Thursday, October 18, 2012

No lies edgewise

Well, maybe that is a bit hyperbolic. But these guys use truth only as a club and switch from truth to lie in the same sentence with complete fluency.

My current favorite hate commercial is the one from American Crossroads about how, "Obama promised us that his stimulus plan would bring unemployment down to 6.3%."

True? Partially: Obama did say 6.3% in a speech in 2009, before he assumed office. But that 6.3% was dependent on his stimulus plan, which the Republicans fought tooth and toenail to keep from being passed...and finally did block most of it.

So let's get this straight: The Republicans would not let him do his stimulus plan, but he's responsible for it not working!? No, he's not responsible...and saying he is has to be one of the biggest lies I've ever heard. (It's the big black one above).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who is Antonin Scalia?

Updated October 18, 2012

I was reading 30 Seconds After Denying Court Is Politicized, Scalia Says Democrats Do 'Not Stick To The Text' Of The Constitution. The article itself is a rather shallow accusation that he was accusing Democrats of being "political"...and then he 30 seconds later proved he was not as apolitical as he likes to claim.

But I did some research on "substantive due process" and "fundamental rights", and I find that Scalia's comments say a lot about him, beyond just that he is conservative. Since that process is used to protect rights not listed in the Constitution, Scalia is (in effect) saying that he would roll back many of our so-called rights.

Monday, September 3, 2012

How About Some Zero Tolerance

Zero tolerance to risk for children. Unless the risk is from the state, of course.

What brought this on? The case of little Hunter Spanjer, who is deaf. He signs with a standard signing language, in which his name (Hunter) is formed with the index and middle fingers crossed.

Of course, use of that symbol is unacceptable in his Grand Island school, because it looks a bit like the "typical" gun symbol, and under the schools zero tolerance policy, all such symbols are forbidden.

So his parents have been instructed to change his name.

Because we must protect the little kiddies.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Any Dirty Trick

A while back, I wrote the story of "Three Identical People"; later followed up by "The One-Two-Three of Deporting United States Citizens". The latter discussed methods of getting citizens to sign papers stating they were non-citizens, so as to justify their deportation.

Now we have Briseira Torres, held in jail by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office (MCAO) in case using yet another variation of this trick.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

That's ... Fairly Imbalanced

Suppose you saw a graphic like this:

Think that's a fair representation? How about if I told you that the people affected by this had a tax cut of 12%, from 39.6% to 35%, about 12 years ago; and that this graphic is showing nothing more than how these people will have to go back to paying the 39.6% tax.

That is, the graphic is showing you a jump of just 4.6%, from a tax rate of 35% to a tax rate of 39.6%. Well, gee, that's not the impression you had, is it? That graphic kind of leads you to believe the tax is being at least quadrupled, if not more, right?

Well, so does this one.

Oh, yes, it's not as bad as my little effort here, but it's intended to be just as misleading, while not being quite so obvious about it. That is, my graphic is a parody of the Fox graphic.

But go back and take a look at that Fox graphic and ask yourself this question: "Is this graphic designed to mislead me?"

I won't tell you to answer that yes or no, but if your answer is yes, then ask yourself: "Do I still think Fox is 'Fair and Balanced?'"

Also think about this...

If dropping a tax cut is a "tax increase": Then why weren't all the tax cuts that the Republicans discarded for the poor and middle class, a tax increase?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Like I explained, the "Birthers" just won't give up.

Here's the latest: A petition and advertising drive to keep Obama from running for president.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Nation of Wannabe Sovereigns

I was reading Why I'm Leaving America, by Michael Fielding.

I think part of the problem is that some people confuse the meaning of "representation" and "sovereignty".

Representation means that someone acts on the collective will of some group; in our country, the majority group. Representation means that sometimes you don't get your way, because you're outvoted, but you at least have a chance to say your piece; and someone who has to listen.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Legitimacy of Government

I had a long argument (in the comments) with "Chris" (not able to find out his last name easily) at The topic was legitimacy of government.

Don't know if you agree with any of my arguments, but I think it's interesting to see some of his. His are echoes of Lysander Spooner, among others.

It's interesting because these are beliefs held by a broad segment of so-called conservatives and libertarians; beliefs which are really anarchic in nature. Specifically, that no government is legitimate. More specifically: Taxes are theft, any regulation of business whatsoever a violation of the Constitution, and any interference with personal desires, anathema.

I'm inclined to think their anarchy might not be too bad, if everyone agreed, but what it really winds up being is a recipe for rule by the strongest--rule by whoever has the biggest gun.

That is: Their free society would wind up as one of complete oppression, for everyone including most of them.

If you want to see how extremist some of the views out there are, consider that held by Randi Shannon who has quit her race for U. S. Senator, to declare herself as Senator of the "Republic for the United States of America", an organization which holds that it is the only legitimate government of the United States.

This is not a joke, folks: She is dead serious; and so is the organization she's joining.

If you want to know why I left the Republican party, it was because of people like this.

Worse, if you don't agree with their conspiracy-theory view of the way "government really should be", it is you who are insane.

Consider comments made last month after Chief Justice Roberts joined the Supreme Court majority to rule "ObamaCare" Constitutional. Until now, Roberts was their fair-haired boy. But there had to be an explanation why Roberts would do something so unbelievable, so Michael Savage suggested that it was due to Justice Roberts' mentality being slowed by epilepsy medication he is taking.

See? No matter what they believe, if you don't agree: You are insane.

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's Only Illegal When the Wrong Side Benefits

From Brad Blog, we have Unsealed Ballot Bags in WI Recall's State Senate 'Recount' Suggest Fraud, Charge Republicans.

Seems as how the Republicans are all up in arms, sure that there is vote fraud, because there are a number of irregularities in a Wisconsin election.

There's a funny thing about this, though. Last year, in a Wisconsin election, many of the same irregularities occurred. The Republican authorities argued that those irregularities meant nothing; just irrelevant details.

I guess whether there are really irregularities or not, depends on whether or not the Republicans are winning:

  • When winning: "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil!"
  • When losing: "Ka-BLOOEY!!!"

Once upon a time, there was a principle in this country that the law was the law, no matter who was winning or losing. Now it depends on which party is winning or losing.

Is that a good thing?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"I'm Allowed to Rob You?" Rubbish.

I just watched part of the "I'm Allowed to Rob You" presentation by Larken Rose. (I had to give it up when it reached the point of total inanity.)

It is total rubbish.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What is Submissive?

I was reading an article titled, "Are Americans Not Submissive Enough?" The argument is that we are too submissive; we should resist more; that the other author (Brooks) referenced in the article is wrong.

I, too, think we should be less submissive, but most people do "not submissive" in the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with being anti-establishment, skeptical of authority, or "not submissive"; being so is a Right directly protected by the Constitution.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The One-Two-Three of Deporting United States Citizens

A while back, I wrote the story of "Three Identical People", in which I discussed how police could now demand, "Your papers, please," and deport anyone (even a U. S. Citizen) who failed to comply instantly.

It turns out that U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has found a new way to deport U. S. Citizens who are members of undesirable races. This one works even if they have their papers.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Avoiding Taxes: The Lengths People Go

Mr. Eduardo Saverin, one of the founders of Facebook, has renounced his U. S. citizenship, in order to reduce his tax bill.

There's a lot of comments in the Bloomberg article (above link) but the ones that interested me most seemed to be along three lines.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wronging a Right

The Indiana legislature is in the process of passing a bill that would give homeowners the right to defend their homes and persons against illegal entry by the police, in some circumstances.

This is in response to the Indiana Supreme Court ruling last year (stories here, here, and here) that homeowners and others have no right of such defense. The bottom line from the ruling is this statement from the Court:
"We hold that there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The No-Tax Men: Uncivilized

Laurence M. Vance, mentioned in the first part of this article, is a no-tax man. In article after article, he states variations of, "Tax is theft." Here's just a few cases:

  • "The twin truths that taxation is theft (no matter how the money is collected) [...]" The Fraudulent Tax
  • "[...] the FairTax is a fraud because it is based on the fallacy that government theft (taxation) [...]" The Fair Tax Fraud
  • "There should be no income tax. Taxation is theft on a grand scale, [...]" Cut the Tax Cuts
  • "Libertarians oppose the taxing of corporations for the same reason they oppose the taxing of individuals: taxation is theft." Is GE Paying Its Fair Share?
  • "'There can be no such thing as 'fairness in taxation.' Taxation is nothing but organized theft, and the concept of a 'fair tax' is therefore every bit as absurd as that of 'fair theft.'" " Can a Tax Be 'Fair'?

After these, it should be pretty clear that he believes that taxation itself is a crime. So if our society requires cooperation in the paying of taxes, and if it must enforce that cooperation, then his statements make it clear that he will cooperate only "with a gun held to his head".

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The No-Tax Men Part 1: Cooperation

Imagine there are three people on a desert island and you are one of them, along with Joe and Bubba.

Bubba is pretty good sized and, being bigger than you and also bigger than Joe he decides to lay claim to the only coconut tree. But that doesn't mean he climbs it to get coconuts; instead, he alternately forces you and Joe to climb the tree and get coconuts—none of which he will allow you to eat. Because the coconuts are his.

What do you do about this?

The answer that most human individuals arrive at in a case like this is called "cooperation": You and Joe make an alliance, in which both of you agree to cooperate in forcing Bubba to share.

Now, you and Joe are nice people: You share the coconut tree—the coconuts—equally with Bubba. You're not starving him; but he can no longer have the coconut tree to himself.

Bubba's freedom has suffered. Bubba is oppressed; well, according to him, anyway. Bubba says, "Fine. I'll share the tree, but I won't climb it to get coconuts anymore. You guys have to do all of that."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Birthers, Exposed


I put off writing about this, but the last full week of January, a judge ruled that Obama needed to testify in yet another "Birther" case.

The Birthers just won't give up. For three years, they hassled him endlessly to, "Produce the certificate;" by which they meant his "long-form" birth certificate.

Finally he did (you can see it here).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fetuses and Cows Jumping Over the Moon

This may not be the dumbest thing I ever heard, but it ranks right up there: Oklahoma State GOP Senator Ralph Shortey wants to outlaw use of fetuses in in food production.

While he's at it, why don't doesn't he waste even more time banning the use of fetuses in research related to cows jumping over the moon?

Oh, yeah, I realize they aren't doing that now: But they aren't using fetuses for food now either, so either law has just as much value.

You elected him folks: Aren't you proud?

UPDATE MAY 13, 2012
I have to "eat crow" on this one.

It appears that someone in China has been using fetal remains to create supplement pills.

I didn't think anyone in the world had nerve to do that, but I guess anything is possible. So I guess a ban is needed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What Will Republicans Do?

One of the news items that came out during the New Hampshire election discussed voters who voted in the Republican primary. The question was, "Why did you vote for [Republican candidate for president]?"

Of the voters who responded, 33% said that their primary criterion for choosing the candidate was, "He can beat Obama."


Would they vote for Charles Manson if he could beat Obama?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guantanamo: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The results are finally in: 92% of the individuals kept at Guantanamo are innocent of involvement with al-Quaeda. Of the grand total of 779 individuals kept there, that means that we unnecessarily destroyed 721 lives.

All you people who were so enthusiastic about Guantanamo: How do you feel about this? Are you satisfied now that you've had your pound of flesh (including that obtained by torture) from 721 innocent people?

Is that enough blood?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Just How Fast is c?

There's currently a controversy in physics circles, caused by a group in Italy that were measuring the speed of arrival of neutrinos from Cern.

To the consternation of almost everyone in the physics community, they have reported (twice now) that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light: By the miniscule amount of 0.0000025% (approximately).

Okay, that's pretty small. But the speed of light, c, is supposed to be exactly 299,792,458 meters per second (in our terms, 186,282.397 miles per second). Also in our terms, the neutrinos are 0.0047 miles per second too fast.