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Monday, May 26, 2003  

People are saying

•The colored customer

One night at CompUSA I chatted with another customer, a young Hispanic woman. I bought my Kensington saddlebag for my TiBook during that trip. She tried to buy a laptop. They took her credit card into a back room used as the security office. The clerks, who consider me an old friend, told me the police had been called. Sensing something awry, the woman and her companions, two men, left the store without her card, hopped into their vehicle which was waiting with a driver outside, and sped off with a loud screech of the tires. I don't know whether Vancouver police ever caught up with them or not. From the looks of things, I had watched a fraudulent attempt to purchase a $1,700 item (it was a Windows laptop) fail. The suspicions of store personnel had been right.

However, there did not have to be any basis for a customer of color to be treated shabbily in that store. I know because I was followed by security and even had them check the validity of my credit card when I first began shopping there. (The then manager made it up to me with a gift card and free digital camera lessions after we had a discussion.) They may have forgotten, but I haven't. Today, at Silver Rights, there is a discussion of the assumptions that the determine why some people are likely to be suspected of or accused of breaking the law and others aren't.

•When libertarians party. . .

•Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings and some other bloggers we virtually know attended a blogger bash May 23. The conversation sounds, um, interesting to liberal ears.

Blogarama After-Action - Enjoyable if somewhat sparsely attended time last night at the blog party. Much time talking with Julian Sanchez and Brink Lindsey. (Brink: "Am I still a neolibertarian, Jim?" Jim: "I don't know. Have you changed your mind about things?" But the conversation went uphill from there.) Marie Gryphon tried, with some success, to convince me that school vouchers were not simply the State's nose under a tent it hadn't managed to enter yet. Julian and I talked about Two Different Types of Libertarian (no, not pragmatic versus principled or paleo versus neo - a different schema I'll come back to.

I wonder if they discussed John Lott.

•Democrat does not mean dove

Simon at To the point has suspicions that some Democratic Congress people are succumbing to invasion fever.

In case you thought the Democrats were a brake on power in DC, the AP reminds us that Dems can be as nuttily hawkish as the GOP. The article, "Lawmakers say Iran's Rulers Should be Removed", quotes our Dems in power:

Rep. Jane Harman of California, ranking Democrat on Goss' committee, said she considered Iran ``more of a clear and present danger than Iraq last year'' but wants a diplomatic focus.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., a Democratic presidential hopeful who strongly backed the Iraq war, said ``regime change'' is the answer in Iran. He said he was not suggesting U.S. military action because of the pro-American attitudes of many Iranians.

Though those remarks are carefully phrased, Simon believes some Democratic politicians can be persuaded to support another invasion -- too easily. I agree.

•Medicaid cap will have wide impact

Most middle-class people will benefit, albeit nominally, from the tax cut package just passed. But, what about the low-income and the poor? They won't. Many fall within the 10 percent tax bracket. Others don't make enough money to owe taxes. But, the Bush administration has a gift for them -- a cap on Medicaid. They will no longer be eligibile for health benefits for their children in some cases. However, this is the kind of present that can be shared. Many middle-class people rely on Medicaid for care of elderly relatives in nursing homes. This could effect you. Read about the administration's proposal to cap Medicaid here.

5:54 AM