Posts tagged ‘Forward!’

Statolatry & A Nation Governed by Fear

Statolatry, a belief that government knows better than you do.

Under President Obama, the United States is “a nation governed by fear,” the American Civil Liberties Union says in an open letter that echoes the criticisms Obama has made of George W. Bush’s national security policies.

“[W]e say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know,” the ACLU writes in a statement circulated to grassroots supporters and addressed to Obama. “We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great.”

ACLU to Obama: “We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear”

The Rutherford Institute

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Teach Your Children Well (Teaching Instruction is an “Industry Of Mediocrity”)

Who Is Teaching Your Children? And What Is Being Taught?

Sure, professional athletes have a certain celebrity appeal, but can they really convince Americans to embrace a product that a growing number have already written off as a shit sandwich? But to really win hearts and minds … Hey! How about using the public schools to recruit their captive audience of students to the cause, and then set the kids loose to proselytize their families on the glories of Obamacare? That should work wonders.
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So public school teachers get paid taxpayer dollars to preach Obamacare to their co-workers and the students, so the kids will then go home and sing the glories of the health scheme to the same taxpayers who are funding the whole process. Everybody wins!

If this experiment in using the public schools as a medium for spreading the good news works out as school officials and health insurance exchange managers hope, expect more in the future.

Los Angeles Public Schools Train Students as Obamacare Missionaries

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Assume The Government Is Run By The DMV or the Post Office

You need not suspect the motives of those responsible for NSA surveillance to detest what they are doing. In fact, we may have more to fear from spies acting out of patriotic zeal than those acting out of power lust or economic interest: Zealots are more likely to eschew restraints that might compromise their righteous cause.

For the sake of argument, we may assume that from President Obama on down, government officials sincerely believe that gathering Americans’ telephone and Internet data is vital to the people’s security. Does that make government spying okay?

No, it doesn’t.

Motives Aside, the NSA Should Not Spy on Us

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Public Choice, System D, Black Markets

The growth of federal regulations over the past six decades has cut U.S. economic growth by an average of 2 percentage points per year, according to a new study in the Journal of Economic Growth. As a result, the average American household receives about $277,000 less annually than it would have gotten in the absence of six decades of accumulated regulations—a median household income of $330,000 instead of the $53,000 we get now.
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So if the effects of regulation are so deleterious to economic growth and the prosperity of citizens, why do countries enact so much of it? Dawson and Seater’s paper mentions three theories: Arthur Pigou’s notion that governments enact regulations to improve social welfare by correcting market failures, George Stigler’s more cynical view that industries capture regulatory agencies in order exclude competitors and increase their profits, and Fred McChesney’s argument that regulations are chiefly aimed at benefiting politicians and regulators. I asked if their results fit most closely with McChesney’s. Dawson replied: “This could be the conclusion that one reaches based on our empirical results (since they show a net cost of regulation over time), but again we did not set out to prove or disprove any particular theory.” Seater added that their research does not address the question of “why society allows excessive regulation….It’s an important [issue], but it is one for the public choice people to study, not for macroeconomists like me and my coauthor.”

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Obamagate Scandalpalooza Scandalanche

Today, Congress exercises police powers never granted by the Constitution. Conservatives who favor federal “wars” on drugs, gambling and other behaviors should understand the damage they have done to the constitutional underpinnings of limited government.

Slipping the constitutional leash

Do I need to list the examples? Well, given that the people with whom our society tasks the dissemination of current events are leaders among those who don’t care or are excusing it I suppose I do have to offer a sampling. There’s: the IRS’s targeting of grassroots conservative groups, the peculiar harmony of other federal agencies’ joining in, including the EPA, the Department of Justice’s sweeping up Associated Press phone records, the DoJ’s treating a journalist as if his job were espionage, the State Department and the entire Obama Administration’s actively lying to the American people about the deadly attack on our embassy in Benghazi during a campaign, the National Security Agency’s collecting millions of Americans’ phone records, the NSA’s grabbing access to wide swaths of Internet data, the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ using her office to solicit donations for an ObamaCare-aligned nonprofit, Obama Administration officials’ creating secret email accounts and even false identities (who go on to receive government service awards), the DoJ’s Fast and Furious gun-running scheme, its refusal to prosecute Black Panther members for voter intimidation, and then, of course, the misleading and false statements to Congress by both Attorney General Eric Holder and IRS officials.

The list goes on, but that’ll do for now.

From Scandals to Tyranny (see article for links)

What makes the news scary are the revelations of what else Team Obama’s been up to. Follow the bouncing scandal ball:

* On Benghazi,
. . .
* In clear violation of the First Amendment, the administration
. . .
* The strange goings-on at the Environmental Protection Agency, where recently-departed chief Lisa Jackson was using a fictitious e-mail account
. . .
* Then came the IRS bombshell — something every taxpaying American can relate to.
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All this adds up to a perfect storm of mistrust, now exacerbated by the fears of the surveillance state that has mushroomed since the panicky post-9/11 “reforms.”

The “scandalanche” & the data-mining

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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Moral Preener in Chief

SunKingObama

Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.

Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.

. . .
“This is bad lawyering on [Obama’s] advisor’s part,” Hansen said. “It’s certainly not a problem to say that sexual assault is a bad thing and we need to weed it out … that’s innocuous. It’s when they get very pointed that it’s problematic.” [Ed. Thank goodness we have a former constitutional law professor in the White House.]

Judge: Obama sex assault comments ‘unlawful command influence’

Moral Preener in Chief, Vacationer in Chief, Golfer in Chief, Limousine Liberal in Chief, President Food Stamp, Hypocrite in Chief

One in five Americans are on food stamps. The number of Americans in the labor force fell to its lowest level since 1979 in March, when another 500,000 Americans simply gave up hope of finding a job. Median household income has declined 5.6 percent since 2009, when the so-called economic recovery began. Given these grim realities, Americans might expect President Obama to make the economy his greatest priority. Americans would be wrong. According to a new report, “Presidential Calendar: A Time-Based Analysis,” compiled by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI), Obama has spent only 3.6 percent of his total work time on economic issues, during his entire tenure in office.

Obama Vacations While Economy Tanks

Don’t get Obama wrong. He does not mean “to suggest that you just say, ‘Trust me. We’re doing the right thing. We know who the bad guys are.'” If that’s what you thought he was saying, you may have his surveillance program confused with his assassination program, under which all the deadly decisions are made within the executive branch. In this case, Obama said, members of Congress are “fully briefed,” and “federal judges are overseeing the entire program.”

But according to Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), a longtime ally of the president, the information shared with Congress is sketchy. “To say that there’s congressional approval suggests a level of information and oversight that’s just not there,” he told The New York Times.

We’re Only Spying on Ourselves: How Obama learned to stop worrying and love unaccountable surveillance

Every president deserves time off. Yet the unabashed luxuriousness of the Obamas’ lifestyle reflects a genuine tone-deafness with regard to the pressing concerns of millions of Americans, as well as the president’s priorities. Even as he blamed sequestration for the decision to cancel White House tours that would have cost a total of $2 million for the rest of the year, it was revealed that the known cost of Obama’s Christmas vacation in Hawaii last year was at least $4 million. That vacation was also the fourth one taken in Hawaii in four years, three of which involved separate flights First Lady Michelle Obama took to get there ahead of her husband. This year’s separate flight, necessitated by the president’s trip back to Washington to complete the fiscal cliff deal before returning to Honolulu, cost taxpayers an additional $3.24, and ran the total tab for the 2012-13 trip to more than $7 million.

The Obamas’ Unending Summer Vacation

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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You didn’t build that.

You didn't build that

You didn’t build that

Barack Obama Named “Man of the Year” by Libertarian Party

Pres. Obama: Greatest recruiter for libertarianism, best gun salesman, Moral Preener in Chief, President Asterisk, President Big Brother, Crony Capitalist in Chief, BushObama, Obamaworld, President Drone, Golfer in Chief, Comedian in Chief, Plutocrat in Chief, Phony in Chief, Black Mascot of Wall Street, Obama Thugocracy, Statist in Chief, President Daddy, President Clunker, President Chicago Way, President Philosopher King, Constitutional Law Professor in Chief, President Food Stamp, Crony in Chief, Idiot in Chief, President Shakedown, ….

For more, see The Pretty Darn Exhaustive Obama Nickname List

Forward!

You definitely didn’t build that:

The President has a gun fight, June 11, 2011 (White House Photo by Pete Souza).

The President has a gun fight, June 11, 2011 (White House Photo by Pete Souza).

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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Lois Lerner, “bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan”

Lois Lerner, it is prudent to assume, is one among thousands like her who infest the regulatory state. She is not just a bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan. Now she also is a national security problem because she is contributing to a comprehensive distrust of government

There’s more, much more, to the Lois Lerner story

Thank goodness we have “public servants” like Lois Lerner. The country is in the very best of hands.

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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The Political Class Really is Special. Special.

I noticed two anecdotes about the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, both of which were meant to be complimentary but in fact speak volumes about the petty corruption of our political class and how inured to it we’ve become. The first was told by a friend of his who was at a conference of Jewish philanthropists in Israel with Lautenberg on 9/11. Lautenberg “used his pull as a former senator” to get everyone an early flight back to the U.S. so they could rejoin their families. The second, told by Vice-President Biden at Lautenberg’s funeral, related how Biden was once hustling to make an Amtrak train to Delaware, but was told by Amtrak staff, “don’t worry we’re holding the train for Sen. Lautenberg” (who was a big political supporter of Amtrak).

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How much more I would have admired Lautenberg if his friends could relate that “we begged him to use his clout as a former Senator to get us back to our families, but Frank was adamant that his friends and acquaintances were no more important than anyone else trying to get back home, and that he wouldn’t abuse his status as former senator on our behalf.”

We’ve Apparently Come to Admire the Petty Corruption of the Political Class

The political class and crony capitalists are the new aristocracy.

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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Big Brother Really Is Watching Us

Here’s a question I asked myself yesterday: Would I rather have my phone records collected and readied for possible inspection by the National Security Agency, or have my genitalia scrutinized by the Transportation Security Administration?

One answer, of course, is, why choose? In today’s America you can have both. [Ed. Is this a great country or what?!?]

How TSA’s Groping Softened Us Up for NSA’s Snooping

The 4th Amendment is an ancient memory, clearly an affectation among us hicks.

How many records did the NSA seize from Verizon? Hundreds of millions. We are now learning about more potential mass data collections by the government from other communications and online companies. These are the “details,” and few Americans consider this approach “balanced,” though many rightly consider it Orwellian.

These activities violate the Fourth Amendment, which says warrants must be specific—”particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” And what is the government doing with these records? The president assures us that the government is simply monitoring the origin and length of phone calls, not eavesdropping on their contents. Is this administration seriously asking us to trust the same government that admittedly targets political dissidents through the Internal Revenue Service and journalists through the Justice Department?


The country is in the very best of hands. Ai yi yi yi yi!

No one objects to balancing security against liberty. No one objects to seeking warrants for targeted monitoring based on probable cause. We’ve always done this.

What is objectionable is a system in which government has unlimited and privileged access to the details of our private affairs, and citizens are simply supposed to trust that there won’t be any abuse of power. This is an absurd expectation. Americans should trust the National Security Agency as much as they do the IRS and Justice Department.

Big Brother Really Is Watching Us: Monitoring hundreds of millions of phone records is an extraordinary invasion of privacy.

When British soldiers were roaming the American countryside in the 1760s with lawful search warrants with which they had authorized themselves to enter the private homes of colonists in order to search for government-issued stamps, Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” The soul-searching became a revolution in thinking about the relationship of government to individuals. That thinking led to casting off a king and writing a Constitution.

What offended the colonists when the soldiers came legally knocking was the violation of their natural right to privacy, their right to be left alone. We all have the need and right to be left alone. We all know that we function more fully as human beings when no authority figure monitors us or compels us to ask for a permission slip. This right comes from within us, not from the government.
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And, of course, to prevent the recurrence of soldier-written search warrants and the government dragnets and fishing expeditions they wrought, the Constitution mandates that only judges may issue search warrants, and they may do so only on the basis of probable cause of crime, and the warrants must “particularly describ(e) the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Last week, we discovered that the government has persuaded judges to issue search warrants not on the constitutionally mandated basis, but because it would be easier for the feds to catch terrorists if they had a record of our phone calls and our emails and texts. How did that happen?
. . .
After 9/11, Congress enacted the Patriot Act. This permitted federal agents to write their own search warrants, as if to mimic the British soldiers in the 1760s. It was amended to permit the feds to go to the FISA court and get a search warrant for the electronic records of any American who might communicate with a foreign person.

In 30 years, from 1979 to 2009, the legal standard for searching and seizing private communications — the bar that the Constitution requires the government to meet — was lowered by Congress from probable cause of crime to probable cause of being an agent of a foreign power to probable cause of being a foreign person to probable cause of communicating with a foreign person. Congress made all these changes, notwithstanding the oath that each member of Congress took to uphold the Constitution. It is obvious that the present standard, probable cause of communicating with a foreign person, bears no rational or lawful resemblance to the constitutionally mandated standard: probable cause of crime.

The NSA Scandal Violates the Lessons of Our History and Our Constitution

Ozymandias.

Forward!

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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