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Friday roundup

Online Sales Taxes Make Government Bigger and Undermine Federalism

“A Primer on Leading Internet Sales Tax Proposals and their Political Prospects”

Joe Biden’s Son’s Firm Struck Billion-Dollar Deal with the Chinese Government 10 Days After Biden Trip to China

Do you suppose this will get the same attention that the Trump deals will get?

Gary Taubes on How Big Government Made Us Fat: New at Reason

“The attack on fatty foods, in favor of carbohydrates, contributed to rising rates of obesity and diabetes.”

How Cops Hide Surveillance Snooping From Courts

Who guards the guardians?

Government set to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year, an 84 percent jump from last year

The price for Trump

Diversity and Inclusion vs Free Speech on Campus

“Whichever way it might be phrased in the mission statement, universities often appear to be more invested in social diversity and inclusion rather than viewpoint diversity and inclusion.”

Here Are 8 Stubborn Facts on Gun Violence in America

“Each of these facts is firmly based on empirical data.”

California Appoints Illegal Alien to State Office

“She complained that illegal aliens are not adequately represented in state government, and described her appointment as a step towards correcting that alleged injustice.”

Confirmed: Facebook’s Recent Algorithm Change Is Crushing Conservative Sites, Boosting Liberals

It's worse than you think

Surprise! NJ’s Democrat Governor Wants $1.6 Billion Tax Hikes

Some politicos believe that your money is not really your money, it's government money

Video shows deputy standing outside Parkland school during shooting

Keystone Cops

Obama DOJ Forced FBI To Delete 500,000 Fugitives From Background Check Database

Something you should know about gun control

I Didn’t Walk Out, By A Middle School Student

Another view


NeoNote — Somebody had to pull the trigger


Some regular readers know that I am a libertarian. Libertarians are supposed to be among the "gun nuts," right? I loathe guns, and the gun rights are the last part of libertarianism I embraced. I do not own a gun. I do not want a gun. I would prefer that no one did.

I am not going to go into gun rights here. It's not really on topic. It's not what I would like you to think about.

I would like you to think about how the local government who people trusted to keep those Florida kids safe failed. The superintendent of schools and the school board who set policies that prevented the shooter from being helped while there was still time. The local sheriff's department who did their best Keystone Cops imitation.

I would like you to think about this shooting and all the other mass shootings that happened in "gun free" zones. Apparently "gun free" means lots of unarmed targets ready to be made into victims.

Most importantly, I want you to remember that someone had to pull the trigger. There are an estimated 100 to 150 million gun owners in this country. Most of them do not wake up and think "Who can I shoot today?" Mass shootings are the exception, not the rule.

There are facts I could throw in here. Like how most homicides in this country are committed by handguns. How the jurisdictions with the toughest gun laws also have the highest gun crime rates. How the states that allow concealed carry have some of the lowest violent crime rates.

But I want you to remember one thing. Somebody had to pull the trigger. That somebody would have been there with or without a gun.

I did not suggest putting guns in schools.

While it is probably mythical, we have at least one story of three thousand people being killed by boxcutters. Anyone who paid attention in high school chemistry can make some pretty lethal weapons with items from a hardware or grocery store. One of the most devastating bombs in American history was made from gasoline diesel and nitromethane soaked fertilizer.

Remember, the first thing I mentioned was the failure of the local government. And they did fail. More than fifty times in this one case before the shooting started.

I wanted you to think about "gun free" zones because they don't work, be it a nightclub or a post office or a high school. The alternative may not be guns in schools, but we need to come up with something.

The thing is, we don't know what works. We know that something changed in American society.

I'm getting tired of the same arguments on both sides. It's why I didn't want to make this about gun rights. It's why I resent how some kids are being used as political tools to express thoughts that no one must dissent from.

It's why I think it's stupid to blame the gun when we know the shooter was beyond broken.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


“The Destructive Male” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

This 1868 classic helped lay the groundwork for the 19th Amendment securing women's right to vote


Fighting for

Human rights are the only rights worth fighting for.
     — NeoWayland


Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.
     — Camille Paglia

Thursday roundup

Dems are angry over Hillary Clinton’s latest comments

UNNAMED Democrats is more like it. Why does no Democrat want to go on the record telling this woman to go away?

Worry About Budget Deficits, Not Trade Deficits: New at Reason

“Next year's $1 trillion federal government budget deficit will bankrupt us, writes John Stossel. But trade deficits are trivial.”

Look homeward, “change agents:” My #nationalwalkoutday message

How local government failed these students

How Low Will The Left Go, Using Kids To Promote Their Agenda

It's not moral authority, it's about silencing dissent

The Blood Unicorn Theranos Was Just a Fairy Tale

Scamming CEO gets off light

Discovery of Police Corruption Freed Dozens of Imprisoned Americans in 2017

We need a major housecleaning

Storm Surge

“The federal government is spending too much on post-disaster rebuilding and too little on prevention.”

“Why are we still talking about the campaign?”

Sara Haines asks the important question

Democrat Rep Schiff Wants 30 More Witnesses To Be Called For Russian Collusion Investigation

Somehow these 30 weren't called during the previous 10 months.

'A Wrinkle in Time' Director Ava DuVernay Uses Racism to Explain Away Bad Reviews

Or maybe, just maybe, it's a bad film

‘Coerced’ Student Walkout In Chicago Is ‘Political Indoctrination:’ GOP Chair

The kids are just the excuse, not the reason

The Trump Corporatist Fiasco Continues

Looking at what the Trump Triumph has ocst

Obama Notes Passing of Stephen Hawking With a Picture of… Barack Obama

Gods, the man is still obsessed with himself


What's the difference?


Is it most men

Pardon, but that gets back to the first question I asked. Is it all men that do these terrible things?

I'll ask another, because it should be asked.

Is it most men that do these terrible things?
     — NeoWayland

Wednesday roundup

Israeli officials meet Qatari, Saudi and UAE counterparts at White House

With any other president, this would be front page news. North Korea, the Middle East, Russia. So what exactly did Obama do for his Nobel Peace Prize?

Girl Scouts Write Anti-Smoking Legislation in Colorado

“A government for the children, of the children, by the children.”

FBI Insiders Blow Whistle on Massive Las Vegas Cover Up; Agents Told Not to Investigate Key Evidence Including ISIS Terror Link

Not sure this is true, but we still don't know what happened. Somebody is covering stuff up

Hungary “Ready to Fight” United Nations Plan to Facilitate Global Mass Migration

Refugee migration was a total disaster for the EU, even if the elites don't want to admit it

The Federal Government's TIGER Program Splurges on Sidewalks in Rural Florida and Recreational Boat Ramps in Iowa

“It was supposed to be a temporary stimulus program. Instead it's an engine for pork.”

Drunk History: When the Government Banned Female Bartenders

When government meddles, it costs freedom

The World Is Better Than Ever. Why Are We Miserable?

Something to think about

Stores use secret shopper score to track and decline returns

The article tries to sell this a Really Bad Thing, but really it's just the companies acting in self-defense.

REVEALED: Obama Campaign Hired Fusion GPS To Investigate Romney

The same company that the Clinton campaign hired to for the Russia dossier,

Last photographs of Stephen Hawking emerge showing him enjoying a night out in Mayfair as his children pay tribute to the professor's 'brilliance and humour' after he dies peacefully aged 76

What a brilliant man and a remarkable life

3 Questions Congress Should Answer Before Bailing Out Obamacare

I don't think it should be bailed out. The free market would lower costs dramatically

The Meaning of Freedom

“I learned that to be strong wasn’t good enough; you had to use your strength to help those who were unable to help themselves. I learned that it is better to build than to destroy, and violence, even amongst warriors, is always a last resort.”

Socialism Is Not Now, Nor Has It Ever Been, A Friend To Women

Freedom rests in choice and the free market


“Stossel: The Philly Soda Tax Scam”



I'm really not trying to be difficult here. But I have a hard time seeing how contraception for consensual sex should be on the public dime. How can that be a right when not everyone benefits and taxes are collected by force to pay for it?
     — NeoWayland

Abortion & contraception

I have mixed feelings on abortion. The one thing I am sure about is that it should not be paid for by government. There are many reasons, but the main one is that it's always easier to spend someone else's money.

Contraception is less complicated. Sex is (or should be) a voluntary act. You choose to have sex. Your neighbors should no more pay for your contraception than they should pay for your designer shoes. This is an example of what I was talking about. If government gives you benefits at the expense of others, it's privilege.
     — NeoWayland

Tuesday roundup

Clinton: White Women Voted for Trump Because Their Husbands Told Them To

For someone who supposedly champions women, HRC really doesn't trust them to make their own decisions. See also Hillary Clinton: I won the places that are 'dynamic, moving forward,' while Trump's campaign 'was looking backwards. One major reason why HRC lost is because she wrote off so much of the country.

The Broward Sheriff’s Juvenile Arrest Conspiracy Might Actually Be True

At this point I'm not surprised at anything else this department did

The Government Killed Free Checking—Can Amazon Save It?

Government has a long habit of meddling in banking. “The cumulative effect of regulation raising costs and reducing revenue was to push low-income consumers out of the formal financial system.”

Why Democrats Would Lose the Second Civil War, Too

Never dismiss the pissed off armed guy whose neighbors agree with him

Trump Is 'Destroying' Regulations: New at Reason

That's one of the very few things that Trump is doing that I approve of

Draft GOP report: No coordination between Trump and Russia

See also Republicans Are Ending House Russia Probe Over Democrats’ Objections. It's been more than a year, you'd think something major would turn up if there were anything to the allegations

The Rapid ‘Progress’ of Progressivism

No matter what is done, it's never enough

Can We Make Sure Geoengineering Doesn't Backfire?

They want to mess with the climate WITHOUT understanding the mechanisms, the connections, or having any idea if the methods they want to try even work. Isn't this inviting disaster on an unprecedented scale?

Realtors want to block tax on services -- forever

Arizona sales tax has never applied to realtor's services before. Why should it apply now?

Mueller invokes unusual ‘conspiracy to defraud government’ charge to ensnare more targets

See also Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, says Robert Mueller is 'not an unguided missile'

What If Newspapers Reported the Real News about Human Progress?

Amazing things are happening right under out noses

AI Hedge Funds Got Crushed the Worst Ever During Selloff: Machines Learned the Wrong Things in One-Way Market

“Machine learning apparently figured out, given how stocks have behaved over the past two years, that in this market there will not be a sell-off ever again. And then the sell-off happened.”

Trump Blocks Foreign Takeover of US Company Over Security Concerns

This is going to do strange things to the capital markets


Destroy masculinity

Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men.
     — Norman Mailer


If you want to tell me about specific injustices done to individuals, that's one thing.

If you want to tell me about generalized injustices against a given class of vaguely defined people, that's something completely different. Especially when that group routinely excludes many people and constantly redefines who is a REAL member.
     — NeoWayland


Daughter's Single Tweet Accidentally Launches A Business For Her Struggling Dad

Christopher Gonzales, 39, has been facing hard times. The single father of two injured himself on the job last year and has been struggling ever since. The injury at his construction job left him with spinal cord nerve damage which makes it hard for him to physically move around. His only source of income has been a disability check he receives once a month.

Over the past year, Christopher has been trying to find his passion by exploring new hobbies. He enjoyed woodworking in his garage.

He started creating logos of various sports teams.

His daughter, Alexis, saw his amazing work and posted pictures of them on Twitter hoping someone might be interested in buying one.

"So my dad is disabled and is trying to make a little extra money because he makes so little. He makes wood carvings [in] his free time, and he can make them any size, for anything (not just team logos). Even if you don't like them a RT will help spread the word."

Alexis's tweet went unexpectedly viral with over 214,000 retweets!

She woke up the next morning to 7,000 direct messages.

Monday roundup

We’re Letting Mentally Ill People Walk Around. Do You Like The Results?

The problem is what do you do with the people? And who decides what is mentally ill?

Democrats Are Considering Dropping Superdelegates Altogether

There are reasons I don't like calling the Democrat party the "Democratic" party

A Heretical Plan for Cutting Spending on Education

“Government at all levels fuels an educational arms race through lavish and indiscriminate funding.”

Going to College Is Selfish

“Let's stop pretending education is a public good.”

The Women's March Has a Farrakhan Problem

“The group refuses to be accountable for a high-level alliance with an open anti-Semite.”

The Psychology of Progressive Hostility

Excellently written

There is No "Free Trade"--There Is Only the Darwinian Game of Trade

I don't like it but he has a point

Visa Refuses to Cut Ties with Semi-Automatic Rifle Manufacturers

Good for them

The Campus Victim Cult

“A dialogue about why colleges and universities have become so hostile to freedom of thought”

There Would Have Been No Soviet Communism If Not For Western Technology

Something to consider

Capitalism Has Proven to Be the Best System For Feminism

Feminism could never have existed except in a capitalist system

In 45 days, lawmakers pushed to expand and assert their power here, there and everywhere

Republicans can't be trusted with power either

Freedom of Speech Should Protect All Opinion


Rape culture

Madam, you don't know what rape culture is!

What's more, you demean the experiences of women and children who do suffer living under rape cultures by comparing yourself and your experiences to them.

You're not helping them, all you are doing is guilting people into giving more privilege.

Please, if you do nothing else, stop exploiting their experiences for your agenda.
     — NeoWayland

Getting better

The thing is, we're getting better. Americans especially. We're practically hardwired to help. Show us something that we can do something about and we will do it. Not because we're obligated to, not because of some government edict, but because we genuinely want to. Child fallen in a well? We're there, not only with (mostly unofficial) rescuers but with people feeding the family and the rescuers. New Orleans flooded? We're there with fan boats carrying supplies and the most efficient trucking network on the planet bringing in more. Notably the fan boats got turned away because they weren't "official." You should watch for that, it's a repeating pattern.
     — NeoWayland

What the politicos and historians tell you

You can't trust what the politicos and historians tell you. They each have their separate agendas. They need you to believe the Great Man on a White Horse myth. If ever there was a time when the ordinary person made a profound, undeniable, and fundamental change in society, it was in the 20th Century civil rights movement. It didn't happen in the Capital building. It happened when a woman refused to give up her seat on a bus. It happened when a group of well dressed and well disciplined men faced down a mob and armed police officers. It took place at the Lincoln Memorial in front of a huge crowd. It happened when one man stood in front of a police squad and said "No." Congress and the Federal government had nothing to do with these acts. These actions and thousands more along with the faith of all those people, that's what changed the world.
     — NeoWayland

“Every High School Principal Should Say This”

“If every high school principal said this, it would change students' lives and would change America. So what exactly should every high school principal say? Dennis Prager explains.”


NeoNotes — non-citizens voting

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the internet.


Deserve rights

Yes, some humans are systematically are denied human rights.

Most of them are not American.

The most successful rights movements in history have not divided people into victims groups. They've said that people deserve rights because they are human.
     — NeoWayland

Human rights

Depends on what you are calling a right.

Personally I think there are no women's rights, no pagan rights, no Hispanic rights, no men's rights, no black rights, no gay rights.

There are human rights. Human rights are shared by everyone. Anything else is a privilege, taken at the expense of others by force.

I will fight for and support human rights.
     — NeoWayland


Never trust an institution because it's an institution, always look at what it has done recently.
     — NeoWayland

Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


“Remy: I Like it, I Love it”

“After years of complaining about Washington's fiscal irresponsibility, Remy is finally in office and ready to make a change.”


Heard of brave knights

Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.
     — C.S. Lewis


Because I assume that people are amazing unless they prove otherwise.

Because I prefer asking questions to arguing.

Because I'm not defined by my gender.

And because not everyone is a bigot.

As I said, I look for the Divine in every woman I meet. Can you think of a better way to find people who are honorable, passionate and reasoning at the same time?
     — NeoWayland

People are amazing

I prefer to assume that people are amazing unless they prove otherwise. Individuals may be awesome or terrible, but men as a group aren't guilty because of the behavior of some.

Treating all men as if they are guilty will not only cost you allies, it means that some good men will stop listening just because being called perpetually guilty is tiresome.
     — NeoWayland

“On the Death of John Brown” by William Lloyd Garrison

This 1859 classic asks if slavery is too high a price tor the Union


Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


PragerU and the Alt-Right

“What is the alt-right? What is its worldview? How big is it? Michael Knowles, bestselling author and host of The Michael Knowles Show, took a deep dive into alt-right culture. Here's what he learned.”

Also, response links to this video.


NeoNotes — SPLC

No one person and no one group has all the answers. No one group should be vested with THE moral authority to decide who is and is not a hate group.

The SPLC needs competition.


Parents surprise students

“Parents Surprise Students By Painting The School's Bathrooms With Positive Messages”


NeoNotes — Post WWII

The American extended childhood is a post WWII phenomena. That's also what gave us the Baby Boomers, the less said about the better.


Wednesday Roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


Dolly Parton is a class act

I’m not addressing that. I do not get into that. Of course I have my opinion about everybody and everything. But I learned a long time ago, keep your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business. I’m not in politics. I am an entertainer.
     — Dolly Parton

Open and free

An open and free internet is the last, best hope for humanity. That's why politicos want it regulated.
     — NeoWayland
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