by their own knowledge and means, and also because they demand more of their children than they would have a right to expect of them merely as fellow citizens. This creates a gap wherein parents lose the moral right to make all choices for their children and yet where these children do not have the full capacity to choose freely for themselves. Schools occupy this gap.
Unfortunately, correct scholastic results can be reached in variety of ways (just like in spelling, you can memorize each words or you can memorize rules and their exceptions or anyone into math knows that there is no one right method to reach a result) but morality is always monopolistic. The end results of the external behavior might be similar in many cases but the paths and the answers to all problems will show how different moral reasonings are.

For example, if on one hand cannibalistic morality requires you to kill your enemy and on the other, a Christian morality requires to "turn the other cheek" to ones' enemy, which is more right? I suppose OverEducation would say, killing is illegal so the latter is more correct? But such morality will be a utilitarian one: if it's illegal, as long as I'm not caught, it's OK.

Christian morality is based on salvation first, obedience afterwards. The Ten Commandments came after the Israelites were freed from Egyptian slavery. One obeys Jesus Christ for the gratitude of being freed from the slavery and bondage to our evil desires (hatred, material jealously, sexual lust, lying) and any resulting actions. No relativistic or utilitarian or even statist morality can offer such a positive one: the latter 3 can only maintain morality by force. No wonder the children in public schools are out of control!

Even OverEducation (OE) can only think of resorting to force to overcome moral monopoly of home educators or private school educators -- much like abused children are dealt with. To quote from the other entry:

One conclusion was that parents should not have a monopoly in determining the fates of their children. This is not news; the state already exercises the right to remove children from the custody of parents who are abusive or neglectful (incidentally, my brother works with such children). The point I felt worth contemplating is that parents should not have a mental or moral monopoly on children, either
In fact, OE essentially wants to add moral-mono-theism to the list of child abuse and continue to expand the power of the state -- all for children's educational "sake," of course -- not realizing that it would help secure OE's brother's job who deals with abused children. Talk about vested interest: I'll help you get more case loads while your labeling will secure my job by adding the children into the state sponsored brainwashing institutes (i.e., more pupils means more tax money for public schools).

What's funny is that current policy of public schools is such that if you're overtly religious (only Christianity, of course), then you can get kicked out of school for not obeying "statist neutrality." What will OE do? Will a new policy be made: we will now FORCE your children to no longer be overt about Christianity (using drugs, psychotherapy, etc.)? "1984" here we come 20 some years late....

Yup, I can't stress enough: get rid of public schools and all related taxation.