Archive for May, 2011
Let government into your life, and theyÂ will shit in your yardÂ and feed raw onions to your kidsÂ (and you’ll pay them for the favor).Â And if you don’t like it, the beatings will continue until you do.
AÂ fitting microcosm for governmentÂ “services” as a whole.
I had assumed that lawmakers were subject to the same sort of insider trading rules as Wall Street, since when it comes to influencing the market (especially these days), they arguably have far more power.Â It turns out in this case as in many others, our lawmakers are following the new American tradition of the quickly metastisizing elite class — they have declared themselves exempt.Â From the Washington Times:
An extensive study released Wednesday in the journal Business and Politics found that the investments of members of the House of Representatives outperformed those of the average investor by 55 basis points per month, or 6 percent annually, suggesting that lawmakers are taking advantage of inside information to fatten their stock portfolios.
To the frustration of open-government advocates, lawmakers and their staff members largely have immunity from laws barring trading on insider knowledge that have sent many a private corporate chieftain to prison.
The watchdog group OpenSecrets.org said on its blog Wednesday that the findings suggest â€œthat U.S. House members are using their powerful roles for more than just political gain.â€
Looks like legislation favoring one product over another, one company or another, or an entire “green” economy over a functional one, can be put to even better use than I thought — the direct enrichment of politicians with inside knowledge.Â The relationship between government and business gets even more cozy…delightful.Â At least we have another answer to the question “how exactly did so many of our congressmen become millionaires?”
Our two party system has become absolutely nothing more than a farce foisted on the American people to distract them while their civil liberties are taken away.Â There is one party,Â and itsÂ interests include only increasing the power of government and the special interests that funnel money into it.Â Beyond that there are only outliers, some few congressmen willing to fight the encroaching American police state.Â For the most part they are ostracized both by their peers and the media.
This appropriately titled blog post on Reason.com brought to light for me what I believe is a glimpse into the future of our government (not to mention its recent past).Â Harry Reid, rather than suffer any more debate over the reaffirmation of the PATRIOT act, decided to stuff it in its entirety into a budget bill that evidently (for opaque procedural reasons of some kind) has no chance of not being passed.Â Wasn’t the Democrat party opposed to this civil-liberty destroying overreach of the Bush administration?Â Evidently not.Â The government needs “the tools” with which to fight “terrorism”, they say.Â There areÂ still a couple angry people in caves in Pakistan who want to kill us — clearly that should be reason enough to shut down commercial air transportation to the state of Texas, for example, if the federal government feels like it.
It seems congress is getting more and more “procedural”.Â It turns out the democratic process, which we enforce upon other countries with bombs and decade-long occupations, is a pesky inhibitor of the truly ambitious statist.Â With the executive branch andÂ its attending bureaucrats being handed ever more powers, and congress seemingly turning into more of a procedural rubber stamp than a house of democratic debate, I think it’s fair to say the troubles for our country will only increase.Â Hopefully enough Americans will wake up to this fact in time.
UPDATE:Â From Harry Reid:
“When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we will be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot against our country undetected,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “Now, the Senator from Kentucky is threatening to take away the best tools we have for stopping them.”
That’s right.Â Rand Paul is aiding the terrorists.Â We’ve already approved the assassination of American citizens who are “aiding the enemy”.Â Why not put senator Paul on the list?Â Looks like he’s going to be a real thorn in the side of the government for a long time to come, why not deal with the “threat” now?Â As some “official” statedÂ for the New York Times:
The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, to overcome threats to their security, and this individual â€” through his own actions â€” has become one.Â [Fill in the blank -Â in this case he was talking about Anwar al-Awlaki]Â knows what heâ€™s done, and he knows he wonâ€™t be met with handshakes and flowers. None of this should surprise anyone.
Reid’s statement is a bold one — “taking away the tools to fight terrorism” and “giving terrorists the opportunity to plot against our country undetected”, as if that were Rand Paul’s intent, seems tantamount to treason, doesn’t it?Â So now we’re an America where attempting to safeguard civil liberties is equated with giving aid and comfort to the enemy (the definition of treason).Â Frightening.
Harry Reid has indeed succeeded in his objective of scaring me.Â But not in the way that he intended to.
Last night a ferocious tornado ripped right through theÂ heart of Joplin, Missouri.Â It claimed almost 100 lives, with the number still likely on the rise.Â A hospital was severely damaged, as well as a Walmart, Home Depot, and thousands of homes.Â The city looks like a war zone.Â The devastation is heartbreaking.Â My thoughts are with them and my heart goes out to them.
From the Daily Caller:
Of the 204 newÂ Obamacare waivers President Barack Obamaâ€™s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosiâ€™s Northern California district.
Hopefully this sort ofÂ thingÂ wont come as a surprise to anyone.Â This is the world that politicians operate in:Â networks, special favors, unrealistic decisions based on ideology, and unintended consequences.Â Give a politician the power to micromanage a hundred million lives and, disturbingly, he will have the arrogance to try.
If the increased socialization of medicine through Obamacare is what will save our healthcare system, then wouldn’t exempting businesses from their obligation to it be withholding the cure that Obamacare provides?Â Â But it’s not that theÂ government is withholding a fix from business — businesses are requesting to be exempted.Â And the exemptions are not based on need (however one would determine that) but on political pull.Â Normally you see politicians dealing their friends in on government goodies, but now the very people who were most instrumental in passing the law are exempting their friends from it?Â This should raise red flags with even the most committed socialized healthcare believers.Â Nancy Pelosi and the gang came up with a shit sandwich.Â Â I’m not surprised toÂ learnÂ their friends don’t have to eat it.
Is this what anyone wants?Â A two-thousand page bill, passed in the dark of night, rammed through Congress at the cost of the Democratic majority in the House, from which the friends of politicians are exempt — even if you believe the government would do a wonderful job controlling the minute by minute minutiae of our lives, is Obamacare in particular the thing that’s going to get the job done?Â Can we at least agree that two thousand pages ofÂ obtuse legalese written by special interest group lawyersÂ might have some unintended consequences?
Everyone wants healthcare to be perfect.Â Everyone wants every child, every cancer patient, every poor person to get all the medical treatment they need.Â Who wouldn’t want that?Â I would love for anyone to walk into a hospital and get ten MRI scans a day and heart surgery on demand.Â But resources are scarce.Â We do not have an MRI machine and a heart surgeon for every person in America.Â Any resource that is scarce must go through some process of allocation, whether it be the free market, government committee, or legislation created by special interest groups.
We (humans)Â have tried the free market.Â It built America into what it is today.Â We have tried complete government control over resources and property.Â That was the Soviet Union.Â Is there really still any ambiguity as to which one works?Â
Does Nancy Pelosi know what’s best for you?
Every second, Google generates a mind-blowing 37,523 reasons to hate and distrust Google.
One recent example is what Google might be planning for your next visit to Japan:
On second thought, I advise you to avoid Japan altogether.
There areÂ generally two sides to every story.Â But in this case I wonder if that could possibly be true, if there could possibly be justification for what happened.Â It’s exactly the nightmare scenario I mentioned only a few days ago.
Jose had just come home from working at the mine.Â Â Vanessa said he had fallen asleep two hours before, only to wake up to chaos in his house. It was Pima County SWAT executing a narcotics conspiracy search warrant, but according to her, neither she nor her husband knew it was the authorities until it was too late.
Jose Guerena, a former marine, responded to armed men breaking down his door by getting his rifle.Â Evidently he never even disengaged the safety — but not to be deterred, the SWAT team fired 71 rounds at him.Â Needless to say, they got him.Â “Tango down” — high fives all around, grab some beers after work.
His wifeÂ gets to attempt to explain to their young son why the police Â murdered his father in front of him.Â The police are the good guys, right?
The SWAT team was serving a neighborhood-wide “narcotics conspiracy” warrant.Â I didn’t realize warrants were issued for entire neighborhoods.Â Good to know.Â I will try to avoid living anywhere near anyone who might possibly be suspected of a crime.
So what did the search warrant turn up?Â At one of the homes, a “large amount of cash”.Â At Guerena’s home, “evidence pertinent to the case”.Â Which case is that exactly?Â I suspect they don’t mean the 71 pieces of evidence thatÂ ought toÂ be used forÂ murder convinctions.Â Mrs. Guerena can clean those up.
Thanks for keeping the streets safe from that “large amount of cash”, guys.Â Might as well take a little off the top for yourselves for a job well done.Â What’s a little larceny after getting away with murder?
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