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StoneHeads ( 頑固者 )



頑固 [がんこ] stubbornness, obstinacy 者 [もの] someone, person



Updated: 2015-09-16T22:08:09.513-07:00

 



Police Violence Against Citizens

2014-08-14T20:47:09.473-07:00

So. I see that in Ferguson, MIssouri it is perfectly OK to gun down unarmed citizens if you're a cop and there will not only be no reprimands, but you will be honored by your colleagues - even as they conspire to cover up for you. Nice. Welcome to the new Geheime Staatspolizei. Folks, this is yet another reason to video everything and then post it on YouTube. Name and shame. Meantime, lobby your local legislators to end the unconstitutional extra-legal privileges these guys (along with judges and prosecutors) have appropriated.



Thoughts on the Obamacare Trainwreck

2013-11-19T10:44:30.666-08:00

As I have watched the increasingly disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), I have been struck by the number of folks who are now complaining that their insurance is being cancelled. Many of these folks are asking how they are supposed to afford these new, much higher rates, and some are complaining that they liked their old coverage. Even leftists who were in full voice support are beginning to complain. Well, folks, you wanted this, you voted for it, and now you are getting what you wanted. Enjoy it. I am also amused by all the folks complaining about the insanely high premiums on the exchanges - on those rare occasions when one can actually access said exchanges! Hey, you folks were telling us how great government healthcare is. Own it.

But on a more serious note, the more I study this whole process, the more I become convinced that the doom-sayers were right. Obamacare was never intended to succeed. It was intended to destroy the private insurance market and provoke a crisis where people would clamor for the government to come and save them. And voila - single-payer where the government is in total control. In other words - instant communism. The same process would then be employed against every other industry, one by one - they've already seized most of the automotive industry. But health care was the big one because that was the communists' way to control. And thanks to the spineless John Roberts and the four fellow-travelers on the Supreme Court, this blatantly un-Constitutional power grab was allowed to become law.

I'm not sure that the media will permit the full scope of this disaster to reach the ears of the low-information Americans who live on the taxpayer teat, but as more and more Americans begin to lose their insurance - especially with the massive cancellations that will happen next year when the employer mandate hits - I'm not sure even the Democrat Party's many Riefenstahls in the Press can utterly cover up this epic disaster. And if not, then the Democrats will own this - not a single Republican voted for it. If we had a fair and honest media, the Democrats would be suitably punished at the ballot box, but since we have a one-party propaganda corps instead, I am sure that they will not suffer as much as they should.




When Democrats Stray...

2013-09-09T15:59:07.841-07:00

...the national 'news' media is of course mostly silent. This is hardly news to anyone not living in the Democrat-Media Complex bubble. For example, I was browsing the Web and came across this story in the UK Daily Mail.

To briefly summarize, it seems that once again a member of the Kennedy family of Massachusetts has been unable to control his libido. This is hardly unknown among this clan. JFK, RFK, and Teddy were all serial sexual predators. But it is not my purpose to dwell upon the horrendous history of this worthless clan of hypocritical would-be elitists. Rather, I would draw your attention to an interesting aspect of this story.

To wit, gentle readers, please note that this story is in a British media outlet. Note also that the American 'news' media is still utterly and appallingly silent on this most interesting discovery. Why? Because he's a Democrat. Remember, if you please, how the news media spent months publishing lewd and ridiculous rumors about a Republican Vice-Presidential candidate (Sarah Palin) - but simultaneously couldn't be bothered to report on a fellow Democrat's adulterous affairs while his wife was dying of cancer. I refer, of course, to the man who was once a Democrat candidate for President - John Edwards. His peccadillos were not deemed worthy of coverage - until the National Enquirer, of all sources, finally blew the lid off the scandal.

Let us delve further into the past. I can recall how it was perfectly acceptable to call for President George W. Bush's assassination - in fact, the far-left Hollywood made fantasies where he was in fact, assassinated. The HBO show 'Game of Thrones' actually included his decapitated head as a part of one of their scenes. That was 'art'. And it was eminently respectable to scream and throw shoes and hang him in effigy. Dissent, we were told, was the highest form of patriotism.

With that firmly in mind, imagine, gentle readers, what the headlines would be if this were a Republican. Front page screaming headlines for months, at the very least. Representative Mark Foley was hounded from office over inappropriate texts but his successor Tim Mahoney was allowed to have an adulterous affair and the national 'news' media was silent. Democrats can freely lie (Pelosi/Reid/Obama saying 'It's not a tax!', Obama claiming 'I never made a red line'), whore (Bill Clinton, RFK, Jr, JKF, etc), be former officers of the KKK (Robert Byrd) and even steal while in office (William 'The Refigerator' Jefferson, Alcee 'Impeached Federal Judge' Hastings) without any complaints from the chattering classes. Democrats can even allow US ambassadors to be murdered (Benghazi), conspire to send illegal guns to ostensibly friendly countries (Mexico, Fast & Furious), and even have the IRS, the CIA, and the NSA harass their political opponents and the US press is totally fine with that.

Hat tip to the amazing Instapundit.




Well, America, you got what you wanted...

2012-11-09T15:58:07.387-08:00

A Washington DC contract attorney who goes by the nom de plume 'Raised by Wolves' (RBW, in future references) has written an excellent analysis of what is going to happen to contract opportunities (as well as permanent positions) once ObamaCare hits in January 2013. Among other comments, he asks what contract agencies will do when the new requirements that basically force any company with more than 30 employees to either buy them over-priced, horrible government-issued insurance or pay a hefty per-employee penalty. His answer is as follows:


There are only two choices. First, nobody works 30 hours a week for an agency ever again. That probably is an unworkable solution, but it is not unthinkable, given the trend in the industry toward a 40-hour cap on projects. A 30-hour cap would mean more bodies, staggered, but would not be a dramatic departure from the no-OT policy that already governs so many projects. Given the staggering costs of forced health coverage (or penalties), agencies won't consider this option unworkable. They'll think about it, and you'll have to start finding two projects at a time to make a living wage. Assuming, of course, that agencies and the firms that hire them stop enforcing their concurrent employment policies that ban working two projects at a time.

The second choice is, your taxes just got harder. Agencies could deem contract attorneys to be independent contractors and start issuing 1099s instead of W-2s. That means you'll have to make quarterly estimated tax payments for withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. Oh, and by the way, it also means you'll be responsible for the employer's half of those Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, as you will now be self employed. Of course agencies will raise your rates to make up for the fact that your share of the payroll taxes doubled while their share disappeared. Don't doubt it for a second.

Now RBW was focusing on the contract attorney field, but his analysis is valid for any field where contracting is common. This includes the high-tech fields where I earn MY living. And my reaction is that RBW is spot-on. I don't know about you, but I've noticed that where I live, there are lots and LOTS of contract offers. Perm? None. Everyone wants to hire contractors. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that companies know what's coming and are trying desperately to avoid the coming storm? Why, yes, it could. Which is also why permanent opportunities are going to be few and VERY far between for the next ten-twenty years. The Democrats have basically made it uneconomical to hire permanent employees. And so they are desperately trying to get people to do contracting instead. Of course, my sympathy for most of these companies is miniscule since these are largely the same companies whose CEOs are in bed with the Democrats.

But hey, America basically voted for two issues in the 2012 election. These issues, as constantly screamed forth by the Democrat propagandists in the press corps were:

  1. Lots and lots of government 'free' shit (paid for with Other People's Money) and...
  2. Killing babies so that irresponsible and feckless young women can have lots of fun without consequences while forcing everyone else to pay for that fun, as Sandra the Slut memorably begged for.

Those were the two main campaign issues the Democrats and their media shills pushed over and over again (in between dragging out seventh-grade stories and telling us what a scary and horrible guy that Mitt Romney fellow was, of course). So guess what, America? You got what you wanted. I hope you enjoy it when the inevitable bill comes due.




Another Postscript

2012-11-09T15:56:26.713-08:00

I just looked at the post-election map. For conservatives, this should be deeply disturbing. The Democrats now own Virginia, Nevada and Colorado and to all intents and purposes, Ohio as well. This essentially means that no Republican can ever win a Presidential election ever again and even if one should somehow manage to get past the media bias and demonization, there is no chance that Republicans will ever have a majority in Congress either - especially not in the Senate.

Why is this? well, look at the map. Montana and South Dakota both chose to elect Democrats over Republicans, despite being thought of as red states. Republicans failed to beat outright frauds in massachusetts and failed to beat deeply unpopular incumbents in both Missouri and hold a REpublican seat in Indiana.

Overall, this election tells me two things. First, that the Democrats have succeeded in creating a majority built on government-reliant groups. Second, that the media's scare tactics still work too well and no Republican will ever be able to get past them to try to convince these groups that Democrats do NOT have their best interests at heart. And this is a majority that cannot be broken - they will never vote for those who honestly say they will cut their benefits. And of course Democrats will promise anything and scare them by saying REpublicans want to to take away those benefits. The same goes for parasites like the federal unionized bureaucrats. They will never vote for Republicans.

What this means is that we who love this country are watching it die. The takeover is complete. First the Democrats seized control of the educational system and created an indoctrination program. Then they added those indoctrinated fools to a large group who relies on government to live. And now, they have won and the country's federalist roots are finally dead. The plan initiated by Woodrow Wilson and continued by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson is complete. This country is now ruled by a small cadre who plans to turn all of us into beggars dependent on Almighty Government. And never again will any election do anything to stop it. The best we can hope for is to slow the progress, but now we have gone too far. The government, according to the Supreme Court, can tell us what to buy, what to wear, what to eat, where to live, and anything else, as long as they call it a tax.

I don't know if I can offer any comfort. We had the worst President of our lifetimes, a horrid economy, a disastrous foreign policy and yet a majority of Americans STILL voted to re-elect Obama. And not only that, they gave him increased control in the Senate and cut the Republican majority in the House. As a conservative, there is no comfort that I can take tonight. Our side lost and lost big. And from where I sit, the country is beyond repair. I guess we can look forward to becoming just like California now. Yay.




Get Ready for Taxachusetts

2012-11-09T15:57:39.281-08:00

Now that Barack Obama has won re-election, and the Democrats have strengthened their hold on the Senate, taxes will go up on January 1. The Republicans have lost seats in the Senate and cannot stop any of Obama's legislation. And after tonight's shellacking, I don't expect them to try. I wouldn't if I were them. Why bother? If they try to stand up for ordinary Americans, they will be demonized in the press and they obviously lack the spine - they didn't even nail the president on his many failures during his first term. But this means that Americans will face a massive tax increase. All the Bush tax cuts will expire and not only that, ObamaCare's taxes kick in on January 1 as well. So we are facing the largest tax hike in US history. Thanks, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama!

So, what will this tax hike entail? No one knows for sure, but CNBC says that most Americas will see their investment taxes rise by approximately 3.8 percent. In addition, CNBC says that with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, that means wealthy Americans will see those taxes rise by close to 45 percent.

But that is not all. As Daily Finance.com points out, the expiration of the afore-mentioned Bush tax cuts also means that the average US family will pay 15 percent more in taxes immediately - in addition to those massive investment income tax hikes.

So, get ready for a much higher tax bill in 2013. Thanks to Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress of 2007-2010, it's coming. The only question is whether or not the Democrats will reach for even more tax hikes as well. Personally, I wouldn't bet against it. After all, as Obama famously said in 2009, 'I won."




Goodnight, America

2012-11-09T15:57:01.351-08:00

Well, it's over. Good-bye America, it was great while it lasted. With the results of this night pretty much set in stone, we now know that our future is limited and the end is in sight. Once the socialists seize control of a country, as they seized control of the United States tonight, the future is always the same - huge deficits, disastrous foreign policies, a rising class of political nomenklatura, an educational system designed to indoctrinate, not to educate, and the loss of freedom for the people. That is the future that awaits us as well, especially if the other frequent result - a fascist or communist dictator - occurs. It was due to this type of situation that brought Mussolini to power in Italy. And so, knowing that the great experiment that was America has reached the beginning of the end, we must ask ourselves what happened? Here is my small attempt at explaining this debacle. I see four primary reasons why barack Obama won. These are as follows:

  1. The media advantage They lied for Obama, they hid news that would make him look bad, they glorified his Administration's response to Hurricane Sandy (behavior that they crucified W over), they falsely blamed all the bad economic news (when thy reported it at all) on either George W Bush or the post-2010 Republican House of Representatives, they refused to report on the many scandals of his Administration, they falsely demonized his opponent and they actively worked with his campaign to report only those items that would reflect well upon him. Media bias was huge for the Democrats.
  2. Voting fraud The Republicans tried to shut off the illegal voting with Voter ID and they could not do it - Democrat judges shot it down. I would not be surprised to learn someday that this election involved shenanigans like the infamous theft of Illinois in 1960. But without any real way to verify voters, what can we expect?
  3. The Gimme Vote Mitt Romney said that 47 percent of American was beyond his reach. I fear he under-estimated. Based on tonight's results, I think that over fifty percent is now on the government teat in one way or another. And this was by design. The democrats intend to get the country dependent on government aid so that they can more easily control us. beggars are easier to please, after all - especially ignorant and indoctrinated beggars. Look at Red China and the old USSR for evidence. As Alexander Fraser Tytler is said to have written (this is also sometimes attributed to Alexis de Toqueville), "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury." I think we have now reached that point.
  4. Race. Obama won largely because too many Americans could not bring themselves to vote against The First Black President. His policies were secondary to his skin color. This means that the ideal of equality is dead - people will be judged solely on color, not on what they can do. Martin Luther King's dream is dead - destroyed by his own race. Blacks and other minorities as a group apparently cannot see beyond color. They voted en masse for an incompetent poser solely because of color. This despite the fact that his policies are directly responsible for a great deal of their misery. Amazing and utterly depressing.



Fascism, Communism and the TEA Party

2013-09-09T16:02:11.250-07:00

I have written before about how Fascism as practiced in Germany, Spain and Italy, far more closely resembles left-wing political philosophies than it does the modern American conservatives. That StoneHeads post of mine back in 2010 was prompted by an interesting post from Professor Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy. Now Bill Flax, over at Forbes.com, has written a powerful article making the same argument. Flax looks at the policies proposed and executed by both Communists and Fascists and observes, In Argentina, everyone acknowledges that fascism, state capitalism, corporatism – whatever – reflects very leftwing ideology. Eva Peron remains a liberal icon. President Obama’s Fabian policies (Keynesian economics) promise similar ends. His proposed infrastructure bank is just the latest gyration of corporatism. Why then are fascists consistently portrayed as conservatives? In the Thirties, intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited, constitutional governance anachronistic. The Great Depression had apparently proven capitalism defunct. The remaining choice had narrowed between communism and fascism. Hitler was about an inch to the right of Stalin. Western intellectuals infatuated with Marxism thus associated fascism with the Right.This is very true. Fascism and Marxist Communism both feature very powerful national governments, a Leader class that lives quite differently from the masses, a State-run command economy and government-sponsored winners and losers. The differences were that while Communism focused more on class, the German Nazis focused more on race. However, the Fascist nations also were not friendly to the entrepreneurs and powerful industrialists, though not quite to the same degree as the Communists. And the Communists and fascists, despite their enmity during the Spanish Civil War, were quite willing to work closely together. The USSR provided Nazi Germany much-needed training facilities during the 1930s for Hitler's slowly growing war machine and World War II could not have happened without the 1939 Non-Aggressions Pact between Hitler and Stalin. In addition, the many dupes and paid tools of the Communists in the United States and Western Europe created a large, vocal presence urging the West not to interfere in Hitler's military adventures and which, following the attack on Poland, was equally vigorous in urging the United States to allow Britain and France to fall. This movement utterly vanished on June 22, 1941, of course. American conservatives, on the other hand, argue for a small government and accountability for the many government functionaries. They don't like heavy taxes, they don't like many government programs and they prefer to be left alone to do their own thing. This is the impulse that led to the TEA Party movement. American conservatives also are opposed to social engineering as a rule - something that both communists and Fascists truly love to engage in. And they like to own weapons o a hobby that both Communists and Fascists dislike since it makes totalitarian rule much more difficult. On a policy level, the TEA Party argues for a more decentralized form a of government where the majority of decision-making happens on a local level. This too is anathema to both the American Left and to the communists and fascists, who all prefer a much stronger central presence. Above all, TEA Party members argue for individuality and the freedom to make their own decisions, something that Marxists and Fascists alike despise. Flax also points out that fascism, like communism and the modern American left, despises religion. The TEA Party on the other hand argues religion should have a central place in American life, although I have y7et to encounter a TEA Party member who thinks that government should dictate how and what people should worship. And like the modern American left, both communists an[...]



More Media Hypocrisy - Solyndra vs Enron

2011-09-02T14:17:39.258-07:00

Yes, the title is redundant. We should expect to see media hypocrisy when it comes to how they cover Democrat scandals versus Republican scandals. The differing treatment received by John Edwards and Mark Foley should tell us that. But I digress..

I was perusing the Solyndra scandal and a few thoughts came to mind. Remember how the media relentlessly tied Enron to George W. Bush's Administration? Yet most people forget Enron's extensive ties to the Clinton Administration, as well as the undisputed fact that the only government official to openly attempt to secure special treatment for Enron during Enron's troubles was in fact Robert Rubin, a former Clinton official. As the Seattle Times admits in their article,
In late 2001, after revelations about Enron's accounting made headlines, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan sought to arrange the company's sale to rival Dynegy so they could split a $90 million investment banking fee and stave off its likely bankruptcy. The suit said calls by Citigroup Vice Chairman and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and J.P. Morgan Chairman William Harrison to credit-rating firm Moody's Investors Service were attempts to "strong-arm" the firm from downgrading Enron before a sale could be completed.


Now the Bush Administration's ties to Enron were in fact far less than the Obama Administration's ties appear to be with Solyndra. Both companies used political connections to try to get ahead. The situations seem pretty similar. So...Will the Press treat this the same way? I'm not holding my breath...




Treat Govt Failures Like Market Failures

2011-09-02T13:56:00.704-07:00

Jonathan Adler makes a great point today on the Volokh Conspiracy. Writing on the fact that every time markets crash (leaving out the fact that said crashes, as in the case of the mortgage crisis often occur because of, not in spite of, government regulations)he opines,
Indeed, when many policymakers see a potential market failure, they almost inevitably call for government intervention to restrain market excesses. Yet when government fails, interestingly enough, the proposed policy solution is often the same: more government intervention. The point here is not that government intervention is never justified — Becker himself believes some government regulations are “essential” — but that it must be justified with serious comparative analysis considers the possibility government may fail as well.


Translation: Why don't we the people treat government failures that same way government likes to treat 'market failures'? Seems to me it is because the market failures are often - perhaps even usually - caused by government in the first place. And government likes this model, as it usually leads to more power for the same organizations that caused the problem! As Rahm Emmanuel famously let slip "Never let a serious crisis go to waste".

I think it is high time we used government failures to strip power from government. Private enterprise is not perfect, but it has a far better track record than government does. One of the many reasons why no command economy has ever succeeded.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.



Clausewitz and Current Events

2011-05-26T22:44:09.259-07:00

The classic work 'On War' by the eighteenth centure military genius Carl von Clausewitz is rightly considered a classic. Although Clausewitz himself wrote based on his observations of the Napoleonic conflicts that wracked Europe for over twenty years, many of his comments can be equally applied to more current conflicts, including the asymmetrical one in which the Untied States is currently engaged. One such comment is to be found in Chapter Two, Volume One of his masterpiece. Clausewitz wrote,The military power must be destroyed, that is, reduced to such a state as not to be able to prosecute the War. This is the sense in which we wish to be understood hereafter, whenever we use the expression "destruction of the enemy's military power."The country must be conquered, for out of the country a new military force may be formed.But even when both these things are done, still the War, that is, the hostile feeling and action of hostile agencies, cannot be considered as at an end as long as the will of the enemy is not subdued also; that is, its Government and its Allies must be forced into signing a peace, or the people into submission; for whilst we are in full occupation of the country, the War may break out afresh, either in the interior or through assistance given by Allies. No doubt, this may also take place after a peace, but that shows nothing more than that every War does not carry in itself the elements for a complete decision and final settlement.Why our own leaders do not understand this simple concept is beyond me. When we went into Kosovo, so it was when we went into Iraq, Afghanistan, and now it is true again as we are engaged in Libya. It is imperative, when a nation-state is involved in an armed conflict, that the enemy's will to win be wiped out. We engaged in total war in World War II and when the respective peace treaties with the Axis countries were eventually signed, those nations knew they were beaten. The will of their governments and of their populations to continue waging war had been blunted and they had no more desire to take up arms again.But in our current conflicts - at least since Vietnam - we have not engaged in this total war. Why we have not availed ourselves of one of our most powerful assets is not really a mystery however. I can think of several reasons why we have not engaged in total war since 1945. These are as follows:The Unpatriots: Ever since the Communist revolutions of the early twentieth century, the United States, like Western Europe, has been home to a large, well-organized and strongly anti-American group of secret Communists. These are the folks who organized the SDS of the 1960s, who did their best to give away the atomic bomb to the Soviets, and who will gleefully repeat every anti-Americans screed that can possibly be imagined. their numbers include most of Hollywood, much of the popular music industry, the vast majority of the American Press, and virtually the entire membership of the collegiate professorial class. They are embittered by the knowledge that their social model has failed and they hate capitalism, even though few of them would prosper in an environment that they try to hard to create. They are vocal and they wield great power, as shown by their ability, even in their current weakened form, to so cleverly destroy any politicians they dislike. I refer here primarily to Sarah Palin, but virtually any Republican who takes aim at the socialist policies this group professes can become a target. Few survive them - Ronald Reagan is one of the very few conservatives they have been unable to demean or destroy. This group will always support any enemy of the UNited States and will do their best to prop it up even when they have been defeated on the ground. It is this group who really won the Vietnam W[...]



View From The Porch Gets It Right

2011-03-18T13:05:28.572-07:00

After all the hyper-ventilating and thoroughly false information we have had issuing from the American (and most of the world) media about the disaster in Japan that caused the Fukushima Number One nuclear plant to have major problems, it is refreshing to note that while the MSN with their "layers of fact-checkers" (as a senior MSN-er once opined) seemingly have no clue as to the differences between Chernobyl and Fukushima, one blogger - a BLOGGER - gets it absolutely right.

Indianapolis-based blogger Tam of View From The Porch writes,
Remember back in '50s and early '60s, when we set off something like 900 atomic bombs in Nevada? And how we just let the fallout blow wherever and it landed all over the eastern US? And how it wiped out life as we know it and all that was left from Colorado to the Atlantic were six-legged rats battling two-headed cockroaches in the glowing ruins?

Yeah. Exactly. So shut up with the panic already.


All I can say is: Precisely. Thank you Tam! Now, if you vaunted MSN only had half of Tam's common sense and understanding of nuclear design. Oh, wait, they're...JOURNALISTS! They don't need no stinking facts - they have an AGENDA - they must CHANGE THE WORLD and save it from we eeevil humans.

So of course if the facts don't fit the meme, one ignores the facts. It didn't stop them during the Bush Administration, it didn't stop them during Katrina, it certainly didn't stop them during most of the past fifty or so years, so I guess it won't stop them now. Problem is, as the great John Adams once said, "Facts are stubborn things". So maybe the truth will come out. We can hope, anyway. Preferably before we end up like Greece.



Common Sense on Social Security

2011-02-06T11:04:32.250-08:00

ObamaCare has been pretty much exposed as a government power grab that will neither improve the people's quality of healthcare or lower costs - absent of course the bureaucratic 'death panels' that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin pointed out. The very fact that ObamaCare has already issued some 700-plus waivers (mostly to their union and corporate friends) simply underscores how bad the attempted government takeover really is.Although the Democrats and their sycophants in the Pravda-esque 'media' are still trying desperately to force government health-care on the American people, the American people seem to have figured out that this boondoggle is one step down the Socialist road to hell that they do not wish to take. Whether the looming debts that always accompany socialism have frightened them or whether at last we have awoken to the reality of the left's agenda is irrelevant. The facts are that the Republicans - prodded by the Tea Partiers - seem to have realized that this monstrosity must not live.The Tax Prof today drew my attention to an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal asking whether the 1099 reporting repeal - which passed by huge margins in both Houses - is a controlled burn or a wildfire. The Journal writes:The 1099 ObamaCare footnote thus received no scrutiny at first because it was so mundane. Everyone in Washington agreed that corporations were stealing billions of dollars every year that rightfully belonged to Congress to spend. (The issue only blew up when the IRS's National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, followed by the GOP and the business lobby, made it a priority last summer.) ...[T]otal repeal sailed through the Senate on Wednesday, 81 to 17. The mystery is the 17 Democrats who continue to think this is a good idea ,,,The larger political question is whether voters will be satisfied by this or that "improvement" to ObamaCare. The White House is trying to outflank public opposition with a controlled burn, but wildfires often move in surprising and unmanageable directions.However, it is apparent that some people are still laboring under misconceptions. One Linda Beale from Wayne State, writes,I’m more and more convinced that it is not the deficit that the Republicans hollering for “entitlement reform” care about–it is that they just simply want to destroy all of the things that the New Deal did to provide a safety net for ordinary people, while making sure that they reinstate brute-force capitalism like existed in the 1920s, back when Teddy Roosevelt made his famous statement about the corporate titans and malefactors of great wealth.Ms. Beale seems to have missed that fact that the New Deal did absolutely nothing to 'establish a safety net'. Instead, it took people's private funds, forcibly transferred them to government, who then wasted the money. Every promise made about Social Security during the New Deal has been broken. And the money is long gone - spent by successive Congresses and Administrations. Any honest comparison between the stock market and the government 'trust funds' since Social Security was established shows quite plainly that the private market does a far better job. And there is no doubt that individuals do a better job managing their own money than faceless and unaccountable federal bureaucrats.[...]



Do We Need Lawyers?

2011-03-18T13:00:45.481-07:00

Dr. Daniel Mitchell's fascinating blog International Liberty had an article today on the problem of the self-serving legal profession. Among other things, Professor Mitchell writes,
There are also two comments, by 'Mack' and 'Paul' that I believe hit the nail on the head. Lawyers make laws for their own self-interest and the Courts, which are of course composed entirely of lawyers, interpret laws so as to benefit their own profession. I was having lunch today and a friend made the comment that lawyers don't know right from wrong and don't really care either - they only care what the loopholes in the law as regards any given case allow them to do.



I agree that lawyers should not be allowed to serve at any level of government. But I would go one step further. The Supreme Court needs to lose its designated status as the sole arbiter of what the Constitution does or does not mean. In short, if the Court says one thing and the President and Congress disagree, then the Court's opinion is rendered moot. In short, any two branches of government should be able to over-ride the third. The three branches are equal - the Court is not superior to Congress according to the Constitution. And it is also time to stop looking at Supreme Court case law. The only law that matters is what the plain text of the Constitution and those treaties signed (and ratified) by the United States. Case law is made to be overturned - especially when it conflicts with the clear language of the Constitution (yes, I'm talking about Kelo, among many, many other instances of judicial over-reach).

In the end, lawyers are simply another special interest group. Are they a necessary evil? I'm actually not convinced of that. I think that if laws were written by people with common sense, then a lot of the difficulty in the law would vanish and the need for lawyers would lessen as well. Lawyers exist to make the law difficult to understand. if it were in plain English, as the Constitution is, then why would we need lawyers at all? The answer is, we probably wouldn't. And this is a state of affairs much to be desired.



Citizen Verbally Assails Reid - Left Promptly Complains

2011-02-02T11:04:07.255-08:00

G.M. Heller's excellent Berkshire Blog had a wonderful story today. It seems that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D - NV) was out shopping (at an upscale market, naturally) when he was recognized by a citizen who proceeded to ask his vocally and repeatedly why he was holding up the repeal vote on ObamaCare. Reid refused to answer and literally ran away from the encounter, leaving in a fleet of black SUVs. An interesting discussion has developed in the comments between those who (like myself) see this as a good thing and those who seem to thin that now the Democrats run the country, dissent should no longer be allowed. A typical comment from this side of the aisle is the 7:19 PM comment from 'Anonymous' re-posted below:That's what you would expect from a stupid Republican. Thank God he did not have a gun and shoot Harry. Republicans love to RELOAD their guns. Normal people don't act like those Tea Bagger wackos. Where are the Death Pannels Consevative Republicans lied about for months. Oh yeah - Death Pannels are where the Iraq missles of mass destruction are. I guess with my statement I'm being an ass just like the person that annoyed Harry.What goes arround comes arround.This is sadly typical of so many on the political left. They cannot argue; they can only post vile epithets and baseless accusations. In response to the thread, I posted the following comment:Senators, Representatives and the President himself are all elected representatives of The People. This is a point we would do well to remember. They work for we the people. We are not their servants, their subjects or any other position less prestigious.If said representatives actually held regular meetings with their constituents (as opposed to the reality we witnessed during the run-up to ObamaCare when most of them ducked and ran) this sort of behavior would not be necessary. Unfortunately, most if not all of these self-important hypocrites do their utmost to restrict their actual meetings with their constituents to stage-managed affairs where as many attendees as possible are hand-picked from their special-interest supporters.In light of that reality, this citizen was not out of line, from what I can discover. I do not see any indication that profanity, violent rhetoric (unlike that seen constantly among the Democrats and their tools in leftist media) or any threatening behavior was used in this encounter. The citizen appears to have been merely verbally forceful. And the security forces present did not see any need to interfere, which would seem to indicate that they did not see any threat either.As for the argument about 'harassment', it was only two short years ago that the media and Democrats were claiming that 'dissent is the highest form of partiotism'. And throwing shoes at a sitting President was hailed in that same media as being 'heroic'. Very well. This citizen was dissenting. Why then the disapproval from the left side of the political divide? Isn't dissent patriotic anymore? Or is it that those who made that claim only want free speech for their side, not for their opponents? if so, I find that attitude both reprehensible and entirely unwelcome in this country.Our elected (and appointed) representatives need to be reminded frequently that they serve at the pleasure of We The People. They are our servants not our rulers - a distinction that too many of both parties tend to forget. Therefore, when they do things like ObamaCare that are against the interests of those same People, they should expect to be called to account for their behavior. Which this citizen did. And which the rest of us should do as well. We should be be polite. We should be courteous. But we should be[...]



The Media Memes

2011-01-18T13:45:08.265-08:00

I am sad to say that I have neglected this blog of late and so it feels good to be back in the saddle. I cannot guarantee how often I shall be able to post, but i shall commit to doing better this year than I did last year. Why am I posting again? Well, I was depressed and concerned after the epic wipeout by the left in the 2008 elections, not to mention the media malfeasance that allowed a woefully unprepared and inexperienced politicians without a single achievement or any experience in much of anything to be elected President of the United States. In the past two years, we have clearly seen how much damage this unqualified President has done. And the voters rightfully paid back the tone-deaf and arrogant leftists who would not listen to their concerns. Can the Republicans do a better job? I am unconvinced, but i am willing to give them a chance. Certainly new Speaker John Boehner seems to understand that his party is governing on a very thin tolerance. We shall see.However, that is not the main reason for this post. Recently there has been a vicious and well-planned campaign by the Left to blame conservative voices - particularly former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin - for the attempted murder of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords. At this time I shall not engage in dealing that piece of verbal assassination - it has been well-debunked in many other places. However, I would like to remind anyone who stumbles across this blog that the media has a long and sordid history of trying to manipulate public opinion with false and misleading reporting. Walter Cronkite's infamous lie about the Tet Offensive comes to mind fairly quickly, as does Dan Rather and Mary Mapes' failed attempt to use forged documents to swing a Presidential election. Yes, I know I'm linking to a very sympathetic report from NPR, but the point is that even NPR was forced to admit that what Mapes and Rather did was utterly wrong.More recently, a large group of leftist writers and bloggers put together a well-organized machine for coordinating memes called [...]



Thoughts on the Target Campaign

2010-08-20T14:20:09.109-07:00

It seems that some time ago the Target Corporation donated some money to a group that supports a Republican candidate (Tom Emmer) for Governor. Emmer is opposed to gay marriage, just like a majority of Americans. But since this has come to light, Target is now facing a huge outcry from the usual suspects. The main bone of contention seems to be that the corporation donated to a conservative cause. Both the original CBS News story and today's Yahoo News story are fairly representative of the media reaction. CBS wrote,Here's something Target Corp. isn't advertising in its Sunday circular: The discount retailer is now a major donor to a group backing the Republican candidate for Minnesota governor.And that's not sitting well with every Target shopper. CBS begins their story with a very negative tone, implying that this donation is a Bad Bad Thing. And as shown by their later comments, they appear to have no problem with the fact that the opponents of Target are trying to censor the corporation's freedom of speech. CBS continues,In Minnesota, where Target has its headquarters and opened its first store 48 years ago, Democrats are grumbling about the large donation, and some are talking about striking back at the popular brand.A few voices are even calling for a boycott in the state, one of Target's top three for sales. One Democratic-backed group is reaching out to Target employees through Facebook ads urging them to sign a petition opposing the donations."I think Target is making a huge mistake," said Laura Hedlund, a former Democratic campaign worker who picketed outside a suburban Minneapolis Target store on Saturday, urging shoppers to spend their money elsewhere. At least CBS (for once) mostly identified the opposition as Democratic Party and left-wing activists. This is stark contrast to the usual media pattern of refusing to identify left-leaners and Democrats - they are suually presented as 'civic-minded people' or some such. But the real problem is that left-wing contributions by business are treated by the media as both desirable and of no particular news-worthiness at all. How many stories have been run about George Soros' contributions to the plethora of left-wing groups he bankrolls? How many media stories are run about the left-wing contributions of say, Apple? But when Target makes a donation to a Republican, the media suddenly thinks this is a terrible idea.The Associated Press (via Yahoo News) continues this meme, writing,Target and its corporate retail cousin Best Buy are continuing to suffer fallout from donations to a Minnesota group that backed a gay-marriage opponent for governor. On top of organized consumer boycotts and public pressure campaigns, some of the retail giant's investors are up in arms, according to the Associated Press.Notice how the meme is that opposition is rising? And notice how they can only come up with three very minor stockholders? Funny how these three minor stockholders are placed front and center by the AP. If it were a liberal company donation and three minor conservative-leaning stockholders protested, would they be given such positive press? I think we all know the answer to that one.What all this really comes down to is that the media-Democratic complex wants free speech for me but not for thee. Like so many other closet totalitarians, they want the power to speak to be reserved to themselves so they are attempting to bully anyone of opposing views into silence. This is why whistleblowers during Republican Administrations are treated like gods even when they lie (Joe Wilson) but whistleblowers during Democratic Administrations cannot get the ti[...]



The TSA Strikes Again

2010-08-20T10:36:02.588-07:00

The TSA is supposed to be the first line of defense for threats crossing into our country via the airlines. They are also supposedly created to ensure that our flying experience is safe. According to the TSA website, their mission is,The Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.The TSA website continues with their core values:To enhance mission performance and achieve our shared goals, we are committed to promoting a culture founded on these values: * Integrity: o We are a people of integrity who respect and care for others and protect the information we handle. o We are a people who conduct ourselves in an honest, trustworthy and ethical manner at all times. o We are a people who gain strength from the diversity in our cultures. * Innovation: o We are a people who embrace and stand ready for change. o We are a people who are courageous and willing to take on new challenges. o We are a people with an enterprising spirit, striving for innovations who accept the risk-taking that comes with it. * Team Spirit: o We are a people who are open, respectful and dedicated to making others better. o We are a people who have a passion for challenge, success and being on a winning team. o We are a people who will build teams around our strengths.Not a single one of these core values applies to the TSA's performance, as any traveler can testify. And as for their 'mission, the simple fact is that the TSA is utterly incompetent at every job is purports to perform. The TSA has stopped not a single terrorist attack since its institution - every single major attempt has been thwarted either by passengers or by the terrorists' own incompetence. Examples of the TSA failures can be found in the Shoe Bomber, the Crotch Bomber and the fact that TSA screeners fail the vast majority of tests every time they are tested.But they are certainly vigilant about trying to take passengers' personal possessions - especially if they are valuable. According to a story today by Daniel Rubin in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the TSA once again has ignored a citizen's Constitutional rights (they are VERY good at ignoring citizens' rights, though they are signally bad at actually doing their jobs) and treating an innocent passenger as a criminal. Writes Rubin,At what point does an airport search step over the line?How about when they start going through your checks, and the police call your husband, suspicious you were clearing out the bank account?...Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not."It's an indication you've embezzled these checks," she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn't before that moment, she says.She protested when the officer started to walk away with the checks. "That's my money," she remembers saying. The officer's reply? "It's not your money."This is absolutely infuriating. Citizens are under no compulsion to tell government officials anything and police and TSA personnel have absolutely no right whatsoever to behave with this kind of contempt. Congress needs to make the individual TSA screeners liable for their actions and the police officers in question need to be sued for civil rights violations and hopefully fired. Have any of these[...]



Reagan vs Obama?

2010-08-18T09:16:35.424-07:00

Kevin Williamson writes in today's National Review Online edition,
News flash: This is not 1982, and Obama is not Reagan.

The important difference is this: There was a good reason for the Volcker-Reagan recession: defeating inflation. American voters may not be terribly economically sophisticated, but they sure as heck did notice when inflation went from 13.5 percent to 3.2 percent — in two years.


This is a salient point - Ronald Reagan was trying to reduce the damage done by the previous Administration's ham=handed and inept economic policies. And it worked - as Williamson notes, inflation dropped drastically in only two years. Mission accomplished!

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be clear to our friends on the Left side of the political spectrum. One of the commenters writes,
Reagan was an incredible deficit spender, I don't think you can distinguish between Obama and Reagan on that factor.


Unless this is a joke, this comment displays a distressing lack of understanding both of history and of international relations. Yes, Reagan did do some large defiicit spending. But, as was the case with the economic policies, there was a reason. A good one. Reagan believed that the Cold War needed to end and he did not think (correctly, as it turned out) that the Soviet Union could keep pace with the US if the Cold War turned into a competition between economic methodology. By spending freely on the US military, he forced the Soviets into an arms race they simply could not win. And his full-throated defense of liberty and freedom gave heart to the millions of enslaved Eastern Europeans. Essentially, Ronald Reagan put his money where his mouth was and bet that the US could win an economic showdown with the Soviet Union. And he was right.

In 1980, when Reagan came into office, the world was resigned to the grim menace of Soviet tanks and proxy wars. Reagan ended that, at least as far as the Soviets were concerned. Proxy wars will go on forever, but the specter of Russian tanks crossing into Western Europe is gone. Ronald Reagan performed two vital actions during his eaight years in office - he won the Cold War (though the Soviet Union did not finally collapse until his successor was in office) and he crushed the inflation caused by Jimmy Carter and his de-regulation put the US on a solid economic course that has lasted by and large until the current Administration.

I don't see how you can compare Reagan and Obama either, but not for the reasons our commenter friend listed. I don't see how you can compare actions taken with a firm goal in mind - a goal that was achieved in both cases largely by the time Reagan left office - to Obama's destructive spending. If Obama's goal is to make the entire country dependent on government and to make the political class into feudal masters, then I guess he is succeeding. But to me there is a fundamental difference between spending to defeat an enemy and spending to make government more powerful. Reagan was all about smaller government. Obama? Not so much.



On Limiting Spending

2010-05-14T12:09:48.236-07:00

Mark Tapscott has a column today in the Washington Examiner online edition about the Constitutional Amendment introduced by three members of the US House of Representatives - Mike Pence (R, IN), John Campbell (R, CA) and Jeb Hensarling (R, TX). His money quote is,Put another way, the SLA would cap Uncle Sam's take from our wallets at one of every five dollars we earn. Is it too much to ask our elected representatives in Washington that they not spend more than one of every five of our dollars?Yes, is it really too much that Congress restrict themselves to taking only one fifth of our money, instead of trying to seize it all? Is it too much to ask that they live within the same kinds of spending restrictions that we must abide by? I do not think so and to that end have written and sent the following letter to my three members of Congress, with appropriate personalization:Dear [congressperson],As you are probably aware, Greece is undergoing some serious financial problems as a result of its out of control deficits. What you may not know is that the United States is currently on course for the same financial problems that currently plague Greece. Greece's problems began occurring as their deficit reached thirteen percent of their GDP. Currently, the United States has a deficit that takes up 10 percent of the GDP. The problem is not that American taxpayers so not pay enough to the various layers of government. The problem is that the government - like an alcoholic - simply does not know when to stop. Would you spend more than your paycheque every month until you had your home foreclosed and your assets seized? Would you regard your salary as a 'guideline' as opposed to an actual limitation on your personal spending? If not, then why would you do this with American taxpayers' dollars? This is not Monopoly money that is inexhaustible. I understand that a bill has been introduced by three members of the House (Congressmen Mike Pence, John Campbell and Jed Hensarling) that would amend the US Constitution to restrict Congress from spending more than twenty percent of GDP. The bill is HJ Res 79. Unless you enjoy the thought of your children and grandchildren facing the same crushing debt that my children face, unless you like the prospect of the kinds of social unrest Greece is seeing and unless you honestly have no qualms about spending money that you did not earn, I would urge you to sign on to this bill as a sponsor or introduce it in the Senate if that has not already been done. Only by forcing Congress to rein in their appetites for spending other people's money can we get this looming financial disaster under control. Please sign on to HJ Res 79. This is one bill that absolutely must proceed if we are to have any chance of saving our country before we end up like Greece.I hope that anyone who reads this (and who is a US citizen or legal resident) emails their Congressperson and their Senators, urging them exactly the same thing. The problem, as Ronald Reagan once famously put it, is the government. Only by forcing government to live within the same means that we the people must are we going to climb out way out of this looming pit. And since Congress and the current Administration seem to have neither the will nor the leadership to do it, we must force them to do it against their own wishes. After all, it's our money their wasting and out children they are saddling with this frightful debt.[...]



Term Limits and other suggestions

2010-05-07T13:20:06.939-07:00

Over at Michelle Malkin's place on the Net, one of the commenters suggested that three terms in the House of Representatives is more than enough. Writes hawkeye54,Nah, that’s too drastic. There are some worth keeping. I say, though, after 3 terms in the House, find another job. 6 yeas is enough exposure to DC swamp gas. There are other places and ways good people can be politically effective.That is a good suggestion to start, but I think that it is not enough. After all, Senators serve six-year terms. Thus a Senator with only two terms' experience has been in the Washington, D.C. cesspool for twelve years. So let's make Representatives have term limits of six terms, Senators have a two-term limit and Supreme Court justices have to retire at or before age 75. But that alone will not clean up the Washington corruption. We need to do more. So here are a few suggestions:Pass a Constitutional amendment stating that Congressional spending cannot exceed twenty percent of GDP. All existing spending promises are counted. Any overspending must be paid back by the elected officials who voted for it, their staffs and federal employees, other than the military.Pass a Constitutional amendment stating that the federal government can under no circumstances compete with or have any financial interest in any private industry or business in any field except those specifically stated in the Constitution (eg. Post Office). Fields aside from those specifically mentioned in the Constitution are forbidden for the federal government to interfere in any way aside to verify that the products offered are accurately being described. No false advertising - it must accurately reflect the product and any attendant risks.Pass a Constitutional amendment stating that the federal government may not mandate the purchase of any product or service under any circumstances.Define the Commerce Clause as referring ONLY to services or businesses that cross State lines - it give the Feds no power whatsoever to interfere in any business or enterprise that is entirely inside one state.Congress must use the same accounting rules applied to corporations.Congress may not mandate the purchase of any product or service.Public servants may not be members of unions. Period.Any public servant must answer any citizen question in full. No government department may ignore any FOIA request. Failure to comply within the specified time will result in a fine, paid directly to the citizen requesting of not less than 1000 dollars per day for each day of delay.Get rid of EPA, Transportation Dept, the Fed, all foreign aid, all tuition support and all government subsidies. And I'd also eliminate any other Federal department not specifically mentioned in the Constitution and move the CIA's duties back to military intelligence - they're doing a far better job than the CIA at present.Get rid of the income tax and either make it a flat tax or replace it with a sales tax. the income tax is repressive and inherently unfair as most taxes are paid by a minority.Anyway, that's where I would start. I'm sure my readers can come up with a few others.[...]



More TSA Follies

2010-05-07T01:18:48.842-07:00

I have long maintained that the TSA is a massive scam to get unqualified people jobs in the federal government. And the fact is that TSA has managed a complete and epic FAIL at it's core mission. Consider the following: TSA has not caught a single would-be terrorist such as the crotch bomber since its institution. All of the serious attempts have been stopped by passengers on the lookout for suspicious activity. TSA has not stopped a single one. But they 're sure good at strip-searching kids, women and disabled people!TSA screeners routinely miss at least 70 percent of bombs and weapons in tests. But they are really good at putting kids on no-fly lists. And then insulting the family of said kids on the official TSA blog.This is pretty good evidence that TSA, at least as currently constituted, is a useless waste of everyone's time and money. The so-called screeners are inefficient, ignorant (they cannot seem to differentiate musical instruments from bombs), arrogant when questioned, arbitrary, fond of cruel jokes that would get a passenger arrested and completely inconsistent in their methodology not only between different airports but even between different screeners AT THE SAME AIRPORT!!!However, it seems that TSA screeners also are busy engaging in pre-adolescent humor as to their colleagues private parts. Humor that resulted in violence. For our far-left Obama propagandists at MSNBC, the New York Times, CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC, that would be real, physical violence - the kind caused by leftist protests like those against Arizona's attempt to actually enforce existing immigration law - as opposed to the entirely nonexistent violence the media keeps breathlessly claiming the Tea Partiers MIGHT cause. some day. As (unexpectedly) reported by the NBCMiami.com website, A TSA worker in Miami was arrested for aggravated battery after police say he attacked a colleague who'd made fun of his small genitalia after he walked through one of the new high-tech security scanners during a recent training session.So, to recap. TSA employees are perfectly fine mocking, insulting and thoroughly inconveniencing travelers while managing to miss ever serious threat to this country's security. Oh, and they also apparently enjoy child porn - the TSA is pushing to electronically strip search your child (and your spouse, of course). But when their own personal body parts are mocked (with admittedly juvenile and exceedingly crude humor), they immediately think it is OK to resort to violence. Hmmm. So, what does this tell us about the TSA? Well, for this writer it confirms that this is an agency that never should have existed in the first place and ought to be disbanded as soon as possible. Return all these incompetents to the depths from which they came (probably welfare for most of them based on their demonstrated lack of intelligence). And the bloviating members of Congress who thought this was an excellent idea should be forced to fly coach class (especially including Speaker Pelosi) without access to any VIP treatment at all domestic airports. Perhaps a dose of what the little people have to endure might cause an outbreak of common sense. Oh, wait. These are politicians we're talking about. With very rare exceptions they don't HAVE any common sense. Or much intelligence, seemingly, if their comments on CSPAN are any indication![...]



Those 'Tolerant' Muslims

2010-05-05T10:05:39.567-07:00

There is much angst and whining in these United States over the recent Arizona law that (gasp!) actually required state officials to enforce already-existing national immigration law. The open-borders lobby is insistent that enforcing existing law is intolerant and racist.

So I'm sure that the same grievance-mongers who are so upset about Arizona's law will be quick to take offense at the restrictions Dubai (and most other Muslim countries) place on visitors. According to a story in the United Kingdom's Daily Mail website, these restrictions include the following:



  • Alcohol is only allowed in licensed restaurants, pubs, clubs, private venues. And to drink at home, you must have a special alcohol licence. Alcohol can only be consumed by over 21s.

  • Drugs are strictly forbidden, and even having a residual amount in your bag or on clothing could result in a four-year jail sentence. Even if you are importing prescription drugs you may need to get permission from the UAE authorities first.

  • Sex outside of marriage is illegal and sharing a hotel room could land you in a police cell.

  • Holding hands is tolerated if you are married, but kissing and hugging is considered an offence against public decency.

  • Dancing is only allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs. Dancing in public is classed as indecent and provocative.

  • Offensive language, spitting and aggressive behaviour (including hand gestures) is though to be unacceptable. British offenders have been known to receive a six-month jail sentence for such an act and some have been deported.

  • Drink-driving is illegal and the UAE has a ZERO-tolerance policy. Even having the smallest amount of alcohol in your system is banned. Tailgating, speeding, racing, lane jumping, or using a mobile phone while driving are also against the law.

  • Addressing women in public, or taking their photo without permission is strictly frowned upon and it is forbidden to take pictures of government buildings.




So to recap. Enforcing existing immigration law in the United States is racist. But it is perfectly OK for foreign countries to place far more restrictive limits on visitors. As an aside, how does Mexico treat visitors? I think we all know the answer to that - they are famous for their shakedown tactics and the corruption and arrogance toward foreigners are well-documented. I'll take all this outrage over the Arizona law with more than a grain of salt when and if they adopt open-borders policies in their own country. And when the professional open-borders lobby targets countries other than the United States.



Were the Nazis Socialists?

2010-04-21T10:46:12.359-07:00

The early-twentieth century National Socialist (Nazi) Party of Germany are usually classified - at least in the United States - as adhering to a 'right-wing' political philosophy. However, Professor Ilya Somin over at the Volokh Conspiracy wrote an interesting post on the question of the German Nazis as Socialists. His main premise seems to be as follows,The idea that Nazism was an extreme form of "capitalism" and Hitler primarily a tool serving the interests of "big business" is a longstanding myth that even now retains a measure of popularity in some quarters. This, despite the fact that the full name of the Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and that Nazi political strategy was explicitly based on combining the appeal of socialism with that of nationalism (thus the choice of name). Once in power, the Nazis even went so far as to institute a Four Year Plan for running the German economy, modeled in large part on the Soviet Union's Five Year Plans. I find this interesting, as I have long wondered why Nazism is usually classified as 'right-wing' when in fact it appears to hold more in common with the 'left-wing' philosophies such as Communism than it does with modern right-wing thought in the untied States. However, the answer is that the United States is in fact almost unique in its political divisions. In this country, the modern political Right is in fact closer to classical liberalism - standing strongly for individual rights, equality for all, small government and less regulation. On the other hand the modern political Left stands for big government, economic control by the State, identity politics and individual freedoms subject to regulation and dispersal by the elites. Therefore the correct classification -at least for American political schools of thought - would be to classify the divide as between statists and individualists.The modern political Right cannot be said to have any real connection to statism, although some post-war Republican Presidents have shown fondness for Big Government - notably Richard Nixon and both Bush presidents. But the main philosophy on the political Right in the United States seems to be a consistent call for smaller government, more individual freedom and less regulation. Ronald Reagan is the most consistent practitioner of these principles, but they have been among the modern conservative planks for some time. The American Left in contrast is and has been for some time a powerful supporter of statist totalitarianism. Leftist support for Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh and other totalitarian leaders who are thought to have socialist or communist policies has been a marked aspect of the Left for over a century. Remember that until that fatal day in June of 1941, the Left in the West were fervent supporters of both Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR, since they were allied. Therefore, i think it is a fair statement to say that the American Left - including a wide swath of the Democratic Party - is in favor of statist approaches. And Nazism is definitely a statist philosophy.In conclusion, the labels Left and Right are not really valid in determining where Nazism lies in the political spectrum. but if one divides political philosophies into those who are in favor of State control and those that are not, it is pretty clear that National Socialism is far closer to Marxism and Communism than it is to any definition[...]



Time for a Constitutional Convention?

2010-04-07T10:32:41.478-07:00

Well, Lawrence Lessig and Mark McKinnon certainly think so. In today's Daily Beast, the two - one a conservative one a liberal - lay out their rationale for why a Constitutional convention might just be a good idea. Write the pair,Washington is hopelessly addicted to money and thus to the status quo; drunk with power and incapable of getting sober and fixing itself. It’s time for an intervention—by the states.As anyone with a cursory interest in the United States Constitution knows, there is a way to amend the Constitution without Congressional approval. As laid out in Article V, the Constitution states (emphasis mine),The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.This may be the only way we can rein in Congress. As Lessig and McKinnon state, Washington has long since abandoned any pretense of adhering to their constituents' wishes. Members of Congress engage in open graft, corruption and legal thievery to grease the palms of their corporate, nonprofit and governmental special interests. And thei spending is simply out of control. And if I were to propose amendments, they would be as follows:Any Act passed by Congress will apply to all elected, appointed and career members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches.No regulatory agency has authority to alter or amend its scope or requirements without said regulation being reviewed and approved by Congress.Neither Congress, the Executive nor the Judicial Branch may nationalize or have any ownership interest in any business, industry or other commercial endeavor.Neither Congress nor any State may mandate the individual purchase of any goods or services.Prisoners of War and non-legitimate combatants as defined by the Geneva Convention are not entitled to any access to any US court.No executive order may remain in effect for more than 365 days without Congressional review and approval.No Act of Congress may remain in effect for more than five years without Congressional review and approval.The President shall have a line-item veto as defined in California's Constitution Article IV, Section 10eThe Second Amendment shall be interpreted as follows: The right of individuals to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.This would be a good place to start. We need to get the career corruptocrats out of Washington and remind Congress that this is a Federal system of checks and balances - not a parliamentary format where the national government has all the power![...]