Cowardly Congresscritters Hand Terrorists Biggest Win Since the Patriotic Act

November 20th, 2015

ISIS strikes Beirut, Congress does nothing.
ISIS strikes Kenya, Congress doesn’t even notice.
ISIS strikes Paris, Congress does their bidding.
Cowards of both parties in the House just passed a bill, by a wider margin than needed to override a veto, that does what ISIS was hoping for when they made their attacks on Paris. Just like the 2001 passage of the “Patriot Act”, which shredded the Fourth Amendment in the name of, well, “MOMMY, I’M TERRIFIED!!!!”, Congress has decide that helping the victims of ISIS is just too risky.
Then there’s the Texas legislator who wrote his governor saying we shouldn’t admit any Syrian refugees because it’s too easy for them to buy guns in Texas…seems he’s already stuffed his gun in his pants and pulled the trigger.
France should demand the return of the Statue of Liberty. We no longer deserve it – too many of us are too quick to cave to the terrorists and throw our freedom and our spirit in the trash.

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Republican Priorities?? Life is not a multiple guess question…

February 3rd, 2015

Since where I live in Georgia there are few offices where Democrats even bother to put up a candidate, never mind have people competing to see who can get clobbered in November by all the geniuses who would vote for the Republican even if it was Charles Manson, I usually vote in the Republican primary.  So I got on their mailing list for the “Republican Issue Intensity Tracking Poll, Georgia Edition, 2015 Q1″.  Please note that I am an equal opportunity party basher – I am sure there is a Democrats version of this somewhere that I could take apart just as gladly.  The problems we faced are much to important to be decided by “parties” of any kind.

This will probably take a few posts to go through, but I will provide better than 1-5 answers to all of them, in case anyone is actually interested in my vote not being a write in of “none of the above”.

"1.  Repeal and replace ObamaCare
2.  Reform/improve ObamaCare"

Simple answer here: Medicare for all! A single payor system like the rest of the civilized world.
I find it hard to believe that any business owner actually wants to have to manage, let alone pay for, health insurance for their employees, but I am sure that most would want their employees to be covered. And what is insurance anyway, other than spreading the risk among more people? Big companies get better deals on health insurance because he risk is spread over a bigger group. And what is the biggest buying group we can have for this? That’s right, all of us! And for those of you who just have to have your competition in any situation, health care providers will have to compete to find ways to make a profit on what we decide to pay them, instead of being able to tell us “your money or your life”.
"3.  Cut federal spending.
4.  Slow the growth and size of federal government"

How about “rationalize federal spending”? Oil companies and corporate farms don’t need handouts, but the changes brought about by technology and globalization require education to be a life-long endeavor.
"5.  Cut federal taxes"
There’s an overly broad statement if ever there was one…
"6.  Lower the capital gains tax"
Because unearned income should be encouraged more than earned income? Because speculating on Wall Street is something we should all aspire to?
"7.  Reduce the corporate tax rate to encourage job creation"
AFNIE – assumes facts not in evidence. No job has ever been created by a tax cut. Jobs are created because the business knows it will make a greater profit with the new hire than without. If there are no profits, then the tax rate matters not one bit. I would even venture to say (though I do not know of any studies in this area) that the lower the tax rate, the more likely the very rich will take profits out of a business rather than investing them in growing the business.
"8.  Repeal the death tax"
Anyone who believes the estate they leave will be less than $5,340,000 (even after the games you can play to get around it) and would vote for this is, as politely as I can put it, an IDIOT.
"9.  Make the IRS tax code simpler, fairer, and flatter"
Well, simpler and fairer would be good. Flatter, however, conflicts with fairer, and I am sure is intended to refer to the “Fair Tax” bit of regressive class warfare championed by both my former and current congresscritters. People – if you spend rather than save most of your income each year, this tax would bankrupt you.
"10.  Reduce federal regulations and red tape
11. Promote job creation through lower taxes and less regulation"

More AFNIE. We could probably rationalize some of the red tape, but then a lot of it exists because of greedy bastards who would rather pay a lawyer to figure how to subvert the letter of the law than follow the intent of the law. Many regulations exist because without them corporations would be passing on some of the costs of their processes to others. If clean water comes into your plant on one side and dirty water goes out the other, then you are dodging a cost that belongs on your books, not the community downstream that has to pay to clean the water before they can drink it. Innovating ways to run your process without trashing the neighborhood does what? Yes, it creates jobs while treating your neighbors “fairly”!
"12.  Reduce the national debt
13. Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment"

Capitalism in the real world produces cycles, because neither capital nor labor can keep up with real world change like the theories “assume”. It therefore needs government to be able to run at a deficit during bad times and at a surplus in good times. Trouble is, we ran at a deficit during the last good times in order to wage multiple wars without raising taxes. Even governments run under the “divine right of kings” were never able to get away with that one.

To be continued…

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A Well Regulated Militia?

June 12th, 2014

Can somebody please explain the difference between this:

taliban_guns

And this:

opencarry_target

Yeah, that’s what I thought…

 

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Net Neutrality and the “Free Market”

June 6th, 2014

In reponse to an online petition in support of real Net Neutrality, I received a response from Senator Johnny Isakson which stated in part that he has “consistently been opposed to attempts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet, because I believe that the competition created by the free market will better ensure that the Internet remains open and free. I also believe that unnecessary regulations have the potential to stifle innovation and be harmful to consumers.”

I really don’t understand how with a straight face you could consider internet access to currently be provided by a “Free market”. Most people in this country have at most two choices for ISP, their phone company and their cable company. And there is only one choice of each for any particular address. This oligopoly bordering on monopoly is in no way a “free market”, and it requires the people acting as one (which is after all what a democratic government is supposed to be) in order to provide any kind of balance of power to that market.
The recent proposal by the FCC to make Net Neutrality a thing of the past will stifle innovation as only those with already deep pockets will be able to afford proper internet access. Consumer choice will be lessened because it will be harder for new companies to establish themselves on the internet when large competitors can effectively price them out of the internet. Like the unfettered unconstitutional spying, innovators will move overseas where they have access to better internet bandwidth (we are woefully behind countries such as South Korea as it is) cheaper.
Would you turn the interstate highway system over to Walmart so that all individuals and small businesses could only use one lane and Walmart got the rest? That’s what the FCC proposal would do to the internet in the US.

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Why Did An FBI Laptop Have 12 Million Apple UDIDs?

September 5th, 2012

Just saw and article with the headline “Hacking group leaks 1 million Apple user IDs“.  In the article it relates that the hacktivist group AntiSec released about 1 million of the Apple IDs (after scrubbing them of personally identifiable information) it had obtained from the laptop of an FBI agent.  Why wasn’t the FBI connection in the headline?  What possible legitimate reason would the FBI have to gather 12.4 million Apple device identifiers along with the associated personal information?  Where are the 12.4 million warrants?

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Dear Newt, Don’t Tell America Something Can’t Be Done

February 27th, 2012

Newt Gingrich said “And I keep trying to get across to my liberal friends: You cannot put a gun rack in a Volt.”

Within days, several people had proved him wrong.  One could write this off as just another politician ignoring the maxim “Always be sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth.”  However, anyone who wants to be President ought to be aware that telling Americans something can’t be done is just asking for trouble. It’s one of the things that makes America special – we have NEVER taken NO for an answer.

The past few years Congress has been unable to rise to the challenges we face, but that doesn’t mean the American people won’t.  We deserve a leader who understands that and can harness it to get Congress back to work. Newt’s Volt comment shows it is not him.

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Government Bidders

February 23rd, 2012

The problem with government is that laws are written by the highest bidders and services are provided by the lowest bidders.

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Rick Santorum’s Catholic Taliban

February 21st, 2012

Rick Santorum seems to be running for Pope, not President.  His comments about President Obama having a  “phony theology not based on the Bible” show a total disregard for our Constitution, which is what our laws are based around, not a religious text.  I’m sure he would denounce Sharia, but he wants to institute the Catholic version of the Taliban.

I am thoroughly disgusted with the hypocrisy of “conservatives” who want to get government “off the backs” of the uberrich and megacorps, but at the same time legislate their religious pretensions into every bedroom in America.

If Santorum wants to be a missionary, he has two choices:  Ditch his family and join the priesthood, or move to a theocracy like Iran and run for President against  Ahmadinejad.

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Solutions, Not Demonstrations

February 14th, 2012

I read an article recently by Erik Eckholm in the New York Times about the future of the Occupy movement.  In it he quoted William A Galston, an alleged expert from the Brookings Institute, criticizing the Occupy movement because “Average Americans want solutions, not demonstrations, and their patience for the latter won’t last indefinitely.”

It seems to me that criticism should be leveled at Congress, who are all so busy posturing for election that they haven’t even passed a budget in three years.  Let’s send the Oakland police to the Capitol to tell Congress to quit demonstrating and get back to work.

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You Might Be a Terrorist

February 8th, 2012

According to a new flyer designed to be posted in Internet Cafes titles “Communities Against Terrorism” that appears to me to be doing the terrorists’ work for them:

  • If you are “overly concerned about privacy”, you might be a terrorist.
  • If you “pay cash”, you might be a terrorist (shame on you for not letting the banks get a cut of your purchase).
  • If you sign in to a “residential based internet provider” (you know, to check your Comcast email),  you might be a terrorist.
  • If you use anonymizers, portals, encryption, or VOIP (no Skype calls for you, buddy),  you might be a terrorist.
  • If you take photos of popular locations,  you might be a terrorist (or a photographer).
  • If you read about terrorist attacks, police or government information, you might be a terrorist (or just an informed citizen).

So, all you red blooded patriots, gather up your yellow stars and head down to your local Starbucks and make sure you mark all those terrorists and then call the FBI so they can come pick ’em up and haul ’em off to indefinite detention without charges.  Only by ratting out any of your neighbors that don’t go to your church can the next terrorist plot be stopped, because all Homeland Security’s good for is groping grandma and confiscating cupcakes.

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