Archive for June 2011

Missing the Point on July 4: The Right to Vote Was Not The Main Achievement in 1776

From my column in Forbes this week, an update of a regular feature here in the past:

Every Independence Day, I am struck by how poor an understanding Americans have as to what the Revolution of 1776 was really all about.  For example, I would bet that a depressing number of people in this country, when asked what their most important freedom was, or what made America great, would answer “the right to vote.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, the right to vote in a representative democracy is useful and has proven a moderately effective (but far from perfect) check on creeping statism.  A democracy, however, can still be tyrannical.  After all, Hitler was voted into power in Germany, and without checks, majorities in a democracy would be free to vote away anything it wanted from the minority – their property, their liberty, even their life.    In the US today, majorities routinely vote to take money from or impose their will upon various minorities.

In my mind, there are at least three founding principles of the United States that are far more important than the right to vote:

What three?  You will have to click through to find out.  Have a great July 4 weekend.  Happy 235, United States!

Very Quick Thought on Corporate Speech Cases

This whole argument about corporate personhood is an enormous distraction.

Corporations have certain rights not because they are legally persons, but because they are formed by and made up of persons.

Here is my simple formulation.  Inidividuals have the right to free speech.  Individuals have the right to association.  It is crazy to then posit that individuals, when they associate, no longer have free speech rights.   If five of us gather on a park bench, we have not somehow given up our speech or other rights by doing so.  And the fact that we may form a formal club or organization among us with bylaws and hierarchies does not change this fact one bit.

By the way, if the First Amendment does not apply to individuals who have assembled into a corporation, does the Fourth Amendment apply?  How about the Fifth?  or Sixth?  of Seventh?  or Eighth?

Glendale Keeps Throwing Money After Sports

I have no idea why this town of 250,000 people is so fired up to hand money over to sports enterprises.  This time, its a Superbowl bid:

Glendale is throwing its support behind a regional bid to bring Super Bowl XLIX to the city in 2015.

In return for the prestige of hosting the National Football League game at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale must guarantee services such as public safety and sanitation for free and exempt game-day tickets from sales tax for the NFL.

When Glendale hosted its first Super Bowl in 2008, it saw $1.2 million boost in sales-tax revenue. But a city-commissioned study showed it cost the city $2.6 million in services.

The City Council on a 5-2 vote Tuesday approved the resolution. Councilwomen Joyce Clark and Norma Alvarez dissented.

Councilman Phil Lieberman asked for Glendale's cost to host the Super Bowl in 2015, but Deputy City Manager Cathy Gorham said she didn't want to speculate because "things change on a regular basis." The needs in 2015 may be much different from 2008, she said.

These guys are beyond parody. We lost money last time so lets do it again, and by the way lets be sure not to estimate our costs before we make this decision.  Here is a bit more:

Clark said the NFL's demands grow more "invasive" every year.

Clark ticked off requirements such as use of the stadium for nearly two months, final cleaning of the stadium and equipment as needed for free. The NFL doesn't pay state or local levies such as payroll, sales, use and occupancy taxes.

Clark cited two former host cities, Arlington, Texas and Miami Gardens, Fla., which did not shoulder the costs of a Super Bowl. In both those cities, the states stepped in and reimbursed them, Clark said. She said that communities that hosted the NFL game didn't see "big spikes" in their tax revenues.

"The city of Glendale should not be expected to pay the Super Bowl's costs without recompense when it benefits the entire region," she said. "We are at a disadvantage because the NFL is hosting in our city."

Alvarez, an ardent opponent of using taxpayer money for professional sports, said the city was in no position to be spending money for the Super Bowl with the economic crisis. She said she couldn't face her constituents if she supported the resolution when there are unmet community needs and employees are still taking unpaid days off.

Note the only alternative suggested - the alternative is not "let's not do this, it makes no sense" but "let's make sure we stick the costs on a larger group of taxpayers.

More articles on Glendale and sports subsidies here.

Utterly Without Class

Well, the execreble Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America's most-desirous-of-PR-exposure lawman, is at it again.  Phoenix will be mobbed by the press in a couple of weeks when the MLB All-Star Game comes to town, and of course Sheriff Joe will be hurt and depressed if he doesn't get himself in front of all those cameras.

So this is apparently his plan for doing so:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's publicity stunt of choice for All-Star weekend: a female chain gang that probably will make a stop at Chase Field to pick up garbage as the national sporting press tries to cover a baseball game....

This particular gang is comprised of women convicted of DUI. They will be decked out in the standard striped uniforms. However, they will also be wearing pink T-shirts with messages about DUI.

Because nothing says "thoughtful and humane treatment for alcohol problems" like parading prisoners in front of national TV audiences like a modern remake of Cool Hand Luke.

We give special, unique powers to use force to the police, and it is horrifying to see them used for personal aggrandizement.

By the way, I will share my secret fear.  As you may know, Apriao enjoys leading raids on businesses that hire Mexican immigrants.  His MO is to zip-tie everyone with brown skin or an accent until they can produce proof of citizenship.  My deep fear is that he will run a raid of the concession operations at the ballpark during the game.

Great (Princeton '84) Minds Think Alike

Coyote, Jan 2011

For many, low wage jobs are the first rung on the ladder to success and prosperity.  Raising the minimum wage is putting the first rung of the ladder out of reach of many low-skilled Americans.

My classmate Henry Payne, saying it better in pictures (via Carpe Diem)

Commerce Clause

From Ace of Spades via Maggies Farm

Obama and, it seems, many courts, would like to pretend that while the Constitution generally speaks of enumerated and limited powers -- all other powers, such a the police power, reserved for the people and the states -- that the Commerce Clause generally is a "Take-Back" clause that essentially calls bullshit on everything else in the Constitution.

That is, everything else in the Constitution is about establishing particular powers of the federal government, and, expressly, reserving those not named (or "necessary and proper" to undertake a named power) to the states.

But this new claim is that really there is only one clause that matters in the Constitution, and that is the Commerce Clause, and this one brief clause renders all 4400 other words in the Constitution null and void, because the Commerce Clause says, it is contended, that the federal government may do anything so long as, in the aggregate, it "affects interstate commerce," which, as is often pointed out, applies to everything.

Pretty Brazen, Even for a Politician

I have often described this statist feedback loop:

  • Create government program
  • Government programs messes up certain aspects of the market
  • Blame such messes on "failure of markets" or capitalism or even the rich, rather than the government program
  • Create new government program to fix problem created by last program
  • Repeat

Obama's new political strategy seems to be even more brazen

  • Democrats pass new program over Republican objections
  • New program has unseemly subsidies for rich people
  • Blame subsidies on Republicans, to the point of using subsidies as example of bankruptcy of Republican party

Specifically, tax breaks for corporate jets:

The chief economic culprit of President Obama’s Wednesday press conference was undoubtedly “corporate jets.” He mentioned them on at least six occasions, each time offering their owners as an example of a group that should be paying more in taxes.

“I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well,” the president stated at one point, “to give up that tax break that no other business enjoys.”

But the corporate jet tax break to which Obama was referring – called “accelerated depreciation,” and a popular Democratic foil of late – was created by his own stimulus package.

Which is not to say that the losers in the Republican party would not likely have supported the same plan had it been their idea.

By the way, this is nearly exactly what Obama has been doing with those so-called special subsidies for oil companies.  This subsidies are in fact the identical tax breaks that all manufacturers receive that allow them to accelerate expensing of capital investment.  This is a tax policy that has enjoyed bipartisan support and no one is suggesting should be eliminated in general -- just eliminated for industries that have bad PR.

Newsweek Has Totally Lost It

Newsweek has for a number of years been the poster child for the lost traditional media trying to find its way in the digital age.  Tina Brown was supposed to have been the brilliant media mind brought in to save Newsweek, but if anything she has made Newsweek even more of a joke.

Her major focus seems to be to use Newsweek as a platform for self-promotion, beginning in her first issue when she used the cover to promote her upcoming women's conference and stroke her friend Hillary.  This week, she gives the cover over to promoting her biography of Lady Diana with a concept that People Magazine would probably have passed on -- what would it have been like if Diana were still alive.  Seriously.  This is how far this magazine has fallen, trying to envision how the recent Royal Wedding would have been any more of a circus for the rich and over-dressed had Diana been in attendance.

But I probably would not have bothered to blog about it had it not been for this cover I saw in the airport.  Check out the horrible zombie Diana.  Jeez, is this a real story or a preview of Left 4 Dead 3?  Pre-order now and get custom DLC including the solar-powered chainsaw and the zombie Lady Di.  (You may have to click to enlarge to see the full horror).

About Freaking Time

Radley Balko wins journalist of the year award. I used to say he was the best reporter on the web but he is one of the to reporters in the country in any medium. His work on police and prosecutorial abuse has been critical in an era when the media is generally in the tank for tough on crime overreach (eg love affair of press with sheriff Joe).

Kudo's to the Cardinal's Darnell Dockett

Local NFL star Darnell Dockett apparently got pulled over by the police today.  Dockett live-tweeted the encounter, including gems like this:

-I don't know why the police always messing w/me I'm never gonna let them search my car with out a search warrant! No matter what!

-Police sitting here waiting on back up cuz I told them YOU NOT SEARCHING MY CAR! PERIOD! & now I'm sitting here! Owell I aint got shit 2 do!

-There R 3police cars and they are talking! I don't see A search warrant they won't see inside this escalade! I got all day hope they don't!

-Police said "do you mind if we look around in your Vehicle?" I said I sure DO! He said "I'm gonna call back up" I said u wanna use my phone?

You go Darnell.  Everyone who stands up for his Constitutional rights makes it easier for the rest of us to do so.

Wal-Mart Thought for the day

Wal-Mart's profit to shareholders is about 3.6% of sales.   This means that for the majority of the country, on the items you buy at Wal-Mart, they are earning less than half of what the government takes in sales tax on the same item.

Big Amazon Prime Disapointment

I have been an Amazon Prime customer for years, and have been very satisfied to get the free two-day shipping.    And they have always done a good job with this, and in the past I have had literally hundreds of shipments in a row arrive on time.

However, two of my last three orders have been late, and the last order, which should have been here on Thursday, still, two days later, has not arrived despite the fact the system says it was delivered June 23 at 12:54.

But it is actually fairly easy to figure out why the service has deteriorated.  On both these late orders, Amazon used the USPS to deliver the package.  That explains a lot.  The USPS has awful, unreliable service and has absolutely no package tracking capability.  Not only is it my package missing, but neither Amazon, myself, or the USPS have any way to find out where it is.

This is awful service.  I am not only a pretty high-volume customer, but I have paid an annual fee to get premium shipping -- and I can tell you that there is likely no one on Earth who considers the USPS a premium shipping option.  If they keep sending my 2-day packages snail mail, there will no longer be any point to being a prime member.  Maybe they will offer a super-prime membership sometime in the future that guarantees they will not use USPS (though I suppose I can get this now by clicking the one-day shipping button and paying the $3 or whatever it is extra).

Power Imbalance: The Difference Between Liberal and Libertarian Philosophy

My new column is up at Forbes, and it is one of my favorites I have written for a while  (at least it seems so with my current scorpion-induced double vision).  It begins with Krugman's recent statement that the Left understands the Right and libertarian positions better than the Right and libertarians understand the Left.

I first demolish this as a pretentious crock, but then wander to more important topics

But I do understand the leftish position well enough to identify its key mistake.  As I mentioned earlier, we libertarians are similarly concerned with aggregations of power.   We have, at best, a love-hate relationship with large corporations, for example, enjoying the bounties they can bring us but fearing their size and power.

But what the Left ignores is that there is absolutely no power imbalance as large as that between the government and its citizens.    After all, you may get ticked off when Exxon charges you $4.00 a gallon for gas for reasons that aren't transparent to you, but you can always tell Exxon to kiss off and buy from someone else, or ride a bike, or stay home.    Because Exxon does not have armies and police and guns and prisons.

Every single time we give the government the power to right a perceived imbalance, we give the government more power than the private entity we are trying to contain.  In effect, we make things worse.   Because we want the government to counter-act the power of oil companies, Congress now has the power to dump large portions of our food supply into motor fuel, to the benefit of just a few politically connected ethanol companies.

One of the reasons the Left often cannot adequately articulate the libertarian position is that the notion of bottom-up emergent order tends to be difficult for many to understand or accept (this is mildly ironic, since the Left tends to defend the emergent order of Darwinian evolution against the top-down Christian creation vision).

The key to much of libertarian economics is not that libertarians trust private actors, but that libertarians trust natural correction mechanisms in free markets far more than it trusts authoritarian power of the government.   When, for example, large corporations become sloppy and abusive and senescent, markets will eventually bring them down.

In fact, when government is given power, nominally to correct such imbalances, they tend to use it to protect those in power as often as they do to protect the disenfranchised. Government restrictive licensing of hair dressers, interior designers, and morticians; bailouts of GM, Chrysler, and AIG; corporate welfare to GE and ADM; and use of imminent domain to hand private property to favored real estate  developpers -- all are examples of finding government cures for perceived private power imbalances that are worse than the disease.

Isacc Asimov, in a book called Foundation that Paul Krugman recently rated as one of the most influential on his life, related this fable:  Once there was a man and a horse, who were both imperiled by a wolf.  The man approached the horse, and said that if the horse would put its superior speed at his disposal, he could kill the wolf.  And so the horse agreed to take the man's saddle and bridle, and helped the man kill the wolf.  The horse said, "great job, now remove your saddle and we can both be free," and the man said "never!"

I hope the moral of the story is clear.  In trying to deal with the threat of the wolf, the horse gave the man so much power he became an even bigger threat.  So too when we look to government to solve our problems.

Read the whole thing, as they say

Bad Start to the Day

This morning, I got stung by this little f*cker in the shower

I have been stung by fire ants and bees and wasps but nothing hurt as much as this sting.  Right now, my entire foot is pins and needles (not numb, but the painful feeling when your circulation returns) and the toe that got stung really aches.  I also have other weird symptoms like dry mouth.  I also have pins and needles on my tongue and everything I eat or drink tastes funny.

I am lucky -- my wife got numbness and pins and needs all the way up her thigh from a sting on the foot, and she didn't regain full use of her leg for three days.

I know I will get commenters encouraging a call to poison control.  We have called before.  There is nothing to do short of just gutting it out  (unless one goes into shock, where there is an anti-venom but there are downsides to using it).

Update: The pins and needles have moved halfway up my calf.  This reminds me of those adventure stories (e.g. Lonesome Dove) where one of the characters has gangrene moving up his leg and there is great suspense as to whether they will get to a doctor in time before it reaches his torso.

Update #2:  The tingling is up to my knee now (remember, the sting was in my little toe).  My whole mouth has that acidic taste, like biting on aluminum foil, and my vision is a bit jumpy.  Given the trivial volume of venom that I received, this is nasty stuff.

Update #3: Up to mid-thigh now.   My teeth have pins and needles too.  Is that even possible?

Update #4: Walking is interesting.  Think of the worst pins and needles you ever had after regaining circulation, and how it hurt to move that limb at first, and that is what walking feels like.  It's odd to me that a toxin can mimic the exact same feeling as that of circulation returning.  I suppose some medical type might be able to explain this.  By the way, though it does freaking hurt, I am trying to treat this with levity because I know it will go away eventually.   I don't want to insult people who deal with true disabilities or chronic pain by whining too much.

Update #5: My hands now have pins and needles too.

Update #6: Its now 10 hours after the fact.  My entire leg is still all pins and needles but the pain at the spot where the sting occurred is greatly reduced.  My hands still are both tingling and my eyesight is still jumpy

Final Update: When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt vastly better.  However, I still had tingling in my stung foot as well as both hands.  The tingling finally went away entirely about 30 hours after the sting.  Unlike other kinds of bites or stings, once the tingling went away, there is no after effect of any pain or even itching.  I was lucky -- my wife's arm remained numb and tingling for three days after she got stung on the wrist.

Teaching Company Sale

I have bought numerous audio and video Teaching Company courses and have never been disappointed.  Until tomorrow they are having a 70% off sale on many of their courses.

A few I have heard and would recommend:

History of the US

History of London

Big History

American Civil War

Chinese History

Modern Western Civ (I am doing this one now)

Early Middle Ages (one of three by same professor on the Middle Ages.  All three are awesome)  here is late Middle Ages

History of Ancient Rome (not rated as well on this site but this is probably my favorite)

World War I

World War II

I am kind of amazed how long the list is, but I have actually listened to several others I would not recommend or that are not on sale.

Update: Use coupon code VFRC to get an additional $20 if you spend over $50.  By the way, I don't get any commissions.  I just believe in the product.

Great Moments in Regulation

After over three years of effort, and many, many checks written to numerous departments, Ventura County has granted us the right to operate a fuel tank at a particular location near Lake Piru, CA.  This is actually a huge improvement, and will be much safer and less liable to create a spill than the current methods of schlepping around zillions of 5-gallon cans in a pickup truck.

However, we still have not, after 3 years of trying, obtained a permit from self-same Ventura County to install said tank.  So it is currently legal for us to own, posses, and operate a fuel tank at the permitted location but still illegal for us to install one there.

The tank we purchased 3-years ago in the naive hope all this permitting could be done in a month or two will probably be rusted out by the time we can actually install it.

Nostalgianomics

For those on the Left who wish to return to the economic organization of the 1950's, recognize that this era of more uni0ns and a greater dominance of the economy by hard-core manufacturing also had strong social inhibitions to half the adult population working paid jobs.  As women entered the work force in droves in the 1970's to the present, most of the jobs they found were in the new service industries whose displacement of manufacturing you lament.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is the Battleship game box my son found in a stack of old games at his grandparents house.   The boys having a blast while the girls are washing the dishes.

Update: More from Matt Welch and Michael Barone.  Money quote:

The ongoing left-of-center brainscrub of its own 20th century anti-authoritarianism remains one of the great curiosities of our time.

Show Us Your Lightsaber Or You Will Be Fined

This year, US oil refiners will pay more than $6 million in fines to the EPA for not using a product that doesn't exist.   Refiners are required to blend at least 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol this year, or pay a fine to the EPA of $1 per gallon of this target not met.

But here is the funny part - no cellulosic ethanol exists for refiners to buy, even by the EPA's own analysis.  The product simply does not exist in any more than pilot plant / experimental volumes.  But that is not stopping the EPA from imposing the fines, which will get passed on into gasoline prices.

Here is the saddest part, from a defender of the cellulosic mandates:

Next-generation ethanol advocates say that small-scale commercial production of the fuel is just around the corner. When the EPA proposal was released yesterday, one advocate blamed the oil and gas industry for slow progress.

“America’s advanced and cellulosic ethanol industry is rapidly progressing with many technologies proven and biorefinery projects shovel-ready. Yet, advanced biofuel producers continue to sail into a head wind created by tax policy favoring oil and gas,” said Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council, in a statement.

What in the hell are they talking about?  Their plants get their construction subsidized with public financing, the oil industry is required to buy their product, trade barriers exist to limit foreign competition.  These guys are not fighting a headwind, they are trying to hit a golf ball downwind in a hurricane and they still can't clear the lady's tee.

Gary Johnson on Stossel

My favorite reporter interviews my favorite Presidential candidate

Link if the embed is broken

Update: Awesome

“The fact is, I can unequivocally say that I did not create a single job while I was governor.”...

“Don’t get me wrong....We are proud of this distinction. We had a 11.6 percent job growth that occurred during our two terms in office. But the headlines that accompanied that report—referring to governors, including me, as ‘job creators’—were just wrong.”

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Allowing this kind of hell to exist has got to be one of the worst systematic civil rights violations that still exist in this country

The U.S. Department of Justice recently released its first-ever estimate of the number of inmates who are sexually abused in America each year. According to the department’s data, which are based on nationwide surveys of prison and jail inmates as well as young people in juvenile detention centers, at least 216,600 inmates were victimized in 2008 alone. Contrary to popular belief, most of the perpetrators were not other prisoners but staff members—corrections officials whose job it is to keep inmates safe. On average, each victim was abused between three and five times over the course of the year. The vast majority were too fearful of reprisals to seek help or file a formal complaint.

Just to calibrate, the total number of sexual assaults reported outside of prisons in the US is something like 190,000 a year.

Sexual violence is not an inevitable part of prison life. On the contrary, it is highly preventable. Corrections officials who are committed to running safe facilities train their staff thoroughly. They make sure that inmates who are especially vulnerable to abuse—such as small, mentally ill, and gay or transgender detainees—are not housed with likely perpetrators. And they hold those who commit sexual assaults accountable, even if they are colleagues.

But many corrections administrators are reluctant to make sexual abuse prevention a top priority, preferring to maintain the status quo rather than acknowledge the role their own employees play. Others are actually fighting reform efforts, claiming, in spite of the evidence, that sexual violence is rare.

This resistance is reflected in the slow implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which Congress unanimously passed in 2003. The law mandated binding national standards to help end sexual abuse in detention. But almost eight years later, the Justice Department has yet to promulgate final standards.

Take California for example, where the prison guard union is among the most powerful in the country.  Given how far in the tank legislators in that state are for their public unions, it is hugely unlikely this will get addressed any time soon

Abandoning Even the Pretense of Neutrality

The Obama administration has abandoned even the pretense of not being in the tank for its union supporters.

First, it handed took ownership of GM away from secured creditors and gave it to the UAW.

Second was the NLRB over-reach in veto-ing plant relocation decisions by Boeing

More recently came the rules changes for quick, midnight unionization elections to prevent target companies from being able to tell their side of their story

Finally, comes news that the Obama Administration worked to trash pensions of non-unionized auto workers while protecting pensions of union workers.

Top Down vs. Bottom Up

I have written any number of times on the technocratic-statist urge to overturn emergent order that is created bottom up in favor of imposing their own top-down vision of how society should run.  The following is from David Mamet via Mathew Shaffer (hat tip Maggies Farm) and is a nice synopsis of this mindset

The problem is that “the Left today is essentially an elitist movement, and it has invested a lot of time and money in the idea that they know better.” Elites have been led to think “by getting the grades, and getting into good schools and think-tanks and government positions that they are fit” to reorder society more rationally. But this requires first demolishing the order produced by the organic processes of tradition, democracy, and markets — the culture. Why are some so susceptible to this fatal conceit? “They get out of elite schools being told nothing but, ‘You’re the best.’” Hubris — a dramatist’s area of expertise.

More good stuff, from the same interview

“There is no secret knowledge. The Federal Government is really the zoning board writ large,” he writes. What does that mean? He explains to me: “Mark Twain famously said, ‘God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board.’ The zoning board is like that — they’re just a bunch of people with power. Some are good, some are bad. But they gotta be watched like hawks, because power corrupts.” So “secret knowledge” is a Hayekian insight wrapped up like a Talmudic paradox. The secret is there is no secret — no special caste has the knowledge or goodness, inaccessible to the rest of us, to order society. Hence Mamet’s skepticism of technocracy and his preference for order created from the democratic and disaggregated processes of the marketplace.

And here is one more nice quote from Mamet, a while ago in the Village Voice

in the abstract, we may envision an Olympian perfection of perfect beings in Washington doing the business of their employers, the people, but any of us who has ever been at a zoning meeting with our property at stake is aware of the urge to cut through all the pernicious bullshit and go straight to firearms.

Austerity

Democrats are labeling any plans that would cut or even flatten Federal spending as the "austerity" option.  They use the word austerity to imply an unusual and radical reduction in spending which evokes proposed plans in places like Greece that has all the government workers marching in the street.

But Greece is trying to find a way to move to a fiscal regime they have never even experienced, not in any of our lifetimes and maybe never.  In contrast, the US merely needs to move to a place it was way back in about 2006.  Yes, that's right, "austerity" is returning to the level of government spending we had five years ago.  And we all remember what a blighted time that was, a veritable Mad Max desolation relieved only by Obama arriving like the Postman from the David Brin novel (or the execrable Costner movie, if you prefer).

Via Cato:

XKCD is Awesome Today

I Am Sure We Will Be Seeing These Civil Rights Suits Any Day Now

I try not to get into the voting rules arguments between Republicans and Democrats because at their heart, most of these are totally political.  However, I am fascinated by the claim by Democrats that producing an ID to vote discriminates against blacks, presumably because obtaining such ID puts an undue asymmetric burden on African-Americans vs. whites.

This seems like a crock to me -- I am not sure why obtaining an ID is harder for blacks than whites, though I will observe that the highest profile black man in the country had trouble producing his birth certificate so maybe there is some racial thing here I don't understand.

But if we take the claim at face value, why aren't the TSA and airports being sued by the NAACP?  After all, there is an ID entry requirement and if that is discriminatory for voting, isn't it also discriminatory for flying.  Why isn't the DMV, or the highway department being sued of its ID requirement?  Ditto the federal government, which required ID to enter a federal building.

Update: James Taranto has similar thoughts.  He thought of several I missed, including requirements to show ID (part of the I-9 form) in order to get a job.