Sunday, December 30, 2007

Is Bill White and AlterNet Credible About Ron Paul?




The man that AlterNet uses in its article, Bill White, claims that Ron Paul is racist. Any one who knows anything about Ron Paul ought to know that this is not true. But let's look at the man himself:
I have kept quiet about the Ron Paul campaign for a while, because I didn't see any need to say anything that would cause any trouble. However, reading the latest release from his campaign spokesman, I am compelled to tell the truth about Ron Paul's extensive involvement in white nationalism.
Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays. This is part of a dinner that was originally organized by Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, and has since been mostly taken over by the Council of Conservative Citizens.
I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy.

There is no evidence in this statement whatsoever to prove his accusation. None. Hearsay evidence is no evidence, especially from someone who would only stand to gain from Paul's losses. Bill White is the leader of the American National Socialist Workers Party, and a man like Ron Paul scares him to death.

While White is hardly the most reliable reporter on any subject, his testament to Paul's racist credentials does tend to corroborate what Dave and I have been telling you all along: Paul's got longstanding connections to the looniest loonies on the loony right. You may not be able to hear the dog-whistle code in his speeches, but they sure as hell hear it loud and clear.
And thousands of people believe that the twin towers were brought down by Bush, but that doesn't make it true, just because a few far left commies agree on it. Of course the left is going to take Paul's message of limited government and run with it. The far right does the same thing, and calling Paul far right is absolute proof of their ignorance to LIBERTARIAN philosophy. Yes boys, there is more than left and right.

We've also been telling you that it's not just that Paul shows up for their events: he also takes their money. There's an old saying in politics that ya gotta dance with them what brung ya -- and guys like Bill White are the ones that brung Paul to Congress in the first place.
Oh please, money is money. Paul should be happy to get money, and his use of it will be the antithesis to those who blindly donated it to him in the first place (I mean the white supremacists). I agree he should have returned it, but I disagree that accepting a donation is solid proof of racism. Try again.

However, the editor of the New York Times published a correction refuting White's and Alternet's claims; you can find it here.

Moreover, Alternet quoted Bill White from VNNforum.com, hardly a respectable media organization, and I think we all know the bullshit that flies around in forums that are know to have professional IDIOTS in them.

Ron Pauls true words, from 2002:

“The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity. In a free market, businesses that discriminate lose customers, goodwill, and valuable employees – while rational businesses flourish by choosing the most qualified employees and selling to all willing buyers. More importantly, in a free society every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Rather than looking to government to correct what is essentially a sin of the heart, we should understand that reducing racism requires a shift from group thinking to an emphasis on individualism.”

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The State Assembly Actually Does Something Right

Republicans in the Assembly have voted for a bill that would return protections of the Second Amendment to the people of Wisconsin.

Madison - State lawmakers want to clip the power of the governor and local officials to seize people's guns during emergencies, saying that authority could trample the rights of citizens.

[...]

Legislators said they decided to try to curb those powers after seeing New Orleans police officers take guns from people during the recovery from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Republican-run Assembly passed the bill this month on a bipartisan 84-13 vote, and the Democratic-led Senate is looking at doing the same soon.

Why did it take Katrina to prove this? Does anyone in Madison read history or philosophy? Apparently not. In any case, at least this would effectively restore the Consitution's provisions for the right to bear arms, although the chance of it passing the Democrat controlled Senate is slim. And although there are some Democrats who are in favor of this, I don't know if Doyle will sign it.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle will review the bill if it gets to him to decide whether to sign it, aide Carla Vigue said.

"We really need to understand the implications of curtailing the powers of emergency management during a time of crisis," Vigue said.

Right. Power of government is all that is at stake here.

On a final note, why do we need a law to protect this? It is already under the constitution...

14,000 More Tax Delinquents to be Posted on State Website

14,000 individuals and businesses in the state of Wisconsin will be posted to the website in 2008 for not fulfilling their duties to the nanny state:

Madison - About 14,000 more Wisconsin residents and businesses will start 2008 with an Internet hangover, when their names and addresses are added to state government's list of tax delinquents Friday.

[...]

The Wisconsin legislator who sponsored the change, Rep. Frank Lasee (R-Bellevue), doesn't apologize for widening the Internet spotlight of shame.

"They legitimately owe the debt, or the system says they do," Lasee said.

Well, they may owe the debt, but I think there is a good argument against the legitimacy of debt by theft taxes.

With state government continuing to face a long-term deficit, "We need to look under every rock for revenue," Lasee added.
Or, here's a good idea for the commies state legislators in Madison: STOP RAISING TAXES. Why can't we keep good business here? Why do we have a "brain drain?" Because taxes are killing what little economy we may have had before. You want to change the deficit? Raising taxes won't help. How about CUT TAXES AND SPENDING? Quit all your nanny state micromanagement of individuals and municipalities and stop grabbing for more power like the true fascist state we are becoming.

But that would make sense, and god knows nobody in the state has a clue about economics or philosophy. They just like power and money.

Bin Laden Saber Rattles, Musharraf Passes the Buck

A new wave in the perpetual tit for tat:

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaida and vowed to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."

[...]

The tape did not mention Pakistan or the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, though Pakistan's government has blamed al-Qaida and the Taliban for her death on Thursday. That suggested the tape was made before the assassination.
First of all, I would hope this isn't a surprise to anyone. Of course bin Laden is going to keep threatening Israel and the U.S. in Iraq as long as we continue to exist. Fundamental Islamist militants, while a small minority of actual Islam, are radicals who would stop at nothing to achieve their desired end state, even if it means abandoning parts of their religion in favor of bloodshed and violence. The War on Terror is not the right way to fight these extremists, and as you can see, it does nothing to stop al-Qaida nor any other terrorist organization. Nation building will continue to fail time and time again, and even if it does succeed in Iraq, it will continue to thrive in other underdeveloped nations. Also, momentary successes in Iraq do not ensure a continuously stable future. If democracy and secularism are not embraced at the grassroots level, top-down management will show to dissolve over time and push democracy farther to the unachievable, leaving a bitter anti-American taste in the mouths of the people.

This has happened time and time again with nation-building practices and I can garauntee the War on Terror is a waste. Ron Paul pointed out the effects of blowback and he was right:

I am not saying we should give up. There are ways to fight wars and this is not it. If we would usefully and practically employ counter terrorist and defensive intelligence, we would have no need to fight useless wars in sovereign nations with no ties to terrorism, nor any strategic link to defend against it. If we would have used the intelligence we had before, we could have stopped 9/11 in it's earliest days. War will not protect us.

On the second point, it seems Musharraf has been passing the buck on investigations into Bhutto's assassination:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistan rejected foreign help in investigating the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on Saturday, despite controversy over the circumstances of her death and three days of paralyzing turmoil.

The Islamic militant group blamed by officials for the attack that killed Bhutto denied any links to the killing on Saturday, and Bhutto's aides accused the government of a cover-up.

[...]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that an international probe was vital because there was "no reason to trust the Pakistani government," while others called for a U.N. investigation.
I don't think the international community has any reason to interfere in this at the moment. This is not under the jurisdiction of any state, nor any people, save the Pakistani people. With that being said, it does seem fishy that Musharraf would not do any thorough investigation (international or domestic), and even more interesting is that Bhutto implied an imminent attack upon her life shortly before her assassination. Guess who she blamed?

After an October suicide attack targeted her in the city of Karachi, Bhutto accused elements in the ruling party of plotting to kill her. The government denied the claims, and Babar said Bhutto's allegations were never investigated
Of course they weren't investigated. Nothing is in Pakistan it would appear. Another question is why did Musharraf allow for this to happen? He is currently blaming it on Talibani forces in Afghanistan, so why couldn't he keep his borders safe? Also, why couldn't he provide for security or protection for his own people, especially after an attempted suicide attack almost took her out the first time? Her blood and the blood of his people are on his hands as well. If he truly had no part in plotting to kill her, he definitely made no effort to stop it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tasteless Humor





Tim Russert: Journalist or Jackass?

See for yourself:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

George Bush and Dick Cheney have better interviews than this! How could Tim Russert use 20 year old quotes, quotes from ex employees, and other quotes that were not even Paul's? Why should Paul have to answer to quotes that weren't his? Also, Russert bombarded Paul the whole "interview." I myself would call it an interrogation. I can't recall one decent question, and all of the questions were spun out of control, delivered at ninety miles an hour, and often multiple at one time. Paul couldn't answer all for the life of him, particularly when most answers are not doable in fifteen second soundbites.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Whole New Scarlet Letter

In November, the Wisconsin legislature introduced a bill that would create a "violent offender registry" much like the sex offender registry we currently have.

The Assembly Bill, AB 566 would force people to register for up to 15 years after their release, and up to life if they meet the following criteria:

1) he or she has been, on two or more occasions, convicted, or found
not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, of a violent offense, including if the
first conviction or finding occurs before the effective date of this bill;

2) he or she has been convicted, or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, of a violent offense, including a conviction or finding that occurs before the effective date of this bill, and is subsequently subject to a court−imposed registration requirement;

3) he or she is subject to a court−imposed registration requirement for a second time; or

4) he or she is subject to a court−imposed registration requirement and then is
subsequently convicted, or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, of
a violent offense. In addition, a person who has a lifetime requirement to register
as a violent offender in another jurisdiction must register for life in this state.
Furthermore:
This bill requires DOC to establish an Internet site containing information
from the violent offender registry. The Internet site must be organized in a manner
that allows a person to get the information that DOC is currently authorized or
required to provide to the person. In addition, the site may provide access to any other information that DOC determines is necessary to release for protection of the public.
Those who fail to register can be fined up to $10,000, imprisoned for nine months, or both.

Section 51.20 (13) (cu) defines a pattern of violence as "the commission of, attempt to commit, or solicitation to commit 2 or more of [a violent offense] if the last of those acts occurred within 5 years after a prior act."

“Violent offense” means a violation, or the solicitation, conspiracy, or
attempt to commit a violation, of s. 940.01, 940.02, 940.05, 940.19 (4), (5), or (6),
940.21, 940.305, 940.31, 943.02, 943.06, 943.10 (2), 943.23 (1g), 943.32 (2), or 948.03
(2) (a) or (c).

In summation, "violent offensives" would be: First-degree intentional homideFirst-degree reckless homicide, Second-degree intentional homicide, Battery, Substantial battery, Aggravated battery, Kidnapping, Taking hostages, Arson, Molotov cocktails, Armed burglary, Auto theft while armed, Armed robbery, and Child abuse. From what I read, it is possible that even more could be applicable.

One more time



I love this video.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Lakota Have Seceded

The Lakota have effectively separated themselves from the United States:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.


Russel has been gathering international support, mostly from developing countries, or countries who aren't so hot on the freedom index:
They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.
Probably not the kind of support they should want, but it's probably all they're gonna get. I hardly see any of the developed allies jumping on board with the Lakota.

Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.

"This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

"It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent," said Means.

This is more than just a legal issue, it's a moral issue. It's about time the Indian nations stood up against the U.S. Government and demanded independence. Only one problem: where are they going to go, and how are they going to develop their economies?

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.
No taxes? Now that's how you do it! And where will this new tax-free state be?

The move to form an independent nation will focus on property rights in a five-state area where the treaties in question were drawn up. The states include South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana – areas that the group say have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as the historic owners.
This could effectively displace American homeowners, might come into contact with military bases, and cut off trading routes to the rest of the state(s). However, I think the most harm will befall the Lakota. They will be sitting on ground that has not been developed for ages, trading will be extremely hard without foreign direct investment and an inflow of capital. With low taxes, this may be possible, but I hardly doubt the Lakota will be too open to that kind of idea. Furthermore, the US might choose to cut off supplies to the new nation, which would effectively be surrounded by U.S. territory. Not a historically good or strategic place to be. I can't wait to see how this develops, although I don't see it ending well for anyone.





Ron Paul Fans are Chasing Giulianni Everywhere

And these ones are particularly amusing:

A couple of them reminded me of muppets, waving around with flailing arms and big dumb grins. I love it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Toy Guns to be Taken as the Real Deal

In November, the Wisconsin legislatures introduced SB 323 and AB 603, which would increase the penalty for threatening someone with a "facsimile firearm" by 20 times.

Under this bill, a person is subject to the same penalties as he or she would be
under current law for using a dangerous weapon if the person commits a crime using
a facsimile firearm. A “facsimile firearm” is any replica, toy, starter pistol or other
object that bears a reasonable resemblance to or that reasonably can be perceived to
be an actual firearm.

Current law also prohibits a person from carrying or displaying a facsimile
firearm in a way that would alarm, intimidate, threaten, or terrify another person.
Anyone who does so is subject to a Class C forfeiture and may be required to pay a
forfeiture not to exceed $500.

This bill increases that penalty to a Class A misdemeanor and a person who
violates the provision may be fined up to $10,000, imprisoned for up to nine months,
or both.
Airsoft enthusiasts beware: the state is watching YOU.


Can you tell the difference? Our legislature can't.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ron Paul Shatters Fundraising Expectations!

As of 7:58pm today, Ron Paul has raised over 5 million JUST TODAY! Four hours to go!

[...]

UPDATE: 9:41pm Central

Ron Paul has topped 17 million so far this quarter 5.5 Million of which is just today! Also, 22,392 NEW donors just today! The campaign is growing! I know the main stream media might not register Paul in polls, or the Zogby polls show him in single digits, but when he raises this much money, and wins just about EVERY straw poll, I know for a fact that this is going somewhere. I have now donated twice to this man, and if I have the funds (being a college student) I will again. I ask all of you who might frequent my blog, please donate to Dr. Paul if you believe in the ideals of liberty, prosperity, security, and peace!

[...]

Update! 9:47pm Central

Somehow, as I posted the last part of this blog, Paul raised almost 500,000 dollars! I need another drink!

[...]

Ron Paul has just broken John Kerry's record for most donations in one day! 5.7 million according to his website! Still over half an hour to go!

[...]

Ended at 12 Eastern, I wish we went with central time so we could get more funding, but Ron Paul has still raised over 17.9 million in donations this quarter, with just under 6 million today ALONE!!! I was optimistic about today, and I donated twice, but I had NO IDEA he would do this well!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ron Paul on Mad Money

What a great interview. It was nice to see someone who actually agrees with Paul on economics. Of course, it is important to consider that those who chastise Paul turn out to be wrong, time and time again. Anyways, Jim seems to be rather enthusiastic about Paul, but then again it could just be because he yells ALL THE TIME.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

TV in the Nanny State

Not that I think ANYONE other than market demand should determine who does business where, but honestly, why do we have to move central planning to the State level?
Madison - The Assembly on Tuesday approved a cable regulation overhaul that would require state government - and no longer local governments - to issue franchises to cable TV companies.

[...]

Sponsors of the bill said it will foster competition that will hold down costs for consumers. But opponents said it will eventually starve public-access channels that now rely on fees charged by local governments and make it harder for consumers to resolve complaints about cable TV and satellite-dish services.

Doyle still has to review the final bill before deciding whether to sign it, said his spokesman Matt Canter. Canter added that Doyle supports competition and believes the proposal would offer greater competition in the market and more choices for consumers.

[...]

Under the bill, companies wanting permanent franchises would apply to the state Department of Financial Institutions. But it would be up to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to investigate complaints about cable and, for the first time, satellite dish service.
Since when is this the role of government? Why do I have to complain to the State about my cable service? Oh that's right, when government gives out contracts to these companies, they practically maintain a MONOPOLY in the region. I lose the power of my money to choose someone else. So much for the free market...

Go figure, and idiot nanny state liberal like Doyle would support this measure and attempt to call it "competition."

Abstinence Only Education Does Not Work!

How much do you want to bet it won't work?

In a new online campaign, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and Milwaukee's Serve Marketing take a less dogmatic approach to convincing teens to postpone sex.

This local effort relies on humor and participation to make its point.

"I know there's research out there that says abstinence campaigns don't work," said Gary Mueller, creative director of Serve. "But no one's done anything like this."

Oh really? And what is so different this time around?

The infomercial parodies feature a man with the improbable name of Richard Woody, Ph.D., who promotes a faux product called the Abstinator. The kit - "designed to protect you from the temptation of sex" - includes garlic-flavored gum, anti-sexy specs and B.O. brand body spray. At the end of the videos, a tagline acknowledges the joke but encourages viewers to visit the Web site, where statistics on teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases await.

"It uses humor in such a powerful way to get people's attention on a critical health issue: young people engaging in unprotected sex," said Mike Gifford, chief operations officer at AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. "People are receiving the Abstinator clip, and they choose to go to the site."

I have seen the site. I have seen the videos. I can tell you right now this won't work. At the front page to the site, you are treated to two options: choose, "I want sex right now" and you are treated to a web page with Genital Herpes "facts." I will not spend time debating the validity of the assertions on that page.

If you choose, "I would like to know the value of waiting," then you are treated to an extremely boring dialogue. If you click on "watch the tv spot," these completely horrid movies that prove nothing at all except for the stupidity of those who made it. I'm sorry guys, but kids are not that stupid. The cornier you make that shit, the less likely they will take you seriously.

And yes, once again abstinence only education DOES NOT WORK. And why is sex so bad in the first place? Why should we recreate a social stigma about a perfectly normal part of human life? Secondly, even if you manage to scare the shit out of kids at a young age, chances are they still won't be waiting until marriage. At that point, don't you wish you would have spent more time telling them how a condom could protect against STD's and pregnancy?

For more on why it won't work:

Here.

And here.

Central Banks Around the World in Panic Mode

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again:

Central banks in Europe and North America moved Wednesday to increase the amount of money they could lend to banks and to make it more readily available in an attempt to ease the credit squeeze.

It was the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and on the Pentagon that these central banks have coordinated their support of financial markets.

[...]

The move by the central banks should get more money to banks at interest rates lower than what they would have to pay if they borrowed at the Fed's discount window. The Fed will auction up to $40 billion in loans to banks at two auctions next week and undetermined additional amounts at two auctions in January.

The Fed also said it was making funds available to allow the European Central Bank to lend $20 billion and the Swiss National Bank to lend $4 billion to European banks that needed to borrow dollars.

In Frankfurt, the ECB said it would offer euro-zone banks as much as $20 billion to help cover their dollar-denominated liabilities.

"The general objective is to address elevated pressures in the short-term money market," said Lucas Papademos, an ECB vice president.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Fed lowered its target for the federal funds rate, the rate banks normally pay on overnight loans to each other, by a quarter point to 4.25 percent. It also lowered the discount rate, the rate at which the Fed will lend to banks on loans secured by virtually any collateral, by a quarter point, to 4.75 percent.
There are billions being "liquidated" into the market. What does this mean? We are printing more money while at the same time lowering interest rates. Savings will go down, borrowing will go up, a mini credit boom might happen (but it's still going to end in a huge bust), and inflation is going to destroy what little earnings many poor Americans make. This is welfare for people (primarily overambitious homeowners and upper class bankers and investors) who made terribly poor decisions by over inflating the credit market with artificially low rates on mortgages. The effects of this keep going on and on, and the Fed keeps making move after desperate move, but nothing seems to work too much.

Granted, the "liquidity" might be a short term solution MAYBE. If anything, the Fed does it for those assholes on Wall Street who are just lining up for the slaughter. They want more liquidity so that stocks can rise, not realizing that the amount of the stocks may actually be worse LESS due to inflation (although it won't be instantaneous). This is a tax on the POOR, and the middle class that actually acted responsibly.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Immanuel Kant: Wrong For America

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Welfare for Politicians

Is your campaign in shambles? Nobody likes you? Can't raise enough money? It's OK! If you are running for office in Wisconsin, we've got just the thing for you:

SB 12, sponsored by Sens. Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) and Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) would:

• Set voluntary spending caps at $4 million for governor, $150,000 for state Senate and $75,000 for state Assembly races. Accepting these caps will trigger access to public financing.

• Create a Public Integrity Endowment Fund to which anyone can contribute to publicly finance elections for those who agree to the spending caps.

• Increase the checkoff contribution on state income tax forms to $5, also for public financing of elections, with the taxpayer able to designate which party the money goes to.

Provide General Purpose Revenue funds to be tapped should these other funds be insufficient to cover 35% of expenses for participating candidates for state office.

• If a candidate eschews public financing and tries essentially to buy an election, the candidate who does agree to the limits gets up to three times the limit to mitigate at least some of the impact of the other candidate's spending.

The bill also effectively eliminates the legislative campaign committees that funnel special interest money to candidates and prohibits campaign fund raising by legislators and statewide elected officials during the state budget process.

What is so special about interests? Some of those "special interests" are my money. Now at least I get to choose what party my money goes to, but what if I only like one candidate? I surely wouldn't want to give money to anyone but Ron Paul for the Presidency. Cracking down on special interests puts a limit on my say and my money just as much as it does any organization that donates. And for the record, many of these organizations are donated to by people who agree with their cause. Now all of a sudden their freedom of speech is moot too?

And the best part is, as long as someone chooses to forgo public financing, the other people get THREE TIMES as much from our wallets! Awesome!

As usual the super liberal media is eating this all up.

Monday, December 3, 2007

DHS is Slap Happy for Screening and Surveillance

Right in your own back yard:

The federal government disclosed details yesterday of a border-security program to screen all people who enter and leave the United States, create a terrorism risk profile of each individual and retain that information for up to 40 years.

While long known to scrutinize air travelers, the Department of Homeland Security is seeking to apply new technology to perform similar checks on people who enter or leave the country "by automobile or on foot," the notice said.

The department intends to use a program called the Automated Targeting System, originally designed to screen shipping cargo, to store and analyze the data.

[...]

In around-the-clock operation, targeters match names against terrorist watch lists and a host of other data to determine whether a person's background or behavior indicates a terrorist threat, a risk to border security or the potential for illegal activity. They also assess cargo.

Each traveler assessed by the center is assigned a numeric score: The higher the score, the higher the risk. A certain number of points send the traveler back for a full interview.

[...]

The parent program, Treasury Enforcement Communications System, houses "every possible type of information from a variety of federal, state and local sources," according to a 2001 Federal Register notice.

It includes arrest records, physical descriptions and "wanted" notices. The 5.3 billion-record database was accessed 766 million times a day to process 475 million travelers, according to a 2003 Transportation Research Board study.

[...]

According to yesterday's notice, the program is exempt from certain requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 that allow, for instance, people to access records to determine "if the system contains a record pertaining to a particular individual" and "for the purpose of contesting the content of the record."

So we can't even contest it. Well try not to piss of whoever is screening you, eh? And what if you leave the country more than once in a lifetime? Do you have to reset the clock on another forty years? Who is going to manage 300 million+ people's profiles? More bureaucracy means more wasted money, more time, less liberty, and inevitably, people are going to mess this up. Seriously. How subjective is something like a number rating? And considering how militarized government agents and police are, they'd be more than happy to slap a 10 on anyone that looks at them the wrong way.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Straw Poll RIGGED: People Voting up to 80 Times!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ron Paul on Medicine

Other than John Stossel's, "Sick in America," which by the way you can find on YouTube, this is the best explanation of why we don't need socialized medicine and how a free market really can work. Dr. Paul, an OB/GYN lays out his plans for a better health care system.

This one's for you, Carly.



Putin, Russia Pull Out of NATO

In a not so surprising, but nonetheless significant move, Putin signed for the withdrawal of Russia from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization:

Russia says Nato members have not ratified an amended version of the pact and accuses it of flexing its muscles near Russia's borders.

Putin has also been sparring with the US and EU over plans for a missile defence shield in Europe, and proposed independence for Serbia's Kosovo province.

[...]

Moscow argues it has been used by an enlarged Nato to limit Russian military movements while Nato builds up forces close to Russia, in contravention of earlier agreements.

[...]

Moscow's key problem with the treaty is flank limits which prevent Russia from moving tanks and artillery around its own territory, Russia's top generals say.

And not to be missed:

Polls show that talking tough about Russia standing up to foreigners strikes a chord with millions of Russians who yearn for the return of the Soviet Union's once-mighty superpower status.
Awesome, just what we need right now, the revival of Cold War tensions. I don't really think thats going to happen, but Putin has really been pushing towards that lately.

More on Campaign Finance Reform

I have argued that limiting donations to candidates by individuals is a violation of first amendment rights. I have also argued that a ban on private funding of campaigns is wrong. What is one way we can have our cake and eat it too? If we want to get CORPORATE money out of campaigns, its very simple:

Because of the unique frailties and depths of passion unique to humans, just after the United States Constitution was ratified Thomas Jefferson and James Madison began a campaign to amend it with a 12-point explicit statement that would clearly and unambiguously place humans - who had created government - above their creation. This was the birth of what would become the Bill of Rights, and it originally had twelve - not ten - protections for citizens’ rights.

[...]

But on the issues of banning a standing army and blocking corporations from gaining monopolistic control over industries, Jefferson was getting resistance. The nation had just fought a bloody war against England, and there was little sentiment for completely dismantling the army. And the Federalists who were in power - a party largely made up of what Jefferson called “the rich and the well born” - were opposed to government constraints on business activities.

Thus only ten of his twelve visions for a Bill of Rights - all except “freedom from monopolies in commerce” and his concern about a permanent army - were incorporated into the actual Bill of Rights, which James Madison shepherded through Congress and was ratified as the first ten amendments to the constitution on December 15, 1791.

[...]

During this same period, because everybody understood Paine and Jefferson’s argument that human-made institutions must be subordinate to humans themselves; virtually every state had laws on the books that regulated the behavior of corporations.

The corporate form is, after all, just a legal structure to facilitate the conversion of products or services into cash for stockholders. As Buckminster Fuller wrote in his brilliant essay The Grunch of Giants, “Corporations are neither physical nor metaphysical phenomena. They are socioeconomic ploys-legally enacted game-playing-agreed upon only between overwhelmingly powerful socioeconomic individuals and by them imposed upon human society and its all unwitting members.”

Thus, states made it illegal for corporations to participate in the political process: politicians were doing the voters’ business, and corporations couldn’t vote, so it didn’t make sense they should be allowed to try to influence votes. States made it illegal for corporations to lie about their products, and required that their books and processes always be open and available to government regulators. States and the Federal government claimed the right to inspect companies and investigate them when they caused pollution, harmed workers, or created hazards for human communities, even if in the early years that right was unevenly used.

[...]

With the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, the owners of the what were then America’s largest and most powerful corporations - the railroads - figured they’d finally found a way to reverse Paine’s logic and no longer have to answer to “we, the people.” They would claim that the corporation is a person. They would claim that for legal purposes, the certificate of incorporation declares the legal birth of a new person, who should therefore have the full protections the voters have under the Bill of Rights.

[...]


Another great irony of this event is that the Bill of Rights was designed to protect human persons because of their vulnerability in relations with other human persons who may be much more powerful. But corporations are bestowed with potential immortality, can change their identity in a day, or even tear off parts of themselves and instantly turn those parts into entirely new “persons.” Yet regardless of all these superhuman powers, corporations are now considered persons.


[...]

An internet search on the phrase “corporate personhood” will find thousands of sites discussing or devoted to the topic, and models of legislation to remedy the error of 1886.

But the first step, as always, is awakening people to the root cause of the problems we face - the use of corporate personhood by a handful of the world’s largest enterprises to insinuate themselves into governments and seize control of legislative and regulatory agendas. As enough voters learn the history and realize the consequences of this, the solution - ending corporate personhood - will become more and more possible, and Paine’s and Jefferson’s original idea of democracy representing “we, the people” will come back to life.


The Bush Administration Halting Interest Rates

In a glorious move to devalue the dollar even more, the Bush administration is calling for a temporary freeze on interest rates:

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration and major financial institutions are close to agreeing on a plan that would temporarily freeze interest rates on certain troubled subprime home loans, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

An accord could reassure investors and strapped homeowners, both of whom are anxious as interest rates on more than two million adjustable mortgages are scheduled to jump over the next two years. It could also give a boost to the Bush administration, which is facing criticism for inaction amid the recent housing turmoil.
It may reassure Wall Street, but foriegn investors are going to dump our currencies and start investing in the Euro if the dollar keeps devaluating. Even if Wall St. surges, every dollar they gain and have gained will be worth less. The dollar is going to hell, and we are going to see inflation. I don't think we have fully realized the inflation yet, but when we do, this is surely not going to help. So why then would they do this?

Many subprime loans carry a low "teaser" interest rate for the first two or three years, then reset to a higher rate for the remainder of the term, which is typically 30 years in total. In a typical case, the rate would rise to around 9.5% to 11% from 7% or 8%. That would boost an average borrower's payment by several hundred dollars a month.

Exactly which borrowers will qualify for the freeze and how long the freeze would last are yet to be determined. Under one scenario, the freeze could run as long as seven years. The parties are developing standard criteria that would determine eligibility. The criteria should be finalized by the end of year.

[...]

The creditors are likely to look at whether the borrowers have equity in their homes, despite falling house prices, and whether their incomes are holding steady.
In effect, it's a bailout. A conservative one at that, but it still will have negative consequences. Why should a certain group of people get special privileges just because they can't pay? Is that not their own fault, and the fault of the mortgage group? Why should we give them what in effect is corporate and individual welfare?

As a drumbeat of bad news about housing has continued -- including news of fewer home sales, falling prices and higher foreclosures -- the Bush administration has come under pressure to be seen as actively addressing the problem.

[...]

Interest rates are set to reset next year on $362 billion worth of adjustable-rate subprime mortgages, according to Banc of America Securities. An additional $85 billion in such mortgages is resetting during the current quarter. The estimates include loans packaged into securities and held in bank portfolios.

Borrowers whose loans are resetting are likely to have a tougher time sidestepping the rising payments by refinancing or selling their homes. Lending standards have tightened and many borrowers can't qualify for refinancing. And falling home prices mean that many borrowers have little or no equity in their homes. Some owe more than their homes are worth.

So? Shouldn't you have to take responsibility for your actions? The market will inevitably come to a "correction" and it won't be nice. The more we try to bail out and put it off, the worse it will be.

Top Treasury officials fear that unless creditors agree to relax the terms on many of those mortgages, borrowers will default at a higher pace. About 6.6% of subprime mortgages were in foreclosure as of August, the most recent data available, according to First American LoanPerformance.

I think Mish has it right:
But let's get one thing straight right up front. This has nothing whatsoever to do with "saving people's homes". This is about saving financial institutions from collapse. And the plan will fail. It rewards those who cannot afford to pay. The details are not in yet but I suspect one measure of the ability to pay will be whether or not one is current on their loans.
[...]

How those collective minds think this plan will work is beyond me. Here are three simple reasons the plan will fail:
  • This plan will encourage those on the edge to fall behind just to get a freeze.
  • This plan will foster resentment from those not being bailed out.
  • This plan is a transparent attempt to make people debt slaves forever.
Ditto.

Doyle Calls for Campaign Finance Reform in Wisconsin

Doyle wants to take away your freedom of speech:
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Jim Doyle called on the Legislature Friday to pass a campaign finance reform package that includes public financing for Supreme Court races and other measures that have traditionally divided lawmakers.

[...]

"I think what he’s doing is he’s basically saying to the Legislature we really have to do something on this," Erpenbach said. "There may not be a deal on this, but we have to do something."

[...]

"I just think it’s in everybody’s interest to sit down and do this," Heck said. "I don’t think either party wants to be viewed as the party that’s an obstacle to political reform in Wisconsin."

In addition to 100 percent public financing for Supreme Court races, Doyle also said the proposal should ban fundraising from the moment the state budget is introduced until it is passed. It should also establish a system of matching grants for some candidates who take public financing and increase spending limits for candidates accepting public financing.

Erpenbach said the bill will also do something to reign in issue ads paid for by special interest groups.

[...]

Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, said the Republican-controlled Assembly will take up Doyle’s call and debate the reforms but he did not say what, if any, parts he would support.

Assembly Majority Leader Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, said there may be some parts of the proposal that are workable but he is opposed to public financing of campaigns.

Isn't that just great? Even the Republicans can't save you now. They don't even know how to object to the abridgment of our first amendment rights. So now what? We have to pay taxes to pay for candidates we HATE? If Hitler got enough signatures to be on the ballot, he would get just as much funding as say, Jesus. Does this sound fair? I think not. I enjoy donating money to candidates I like. I did this with Ron Paul. Why should I be FORCED to fund candidates who I would hate to see make it on the ballot? And who decides how much money each candidate gets? A million? Five million? Where do you think this comes from? That's right: YOU. Even if you have never voted and never intend to vote.

They might find ways to work around that last point, but the fact still stands that I could not give money to someone I like; it would be illegal. Does this sound fair to you? I would hope not.

Some problems with Campaign Finance Reform From the Heritage Foundation:

  • A political candidate has an absolute First Amendment right to spend an unlimited amount of his own money expressly advocating his own election (unless he voluntarily waives that right in order to receive public financing).

  • Individuals and organizations also have an absolute First Amendment right to spend an unlimited amount of their own money expressly advocating the election or defeat of particular candidates so long as there is no coordination between the individual or organization and the candidates. And governments may not presume that there is coordination under certain scenarios--unless there really is some.

Other articles include John Samples from USA Today, and CATO Policy Analysis 547.
Hopefully these can help you decide to oppose campaign finance reform.

Kenosha, WI to raise taxes

The Communists honorable people at City Hall are proposing to raise taxes AGAIN. When asked for what reasons, the City goes on to say that it's all the State's fault:


The city's proposed 2008 budget calls for a 4.7 percent tax levy increase. That figure could mean a 2.3 percent increase for the city's portion of the tax bill.

The city's proposed 2008 budget calls for a tax levy for the city, museum and library of $50,151,658, city finance director Carol Stancato said. That is a 4.7 percent increase from 2007's levy of $47,918,755. The 2007 levy was about a 3.5 percent increase from the previous year.

[...]

Stancato said the average price of a house in Kenosha is estimated at $165,073 for 2008, the same as this year, which would bring the city's portion of the average tax bill to about $1,368.45 before lottery or state credits are figured in. That total is about $32.09 more than this year's rate.

[...]

Antaramian said some changes at the state level created some difficulties in crafting the budget.

"The toughest part of any budget are the changes in state law," Antaramian said. "We were waiting on the levy limits and the city has not done well on the state revenue side, with the lion's share of funds going to the school district. It would be nice to see some of those revenue streams go toward cities, which the governor did propose, but it didn't make it through committee."

Maybe we shouldn't be so dependent on State revenue to get by? Why are we building a whole new museum, and building a damn statue of Christopher Columbus (as if he sailed into Kenosha Harbor?) when we could be fixing roads, lowering taxes, and boosting the dead and dying economy? This whole state is going to hell with the Democrats in control, but the city need not make it worse.

A breakdown of our REAL reasons for the increase:
  • "The biggest increase is overtime," incoming Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey said. "The city boosted all of our overtime accounts for 2008 based on this year, and we felt we needed it."
  • The police budget also includes 15 new vehicles for 2008.
  • The Kenosha Fire Department is slated to see a 1.1 percent decrease compared to 2007, with a budget of $11.2 million. That budget includes one additional employee, an emergency services instructor.
  • That department's funding is proposed at $2.79 million for 2008, up 38.4 percent from 2007. The largest increases are in the department's utility costs, up about $180,000 from 2007, and about $300,000 more for salaries.
  • Storm water utility budget increased by about 18 percent with a proposed $4.87 million total for 2008.
  • The Parks Department is proposed to move up about 4.4 percent with a $4.14 budget for 2008. Strong said the department's undetermined cost for next year is how much vandalism it will have to deal with.
  • The Public Works Department is slated to take on a number of major street projects, including work on 63rd and 75th streets, next year.
    But the operating budget, at $8.03 million, is only 0.7 percent higher than this year's estimated costs.
At least some money is being spent on infrastructure, but our police force just keeps growing, and we have to lose business, homes, and jobs to pay for our beloved Police State. The museum is a waste of time. If we had a good ECONOMY then maybe the museum would build ITSELF. The Police say that they had to increase their overtime pay. Could it be because we have more of them on the street than ever before, or maybe because they are working even more hours? They're damn near everywhere!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Debate Tonight

(I have updated and revised this since my first blogging)

The Republican YouTube Debate tonight was....interesting. Giulianni and Romney duked it out, as predicted, and McCain didn't go much of anywhere. Romney as usual could not find solid ground on any questions, repeatedly saying he would "consult people" or tiptoeing around the questions completely.

Giulianni repeatedly used 9/11 and New York to answer every question, as if the whole United States revolves around terrorism, and if New York was the center of the universe. Come on, Rudy, Kenosha, Wisconsin is not New York, and neither is any other town. What worked there will not work here, and I would hate to see you use the White House as an instrument to push your police state, anti-liberty, war-mongering beliefs on all of the FEDERAL governments in this nation. Hunter....weak. Tancredo...crazy. Everything to him is about immigration.

Thompson surprised me in many ways, and at times I could swear he was a real conservative. However, just as most of the candidates on the stage, he talks about spending and saving without looking at the greatest cost to this country: empire. Also, while he may be witty and humorous, what I am really looking for is a straight answer. He fails.

Finally, Ron Paul. Tonight was his chance to shine, and he failed. While the audience absolutely loved him (I think this stems from his having more money, and being more able to buy seats), he came across rather weak on issues, and at one point could not remember "those guys in the north (of Iraq)." They're called Kurds, Ron. It doesn't help that he was cut off repeatedly, not allowed to reply, nor given many questions to begin with. CNN spent more time on useless jabber than on foreign policy (Ron's strong point) and Ron Paul did not even get much attention at all in this area. However, considering the boos that McCain, Romney, and Giulianni got...I think Ron Paul did alright. Enough to continue to exist without shame.

It is hard to declare any real winner, but if I had to rank...it would go as such:

1. Thompson (Not a strong performance at all, but better)
2. Huckabee (Acted like a career politician, full of shit. But a lot of support)
3. Giulianni (No real gain or loss)
4. Paul (Not eloquent at all, but had a lot of support, unfortunately came off as crazy)
5. McCain (No real gain or loss, strong on torture and the troops)
6. Romney (Looked terrible, stumbled, flip flopped)
7. Hunter (Nothing groundbreaking. He's out)
8. Tancredo (He is definitely out)

Although I favor Paul in this race, he is going to need to speak clearer next time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Paul on Economics



enjoy.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Woman Aborts Baby to Save the Planet?

A UK woman decided to abort her baby and sterilize herself ASAP so that she would not create more of a carbon footprint:

...when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.

[...]

Incredibly, instead of mourning the loss of a family that never was, her boyfriend (now husband) presented her with a congratulations card.

While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.

"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.


What the Hell are they teaching them in the UK? Is there something in the water? Having children is selfish? What about having an abortion? That's SELFISH. What a sick, sick woman, and a sick, sick, liberal world we live in.

Mark adds: "Sarah and I live as green a life a possible. We don't have a car, cycle everywhere instead, and we never fly.

"We recycle, use low-energy light bulbs and eat only organic, locally produced food.

"In short, we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. But all this would be undone if we had a child.

"That's why I had a vasectomy. It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of Earth.

Morally wrong? What is morally wrong about having a baby? If it DOES happen to be morally wrong, than the pure existence of all people on Earth, from saint to murderer is immoral, and thus, it would be hard to imagine us living moral lives now wouldn't it? As well, if Mark sees everything he does to reduce carbon emission as a moral venture, than how is it that 1) he cannot imagine having a child that could do the same, 2) how could it be immoral if all he is doing is reducing the "badness" of his state of existence? And one more thing: since when is murder alright in the name of global warming?

Whats next, do they want us to live in caves to reduce our carbon footprint?

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Sweet Sting of Consumerism


nataliedee.com

Thursday, November 22, 2007

No Texts Allowed

In a gratuitous and disturbing move on our civil liberties, Sen. Alan Lasee, R-DePere in the Wisconsin legislature introduced a bill that would make it illegal to text and drive.
It's impossible to know how many accidents in Wisconsin resulted from driver error related to text messaging. The state's uniform crash report form does not include cell phones as an option for police to mark as the reason for an accident. Another pending bill would update the form to include that as a contributing cause.
And its going to be just as impossible to enforce.
The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association doesn't have a position on Lasee's bill but generally believes that current laws against distracted driving are sufficient, director Bill Esbeck said. However, the group has supported tighter restrictions on cell phone use for younger, less experienced drivers, Esbeck said. The association represents 70 phone companies, 25 Internet service providers and nine wireless carriers in Wisconsin.
So what, not only will they have to catch you texting, they need to identify your age first to see if they can pull you over? At what age should it become "legal" to text message while driving?

This law is useless. There are laws against recklessly operating a motor vehicle, and if the operation of the vehicle is impaired, that is justification to pull someone over and ticket them, or if they get into a crash it is enough to make them responsible. People are still going to drive terribly, and the more we try to regulate it the more confusing it will become, to the point that we cannot enforce the laws. This is just as gratuitous as the seat belt laws.
Lasee's bill, which he is circulating for co-sponsors and intends to introduce in early December, would impose a $400 fine for a first offense and an $800 penalty for additional ones.

If text messaging is found to be responsible for an accident resulting in an injury, the fine would jump to $2,000 and at least 30 days in jail. If the accident results in a death, the penalty would be a felony with up to a $25,000 fine or 10 years in prison.
I'm sorry, but I think this is a bit much. I understand the dangers of operating a cell phone at the same time as a motor vehicle. But what about eating while driving, using the radio/CD player, talking to people in the car, driving while tired, sneezing, etc. There are many things I could come up with that could impair one's ability to drive, and most of them are simple things we all do. There ought to be a penalty for driving like a reckless maniac, and there is. Why then do we need to add more regulation and bureaucracy? Oh thats right, so Uncle Same can take more of your tax dollars to fund the nanny-state, and so weak politicians can look as if they are "tough on crime."

Black Friday

Black Friday is a term invented to refer to the day after thanksgiving in which retailers sponsor the most hideous bloodsport ever: Christmas shopping. This tradition has been able to put retailers "in the black" for the period, hence the name.

This is the single most important day for retail, and also a strong indicator of how the economy is doing. A weak day could put markets into a spin. With the volatility already prevalent on Wall Street for the past 6 months, I think we will see just that. To what extent I am not sure, but I think by now its so obvious even CNBC cannot deny it: we are suffering.

The dollar is still falling

Wall Street is down

And Black Thursday will suffer too. It has been predicted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Europe for Ron Paul!



As of right now, Dr. Paul's meetup groups have 73,332 members in 949 cities across 25 countries!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hahaha

Turns out the Moussaoui Case isn't over

McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case.

[...]

Attorneys for al-Timimi have been seeking access to documents. They also want to depose government witnesses to determine whether the government improperly failed to disclose the existence of certain evidence.
WHAT? The government would never give false information and witnesses for a corrupt court case for the purpose of propagandizing the War on Terror! In all seriousness however, I seriously doubt that Moussaoui is completely innocent, especially since he pleaded guilty. The real question is, to what extent is he guilty, what did he really do (or intend to do rather), and what is the government hiding (and why)? This really is one strange case.

Stem Cell Research Conducted Without Embryos

Could the fight against federally funded stem cell research be over?

Researchers have transformed ordinary human skin cells into batches of cells that look and act like embryonic stem cells -- but without using cloning technology and without making embryos.

"We can now envisage a time when a simple approach can be used to produce stem cells that are able to form any tissue from a small sample taken from any of us," said Ian Wilmut of the University of Edinburgh, who helped clone the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, in 1997.
Wait a minute. Isn't that the sheep that died after only six years of being alive? Do we want to clone tissues that are only going to fail anyways? Actually, it turns out that she didn't die of "clone" complications at all, but Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma.

In any case, this seems like it could be a healthy, ethically impartial way of going about tissue and organ replacements for patients diagnosed with many of the world's worst irreversible diseases and cancers. It looks like it will be politically palatable as well:
The White House immediately welcomed the development, given President George W. Bush's long opposition to embryo research, even as scientists said the finding should not be the end of such research.
Don't get too excited though, it may be a little ways off before we can really harvest the full benefits of this development:
The researchers agree it will be years before the technique could be used to treat people. More immediately, they say it can be used to study diseases and to screen drugs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I haven't blogged in a while

Forgive me for not blogging lately, I have been writing some pretty big papers for finals and studying, so it might be a little while before I get back into my regular method.

Greece vs. Germany

I am so glad I found this:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tea Party '07

Will Ron Paul be able to raise 10 million in one day? Hold on to your wallets until December 16th, and we may be able to do it.



I think this would force the media and the GOP to accept Paul as a viable candidate. I cannot believe how excited I am about this election cycle! The best thing is: this time politics really IS working from the grassroots up, thanks in large to the wonderful invention called the internet.

give it a look

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A conflict of origin

A couple of videos that expose the Creation Museum for what it really is: Bullshit.





Now don't get me wrong: I am not a strict Naturalist, and I have no problems with the metaphysical. But for the love of God (pun intended) make your claims hold water. If you make a scientific claim, whether it be evolution or creation, it must be able to stand up to scrutiny. Unfortunately though, creationism fails horribly in this regard. Why is it that Christians have trouble reconciling their beliefs with evolution? There is no reason in my mind why the two could be incompatible.

Welcome to America
: where one third of us believe in UFO's, 23% believe in ghosts, 48% believe in ESP, and almost one fifth believe in witchcraft.

In 2005, guess how we fared amongst other countries in percentage of the populace that believes in evolution? And in 2007?

Tancredo is out

At least he will be soon, after this video:

What the HELL was he thinking? I can tell you one thing, the smaller the field gets, the more of a chance Paul has. You can bet that this was a desperation attempt to get some sort of recognition in the polls.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Cost of the Iraq War, National Debt, and Entitlements

Brought to you by Boston.com

  • Nearly 4,000 Newton North High Schools
  • 40 Big Digs
  • Almost 18 months' worth of free gas for everyone
  • Many, many environment-friendly cars on the road
  • Nearly 14 million years' worth of tuition, room, and board at Harvard
  • More than a year's worth of Medicare benefits for everyone
  • A looong contract for Dice-K
  • A real war on poverty
The grand total thus far? $611 billion. I sure do love taxes. When asked how they would spend the money, individuals replied with some interesting, and often quirky messages:

  • Bag 'o weed.
  • I'd buy a clue for every wingnut.
  • Two (2) one-way (1-way) tickets to Guantanamo Bay for Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, including all meals, a spiffy orange jumpsuit, and daily waterboarding.
  • Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards All.
I would like to point out: while violence may have a cost, peace cannot be bought in terms of dollars. It is going to take a little more than that out of all of us.
  • ld provide health insurance for 365,800,000 children for a year. This is a pro-rated number from costofware.com, based on the current request for $611 billion.
The message from this individual contains a typo. The actual site is here.
  • You know, that's a great idea! Even better, if we then split it up and gave every US family $10,000,000, then no one in this country would ever have to work again, 'cause we could all live comfortably off the interest.
It astounds me as to how little people know about economics. If we all had that much money, what do you think would happen to the cost of goods? Most people would go broke before the inflation hit them, and next thing you know, you're homeless.
  • I would buy $611 billion dollar's worth of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy for every one of the right-wing BPD sufferers out there who cannot seem to be able to break free from their mental illness long enough to have a single compassionate thought. Either that or I would move every last one of these right-wing sociopaths to Iraq, where they could rant all they want ... to a radical cleric or two.
I would like to take a moment to point out that just because I'm Libertarian, does not make me incapable of compassion. I wish you liberals had more compassion for my wallet, and for hard work, instead of undermining the labor value of others to carry out unethical entitlement programs. kthx.
  • The issue differentiating "conservative" and "liberal" is population turnover. Conservatives believe as many people as possible should be born, and that once born they should die as quickly as possible, while liberals believe in a lower birth rate and longer life expectancy.
No, conservatives believe that individuals should EARN their property, respect Life, and be largely left ALONE by the state, and by others. Liberals believe that there are no property rights, just the right to other's properties; they also believe that men who do not want to be dads should pay child support, but women who do not want to be moms can abort babies (with or without dads input). They also believe that the state has a role in everything you do, so long as it makes everyone equal.

Ok, I agree we can buy a lot of great things with this money. I completely disagree with just about all of the people who replied too. But do you know what the best use for this money is? GIVE IT BACK!

If we spent it any other way, it would only serve to propagate the twisted entitlement system we have in the U.S. today. I am surprised that liberals don't like the Iraq war, since it seems to be an entitlement program for Iraqi's. I guess they aren't as compassionate as they like to think.
This money would be better spent by it's rightful owners: YOU. Taxes are high enough, when are we going to be able to see the fruits of our labor manifest in the things WE want?

Besides, most of this money wasn't from taxes, it was printed out of thin air. Now we get to pay the interest plus inflation as the debt ceiling has to get raised again and again to facilitate the current debt level.

As if I already didn't like Mike Huckabee:

I now have even further reason to NOT vote for him. Thanks to Jason Pye at the Liberty Papers for the video:


And how bout that Giuliani? Not so much either:

And what about Thompson, the great hope? Not so great.

Guess who has NEVER voted to raise taxes?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chavez told to "Shut up" by Spanish King

Chavez, while at a summit for leaders of Latin America, Portugal, and Spain, called the former Spanish Prime Minister a "fascist" and said that a snake is more human than he is.

Aznar, a conservative who was an ally of Bush as prime minister, "is a fascist," Chavez said in a speech at the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. "Fascists are not human. A snake is more human."

The current prime minister responded with tongue in cheek, saying:

"Former President Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people," he said, eliciting applause from the gathered heads of state.

The socialist dictator tried to respond but his microphone was off. At one point, the Spanish King had had enough:

Spanish King Juan Carlos, seated next to Zapatero, angrily turned to Chavez and said, "Why don't you shut up?"
For someone who holds practically autonomous control over the Venezuelan people and strangles freedom and individualism with brutality and violence against his own people, Chavez certainly has a lot to say.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Today in History: 11/9

I was three at the time, but I enjoy watching the videos of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the physical representation of East vs. West, Communism vs. Democracy. In the end, as always, freedom won.

Lets recall again what is wrong with communism:

Is Anti-Discrimination Anti-Freedom?

Doug Mataconis has an opinion I might not agree with for once. On employers discriminating on those who smoke at home:

Seigel obviously doesn’t want to be tagged with the word “discrimination”, but that’s because the word has become associated with things like racial and gender discrimination which are both illegal and subject to severe public disapproval. But discrimination merely means that one prefers one thing over another — if I like Diet Coke with Lime as opposed to all other soft drinks, I am discriminating against Diet Pepsi. Discrimination is a part of life because people make choices — it only becomes tagged with the connotation of being right or wrong because of value judgments that society makes about the preferences that someone has expressed.
And on the ENDA Act for LGBT non-discrimination in employment:

What they don’t need, what the rest of us don’t need, though, is the state stepping into private relationships in the manner that this bill does. Does that mean that some bigoted employer somewhere might fire someone because they’re gay ? Maybe, but why should the state concern itself with that ? We don’t live in the 1940s anymore, employers who do things like this are going to be found out and, in an era when most Americans are tolerant, they’re likely to face consequences for their actions in the marketplace.

Rather than protecting anyones rights, bills like this do nothing but reinforce the (false) idea that rights come from the state.

Ok, I understand what Doug is saying about the State's interference in private relationships. But how is this reinforcing any idea that rights come from the state? Rights are protected by the state, this being the highest reason for its existence.

I would argue that an individual ought to have the freedom from discrimination based on factors that do not have any effect on job performance. I think you would agree Doug that it is not right for me to be considered less important than a minority in employment or school admissions because of the fact that I am white, and I am male, and yet I have had a harder life than many people of color.

I know what you will say, about the state being involved, but the ethical matter here is not about the state. It is about the equal rights of individuals to pursue life, liberty, and property, and that the state has the role to protect the equal opportunity of all individuals. Notice I said opportunity, not outcome. The difference here is that all players have the same access to education and work, but it is up to them to secure it on merit.

All individuals have the right to life, liberty, and property, and any interference in this (be it via the state or otherwise) is immoral and counterintuitive to the goals of the U.S. Constitution and her founders. The fact of the matter is that two rights are at stake here: the right of individuals to equal opportunity based on merit, and the right of property owners to employ whomever they wish. I think you will agree that the consequences of choosing the former will be relatively insignificant on the latter, but in reversal, consequences are much more noticeable and severe.

This applies to individuals who smoke at home just as much. I can understand the conflict when employers cover your health insurance, but outside of this I see severe ethical and political ramifications. I think we need to consider that the state is not the only entity that can rule over individuals. I am assuming you are a Libertarian, but I think it is important for Libertarians to understand in these times that there is a role of the state to protect individuals from individuals, as well as corporate or small business entities. I do not advocate forcing employers to hire individuals, however, I am finding considerable conflict with the way you posit that employers should be able to discriminate on any level they want.

This is all I have for now; hopefully Doug will respond, because I really enjoy his writing and I would like to see his defense.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

At least he's not hiding it anymore!

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that economic growth will slow noticeably in coming months while surging oil costs will raise inflation pressures. But he said the economy is nowhere close to the stagflation nightmare of the 1970s and he predicted an economic rebound by mid-2008.

Testifying before the Joint Economic Committee, Bernanke acknowledged a host of problems facing the economy, from a deeper-than-expected housing slump to a lingering credit crunch and now sharply rising oil prices and a falling value of the dollar, both of which increase inflation threats.
I am glad that the Chairman is finally acknowledging the faults of the economy, although it certainly isn't helping Wall Street:

After falling by as much as 200 points, the Dow Jones industrial average closed out another difficult trading session down 33.73 points at 13,266.29. That decline followed a 360.92-point plunge on Wednesday, which had been the third drop of more than 350 points in the past month.
Wall Street will come back. In fact, the reason Wall Street was doing so well before was just because those idiots were giddy over the multiple interest rate cuts, as well as the liquidity that occured in the summer. These guys think they are entitled to central planning in their favor, but when the realization that government doesnt always know best hits them, they dump their savings. I suppose the question that logically follows then is: Does Wall Street run largely on a centrally-planned economy? If so, then what a sad age we live in.

I am going to tell you right now, Wall Street will rebound. But I don't know how sustainable it will be when you consider that two big-spending holidays are coming up, and that quarterly reports are going to be far less than average. This will prompt further degradation of stock value, but hopefully at this time, the price for oil will have dropped. We cannot forget the importance of the value of oil in our calculations of the economy. Face it, oil is the blood that serves our economy.

I am not too worried though about oil becoming a burden on the markets. As long as capitalism reigns, the market will adapt. Therefore, this may be a good thing, since it will spur innovation for renewable and cheap resources that in the end will ween us from the stranglehold of OPEC.

Bernanke said he and his colleagues believe economic activity will "slow noticeably in the fourth quarter" compared with the 3.9 percent pace of the third quarter, reflecting the impact of higher energy prices, tighter credit and continuing weakness in housing will have on consumer spending. Many analysts believe growth could be as weak as 1.5 percent in the current quarter.
SLOW NOTICEABLY? My friends, 1.5% is a RECESSION!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chavez "reforms" the Constitution

All of the worst things have been done in the name of socialism and nationalism:

Mr Ch├ívez says that the reform, which follows his victory in a presidential election last December, is imperative to entrench his “revolution”. As unveiled by him in August, the reform affected fewer than a tenth of the 350 articles in the 1999 constitution (which the president himself inspired). But the assembly has added a further 36 articles.
What changes were made?

At the heart of the reform is an increase in the presidential term, from six to seven years, and the removal of term limits...

[...]

The reform also allows the president to dispose of the country's international reserves as he sees fit, and to declare any part of the country a “federal territory”, ruled directly from the presidential palace. Another change will allow the president to declare an indefinite state of emergency and suspend the right to information and to elements of due process.
More from the AP:

"Today the Venezuelan people have a pencil in their hands to write their own history, and it's not going to be the history of the elite," said pro-Chavez lawmaker Earle Herrera.
Really? When one man holds ownership over the means of production and distribution and holds possibly indefinite power, this is not elitism? Socialism and Communism do not get rid of classes, they make them worse. This time though, it's a division between the Socialist ruling elite (government), and the "common" people. I wonder how much "distribution" Chavez gives to himself...

Theres still hope though:

The 69 changes to Venezuela's Constitution now go to citizens for a Dec. 2 vote.

Venezualans can hope that the "vote" isn't rigged.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

4.2 Million, Innovation, and the Flat World

A first glance, I was unhappy with Ron Paul's campaign for organizing a fundraising campaign on the date of a notorious terrorist plot. However, it seems that it was organized by an individual outside of the campaign without Ron Paul's knowledge. Tucker Carlson had Paul on his show today to talk about the 4.2 MILLION he raised in just one day:


The Politico has more on the actual man that did it:

Trevor Lyman came from nowhere this week to earn a spot in fundraising lore by engineering a reported $4 million day for Ron Paul’s dark horse Republican presidential campaign.

But the 37-year old political novice from Miami Beach isn’t done yet.

Lyman, who over the span of about three weeks oversaw an unprecedented online campaign that solicited pledges for small contributions to have been delivered Monday is planning another Paul fundraising push over the weekend of Dec. 15 and 16.
What days are these? None other than the Bill of Rights Day, and the Boston Tea Party, as if this could be of any surprise. Lyman knew what he liked about Ron Paul, and because of this he knew exactly what others wanted. Capitalism at it's finest: the consumer knows best.

But we cannot consider the success of this movement without considering the very structural framework that supports it.

Thomas Friedman said that the Internet has been integral in transforming the playing field into one that is "flat." This is a prime example of the leveling of the field for Ron Paul and his supporters, who, although widespread and seemingly small, are formidable when brought together by the World Wide Web. It is hard to imagine such a movement a decade ago, much less four years ago. And as the world gets smaller and smaller I have one question: could this be a trend for the future?