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!