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“Stossel: Let Charter Schools Teach”


Besides the competition, there are two things to remember.

The parents want their kids in these schools and out of the public schools.

The students want to be there or they soon leave.

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Should have a voice

Thanks to this Wild Hunt article, I learned that there according to the 1835 New Echota treaty the Cherokee are supposed to have a delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

I think this is a great idea and I would make only two changes. I don't think that there should be any non-voting members of the House, all delegates should have a vote.

And I think that every Amerindian tribe recognized by the U.S. government should have a member in the U.S. House.

You should only get Senators if you are a state, but all tribes and protectorates should have an active voice in Congress.

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Exceptions & exemption

If the current "red flag law" proposals are any indication, almost all the criteria will certainly be political.

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Government authority

By the democratic principles we espouse, government cannot have a right that citizens do not grant it. There are certain things that a person has no right to do. A person has no right to murder or rape another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to murder and rape. Similarly, no person has the right to forcibly take the property of one person in order to give it to another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to do the same thing. If I forcibly took property from one person, for any reason, most people would condemn it as theft, an immoral act. Theft or any other immoral act does not become moral because it is done by government acting on behalf of a consensus or majority vote just as murder or rape does not become a moral act simply because of a consensus or majority vote.
— Walter E. Williams

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Changing the economy

Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief of Staff: Green New Deal About Changing Economy

Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff for New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.), said that the Green New Deal was not about the climate, but rather about tearing down the economy and building a new one, according to a report from The Washington Post.

"The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn't originally a climate thing at all," Chakrabarti said, according to the Post. "Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing."

Chakrabarti made the comments during a meeting with Sam Ricketts, the climate director for presidential candidate Jay Inslee.
     — Graham Piro
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Do good

People don't do good because of the law. People do good because it's the right thing to do. People choose good because it makes the World a little better than it was. It's the choice and the action that makes a responsible adult.
— NeoWayland
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Preamble

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
— Thomas Jefferson
tip of the hat to The Wild Hunt

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Assault

It's interesting that the people who believe that throwing a milkshake in someone's face shouldn't be considered assault are often the same people who believe that 'saying things' should be.

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Never more government

Yahoo pulls the plug on fake profiles used by British police

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Break the myth

Let's break the myth that government is the first, best, and last solution.
— NeoWayland
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Government gets involved

When government gets involved, count on costs going up, quality going down, and availability diminishing.
— NeoWayland
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“Health Care is a Mess... But Why?”

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“Alyssa Milano's SEX STRIKE? Feminist Abstinence Fail”

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Outside the law

I don't think government is the first, best, and last solution.

I don't think the emergencies are really emergencies. As long as there is a mechanism for government to act outside the law, government will act outside the law.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — The internet and social media

Private property.

Take me for example. I pay for the domain name registration and the web hosting on my sites. I choose what I put there. I am no more required to give someone else access than I am required to let that someone else sell used cars off my patio or erect a Decalogue monument on my front lawn.

Having said that, if your company advertises and has built it's services on allowing people to speak or write their mind, it's hypocritical to allow one viewpoint without others provided no one advocates harming others, taking or destroying property, or breaking the law.



Private property still applies.

They can't do it in my place and I can't do it in theirs.



The road is a commons. The shopping mall isn't. The portals to the internet are provided by your ISP, not the social media.

Social media is something you choose to use. As the old saying goes, if you are not paying for the product, you are the product. Or at least your data and your access to the "cool sites" is.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Too much power

I'm going to say this again. If the Democrats are afraid of what Republicans do with government power…

…if Republicans are are afraid of what Democrats do with government power…

…if independents don't trust either the Democrats or the Republicans with government power…

…and if libertarians don't trust government power…

…maybe, just maybe, the government has too much power.
— NeoWayland, comments from Leaks and Barr
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“But in the well-intentioned battle against sexual assault, facts become irrelevant, and truth never seems to matter.”

Trauma Informed Investigations Stole My Son’s Future

If you’d have asked me before my son was accused of sexual misconduct, I would have said that trauma-informed investigations were a good idea. Living through the '90s as a female college student, then as a woman motivated to be successful in a male-dominated field, sexual harassment, inequality, and forcible rape happened. It still happens today. Then so many victims were afraid to come forward as they are now. However, in our rush for justice, we are bearing witness to the creation of a new class of victim on college campuses and in the criminal justice system. The innocent.

These new victims aren’t given the presumption of innocence. They aren’t entitled to know the accusation against them. Evidence is withheld from them and their lawyers. Police officers ask deceptively leading questions, and school investigators are both judge and jury making life-altering sanction decisions based on the presumption that a ‘victim’ never lies.
     — A. Pebble
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“Green New Deal: Fact versus Fiction”

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NeoNote — the American compromise

Basically they didn't want another church telling their church what to do.

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Language

Just to point out the obvious, previously language changed without being mandated or legally sanctioned or morally correct. It worked because people used it and decided that it worked.
— NeoWayland
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“Preferred Pronouns or Prison”

““He.” “She.” “They.” Have you ever given a moment’s thought to your everyday use of these pronouns? It has probably never occurred to you that those words could be misused. Or that doing so could cost you your business or your job – or even your freedom. Journalist Abigail Shrier explains how this happened and why it's become a major free speech issue.”

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“Stossel: Venezuela IS Socialism”

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Carlin's first rule to live by

I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. Nothing. Zero.
— George Carlin
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NeoNote — The grand distraction

I'm not going to talk about Trump and his failings or if he is substantially worse than the other presidents.

What I am going to talk about (again) is that all these efforts to nail Trump show that the Federal government has too much power and that rogue elements and actors are not held accountable.

Yes, Trump's office was bugged. But that is just part of a surveillance state that has been in turbo boost since 9-11. And 9-11 isn't a good excuse, it just codified and focused secret plans that had been drifting around since the 1970s.

The issue is not Trump. The issue is not the Republicans. The issue is not the Democrats. These ongoing struggles over which party is on the side of the angels and public perception over crimes and misdeeds, that's just the distraction. While we're arguing over who did what, there are unelected and unaccountable elements in government and high finance who are taking power and freedom away from you.

No, you didn't win. The game hasn't stopped. We are still being screwed. And the next bit will make this look like robbing a kid's lemonade stand.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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War & banking

It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.
— Ron Paul, End the Fed
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Pet peeve

Government, government agencies, and agents acting on behalf of governments do not have rights. Governments have powers. Just governments have powers to protect and defend individual rights. Unjust governments have powers to protect and defend privileges.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Religion & morality

There is nothing that prevents people from following religious law. But there is nothing that demands others follow those same religious laws.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Brand D

Are you going to insist that Democrats are Democratic again?



Actually given the actions of the Democrat party leadership over the last century or so, Democratic is the last thing they should be called. It's always been about establishing an elite outside of the laws and rules that apply to everyone else. Often with veto power over the words and actions of others.

One recent example are the superdelegates. That is about as anti-democratic as you can get.

Just Newspeak in action. Again.



And you clearly didn't get my reference to Newspeak.

It's a brand name. It's no more democratic than Acme Company is "the best there is." Progressives and Democrats have a long undeniable history of coopting words into something that means the exact opposite. "Liberal" used to mean what we Americans call "libertarian" today.



And there we go. That's Democrat Tactic #45, Alinsky #13, and PeePeeTape #4.

Shift the focus away from the argument and towards the person who made the argument.



As I said, "with veto power over the words and actions of others."

Tell you what. I'll call them Brand D. That way you can ever so conveniently ignore the attempts to usurp language without being too obvious about it.



Do you really think you have the power to dictate my actions or words?

Do you really think that there is one person reading this site that will have any doubt whatsoever just which group I mean?

Brand D it is then.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Naturally Good

As far as I am concerned, you have no business going after Republicans until you at least acknowledge that Democrats aren't perfect and are just as good at messing things up.
— NeoWayland
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“Stossel: Tax Myths”

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Jefferson on state's rights

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition.
— Thomas Jefferson

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Lincoln on state's rights

Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
— Abraham Lincoln

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Lee on state's rights

… I believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people … are the safeguard to the continuance of a free government … whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.
— Robert E. Lee

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Goldwater on state's rights

Today neither of our two parties maintains a meaningful commitment to the principle of States' Rights. The 10th Amendment is not a 'general assumption' but a rule of law. States rights mean that states have a right to act or not to act, as they see fit, in areas reserved to them.
— Barry Goldwater

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Hamilton on state's rights

The State governments possess inherent advantages, which will ever give them an influence and ascendancy over the National Government, and will for ever preclude the possibility of federal encroachments. That their liberties, indeed, can be subverted by the federal head, is repugnant to every rule of political calculation.
— Alexander Hamilton

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Madison on state's rights

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.
— James Madison

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❝The 3 Rules of Hate Speech: Free Speech Rules (Episode 2)❞

America is not a rape culture.

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Racial segregation came from Washington

Washington Forced Segregation on the Nation

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Rite to right

I'd argue that the writing was on the wall when marriage was legally defined and moved away from being a religious rite to being a secular right.

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Doubts

Doubts raced through my mind as I considered the feasibility of enforcing a law which the majority of honest citizens didn't seem to want.
— Eliot Ness

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Media Hype Questionable Gun Control Study”

“Dozens of news outlets reported that America has the most mass shooters in the world. Many say that shows America needs more gun control.”

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Monday super-sized roundup

Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Health Care Act unconstitutional



VA Whistleblower Visited By FBI, Sent To Psych Ward, Set To Be Terminated From Job



FBI misses deadline to provide docs to Judiciary Committee probing whistleblower raid



Bare-Breasted 'Mariannes' Face Off With French Police; Tear Gas, Pepper Spray Used On Protesting Yellow Vests



Moscow To Set Up Military Base In Caribbean



The Green New Deal: eco pastiche



Personal Bank Accounts in Venezuela Frozen to “Fight Terrorism”



Every Bubble Is In Search Of A Pin



Will Half Of All Colleges Really Close In The Next Decade?



Mueller Destroyed Messages From Peter Strzok's iPhone; OIG Recovers 19,000 New "FBI Lovebird" Texts



Venezuela Joins the Social Credit Club



Million Plus NJ Gun Owners Defy State Law, Refuse to Turn Over Banned Gun Mags



New Jersey Magazine Capacity Restriction: Now What?



New Bill Prohibiting 3D Printed Firearms Introduced to Congress



One Year Ago Today, the FCC Killed the Internet


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“Hillary Clinton's $84 Million Money-Laundering Scheme”

The Anatomy Of Hillary Clinton's $84 Million Money-Laundering Scheme


I can't stress how important this is.

Trump has been accused, but Hillary Clinton did it.

Why was the special prosecutor authorization focused solely on the Trump campaign?

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Friday supersized roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Last resort

I'm telling you to stop expecting the law to save you. And I'm telling you that law should be a last resort.
— NeoWayland
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❝7 Things You Should Know About Free Speech in Schools: Free Speech Rules (Episode 1)❞

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Australia screws your privacy

Their arguments among each other lead to pluralism, the American religious virtue that no one wants to talk about.

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Sunday bonus roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thursday oversized roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tuesday roundup

The Amazon Deal Shows Why We Must End Corporate Welfare



Top Ecuadorian Diplomat Destroys Guardian's Claim That Manafort Visited Assange



Migrant caravan hits tourism



Will Dems Protest Clintons, Too?



Macron Looks to Tax Measures to Curb



Truth Is What We Hide, Self-Serving Cover Stories Are What We Sell



Will Paris Riots Scuttle Climate Accord?



Revealed: Marriott's 500 Million Hack Came After A String Of Security Breaches



Paris protests reveal fracture between France’s haves and have-nots



Miseducated or Stupid?



I quit Instagram and Facebook and it made me a lot happier — and that's a big problem for social media companies



Is the FBI Raiding Whistleblowers' Homes to Protect Robert Mueller?



I deleted my Twitter account. It's a breeding ground for thoughtlessness and contempt.


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Monday roundup

Youngest kids in class may be over-diagnosed with ADHD



Destroyed for Nothing

“The closing of GM’s Detroit plant—erected at the expense of a vibrant urban neighborhood—is a final twist of the knife in a tale of displacement and destruction.”

Exclusive: Google Employees Debated Burying Conservative Media In Search

You can be an advocate or you can be a search engine. You can't honestly be both.

Obama Tells Wall Street to Thank him for Making Them so Much Money



The work-from-home doctor will see you now



The Ignored Legacy of George H.W. Bush: War Crimes, Racism, and Obstruction of Justice



The Forgotten Legacy of George H.W. Bush That the Media Won’t Tell You About



Post Office Has Boom Year: Loses More Money Than Ever



San Francisco's Wealthy Leftists Are Making Homelessness Worse



G20 Summit, Top Agenda Item: Bye-Bye American Empire



Texas Bill Would Set Foundation for a “Gun Rights Sanctuary State”



Landlord Tells Harvard Student to Move Out Over Legally Owned Guns



Supreme Court Deals Unanimous, Welcome Blow to Administrative State in Frog Case



Curtains for the Clintons



The Cities That Amazon HQ2 Left Behind

“Amazon’s yearlong search for the location of its second headquarters was billed as a chance to transform an American city. In reality, it made plain an economic system that increases inequality, monopoly power, and political polarization.”
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Bonus Sunday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday mini-roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tuesday mini-roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Monday mini-roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thusday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Supersized Monday roundup

In Democratic circles, anti-Semitism is becoming normal



The ACLU Condemns DeVos's Title IX Reforms, Says These Due Process Safeguards 'Inappropriately Favor the Accused'

“So much for civil liberties.”

Household debt hit a record high of $13.5 trillion last quarter



A Warm-Up For 2020: Arizona’s Maricopa County Just Stole The Senate Election

I'm not sure about the allegations, but I'm watching closely.

GOP Audits Elections Office In County That Swung To Democrats



Hanging On: Republican Congresswoman Mia Love Is Now Favored To Prevail In Tight Re-Election Bid



Stacey Abrams Acknowledges Loss In Georgia Governor's Race



Is an ‘Internet of Ears’ the next big thing for smart homes?



SAF, NRA File Federal Lawsuit Challenging Initiative 1639



Kansas City Health Department pours bleach on food meant for homeless people



Debra Messing Joins Alyssa Milano, Condemns Anti-Semitic Women's March Leaders



Gridlocked, in Fair Weather and Foul

“New Yorkers demand that the mayor clear the roads—but only in snowstorms.”

Bubble Trouble: Seattle-Bellevue Metro Housing Market Goes South



Democrats’ Way Back: Is the Resistance rooted in reality?



Identity Politics and American anti-Semitism



Brenda Snipes submits resignation as Broward elections supervisor



Hell Hath No Fury Like a Liberal Scorned: The Media Turns on Facebook and Google



Trump backs sentencing reform bill he says will give ex-inmates 'a second chance at life'



The Institutionalization of Social Justice



There's a Good Reason Many Women Make Less Than Men



Loggers support Trump's claim that wildfires caused by 'poor forest management'



Global warming alarmists pissed off by Canadian gov’t report that nukes their narrative about polar bears



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from crux № 20 - guns

“Taylor Woolrich told her story yesterday at the annual conference of Students for Concealed Carry…”

I despise guns. I really do.

But I approve of this message.

No matter how I feel about guns, I can't help but notice that the people who obey the gun laws are not the ones we have to worry about. I can't help but notice that the folks making the most noise about gun control are the same ones I wouldn't trust to keep quiet about what anything. And I can't help but notice that the officials, agents, and policemen who proclaim that gun control is absolutely necessary to public safety are the same ones who don't want dash cams or the public recording them on cellphones.

Yes, I approve of this message.



*nods*

I used to be very anti-gun. Not quite out there carrying a sign, but close. Then someone pointed out Cramer’s The Racist Roots of Gun Control and I started looking into it and thinking hard. It was the last bit of libertarianism that I accepted, and the one that was most difficult.

The first time I ever did the reluctant advocate bit was in defense of concealed carry.



That's what started me questioning, but it wasn't where my studies stopped. I finally came up with questions I couldn't answer.

Why should someone who carries a gun decide if other people are allowed to carry? Why does his power trump their rights?

The answer is very simple. In a free society there is no reason.
I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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Thursday - November 15, 2018

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Unconstitutional

Maryland files federal court challenge asking judge to block Whitaker, install Rosenstein

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Freedom of the press

CNN sues President Trump and White House for banning reporter Jim Acosta

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Oversized Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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❝The Fallacy of Single-Payer Health Care❞

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Monday roundup

Pelosi On Broward County: ‘There Is No Election Fraud,’ Just ‘An Honest Count Of The Vote’



Arizona Democrat's Lead Now 'Insurmountable'



Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

How Florida elections work—or don’t

This is What Retail Investors Did with GE This Year as it Plunged



Google’s Highly Cited Scholar Wants a ‘Farewell to Free Speech’



Lhamon’s Confession: She Gamed The Narrative



God and Guns in the Synagogue



Understanding the Global Recession of 2019



Former Hillary Adviser: “Hillary will run again”



‘None of the above’ tops list of potential 2020 Dems, poll shows



Alabama Voters Pass Amendment to Display Ten Commandments at Public Schools

This won't end well. Why is it that certain monotheists define religious freedom as their religion above all others?

Should We Abolish the Electoral College?



Judicial Watch sues for records on overlooked House IT scandal


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NeoNote — Making the free market work

First, let's acknowledge that almost no one becomes a billionaire without active government intervention. Whether it's a patent, the existence of a corporation, or the exclusive right to sell colored sugar water, you can't concentrate money on a large scale without government.

Second, money depends on movement. Money stuffed in a mattress is just lumpy nesting material. It's cashflow that makes economies work. Yes, that dingus sells for $350, but there is the raw material cost, the manufacturing costs, the overhead costs like salaries and government fees, and so on. Very few things have a profit margin of ten percent, and most are well under five. So that dingus sells for $350, but most likely it cost the company about $333 to make and distribute. Money has to circulate or there is no value anywhere.

Third, you can't overlook competition. Well, at least not without government suppressing it anyway. A company has to compete for employees, just as employees have to compete for jobs. Multiple employers mean better wages and benefits. Regionally, multiple employers means that a town or city is less subject to the whims of a single company or the demands of a single industry.

As far as there being too few jobs, that kicks into government intervention again. In a healthy economy, there will usually be more jobs than employees.

Fourth (and this is the really important bit), companies expand by providing better quality goods and services cheaper, faster, and with more distribution than the competition. This instability is the keystone to the whole process. If a company can't compete, it loses money. More accurately, resources (including employees) are freed to other companies.

Companies want shortcuts, so they lobby and change the law rather than create new products and services. If a large company can pull it off, it's usually much cheaper. Again, this is government intervention. Short of government protection and favor, the only way a company can stay in business is by being at least as good as it's competition.



I should add that digital services and products throw a spanner in the works. On the one hand you have companies like Google offering "free services" by selling your data. On the other hand you have companies like Disney selling movies produced 25, 30 years ago for $20 a pop. We're still working out how all this will work in the long run.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Using the law to compel belief

There's also climate change. Some treat it very much as a religious issue, right down to attacking dissenters as heretics. Using the law to compel belief is wrong.

After all, if it is Divine Will, how can mere humans dare question it? Which gives non serviam some very interesting implications. By some interpretations, the absolute demands of monotheism may be less about the Divine and more about the political power of princes, potentates, and priests.

It's easy to laugh at those crazy monotheists until you see some demands of the RadFems, the trans activists, the environmental groups, the redistributionists, and anti-hate speech types. Always, Always, ALWAYS there is a Grand Cause that demands total submission and absolutely no denial "for the greater good."

Anytime you see "thou shalt not dissent," it should be a flashing red strobe and a triple siren.



Kosher certification for restaurants is one private alternative for food safety that has worked. One author, L. Neil Smith, suggested in one of his novels that insurance companies would do a better job with driver's licenses because they are liable if something happens. Obviously these are not the only possibilities. But with government, we end up with only one Official Solution® allowed.

Personally I prefer the free market and competition. And by free market, I mean no government to pick winners or losers, and no government to give advantages over others. Just voluntary exchanges between consenting adults. Many companies especially international ones owe their competitive advantages to special privileges from governments and/or government regulation and control.

The only times I think government should intervene is to protect life, liberty, and property. Beyond that, the only role I see for government is enforcing contracts and agreements, but even that could be done privately.

But that is just me.

I do believe that Meddling in Other's Lives For Their Own Good is one of the great evils unleashed on humanity.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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If you can't trust your worst enemy…

I called the U.S. House election wrong.

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The more control they have…

But none of that is a reason to impeach him.

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Tuesday roundup - election day

If money was really speech, there would be no legal limit to campaign donations.

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NeoNote — Campaign finance reform redux

My idea for campaign finance reform.

You can't contribute to a campaign unless you reside in the area affected by the campaign. No one from Phoenix could contribute to a city council election in Tucson, no one from California could contribute to a proposition in Nevada, and so on.

No anonymous contributions. A current public list of all contributions must be maintained.

Any unused funds must be returned proportionally to all contributors or to a specified charity. If someone contributed .01% of the campaign's funding, then they would receive .01% of any monies left over.

Violating any of these rules would render a candidate legally unable to serve in any public office until the end of term for the office they ran for. If they ran for Senate, violation would make them ineligible for six years. In the case of a ballot proposition, the election would be voided and must be held again.



Money is not speech. No matter what the USSC says.

If they want to spend money, they can do so in their own home. If they want to speak against someone, they can do that where ever and when ever. But someone in Idaho doesn't have to live with the aftermath of an election in Illinois.



It's part of my SUPER SECRET PLAN TO DESTROY THE POLITICAL PARTIES.

Don't tell anyone.



People forget that the party system wasn't created by the Constitution. Yet they essentially control the nomination process. Take the cash flow and war chests and political action groups away and the parties collapse.

All without arguing over if cash is free speech.

Oh, and banning corporate campaign contributions. And union contributions. And political "matching funds."

*grins*



Money isn't speech any more than money is press. Money is a tool, a way of keeping score, and power, but it is not speech.

If money was really speech, there would be no legal limit to campaign donations.

If someone has more money, does that mean they have a bigger right of free speech or a bigger right of the press? If that is the case, we might as well do away with elections and just hold auctions.

It's telling that prior to campaign finance "reform," no one thought otherwise. It's also telling that the CFR was used to restrict speech.

Just because the law says something doesn't mean it's so. I'm still convinced that anyone born with a penis is a male.

Under my proposal, there are two restrictions on donating money. You have to be a voter and you have to reside in the area affected by the election. These are the two restrictions that every other proposed form of campaign finance reform tries to do away with.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Friday roundup

Changing the Rules

Controlling the internet

Why Is Social Media So Toxic?



Have we really wiped out half of all animals?



If Dems win the House, ‘climate committee’ will return – seeking energy taxes



Napolitano Teaches Basic Civics to Desperate ‘Fox & Friends’ Hosts

It wouldn't be the first time Trump said something outrageous to set the discussion

We Need a #MeToo Movement for Political Consent



How Trump Is Winning The Midterm Elections



Pakistan acquits Christian woman on death row



Surveillance Cameras Can Identify Anyone by “Talking to Their Cellphones”



Everything you need to know about economics you can learn in the pet food aisle



'Stalked within your own home': Woman says abusive ex used smart home technology against her



If You Liked 'Axis of Evil,' You're Gonna Love 'Troika of Tyranny'



Foxconn: Failure & Fraud


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You misunderstand what law is supposed to be

The FedGovs.

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Who Owns The Statue of Liberty? (New Jersey vs New York)”

The FedGovs.

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Abortion

Understand that I am still torn on the subject.

But not every pregnancy results in live birth, even without abortions. Not every pregnancy comes to term.

Under those circumstances, it's hard to call abortion murder or killing babies.



I saw it. I also was treated to a film series in high school called Whatever Happened to the Human Race?

I come from a long line of farming stock. Death happens. It's not pretty. But it's a part of life.

Incidentally, the big reason why the US has a higher infant mortality rate than many other nations is because in other nations babies aren't always counted as "alive" until they've gotten through the first year or so.

There are a great many things that our country does that are not civilized. I'm pretty sure that if I were deciding what is and is not acceptable to society, there would be complaints. Public nudity wouldn't go over well. Neither would removing body parts from those who abuse children.

All that being said, if abortions were not government subsidized, I suspect there would be fewer. I think that is a more workable solution than banning abortions outright.



Well, that depends. For the most part, yes.

But let's acknowledge that is an artificial distinction. For example, my mother, stepsibs, and I in accordance with my stepdad's wishes from years before decided not to extend his life. Those last couple of years, he was on a feeding tube and incapable of communicating. Years before that, he had lost the ability to understand what was going on around him.

So yes, it was a death from willful causes. But at that point, what kind of life was it?

On another board, I've had talks with people with terminal illnesses who were considering assisted suicide.There were also surviving family members of people who had done that. What kind of life was it? Would you want someone to live with pain and having their body fall apart?

This is not a clear issue. We should accept that if nothing else. People die. Babies die. How much do we mourn? How much do we blame?

There's no absolute here. We should stop pretending that there is.



It is a distinction, but I am not convinced it has bearing. It's a while before a baby has awareness of self and even longer before the beginning of language.

I agree it's a fuzzy area and that there are many moral questions that can't be easily answered.

It gets even more complicated when considering the implications. If we accept the sense of self as the defining point of where killing is and is not ethical, what does that say about our companion animals? Or our food animals?



I'm not trying to justify abortion. I'm saying it's not easy to justify outlawing abortion and it raises certain moral issues.

The sense of self is different from perception. Humans develop a sense of self as we mature. We can also lose that sense of self.



Admittedly it is a fuzzy concept and psychologists argue over it. At it's most basic, it's a recognizing the distinction between "I" and "Other." It's a mental framework that probably arises from brain structure. It's the key to individuality.

As a libertarian, I don't give "society" an ethical justification to do squat. That includes ending lives and mandating clothes in public.

Here's the thing, if we do recognize rights, the only workable way is to make those rights individual rights. Not granted because of some label or gifted by government. You have rights because you are an individual and you share those rights with other individuals.

At that point, we're really defining "personhood" by individuality. That means you must be functionally an individual and accept that others are individual too.

Without individuality, we're hunks of flesh with automatic responses. With individuality,we can choose.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Oversized Monday roundup

Report: 3,000 SNAP Retailers Used Social Security Numbers of Dead People During Obama Administration



China Targets Control Over Internet of Things for Spying, Business



Once Again, NBC Sits On Story Related to Sexual Misconduct Until After It Matters



Corporate Speech Police Are Not the Answer to Online Hate



'#WalkAway' movement renouncing liberalism marches through nation's capital



One of the Best Arguments Against Blocking Speech on Social Media....

“...is so we become aware of who might be dangerous.”

Defensible Space

““Megafires” are now a staple of life in the Pacific Northwest, but how we talk about them illustrates the tension at the heart of the western myth itself.”

Deficits Do Matter: Debt Payments Will Consume Trillions of Dollars in Coming Years



U.S.-bound migrants enter Guatemala, others clash at border

Another 3000 strong caravan

Is Orwell’s Big Brother Here? Bezos & Amazon Team up With Defense, CIA & ICE



Murder in Pittsburgh and the Targeting of Alternative Social Media



Voters in Oregon Have the Opportunity to Create 10 “Gun Sanctuary” Counties



New Hampshire Privacy Amendment on the Ballot



Google’s smart city dream is turning into a privacy nightmare



Mexico offers caravan migrants benefits to stay; thousands refuse



Virtue-signaling and derangement in the wake of a massacre


Comments

Approval voting

Fargo Considers Whether to Turn Local Elections into a Voting System of Likes (and Dislikes)

“Measure 1 would introduce "approval voting" to the city, meaning voters wouldn't have to abandon independent and third-party choices.”
It's called "approval voting," and residents of Fargo (population: 120,000) are being asked in a ballot initiative if they'd like to be the first municipality in the United States to try it.

Rather than simply voting for one candidate, voters in this system are asked to approve or oppose each person on the ballot. The votes are all tallied, and the candidate with the most approval votes is declared the winner. Much like Maine's ranked-choice instant runoff voting system, this approach doesn't lock voters into supporting a single candidate. It thus allows voters to support third-party and independent candidates if they like them, without having to "throw their vote away" or spoil the chances of a major-party candidate they also support.

Approval voting is a pet project of The Center for Election Science, and the group has been involved in the education campaign in Fargo running up to the election. Polls show that support for this change is high, twice that of those who oppose the change. But more than a third of those polled say that they are undecided, so the center has some work ahead.
     — Scott Shackford
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NeoNote — What happens when progressives are in charge?

Will they tolerate similar "resistance" from conservatives?

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“Stossel: Sweden is Not a Socialist Success”

Comments

Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


An exclusive look at Cory Booker’s plan to fight wealth inequality: give poor kids money

Where does the money come from? Who decides who gets money and who does not? How is this not buying votes?

A Law Intended to Protect Crime Victims Is Being Used to Shield the Identities of Police Officers

Unaccountable authority will be abused.

Dear Resistance, listen to my lived totalitarian experience – you have no effing idea what you’re talking about



Politico Report Says Russiagaters Should Prepare To Kiss My Ass



Methods and Tricks Used to Create and Perpetuate the Human-caused Global Warming Deception



Divided Democrats struggle to answer Trump's claims on migrant caravan



Watching a Country Make a Fool of Itself



Saudi dissidents fear 'long arm' of state after Khashoggi murder



A Texas Police Officer Is Charged After Mishandling 130 Sex Crime Cases



Georgia Mayor Has Plan To Round Up Town's Sex Offenders on Halloween



California company that hires protesters is accused of extortion



Previously Deported Illegal Aliens Join Caravan: ‘It’s Time for Me to Go Back’



Judge bars New Hampshire proof of residency requirement for new voters


Comments

Bonus Saturday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


The truth about electric cars



When a DNA Test Reveals Your Daughter Is Not Your Biological Child



Will U.S. Success In Cutting Greenhouse Gases Kill The Paris Climate Deal?



Honduras's paid caravan 'refugees' exposed as frauds by Venezuela's real refugees



Emails Show Obama FDIC Struggled With Legal Basis For Operation Choke Point



Texas Democrats Caught Mailing Pre-Filled Voter Registrations To Non-Citizens



Elizabeth Warren's Other Cherokee Scandal: Her Fight Against Tribal Sovereignty



Khashoggi misinformation highlights a growing number of fake fact-checkers



Migrant caravan clashes with Mexican police, waits on bridge at Guatemalan-Mexican border



Black Trump Supporters Declare Their Independence From The Democratic Party


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Stop discrimination

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
     — Chief Justice John Roberts

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"People just can't know that." McCaskill Hides Agenda from Voters, "semi-automatic rifle ban"

“Project Veritas Action Fund has released a third undercover video from campaigns during this 2018 election season. This report exposes how incumbent Senator McCaskill and individuals working on her campaign conceal their liberal views on issues in order to court moderate voters.”

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“Deep State Unmasked: Leaks at HHS; DOJ Official Resists "From Inside" and "Can't Get Fired"”

“Project Veritas has released the second installment in an undercover video series unmasking the deep state. This video features a Department of Justice paralegal Allison Hrabar reportedly using government owned software and computers to push a socialist agenda. Also featured is Jessica Schubel, the former Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the last Obama administration.”

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“Deep State Unmasked: U.S. GAO Auditor Admits “I Break Rules Every Day””

“Project Veritas has released the next in a series of undercover reports which unmask the Deep State. This report features a Government Accountability Office (GAO) employee and self-proclaimed Communist actively engaged in potentially illegal political activity. Natarajan Subramanian is a government auditor for the GAO and a member of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America (Metro DC DSA).”

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“#DeepStateUnmasked: IRS Officials "You Should Give Increased Scrutiny" to Conservatives”

“I don’t give a s**t if that is a crime.”

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test Is ‘Useless,’ ‘Inappropriate And Wrong’ Cherokee Nation Official Says



U.S. Has 3.5 Million More Registered Voters Than Live Adults — A Red Flag For Electoral Fraud



Saudis said ready to concede writer was slain in botched interrogation



A White Woman Falsely Accused a Black 9-Year-Old Boy of Groping Her

“Surveillance footage disproves her allegations—and reminds everyone not to automatically believe victims.”

How An Amateur Rap Crew Stole Surveillance Tech That Tracks Almost Every American



The Next Generation Of Democratic Leaders Wants To Move Up, But The Baby Boomers Are In The Way

I don't usually cite BuzzFeed, but this one is dead on.

Washington Post: “Double or Triple” Fuel Prices to Solve the Climate Crisis



‘60 Minutes’ Was Outmatched by Trump (Column)



The FBI Doesn’t Want Users To Know Who Hacked Facebook



On Eve of Harvard Bias Trial, Dueling Rallies Show Rifts Among Asian-Americans



More Entrepreneurship Would Help Progressive Causes, But Progressives Do Not Understand It At All



Facebook Slams Independent Voices With Latest Political Purge



Understanding "Brazil’s Donald Trump"


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Geniune Tree Hugging Pagan

I'm telling you as a Genuine Tree Hugging Pagan that anthropogenic climate change is a scam designed to seize money and political power.
     — NeoWayland
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Regulations

Regulations exist so politicos can evade responsibility for unpopular choices.
     — NeoWayland, technocrat
Comments

Bonus Saturday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


WATCH: #HimToo: Neil Patrick Harris Recalls Proposition From Whoopi Goldberg When He Was A Mid-Teen

So why isn't Goldberg being attacked over hitting on a teen?

Democrats agree to confirmations of 15 Trump judges

"Principle" bows to politics

Sometimes I Just Go Full Potato

“By engaging in this public surge and display of unfettered hate – for there is no other name for it – they are revealing themselves for what they really are: extreme radicals and bullies willing to do anything, including burn down the house while you are in it, to get what they want. They do not believe society’s laws and rules apply to them, because they regularly and intentionally (or stupidly) misinterpret the Law of the Land. They are encouraged to do so, and to traipse as close to the edge of anarchy as possible to get what they want, with no thought to the consequences.”

I Won’t Support An Elizabeth Warren Presidency While She Appropriates My Identity

So the author would support a liar as long as she stops lying about what's important to the author

We’re Not on the Brink of Civil War. Here’s Why.



How Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Finally United The Right Under Trump

Sad to say, totally accurate.

Six Months Later, People Are Finally Realizing That FOSTA Actually Is Putting Lives At Risk



Top Ten Alternative Media Sites BANNED on Facebook and Twitter



First They Came for Alex Jones — We Told You We Were Next — We Were



What Sears’ Bankruptcy Says About Amazon’s Future


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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Socialist governments

Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.
     — Margaret Thatcher

Comments

Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


Study: Economic Boom Largely Ignored as TV's Trump Coverage Hits 92% Negative



The First Amendment protects your right to not be a rat.



Two Students Hooked Up. It Was Clearly Consensual. He Still Spent $12,000 Defending Himself.



With corruption like this, it’s no wonder so many pension funds are insolvent



Antifa Arsonists Vandalize Pro-Trump Truck — THEN TORCH IT (Video)



Antifa Shut Down Major Intersection, Threaten Citizens with Violence If They Don’t Obey



Pennsylvania's Libertarian Senate Candidate Gets Invited, Then Snubbed From Televised Debate



Fearmongering Article Falsely Claims 'Halloween Is Christmas for Sex Offenders'



Data Showing Navy's Poor Aviation Safety Record Disappears From Website



Sex Workers Pioneered the Early Internet—and It Screwed Them Over



That sign telling you how fast you’re driving may be spying on you



A Florida Man Faces Prison for Making Grills Without a License



What Seems To Be Going on At @Tesla, and The Risks Of Buying (and Shorting) $TSLA Stock


Comments

Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry


Do Half of All Marriages Really End in Divorce?

“This outdated statistic has many young people hesitant to tie the knot.”

NATO to Deploy 45,000 Troops Near Russian Border—Calling it a “Defensive” Move



China confirms detention of former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei



U.S. not invited to Canada’s upcoming trade meeting — only ‘like minded’ nations allowed



How the mushroom dream of a ‘long-haired hippie’ could help save the world’s bees



ACLU's Opposition to Kavanaugh Sounds Its Death Knell



BOMBSHELL: audit of global warming data finds it riddled with errors



Politico: 'After Failing to Stop Kavanaugh, Dems Wonder If It's Time to Be More Ruthless'

"Next time they should just murder the nominee."

Former Google boss launches scathing Silicon Valley attack urging tech giants to end the delusion that it's making the world a better place



Trump Isn’t a Self-Made Man. His Wealth Is the Product of Years of Government Subsidies.



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 'Eliminate' Electoral College, It 'Undermines' Democracy

There is one thing good I can't deny about the Electoral College, it kept Al Gore and Hillary Clinton the Presidency.

IPCC Report Reaches Dire Conclusions Based on Models that Overstate Rate of Warming



The Democrats' Complaints About the Senate Being Undemocratic Are Pure Whining and Excuse-Making: Here's Why


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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Big Brother Wants to Stop Your Private Online Conversations”

Big brother doesn't trust you.

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Thursday roundup

People tend to repeat behavior that has been successful or will bring them an emotional high.

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — Allegation is not proof

People tend to repeat behavior that has been successful or will bring them an emotional high.

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Sunday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — My favorite party trick

Religions are created by people claiming to speak for the Divine.

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NeoNote — Taxes, spying, deductions, and economies

Did I ever mention how the income tax isn't designed to produce revenue, but to spy as needed on American citizens?



Yep.

You can start with how the IRS is the "go to" agency whenever someone does something the Federal government doesn't like.

You can continue with the fact that your employer and any financial institution you do business with are required "under penalty of law" to report any transactions on demand. There's a reporting threshold for "as they happen," but the IRS still has the (questionable) power to demand any and all going back for years.

Speaking of penalty of law, have you read that bit on the 1040? In fact, take a close look at the entire form. It doesn't say you are required to report your income, it just says that it must be accurate reported on the form before you sign.

No one, including the IRS understands the tax code. It can be manipulated and interpreted as needed. And remember, the first few levels of the tax courts are administrative courts run by the IRS with their own rules of evidence. The presumption of innocence doesn't apply. You have to prove the IRS wrong, and then you might get your seized money back.

By definition, a "standard" deduction means taxes are too high.



What, you wanted it stated in the authorizing law?

Everything I said was drawn from truth.

From Al Capone on, the IRS has been used against those the Federal government doesn't approve of. Or occasionally found politically inconvenient. Any other uncovered crimes are just a bonus.

Reporting financial transactions have proven so useful in so many cases that it has become literally the reason the IRS exists.

The 1040 form is unusually and carefully worded.

Since at least the 1970s, IRS agents and supervisors have been shown to have a very focused knowledge of the tax code and an appalling ignorance about the rest.

The IRS does have it's own court system with it's own rules of evidence. And you are not presumed innocent until proven guilty.

More importantly, look at how Presidents have used the tax code against their enemies.



Al Capone went to jail for tax evasion because they couldn't get anything else to stick.

You tell me, if you were a prosecutor and you knew you had a guilty man and you had the evidence, would you want to charge them with murder or tax evasion?

Prove me wrong instead of labeling it conjecture and innuendo. It's right there, I showed you were to look.

Remember, it took amending the Constitution to make a Federal income tax legal.



Going after him for tax evasion wasn't even part of the plan.

Pay attention, because that is a critical point.

Did you know that the IRS was used to enforce Prohibition?

That was a critical point too.

I understand your confusion. Many assume that Government is a Good Thing. It's not commonly acknowledged that taxes can be some of the worst abuses of government authority. Might I suggest Adams' For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization as a starting point?



No I am not.

I'm stating that law is not good in and of itself, and that law is more likely to be abused than not.

For example, people are usually taught that the progressive income tax in particular is a way to get the rich to pay "their fair share." That's not true and it never has been. We know that whole histories industries have grown up to help people use tax loopholes. What's more, we know that politicos and technocrats benefit from selectively applying the law.

Which returns to my comment, that the income tax as designed is intended to spy on American citizens. It's not uniformly applied. It's subject to change and political influence. And the majority of the public is locked out of changes. And for what? A mala prohibita law. Not paying taxes is does not harm someone, it's just bad because government has declared it to be bad.

The graduated income tax has done more harm and destroyed more freedom than any other law in American history. "Innocent under proven guilty" stopped because of the income tax and no longer applies in American law.

I should have warned you. Never argue taxes with a libertarian.



Yeppers.

That standard deductions line makes people think. And it should.

That's usually when I point out that if they are getting a refund, they just gave the government an interest free loan.



Oh my, that's just so adorable!

Look at it this way.

Taxable income = 100 dollars
Standard deduction = 17 dollars
"Taxed" income = 83 dollars

You are still paying taxes. It's only on paper that there is a difference. They messed with the rate, not with the tax.

They lie.

Don't even get me started on itemized deductions.

ETA: I'm the one with the line of "by definition, a standard deduction means taxes are too high." I'm proud of it, so I want credit.



Yep, and the claim stands.

The politicos and technocrats are playing word games to convince people that the IRS is looking out for the little guy.

They don't reduce the tax, they tell you that there is a standard deduction.

Speaking of which, let's look at that word standard. As in, everyone gets it. If it were really about "giving something" to someone with lower income, you'd think the deduction would be less for higher incomes. But then it wouldn't be a standard deduction.

Nope, we give everyone a standard deduction.

And that certainly looks like taxes are too high.



The fact is that the government hides to actual tax rate to make people think they are getting something for nothing.

The tax rate is too high, so they play word games.

The graduated tax is another issue.

The point is, the mere existence of a standard deduction means that the standard is to deduct. Hence, by definition and the admission of the government, taxes are too high.



That's the same form that is worded to hide the fact that they don't care about you paying your taxes as much as they don't want you to lie about it and make sure that it is correct, right?

The whole thing is deceptive from the payroll deduction to the falsity that a progressive tax that impacts higher tax brackets more to which deductions may be allowed this year if you are lucky enough to know about them.

Not to mention the undeclared interest free loan that many make to the government every year without realizing it.

If it were really just about the income, the whole thing could be done on half a postcard.

Including the instructions.



But this US doesn't do it simply. The code is created to distract, to obfuscate, to hide what government wants.

It's not about the revenue.

It's about tracking the flow of money. Something which isn't authorized by the Constitution.

The whole business of a "standard deduction" is just another way to confuse citizens and convince them that they are getting something for nothing.

It's three card monte by government regulation. You aren't supposed to look close.

Meanwhile there is a surveillance system that is the envy of tyrants all over the world. And Americans accept it even as they complain about it.



Tax income, but not track money.

The 16th was a product of the time, and NO ONE at the time expected it to be used against the poor and the (emerging) middle class. It was sold as a way to make the rich pay "their fair share." I'm pretty sure that if people knew then what the income tax would become, there would have been another revolution.

The graduated income tax was intended to foster class envy. At that point, the upper class did not have the political clout to protect themselves.

Don't you find it interesting that a sales tax doesn't require nearly the administration that an income tax does?

Don't you find it even more interesting that no one understands the tax code and just accepts that is how it is supposed to be?

And then there is the fact that in the name of "protecting" the poor, they still have to declare their income under penalty of law.



As I said and have shown, the American income tax system is more about spying on the American people than producing income.

All you are doing is saying that the system is necessary.



One of the things I quickly learned as a Corporate Clone is that the budget expands to consume the sales income. It's always easier to spend someone else's money.

Remember I said that taxes are too high.

Still, I stand by my point. The spying on the American public is more important than the revenues.



If you state a tax rate and then give everyone a "standard deduction," then taxes are too high.

Taxes are too high for many other reasons, but I agree that distracts from this argument.



A standard deduction goes to everyone, not someone on a graduated scale.

Deductions have nothing to do with a graduated tax, especially since most deductions go to the middle and high end income groups.



It's not a reduction of tax on graduated income, it's deliberately confusing what the rate is.

Which isn't necessary for the higher ends of the income scale who can afford to have someone do their taxes. On the very high end, that means hiring a professional accountant to minimize tax liability.

Deductions are not intended to help the poor. Even if they are standard.

Of course the easiest thing of all would be actually lowering the tax without deductions.



Not true.

The modern version of the income tax started as a class tax. It was not expanded to a mass tax until WWII. Even then (in 1944), the "standard deduction" started as ten percent of taxable income. When the standard deduction was changed to a flat fee, that fee deliberately wasn't linked to the rate of inflation. Which means that over time, people on the lower end of the income scale paid more. But that wasn't the justification in 1964 when the deduction was changed from a percentage to a fee.

Because the fee amount wasn't linked to inflation, inevitably people started falling through the cracks. Meanwhile the income tax provided an unprecedented (and expanding) monitoring of cash flow (not the economy). That monitoring power could not be sacrificed.

And that is where the Earned Income Tax Credit came from. A direct payment from government that did not interfere in the existing tax structure or the government's ability to monitor cash flow. If anything, it expanded the latter.



And if you lower taxes, you don't have to lie about deductions to convince people that they are getting something that they are not. The actuality is that it's easier to manipulate a fee than a percentage all while hiding that people are paying more and getting less while being told what a Good Thing it is.

Reagan signed the expansion of the EIC, but it was originally created in 1975. It's also constitutionally questionable.



And if you eliminate the standard deduction and lower the tax rate to 8%, they pay less.

Manipulating the process is not the answer.



Um,yes.

Because now we are going to talk about the unintentional side effects of a graduated tax system.

Higher taxes aren't just absorbed by businesses and those with more income. The higher costs are passed on. In the case of a business, that means higher prices. In the case of an individual, that means they will buy less, which means few jobs creating or selling.

All this results in lower economic opportunity overall, but especially on the margins. That in turn means that those trying to increase their income will be most affected, especially if they are on the lower end of the income scale.

These are well known second order effects. Look them up.

Simply put, modifications and exceptions to the rules usually benefit those most able to influence the system. Or, as I like to put it, government authority tends to be used against those least likely to resist.

The more complex and convoluted a law is (any law), the bigger negative impact it has on the lower levels of income.



Extra rent and utilities due to displaced costs $50 per month or $600 per year.

Extra costs of food $15 per month or $180 per year.

Extra costs of clothing and miscellaneous $60 per year.

Company downsizing and freezing salary, adjusted for inflation $200 per year.

Just for the stuff I've listed, $1040 additional costs per year due progressive and distributed taxes.



Taxes are costs. They certainly aren't revenues to the people who are paying them.

The costs I provided were approximately middling. See, it's not just the amount of the tax that is shifted. It's also the cost of collecting and administering the taxes. Not to mention all the other costs of government, from the salary of Congressional pages to the paperclip allowance in the Department of the Interior.

Economies are based on the movement of value, we usually talk cash flow as a shorthand. The movement of value acts a lot like water. You can block it off, you can divert it, you can tap it, and you can channel it. Every change influences the whole system, you can't isolate one bit from the other without removing the cash flow. Think water pressure and you're close to the mark. The more you mess with the pluming, the more unstable the system becomes.

Governments tend to use the myth that the economy can be managed and controlled. But it is a myth. The only reason some governments can get away with it is because the cash flow is usually high enough to compensate for the really stupid things.

But if the goal is more money and not lower taxes, then the people with the lowest cash flow (i.e. water pressure) will be most impacted by any changes.

That's why lower taxes alone is a false and misleading measurement.



If you reduce taxes and costs go up, then there is no benefit to a "standard deduction"

Manipulating the system at a higher cost is going to hurt the people the deduction is supposed to help. The government sells a line, "We're going to reduce your taxes." But the politicos never admit the obvious, it's going to cost more.

Revenues are not neutral, that is another lie. There is an increased cost to administer the system. Any changes in process will increase this cost. And government has no incentive to reduce this extra cost.

So in the name of compassion, the system screws the people least likely to resist.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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“This Border Patrol Agent Resigned After Changing His Mind About Immigration”

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NeoNote — "Race," IQ, and savagery

That is a phenomenally inaccurate and simplistic view.



"Run by blacks…"

They are run by Democrats who have spent the last 50+ years telling minority groups that they are victims and don't have to be responsible.

Gods, the absolute last last thing you should do is blame skin color.

Do you want to make things worse?



Of course you're blaming skin color.

Those "heritable characteristics" vanish when you start adjusting for quality of education, early childhood environment, and family support.

Next time read the disclaimers and qualitifications qualifications.



Yes, yes they do. Check the studies again. Better yet, follow it to the inevitable conclusion. If the "heritable characteristics" exist and are not modified by environmental factors, then by your logic "blacks" are inherently inferior.

Think about that very carefully.



The fact that you are relying on IQ tells me quite a bit.

The IQ tests are culturally biased. What's more, studies from the late 1970s forward have shown that the tests are sub-culturally biased. Those scores are significantly linked to quality of education, early childhood environment, and family support.

Yes, those things I mentioned earlier.

What's more, there's evidence of an inner-city sub-culture that is adamantly against doing well in school or on tests.



Look, here's the problem.

You're defining people by skin color, no matter what their individual accomplishments.

Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, Daniel Hale Williams , Booker T. Washington, James West, John J. Jasper, Daniel "Chappie" James Jr., Thomas Sowell, Huey P. Newton, Carter G. Woodson, W. E. B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, those are just some of the remarkable American men I remember off the top of my head.



Those averages only matter if you've allowed for all other factors.

For example, how many sub-Sararan sub-Saharan nations have a free market based economy? How many recognize the rights of the individual?

I already told you a third theory. There are significant cultural and environmental differences. What's more, put any skin color in unfavorable circumstances and watch how fast the "average" drops.



Unless a government recognizes & defends individual rights, corruption follows as surely as night follows day.

Those white South Africans you mention had special privilege and exploited people because they had the power to do so. When things changed, there was no living memory of anything except special privileges. The corruption stayed and the exploited targets changed.

A version of the same problem is happening in those Democrat controlled cities that you incorrectly insist on labeling "black run." Recognized rights have long given way to special privilege, and no one remembers anything else.



I didn't say anything about it not being their fault. I specifically said Democrats "have spent the last 50+ years telling minority groups that they are victims and don't have to be responsible."

Not so long ago, the Republican idea of race relations was to get out of the way and tell people to take responsibility. That's no longer the case.

I don't care about blame. I just care about fixing the problem. And you are making things worse.

You're making the Democrat case for them. You're saying that "blacks" will fail if left to themselves.



You mean other than the examples I gave you?

If you are interested in statistics, try the upward mobility of "blacks" between 1900 and 1960, before government interfered. The welfare statistics and the rise of single mother families are particularly telling. These have been well documented.

On the whole, two parent households do better over time. When the immediate cost of having children is reduced by government intervention, then a single parent household is less likely to move up the economic ladder.



I told you some of what was necessary for a society's success. Recognition and protection of individual rights. A free market economy. Those things are rare.

Those things are also not dependent on skin color.

I don't recognize "black" societies, I recognize human societies. Almost every single time when someone talks about "black" societies or "black"nations or "black" cities, it's about racism.

There's one race and it's human.



I said no such thing.

I talked about political systems designed to exploit victimhood and grant privilege.

That has almost nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with denying rights.



People designed those systems. Generations of people over centuries, trading, interacting, arguing, fighting, failing, and trying again. It wasn't because of one skin color even if you could define "white."



Because I said that people designed the systems, for good or ill?

Because I pointed out that it took generations?

Because I pointed out that you can't define "white" anymore than you can define "black?"

You lost this one the second you used skin color as a substitute for individual merit.



You haven't managed to identify any significant differences that aren't environmental in nature.

Instead, you keep focusing on skin color, a poor indicator under the best of circumstances.

There are hundreds of other factors, starting with how many parents the child has and if the child is raised in a loving environment. That doesn't even include the social factors I've already touched on.

As long as you focus on skin color, you're just perpetuating the problems.

The only way the question is reduced to a binary condition is by focusing on insignificant measurements such as skin color.



We've already established that IQ is culturally biased. There are also strong indications that IQ is sub-culturally biased as well. That means that part of what IQ measures is cultural conformity.

That's assuming that IQ is a relevant measure of intelligence to begin with. There are theories that one measurement of intelligence isn't nearly enough.

Like it or not, you have to allow for environmental and cultural factors in IQ scores.



Me and about two thirds of the researchers studying the possibility.

I suggest you do a web search for IQ cultural bias.



First, it's not the "warrior gene." A variant is popularly (and inaccurately) referred to as the "warrior gene." Technically the variant produces less MAMO MAOA .

Second, the evidences seems to show that the people with a low level of MAMO MAOA show higher levels of aggression when faced with social stressors such as ostracism, exclusion, or overwhelming loss.

You know, environmental factors.

ETA: Sorry about that, spell check fixed something I didn't want fixed.



With environmental factors, yes.

Would you like a list of genetic variations that are activated by environmental stressors?



I don't lie.

You keep stressing differences that derive from environmental factors.

Yet you keep blaming skin color.



Remember when I mentioned "family support?" Have you accounted for the incredible cultural pressure to succeed at schools and testing?



Yep, Obama was all about skin color. And his solutions worked out just so well for everyone, right?

There's a line I've been throwing around for a couple years now.

There were so many patting themselves on the back and proud that a black man had been elected President that no one bothered to ask if a good man had been elected President.


The politics are a much bigger part of the problem than the skin color.

It's the politics I blame.



And there's your problem.

You think it's about America.

It's about freedom.



Who said anything about pretending it's not there?

I'm disputing why it is there.



Actually I did. I talked briefly about incentivizing single parenthood and telling minorities that they are perpetual victims and how they don't have to take responsibility.



No, it wasn't the same environment.

I specified "telling minorities."

Politics are bad enough, but the politics are of victimhood are just despicable.



Because they don't have the same incentives.

Do you have any idea how much has been written and spoken about this over the last sixty years?

You might start with Goldwater's objections to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.



I believe they are indoctrinated to believe that they could only be victims no matter what.



Talked with more than a few. Slept with a couple.

I'm a bilagáana born on the res. I grew up next to the Diné, the Hopi, and the Havasupai. Spent a lot of time in Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, and Albuquerque.

Still want to lecture me on the "races?"



Gods, you really are so ignorant that you can't be bothered to do a web search.

Roughly translated, bilagáana means "white man." There's more to it than that, especially for one born on the reservation. I'm what happens when Louisiana farming stock takes root in the Four Corners region.



Check again.

I never denied cultural differences, I just pointed out that they alone don't determine IQ or aggression.



I don't think I've done it in this thread, but I have pointed out that there is one race and it's human.

"Peoples" is a completely different concept and doesn't usually rest on minor genetic differences. The term is slightly more accurate than tribes.

Go back and reread what I wrote on this thread. I started by pointing out that what was being passed off as racial and genetic differences were actually due to environmental and cultural factors.



Ah, someone is making the right points.

First, IQ is not an objective measurement. One of my favorite examples is the Diné, their culture doesn't recognize time and distance as linear. With the possibility of multiple intelligences, things get more complicated. Gross motor coordination doesn't translate to spatial mathematical. Yes, I know the theory has problems like leaving out fine motor control, but this isn't the place.

We've not defined intelligence very well. There's a difference between following a recipe and walking in a kitchen just to whip up amazing food. IQ tests look for proven solutions, not for that creative spark. Sometimes that mostly works, sometimes not.

One set of parents can produce a musical genius, a good accountant, and a total slacker. It's impossible to say if a specific genetic line might produce. We know from domesticated animals that some traits will probably breed true, but we have to allow for environment and chance. We can't say that this family always produces good Rotarians and never any gamers. We can't say that every puppy from that Labrador will be good with kids. If you expand it to a group, the uncertainty grows too.



Interesting. You get to keep your preconceptions but I have to give mine up.

Okay, let's go back to basics. Part of science is eliminating variables.

The people we're comparing, are they on the same economic level? Did they have the same number of parents? Did they attend the same or comparable schools? Are they married? Do they have the same number of kids? Is their debt level the same? Is their education level the same? Do they live in the same or comparable neighborhoods?

We know that every single one of these environmental factors can influence someone's mental abilities, their tastes, their chosen activities, and their obligations.

And these are just the big ones.

Otherwise you're comparing apples from last year to next year's bananas. There's no way to establish a baseline.

There's no real comparison until you can account for most of the major variables.



I'm telling you (again) that until you can account for environmental differences, your measurements are useless.

There's a difference between a Walmart special and a finely made bookshelf. You can't just say that the one that is forty-one inches wide is better than the thirty-five inch one. You don't have enough information to judge.



It's a trick question.

It presupposes that there aren't any other variables that matter.

At the very least, acknowledge that the quality of schools makes a difference.

Mona Lisa Vito: It's a bullshit question.

D.A. Jim Trotter: Does that mean that you can't answer it?

Mona Lisa Vito: It's a bullshit question, it's impossible to answer.

D.A. Jim Trotter: Impossible because you don't know the answer!

Mona Lisa Vito: Nobody could answer that question!

D.A. Jim Trotter: Your Honor, I move to disqualify Ms. Vito as a "expert witness"!

Judge Chamberlain Haller: Can you answer the question?

Mona Lisa Vito: No, it is a trick question!

     — My Cousin Vinny


From my second response to you on this thread, I've pointed out again and again that you can not eliminate cultural and environmental factors.

The differences that you chose to highlight directly resulted in part from the culture and environment.

These are facts that we know and can easily be verified through a web search.

Children from single parent households tend to do worse at school and hold lower paying jobs.

Children from abusive households tend to do worse at school and hold lower paying jobs.

Single parent households tend to stay at lower income levels.

Some schools fail so much that most of their students can't read, write, or do basic math.

If children don't have enough to eat, they don't do well in school.

If people don't have shelter, they tend to have more health problems.

How much did environment and culture play a part? There is no way to know unless you can eliminate variables.

There's no comparison unless you can account for most of the major variables. This is true in science. This is true in statistics. This is true in life.

Your question makes no sense because there can be no comparison.



But you haven't presented evidence.

You've gone out of your way to dismiss the very idea that the culture and environment can have any possible influence on the differences you chose to highlight.

All you've done is lay out a premise that presupposes that no other factors can change what you choose to measure.

It's not science. It's not statistics. It's not even logically verifiable.

It's just prejudice.



You don't have evidence. You have observation, but you haven't shown cause or correlation because you have not allowed for environmental and cultural factors.

It's not even a matter of "interpretation." You've deliberately chosen one measurement and claimed that it defines the whole discussion. Can you say selection bias?



You can put tomato seeds in a salt shaker for nine months. That doesn't mean you'll be harvesting.



But I don't blame skin color at all. That's when I talk about this at all. Most people don't want to deal with uncomfortable truths.

I talk about politics, history, and the lies of government. Also basic economics and self-ownership.



Self-ownership and responsibility are a big part of what I write and talk about.

I also talk about strategy that exploits the politics of victimhood. I point out that the people who don't accept those lies from politicos and technocrats do better over time. Usually better than their parents. Which used to be a measurement of success in this nation.

A significant number of politicos (easily more than half) use the message that people are victims and their friend, the government, can help.

I tell people that government is not your friend, no matter how much the politicos say that it is.

That's not making excuses. That's showing that most politicos want problems they can stage manage. The politicos can't do that by solving problems.



It's a loaded question.

The premise is insufficient.



Neighbor, you're telling me that I am dealing in absolutes when I just listed seven major variables that we know affect intelligence and ability. These variables change everybody no matter what their skin color, nationality, sex, or ice cream preference.



I can stop you with nothing more than a few words.

Think about it. You're taking offense at what I write on a website when all I am really saying is "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…"

You would deny that?



I'm not defending today's mess.

I've written against it.

But (and this is the important bit), you're still defining people by skin color instead of what they are individually.

There's a phrase about "content of their character" that comes to mind.



I know, you keep defining people by skin color.



Tell me, what nationality are "blacks?"

If a "Chinese" has been granted American citizenship, when does he stop being "Chinese?" Three seconds after? Three generations? When he changes his name to Jones?

If Jesus Fernandez was born in Michigan and barely speaks Spanish, is he "Mexican?"

Or American?



I didn't say anything about stopping the Left with words.

I said I could stop you.

And I have.



Think you so?

Look at what's happened.

I've held my own against you and your "friend." Along the way, we've discussed history, psychology, morality, biology, and ethics. We've done it in real time for a few hours, and right now you are focused on taking me down, not in proving that "blacks" are inferior.

And all you can do is tell me that I don't deserve my citizenship.

You got stopped.



"The fact that blacks are not us."

Pretty sure my neighbors would disagree. Pretty sure your neighbors would too.



"Wait until your neighbors are Hindus, Muslims, Mexicans, or Asians."

Um, they are.



I could ask my across-the-street neighbor, but I'm pretty sure she's happy with her husband. I don't know their kids that well.



Because they are us.

The commonalities outweigh the differences.

These barriers, these labels that people like you keep using, they separate us. The labels keep us apart.

Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.
     — Sojourner Truth


The Hopi are surrounded by all sides by the Diné. Can you tell me the genetic differences between the Hopi and the Diné? Good luck, because they've been intermarrying for a long time.

So what are their national characteristics?

As I said, I'm an American. I'm a mix. Part of my ancestry is Irish, part of it is English, part of it is Creole, part of it is German, part of it is Russian, and there's probably stuff on both sides of the bed that isn't officially acknowledged.

What are my national genetic characteristics?

I'm pretty sure I could father a child with any fertile human female if we tried hard enough. That's sort of how the species works.

And that's the important thing. We're one species, one "race." Throw us together and those distinctions fade. We get down and funky. We rut. We mix our genes.

It doesn't stop there. Ideas mix too. We argue with each other. We try to one up each other. We try. We look at what the other guy is doing. We borrow what works and tweak it a bit.

Synchronicity and syncretism happen, no matter how much you want "purity."



I'm not trying to change the labels.

I'm pointing out the truths.

Those labels are controlling your life.



"Truth and lies don't miscegenate."

Miscegenation has nothing to do with truth and lies and everything to do with sex and children.

Truth is subject to change. There was a time when people thought the speed of light was infinite. Now we know it's about 186,000 miles per second. In a vacuum. Put it through an atmosphere or water and it's something else.

We're human. That humanity matters more than any "racial" difference. It's why there are children of "mixed race." As time and people go on, the differences fade.

Until we meet a new population and it starts all over again.

I don't lie. I serve veritas.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

“The Problem With Libertarians”

Ever notice when someone picks a scapegoat, it's because they think the scapegoat can't fight back?

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Comments

Nine percent

As an Arizona resident who worked against his re-election the last four times, I wish he had retired years ago.

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Comments

John McCain passes

Sen. John McCain, American ‘maverick’ and Arizona political giant, dies at age 81


I do not and would not wish death on anyone.

As an Arizona resident who worked against his re-election the last four times, I wish he had retired years ago.

Governor Ducey will be empowered by an act of the legislature to appoint a Republican to fill out the rest of the term. And yes, Arizona state law requires that the appointee be the same party.

I had my disagreements with McCain.

So did Barry Goldwater.

I stopped trusting McCain during the Keating Five mess.

I could say more, but I'll wait a month or so.

I don't speak or write ill of the dead in the first month after their passing. It changes nothing, and everyone deserves the right to deal with their passions and memories.

Edited to add:

McCain to lie in state at Capitol in Washington, Arizona


I know it's supposed to honor the “most eminent citizens,” but I still think lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda is political opportunism.

Comments

NeoNote — No sane reason

I'm not something less, I'm something else.

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Comments

“Should We Ban Plastic Straws?”

“Will Witt went to Santa Barbara to ask people what they thought of the new law banning plastic straws. Check it out!”

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Comments

“Free-Market Social Security”

For something with no moral relativism, there's an awful lot or relative morality going on.

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Comments

“How This Town Got Rid of Crime”

He speaks for himself.

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Comments

Define reality

But they are hypocrites when they declare that they support free speech while applying selective censorship.

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Comments

Republican racism

Most of the claims of Republican racism are because the Republicans involved didn't see any reason to grant special privilege when people already had rights recognized by law.
     — NeoWayland
Comments

NeoNote — Online monopolies

No, they are not monopolies.

When I sit down at a computer, I don't have to go through Facebook to check the weather or see what is happening at this site. If I wanted to message someone on my iPod or iPad, I don't have to use Twitter.

With AT&T, if you were in an area covered you had no choice. It was your regional Bell company and AT&T or nothing. The breakup fixed that, you could choose your phone company. And today, if I am not in range of the right cell tower, my phone still works as long as I am in range of a cell tower.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, all got big by offering something the competition did not have. No one was forced. Competition is the only way to reduce their hold. And the competition, like all competition, has to offer something more than "just as good as."

For a while, iOS and macOSX had software hooks so that Facebook and Twitter had easier access. That's no longer necessarily true, some of Apple's customers didn't want their data shared by companies that weren't trustworthy.

Government intervention is the last thing we need. There are already politicos who complain about "fake news" that isn't fake, it's just not what the politicos want you to think about. From the news in the last couple of days, it seems Twitter is going after conservative and libertarian users. Do we really want a world where government decides what may and may not be said?

Oh, one other thing. Monopolies rely on government support and intervention. Start regulating and you just planted a monopoly.



I agree it's a mess.

To get a site, you have to register a domain name. Then you have to get server space. If you use a company like Wordpress, you agree to carry their ads on your site in exchange for a reduced rate or free use on their server space. If you go on your own, you find a web host (like MacHighway) and you have more control over the site and advertising.

Think of it like a storefront that you have to rent. Depending on the terms of the lease, that is how much service your "landlord" provides and how much you provide to your visitors.

If Twitter provides the ability to block people you don't like, I agree that it should be available to ALL users. But the platform is not public property. The "landlord" can block out who they want when they want. But they shouldn't be shielded from the consequences of their actions. They are liable if they provide different services and benefits to their users. If it's a "free" service, then all "free" users should have the same benefits as all other "free" users. The "landlord" can ban conservatives, but if they allow conservatives (or one specific high profile conservative), then that person should have the same rights and benefits.

ETA: The real question is if the platform should ban offensive content and how that should be defined.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

NeoNote — Socialism, fairness & choice

There was a late night bull session I attended. One very drunk person announced, very authoritatively, "Socialism is jealousy."

Then she passed out.

She may have had a point.



I'll go you one farther. There are studies that show primates have a strong sense of fairness. Some other studies show the fairness idea is linked to play in wolves and coyotes. I've seen speculation but no mention of studies that the idea exists in elephants as well. Taken together, these may indicate that it is part of the biology, at least for social animals.



I'd say it relies on control and orientation in time. Given that it's extremely difficult to control other's behavior except through force, someone who is past-orientated will choose coercion and false signals. Especially if their behavior was controlled in the past.

Future orientation and risk taking are more likely to depend on cooperation. Especially if one doesn't have the resources to pull off the future alone.

Going forward, power with beats power over. But someone stuck in the past won't see that. As for the "leaders," they're gaming the system and don't practice what they preach. "But just do as I say, don't do as I do," as the old Genesis song says.



Everyone who lives in America is a socialist to some degree.

True. But did they choose, or was it chosen for them "for the greater good?" In many cases before they were born? Did they ever have an alternative choice? Were they even allowed to think about it?

That's how socialism works. It's always involuntary except for those calling the shots.

It’s just that the rank and file among us don’t have $12 billion to buy votes from farmers we’ve screwed over.

If he had bought votes, the farmers wouldn't be screwed, would they? You've moved beyond mixing metaphors here, you're mixing conspiracy theories.



Your premise about vote buying is wrong. There's plenty to criticize about Trump's tariff strategy (which I've done), but there was no vote buying. That's the problem with most of the accusations against Trump. The loudest people ignore what Trump has done and blame him for things he hasn't done. You can't buy votes after the fact. And you keep overlooking all the other people adversely affected by the tariffs.

I used the word choosing because we are supposed to live in a representative government. Socialism removes choice. Socialism removes freedom. Socialism removes prosperity. The only reason why the United States works economically is because of the partial free market. The free market works. The free market works better than anything else in history. The only reason Americans can afford even partial socialism is because of the abundance produced by the free market.

So are Americans socialist? Yes, but not from choice. Someone had to do it to them. Someone had to lie to them about what they could get. Someone else had to pay the bills. Would Americans choose socialist programs? I don't think they would if they understood the costs.

I didn't claim you wrote anything about choice. I asked about choice. That's not words in your mouth, that's a question you don't want to answer.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

What's the point?

Liberty demands more than just deciding who is "in charge." If government means electing people who are kinda-sorta on your side on alternate Thursdays when there's no rain, what's the point?
     — NeoWayland
Comments

NeoNote — Pandering

Since the last time I read your stuff, I've been racking my brain to remember any libertarians who "pandered" to pedophiles. I can't remember any. "Consenting adults" is a big priority.

As for "pandering" to homosexuals, well, we also "pander" to Jews, women, Rotarians, Red Sox fans, and classic car owners. Not to mention people with piercings, people with tattoos, people with nine toes, and almost anyone else you can name.

If you're threatened by "live and let live," by all means run away.



These are two different issues. The only one that I'm denying is that libertarians pander to pedophiles.

You want to use it as the modern political equivalent of blood libel.

It's probably because I am pagan, but I've found keeping minors at an arm's length when it comes to religion and sexuality solves more problems than it causes. It's one of those necessary compromises that keeps neighbors.



I think you'll find that most small "l" libertarians like me consider it a minor issue, if at all.

I will point out that the laws are not self consistent. Driving at 16 (some farm states allowed it at 14 in rural areas), voting and draft eligibility at 18, drinking age of 21, well, those are just some of the best known examples.

I've pointed out before that the whole extended childhood thing is mostly a post WWII American urban phenomena. Attitudes towards "child brides" were very different a few generations ago.



Can you tell me what the "American" position is on taxes? Does every single American agree with that? What about public schools? And immigration?

I call myself libertarian with a small "l" because when I say "classic liberal" most folks in the U.S. don't know what I am talking about. It has nothing to do with a political party and everything to do with liberty.

I believe that the freedom to choose is the mark of an adult human. Make of that what you will.



Classic liberalism predates the founding of the American republic. That is why I distinguish between "Libertarianism" and "libertarianism." Big "L" versus small "l." Party platform versus individual responsibility.

If you'll look closely at what I've written, I've always stressed "consenting adults" when it comes to sexual practices.

I pointed out that even the All Wise Forces of Government & Society® can't decide when a child is responsible or not.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

“Jinx the Anarchist Sex Worker Goes to Washington”

Comments

Equality

If you cannot achieve equality of performance among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, how realistic is it to expect to achieve it across broader and deeper social divisions?
     — Thomas Sowell
Comments

Entitlements

One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.
     — Thomas Sowell
Comments

NeoNote — The farce continues

Comments

Demonic realms

Comments

Do something

Those who cry out that the government should 'do something' never even ask for data on what has actually happened when the government did something, compared to what actually happened when the government did nothing.
     — Thomas Sowell
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Comments

Bright ideas

Comments

“An individual has an idea”

Comments

“The TRUTH About Abortion & Sex”

Comments

“Stossel: Plastic Straw Myths”

Comments

“Hernando de Soto Knows How To Make the Third World Richer than the First”

Comments

Religion enshrined in law

I'm not demanding that you give up your faith.

I'm asking why religion should be enshrined in law.

Faith is between you and the Divine, no other person can change that. It's up to you and your choices.

I'm asking for no sacrifice unless you believe that your religion should govern the faith and religion of others.

And if that's the case, I'm asking why.
     — NeoWayland
Comments

Wholly remarkable

The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention the Christian God except in the date.

It's wholly remarkable in that it may well be the first document in history that didn't claim government power derived from the Divine.

Men of faith and men of reason deliberately chose not to make a public declaration of religion even as they acknowledged it's role in individual action.

They knew that faith must be chosen, not compelled.
     — NeoWayland
Comments

Law is not moral

The law is not moral.

That's up to us humans.

(Apologies if I offended any nascent AIs)
     — NeoWayland
Comments

“Good men must not obey the laws too well.”

Good men must not obey the laws too well.
     — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Comments

NeoNote — Rights, privileges, and powers

When the press shows that it can't be trusted with even some truths, why should the press be trusted?

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Comments

NeoNote — Religion & government

WH, you are way off base with your opinion about Islam having no Constitution protections. Religion is between you and the Divine and no one else.

That being said, *ahem*





It may be a religion, but if it relies on force, any and all opposition is justified. And if someone chooses to walk away, that's their right.

If your religion depends on force, you're doing it wrong.



That's not your place to decide. And Story was wrong.

If you start excluding religions from protection, sooner or later someone else is going to exclude yours. No other nation has America's pluralism. It's what threatens all monotheistic Islam. Religious choice is exactly that, choice,

On the other hand, we must insist on an even playing ground. Islam gets no special treatment and no special protections.

I'd be perfectly happy seeing a law that required anyone, regardless of faith, who participated in an honor killing or female genital mutilation to be executed, wrapped in pigskin, boiled with pig dung, and buried under a pig farm. Of course, the pigs might object…



Religion is a hot button topic for me, if for no other reason than I have had Christians use theirs against me, and tell me in no uncertain terms that any religion except Christianity should not be allowed. I'm related to some of those people.

Story himself specifically excluded Judaism. Which is interesting considering (among other things) the history of the Newport, Rhode Island Hebrew Congregation.

Here's what both you and Story are completely overlooking. The English Civil War was relatively recent. No proto-American wanted another church telling their church what to do. But that is minor. No, the big thing is that for the very first time (that we know of) in the history of Western Civilization, the defining document did not say that government power derived from the Divine. Except for the date, there is no mention of any god in the Constitution.

The SCT made a mistake with the Mormon ruling. It wouldn't be the first or last time that the Court goofed. Kelo v. New London comes to mind, as does Pace v. Alabama. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Federal government authority over marriage, and certainly nothing that gives it authority over religion. Under the Tenth (and yes, I know politicos love to ignore the Tenth), that means the no power, period.

Most importantly, there were many things that did not exist in 1791. Radio, automobiles, telegraph, and baseball come to mind. There were many things that were unknown in 1791. No American had seen the Mariana Trench, the Grand Canyon, Mount McKinley, or a coyote.



Story was commenting well after the fact, he was not a signatory to either the DOI or Constitution. The fact that he excluded Judaism reflects on him and not the Founders. Jews may have been a minority faith, but they were a well established faith.

Using law to force the rules of your religion was wrong then and it is wrong now. I'm sure you'd object if Muslim prayer calls were enforced in American law, or if Kosher dietary restrictions were part of the legal system. Almost all of the mala prohibita laws have a religious basis. It's no secret that I believe most of the problems in American society are because of too much government and mala prohibita laws. If your religion says no shopping on Sunday or no selling liquor, that's up to you. Using the law to restrict other's choices based on your religion, well, that doesn't say much for your faith.

Start respecting the "commonalities of Christianity" and you're going to fast approach respecting the commonalities of faith. The Ethic of Reciprocity or "Golden Rule" is the keystone of Western Civilization. It is arguably the single most important and universal basis for human advancement and is the basis for all true liberty. But it did not begin with Judaism or Christianity.

Once you eliminate specific mentions of any god, pluralism between sects pretty much leads to pluralism between religions. It may have been an accident. I suspect some of those Deists took a hand, or pen as it were.

I can't stress that enough. That simple idea takes religion and religious choice out of the public sphere and puts it back into individual behavior where it belongs. The teachings of a faith should matter only to the individual, not to the state. I don't want a Congresscritter demanding that I observe the Christian sabbath, any more than you want another Congresscritter demanding that you participate in ritual sex with same sex partners under the next full moon. And no, I don't do that.

Because that sets up the next bit. Radical Islam demands that the state require and prohibit according to the interpretation of the imams. The state becomes an extension of Islam. There is no provision for other faiths except in very subservient ways. The state becomes religion.

The ideas of liberty expressed in the Constitution reflect the universal ideals well beyond "Judeo-Christianity." Parts of it originated with the ancient Greeks and the Roman Republic as you've pointed out. It's a good idea because it works and not because of it's origins.

When the Founders wanted to limit freedom, be it slavery, restricting the vote to male landowners, or originally not enumerating human rights, it was wrong and it failed miserably. There was no way the Founders could foresee what would follow. We celebrate the universality, the protection of liberty from government and those who would abuse government power.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.



It's not your place to decide if you require others to sacrifice their freedom for yours. And as a citizen of this country, that's something I will defend fight against.

Constitutional America was not founded as a Christian nation. Nations are not Christian, individuals are. Yes, even the nations with established churches. Just as one very obvious example, nations can't participate in the Christian rite of communion. If a "Christian nation" goes to war, does that mean that Jeshua ben Joseph signed the marching orders?

Story may have been closer chronologically, but that doesn't mean he was right. I've already told you the biggest piece of evidence. The Constitution clearly states that political power comes from the people and not the Divine. This was unheard of, as far as we know it had never happened before.

Protecting rights means protecting people from the whims of the majority. You don't stop having freedom of speech because your city voted for "free speech" zones.

As I explained to WH above, radical Islam means that the state becomes an extension of Islam. Pluralism is pretty much the only thing that can resist that and not become tyranny.

Radical Islam is depending on special privileges and protections not granted to others. They can't do it on a level playing field.

Since the practices I mentioned are exclusive to the more radical versions of Islam, then the rest of us don't have to fear that punishment, do we?



Story was still wrong on this. Veritas. No one person, no one group has all the answers. I distrust anyone who says that they do. I refer back to the source document. The Constitution remains one of the clearest pieces of English ever put to paper. There are reasons why the Founders, some of the best educated people of their time, deliberately chose not to include the Christian Deity in the Constitution. It's not because of their faith. It's not because they were not pious. It's because they didn't trust men when they claimed to speak for the Divine.

Religion can not be allowed the coercive power of the state and the state can not be allowed the moral justification of faith. That's one of mine.

I'm not advocating paganism and especially not my version. I am saying that your religion does not govern my behavior. Just as mine does not govern yours.

Our nation was founded on principles that transcended Christianity. Some of them predate Christianity. The Founders were wise enough to know that they didn't know everything. The Enlightenment thinkers did not spontaneously create their philosophy, they drew heavily on history. There's no need to label these ideas as Christian or Hottentotten, it's enough that some very wise men found ways to pass along truths that worked. Civilization rises from wisdom after disaster. You're arguing over the labels so "your side" can take credit. Yes, Christian people (as opposed to Christianity) have done some wonderful things. And Christians have done some terrible things with huge costs to humanity. The vice or virtue is not in the label, it's in the individual. Labels borrow merit, although they do get blamed.

I didn't say the EoR was universal, I said it was the keystone of Western Civilization. Our best law and principles rest on the simple idea that we're fair to others because we expect them to be fair to us.

I've said it before, Christianity is not the source of all that is good and righteous in our society. Christians are better and nicer when they aren't the only game around. “One path among many” means Christians usually pay attention to what others say. It means Christians have to defend what they say and do without hiding behind scripture or a "higher truth."

Our law should not be defined in terms of A religion. Certainly not if everyone doesn't share that religion.

We should celebrate the ideas, not the labels.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Crazy tax scheme

An argument against gun control has much wider application than I realized

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NeoNote — So change the law

I realize that this is going against the narrative, but the immigration mess predated Trump. The difference is that Trump has decided to mostly enforce the law while Obama decided to sometimes not. The Obama administration is on record telling Congress that it was a lousy law.

Democrats are remarkable at ignoring bad law if a Democrat is President.

If you don't like the law, change it. Don't go selectively protesting because a government functionary does their job. That's virtue signaling.

Where were the protests before Tump was elected?



It's bad law. It was abused before Trump decided to run and the only reason it's getting all the attention now is because a Republican is in office. This is literally being sold as evil Trump while almost no progressives are talking about changing or revoking the law. It's propaganda telling people that if a nice Democrat is in office, they won't have to worry about that bad old law because the Democrat President will have the moral courage to ignore it.

“Family separation was a frontline issue for immigration activists for the last decade or more. They warned of a generation of orphans scarred by the loss of their parents. They cautioned that Obama expanded deportation forces on his own to a degree that would be horribly exploited by a Republican president. (At the time, they were worried about Mitt Romney.)

The Obama administration conceded as much on the issue of separation in 2011, when Cecilia Muñoz, White House director of intergovernmental affairs, told PBS, “Even if the [immigration] law is executed with perfection, there will be parents separated from their children.”

Many liberals contend Obama never ripped babies from the arms of screaming parents. They should ask, for example, the over 150,000 immigrant children separated from their parents due to detention and deportation proceedings in 2012 if that’s true. Or the over 500,000 immigrant children, who experienced separation between 1998 and that year.”
Separation Of Immigrant Families Was Part Of Deportation Under Obama—Now Trump Is Expanding The Practice



Again, it's bad law. Trump can only do what he has done because of laws on the books for years.

It's not just one law. We keep trying to fix the problem with more law which creates more problems which need more law.



Except it is the law.

Would you have government ignore the law if the politicos didn't think it was moral? Remember we have an AG who was spouting Bible quotes to justify his immorality.

If the law is wrong, it should be changed. Preferably removed. Anything else puts us at the whim of the politicos and bureaucrats. If we are to have freedom and protection by law, then the rule of law must be uniform. No enforcing it when this man is in office and ignoring it when that woman is in office.

I know you don't like what is happening and you blame Trump. But it it is the law. Selective enforcement just means the threat of tyranny is always there.

Change the law.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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I don't have an easy answer.

I don't have an easy answer. I do think a nation is obligated to protect it's borders and I do think it should be able to expel immigrants or visitors who break the law. I do think that part of the problem are government benefits, I think that anyone who comes here should be able to pay their own way. Beyond that… *shrugs*
     — NeoWayland
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Government should be a referee

Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.
     — Milton Friedman

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Gradual

There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
     — James Madison

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Discriminate

The Right to Discriminate

The left has created a macabre myth that runs counter to the whole experience of mankind. The left has persuaded the gullible masses of America, including, sadly, most conservatives, that "discrimination" by individuals and businesses is wrong and that it violates the Constitution.

Precisely the opposite is true. All serious cognition and all honest moral judgments involve discrimination. When individuals and businesses are not free to discriminate, then the power to determine what is true and false and good and bad becomes the sole property of the state – or that even more odious creature, that lobotomized Frankenstein monster, "society."

Instead of diverse opinions and actions freely manifest, which are what happens when the state and society are denied the power to force a certain viewpoint down the throats of private citizens and enterprises, what happens is that all debate, all differences, and all individuality are crushed based upon what those who run the state or manipulate society deem sacrosanct.
     — Bruce Walker
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“Stossel: Jordan Peterson vs. “Social Justice Warriors””

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NeoNote — Compulsion by law

Under what circumstances does the state or the people have the moral authority to compel someone to act against their beliefs?

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NeoNote — Legacy of privilege

At the same time, the privilege of being a protected class is regularly exploited to excuse behavior and escape responsibility.

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Exposing a crime

“When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are ruled by criminals.”

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NeoNote — Control

So some religions should get protection and others should not? Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that if we start making those distinctions we've just sacrificed religious freedom.


There are times I want to discriminate.

There are people I do not want to have anything to do with. Yes, sometimes those people are Christian fundamentalists. But sometimes those people call for imprisoning climate deniers. Sometimes those people call for the redistribution of wealth. Sometimes those people call for the suppression of ideas they are "triggered" by. Sometimes those people want others removed from history because of things the others have been accused of.

So tell me, why should any of those people get their way?

We draw the line for a reason. No, it's not perfect and not everyone will be happy. But it comes down to parity. If I don't think someone has legitimate power to tell me how to think, what to say, or how to act, then I have no legitimate power to tell them how to think, what to say, or how to act. Which means that public accommodation and anti-discrimination laws are so much bunk.

Otherwise we're just raising one victimhood over another. Last week it was women, this week it is transgenders we're "protecting." Can't have equal rights because Black Lives Matter. If your faith offends, you aren't allowed. At that point, at this point, the only "solution" is to control the law so that you can control what is "allowed." Never mind that just sets up a future where you will lose control. You must be free, but the Other is not allowed.


Everyone should have freedom to discriminate.

The moment that the law declares this group of people off limits is the moment when you invite the law to be abused.

Look at the bill that sparked the original article. It's a "fix" of another law, which was a fix of a previous law, and so on.

The solution to government is always more government. And the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

If Christians are wrong to enshrine their beliefs in the law, then anyone else is wrong trying to constrain them with the law.

The only practical solution is making sure the law gives no advantage. "Protecting" one group over others is just going to perpetuate the injustice.



As far as the rest, I don't blame labels. There's no vice or virtue in the label. "Christian" includes Roy Moore and MLK. It's not every Christian and we should stop declaring that Christianity is a threat to our chosen way of life. Like it or not, American religious pluralism made American paganism possible.

As far as scapegoats go, well, you (among others) are blaming Christians because they are Christians and not because of what the individual has done.

My point all along this thread is that the law should not benefit or harm any religion. There are some very vocal Christians who want the law to shield Christianity. There are some very vocal people who want the law to contain Christianity. Both groups are wrong.



Actually yes.

Starting with a big one. I'll repeat it for you.

If Christians are wrong to enshrine their beliefs in the law, then anyone else is wrong trying to constrain them with the law.

Freedom of religion is exactly that. Neither help nor hinder. You can't fix bad law by making more law. You can only repeal it. Politics is about control. Freedom is about choice.


Ah, but that isn't what people like Bill Nye, Lawrence Torcello, Mark Hertsgaard, and Brad Johnson said. They all said that the mere act of climate change denial should be a crime.

Behold the new heresy. You are not allowed to dissent.

And yes, that is every bit as authoritarian as anything any Christian fanatic demanded.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — effectiveness of public schools

We're so conditioned to accept public schools as a Good Thing™ that we resist looking at options.

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“Protect the institutions'”

More DOJ norms being eroded. Trump-a SUBJECT of the investigation-wants access to material related to the inquiry. His Congressional supporters want evidence connected to an ongoing investigation. Time for DOJ/FBI to simply say no-protect the institutions and time tested norms."
     — Eric Holder tweet reported at Holder urges DOJ/FBI to unconstitutionally defy President: 'Protect the institutions'

Federal agencies and Federal agents serve at the pleasure of the President and Congress. That is directly from the Constitution. No institution may trump the Constitution. Democrats wouldn't stand for it if it were happening to a Democrat president or a Democrat Congress. There's more than a little hypocrisy here.

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NeoNote — Religion in public schools

One reason why the public school movement gained so much ground in America was in direct response to Catholic schools. Control over what should be taught in public schools is a distraction.

Hardly anyone asks if there should be public schools in the first place.

Mandatory school attendance is backed by the force of law. Much of it has degenerated into who gets to control the conditioning. Which raises some interesting questions. The Daily Caller reports that the Mountain Ridge Middle School in West Virginia requires students to write out the Shahada to practice calligraphy. There are no requirements to write out Christian or Jewish affirmations, and apparently those are not part of the curriculum. Obviously Buddhist and pagan beliefs aren't included either.

Why is this a big deal and a much bigger deal than is being reported? According to Islam, reciting the Shahada makes one Muslim forevermore.

I want to stress that the issue is not Christianity, Islam, or any other faith. The issue is public schools requiring faith lessons. If public schools force religion on the students, then most likely they are teaching other questionable propaganda as well. We notice the religion because as members of minority faiths that is one thing our antenna are tuned for, we overlook the other.

All of this returns to the question why have public and compulsory schools to begin with?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — What has Trump done that is so bad?

I'm not a Trump fan. I don't trust him and I don't like him.

That being said, when some of us said we didn't like Obama, we were told to sit down and shut up. Obama won, and it was his ball game.

That alone should raise people's hackles.

Right after Trump was elected, there was the woman's march thing. I asked a very progressive group just what was it that Trump had said or done that presented such a threat to women in particular. The only real answer I got was something about woman's reproductive rights. That's when I pointed out that Trump supported Planned Parenthood.

One year later, the same group was talking about supporting the next woman's march. I asked what Trump had done in the previous year that was a particular threat to women. I got something vague about the judges he appointed. I asked how that was different than a liberal President appointing liberal judges.

The complaints about Trump not being legitimately elected are mostly recycled from Bush the Younger. The complaints about Trump being a danger to world peace and being totally incompetent are being recycled from Goldwater and Reagan. I know, I went back and checked. Progressive will complain about Trump tweeting from the toilet, but they can't tell you what he has done that they find repulsive. Except judicial appointments, of course.

We've reached the point where we're told that Trump is E-V-I-L, but they can't say why. And meanwhile with overwhelming bad news coverage, he still has an approval rating of more than 50%.

I don't like him. I don't trust him. I think he is going to make some very bad decisions that will be very bad for the country. But meanwhile, he's screwing up the established government traditions and driving the technocrats crazy. He's disrupting things that need to be disrupted. He's changing government. I have to give the man credit for that.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Permission


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Kafkatrap

Kafkatraps are THE keystone of victimhood politics and most identity politics. Without someone recognizing or assuming blame, kafkatraps cease to work.

Kafkatrapping centers on guilt. Don't accept it. Don't reject it. Act as if the accusation is so silly and undeserved it's not even worth discussing. They will repeat, and you still shouldn't pay any attention to the claims. Go on as if the accuser had said nothing of importance. Indeed, go on as if you are trying to keep them from embarrassing themselves further. You're doing them a favor if only they were rational/sober enough to know it.

Kafkatrapping came by way of certain Christian denominations and mala prohibita laws. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."
     — NeoWayland, kafkatrap
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NeoNote — California secession and the U.S. Constitution

“Delusions of Justice”

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25 years after Waco

Bitter lessons 25 years after Waco, Texas, siege

Fifty-one days before the FBI final assault, scores of federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents launched an attack on the Davidians’ home spurred by allegations that they had converted semi-automatic rifles to full-automatic capacity. The ATF’s lead investigator had previously rejected an offer to peacefully search the Davidians’ home for firearms violations. Four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed in the fracas on February 28, 1993. At least one ATF agent told superiors that the ATF fired first, spurring an immediate end to the official shooting review. But the media trumpeted the ATF storyline that its agents had been ambushed, entitling the feds to be far more aggressive in the following weeks.

What lessons can today’s Americans draw from the FBI showdown on the Texas plains a quarter century ago?
     — James Bovard
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“The Militarization of Police: When Tyranny Comes Home”

“Since the end of the Cold War, SWAT teams have proliferated across the United States and the number of no-knock raids on private citizens has risen dramatically. Abby Hall and Chris Coyne explain that this is the result of the boomerang effect– the process by which, in the absence of strong formal constraints, tactics used in foreign interventions abroad are later used to limit the liberties of people back home.”

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NeoNote — Economics and Trump

One flawed legacy of Keynesian economics is that government can control individual action by government. Taxes and budgeting are not the same thing and shouldn't be treated as such. Taxes on the revenue side of the ledger are calculated in terms of their cost (expense side of the ledger) to government. This is probably the most fucked up part of modern government accounting. It's not about how much money government has, it's about how much money government takes from people. Money is power and choice, the more government takes the less people have. Government can't create value, it can only divert it.

There hasn't been a real government budget in years. What there has been is a series of continuing resolutions, essentially a short term agreement to spend at least the same amount as before unless specifically changed by Congress. There hasn't been a balanced budget in even longer. There's no cost to Congresscritters for not passing a balanced budget. If it were up to me, I'd say that Congress and it's staff only gets paid in years that a budget is passed and the budget is balanced. In years that the budget isn’t balanced, a Congresscritter should pay it’s salary to the government with interest.

In the case of the tax cut, the original CBO scoring said that the cost to government would not be offset by the revenue it generated. The new CBO report says that the cost to government was offset. Since people like having more money, Trump's popularity went up. People don’t care about the deficit. People do care about money in their pocket.

I’m not “you guys.” I’m not cheering for massive deficits (which happen with Democrat presidents too). I specifically said that he gave the economy a (mythical) boot into growth and that the tax cuts have paid for themselves and boosted his popularity. This is not the action of a drooling idiot. It’s not smart enough and it’s only short term, but it makes Trump look good and gives people more power today.

What I am doing is pointing out that Trump plays the populist better than any recent president, possibly any President since Jackson. The reason he can do this is because government has become more and more oppressive, no matter what party is “in control.”
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Obamacare

Okay, let's talk about the ACA, a law so "good" that nobody was allowed to read it before Congress passed it. A law so well written that it had to be illegally modified by executive order again and again just to work. A law that was supposed to pay for itself, but was so dependent on government subsidies that states had to withdraw just so their citizens could have health insurance. A law deliberately designed to reduce the number of health insurance companies and choices available to consumers. That last bit and raising prices is the only thing that the ACA has accomplished.

The only reason government is involved in healthcare to begin with is because government enforced salary caps and companies had to offer something more to recruit and keep employees. Every part of healthcare that government has been involved with, costs have outpaced inflation, availability never meets demand, and innovation has been stifled.

If this is Obama's legacy, it has resulted in less medical care at a higher price and almost impossible to use. But it looks good.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Income taxes

Income taxes are the fine one pays for the crime of being useful and productive.
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This just in

The same government that has repeatedly violated privacy laws and illegally collects data from all it's citizens, is lecturing the CEO of a company about violating privacy laws and collecting data from all their users.
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“Stossel: The Great American Tax Ripoff”

“Tax Day gets a lot of attention, but John Stossel says that attention is misleading, because the April 17th deadline is only for income tax. That's just a fraction of the taxes Americans pay.”

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — Government is not your friend

I never expected Trump to do anything except disrupt.

Pardon, but you're making the same mistake they did. You think that if the right person was in charge, everything would be okay.

Government is not your friend.



We will have a government regardless - until we replace it. The replacement may or may not work as well, it may or may not get better, but the ability to replace is inherent in the promise of America.

We've not had a "better" government in decades. Good government is not measured by how much government controls, but by how much it doesn't. It's no accident that America's greatest advances come from places that government doesn't regulate.

Sometimes (and more times than we'd like to admit), the best way to fix something is to replace it. Sometimes the only way to replace something is to destroy it. It works that way with food, clothing, houses. It works that way with cars, companies, and marriages. And yes, sometimes it works that way with government.



There is some opinion that NASA exists to keep other (and particularly American private interests) out of space. There a fair-to-middling novel Kings of the High Frontier, that explores that. I'm rereading it right now.

We understood the principles behind the internet years before. AT&T had adopted some of them years before to keep long-distance phone calls from being interrupted. Even after the internet became public, the real driver for bandwidth and video compression was porn. Netflix owes it's existence to horny men looking for naked pictures.

Building roads has always been easy. Maintaining roads is the hard part. There government has failed so much that "infrastructure" is a code word for raising taxes.

My faith is in the free market, not consumer capitalism.

Trump is changing things (and disrupting things), but he's only a small part of what is happening.



First of all, they were poor before Trump was even a candidate. And they weren't helped by Obama's war on the coal industry. If you read the article, state and local authorities had a hand in there too.

I haven't looked at this in depth, but I know there wasn't much of an economic base to begin with. Despite what is claimed, that's not something that any government can create. At a minimum, it requires good ideas and private investment.

Oh, and the jobs vanishing overseas? That's something the Democrats and Republicans share the blame for.



Like Venezuela?

I could give you pages of proof, but long story short, central control distorts the economy. The more pressure focused in one area, the bigger the disruption. On a small enough scale, you may escape second and third order functions. But if you are using a healthy economy to support massive intervention, you are pretty much guaranteeing those second and third order disruptions.

Think of it like tapping a water main without turning down the pressure. It will give way, it will require replacement, and while it is being fixed most of the system will have to be shut down. The only question is when.



I'm not a conservative.

I picked Venezuela because in just a few short years socialism destroyed a robust, expanding, petroleum based economy.

Your other examples aren't exactly socialist either. They are more progressive than the US, but they have not nationalized their means of production. Unlike say, Venezuela.



Have you taken a closer look at the Obama Administration? Cronyism, emotional appeal, basically everything that Trump does except it was (mostly) within the system.

Government is not your friend.



I repeat, have you taken a look at the Obama administration? A good, long, hard, unbiased look? Have you seen how many of his contributors benefited?

Nor is the Obama administration alone.

This is what annoys me. You're all set to blame Trump and the GOP for crimes against humanity all while excusing the crimes and excesses of the Democrats. And you are still calling for more government control.

Now if you really want, we can match abuse of power against abuse of power. I can tell you horror stories about Congresscritters and technocrats. I can show how almost everything you've been told about economics is designed to confuse you and keep you quiet. I can prove that almost everything government tells you is a lie just to convince you that government is necessary and that one flavor of politics is better than the other.



How about I tell you truths instead?

Government is not your friend.

Politics is about control, not truth, not compassion, not liberty, and not funding.

There's no Man on a White Horse riding to the rescue. You shouldn't trust anyone who looks like that because they are cosplaying.

The Republicans and the Democrats are about equally as guilty for the mess we're in. Each will blame the other, then you for not caring enough. Each will want more money and more power.

There's no objective difference between the party on the right and the party on the left. The only difference is who gets screwed now and who gets screwed tomorrow.

Blame Trump. Blame Obama. Blame Smith. It doesn't matter because government is the problem.

Government is not your friend.



Obama didn't reduce the debt. He reduced the deficit. That means the government didn't overspend as much as it had in previous years. Oh, and by the way, they printed more currency to "cover" some of the difference which raised the inflation rate and the interest on the national debt.

Trump didn't nuke North Korea. He responded to provocation, as Presidents at least as far back as Kennedy have done. And by the way, the Norks are willing to negotiate now.

I don't remember seeing anything about Trump going after gay marriage.

Before you defend the ACA, take a look at the costs of healthcare starting when Medicare became law. It's no accident that the costs have exceeded inflation every year since. Thanks to the ACA, dozens of states are scrambling to try to cover healthcare costs. Some are opting out of the program. Legally they aren't supposed to, but there is no way they can cover costs.

I'm not familiar with Golden Valley.

Only Congress can decriminalize marijuana. Since they are exploiting an opioid crisis created by government action, I don't expect them to act soon. Basically when Obama's DoJ stopped enforcing marijuana law, they were breaking the law.

The cities and counties who have the strictest gun laws are the same cities and counties who have the highest rate of gun crimes. Pay specific attention to Chicago and Baltimore. Most of those areas have had Democrat administrations for decades.

"Vote Democrat." Why? So we can fall off the left side instead of the right side?

Government should be smaller than absolutely necessary.



You mean the multinational corporations who pay both sides but mainly the left ones to pass laws and regulations that benefit them and shut out competition?

You mean the alt-right is a bigger threat than unaccountable race hustlers and movements like BLM who focus on events that fit the narrative and exclude things like "black" on "black" crime in the major cites?

You mean like the attacks on Christianity that happen just because someone professes their faith?

And let's not forget all those people who are only too willing to tell "white" people what they can and cannot say, what they can and cannot think, what they can and cannot do, because of "white privilege."

Government is playing all sides (not both sides, all sides) against each other, and the politicos just keep getting taxes and more power.

Like I told you before, if you want to keep the people you distrust from having power over you backed by government force, the only sure way is to drastically reduce government power. That way you can't mess with them and they can't mess with you.



But it is possible.

Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense: “Society is produced by our wants and, government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices.”

Milton Friedman wrote: “Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.”

James Madison said: "There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

People are perfectly capable of making their own decisions. Those choices won’t always be ones you agree with. Sometimes those choices will be bad ones with terrible consequences. Still, freedom is based on choice. Without choice, there is no freedom. Without freedom, we aren’t human.

You are perfectly capable of making your own decisions. That is your right, that is what makes you human, and f*ck all to anyone who tells you different.

KYFHO now and forever. The only protection you should get is the certainty that NO ONE ELSE can use government to control you.

But, if you expect that right for yourself, you’d better damn well defend if for others. Even if you don’t like them. Even if you don’t trust them. Especially if you don’t trust them. Otherwise you will lose your choice.

Otherwise you will lose your freedom.

It’s simple. If you want to live free, you can’t meddle in other’s lives.

The second you start meddling is the second you sacrifice your own rights.

“The greater good” is just as big a tyranny as “for you own good.”

You only think it’s fantasy because that is what you’ve been taught by those benefitting from the current power structure.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

Monday supersized roundup

CDC Admits Rx Opioid Deaths ‘Significantly Inflated’

Imagine that, government lying to create a crisis

House passes controversial legislation giving the US more access to overseas data

Secretly going after your privacy

Ex-Nobel Secretary Admits Obama’s Prize Was A Mistake

It was all for show

Think you know Mary Magdalene? Think again

This could be an amazing film. I hope it finds and American distributer

What Are Zombie Retail Stores Really Worth: Answers Emerge

When the commercial real estate bubble bursts, it's going to hurt

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Promised a Criminal Justice Revolution. He’s Exceeding Expectations.

Great news and demonstrating how to do it right

Rivals and consumers will rein in Facebook, not regulation

Don't fall for government's promise. Contrast with It’s Time to Break Up Facebook

Friended: How the Obama Campaign Connected with Young Voters

It was acceptable for Obama, not for Trump

YouTube Suspends Major Gun Manufacturer, Bans Instructional Gun Videos

It is a private platform after all. But what do you think will be off limits tommorrow?

Scott Walker Is Making It Harder to Receive Welfare in Wisconsin. Will This Become a Nationwide Blueprint?

I do not believe government should do welfare.

Jann Wenner says MeToo suffers from absence of due process

He's right

HOGG WILD! David Hogg Rallies Democrats in DC: “If You Listen Real Close You Can Hear the People in Power Shaking” (VIDEO)

This is manufactured.

Reforming Dodd-Frank, for Real

“Rather than adopting a recent Senate bill, Congress should reconsider last year’s House measure, which is much more supportive of free-market discipline.”

Lawsuits Pile Up As #DeleteFacebook Movement Spreads

Facebook is a data-mining company

Rural hospital shutdowns force communities to take care of their own

A real healthcare crisis

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal: An Elitist Delusion

They want to control you, and not just the Republicans

Hillary fundraiser causes a stink with the DNC

Hillary Clinton wants the 2020 nomination

Will the Democrats Blow It in 2020?

“The question is whether the Democrats will lead their party on a giddy march to the left.”

Earth Hour or Human Achievement Hour: Which is the enlightened choice?

I have it on good authority that most of the people reading this are human.

Comments

Thursday supersized roundup

Survey Says: Politicized Sports, Entertainment Driving Viewers Away

But some progressives have been saying it doesn't make a make a significant difference

Digitalships and Double-Standards



Document drop: Another fatal FBI fumble in Florida

What happens when diversity is more important than public safety

The Schooling of David Hogg

Public spectacle doesn't mean you'll get respect. See also Dear David Hogg, You’re a Lying, Opportunistic, Insufferable Little Toe Rag


California judge holds climate change ‘tutorial’ ahead of landmark case against oil companies

This alone should be enough to show the judge's bias

NOAA Data Tampering Approaching 2.5 Degrees

Completely rewriting climate history

EU reveals a digital tax plan that could penalize Google, Amazon and Facebook

The important thing is NOT that the EU is going after these companies. The important thing is that "traditional businesses" pay 23.2% in taxes.

Why Trump Is Right to Reject the Paris Climate Agreement

It was never about reducing CO2. It was about the United States paying through the nose.

The Problem With Social Justice Today -- Dividing Rather than Unifying

Labels, pronouns, and power over speech.

Trump is right: The special counsel should never have been appointed

I still think the Obama and Clinton Russian connections should be investigated.

Congress Is Still Ignoring Its Spending Problem as Deadline Looms for $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill

“Four out of five voters agree that Washington has a spending problem, but a new omnibus spending bill will add yet more to the national debt.”

Freedom-Loving Parents, Rejoice: Utah Approves Free-Range Kids Bill

Let kids be kids

The sad hysteria of the Southern Poverty Law Center

Targeting conservative people and groups

Elizabeth Warren’s Unaccountable Federal Agency Backfires on Her: New at Reason

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional. All government agencies should answer to Congress.

More California Cities Seek to Defy ‘Sanctuary State’ as Revolt Spreads

This could make the succession movement very interesting

France: Toward Total Submission to Islam, Destruction of Free Speech

All other things being equal, the side that can't stand dissent is usually wrong.

Syrup Smugglers Take on the Maple Mafia

The free market is economic activity between consenting adults. Funny how governments don't like that, "for your own good" of course.

CalPERS retirees are suddenly worried about their pensions. What happened?

Government took too much power and mismanaged the assets

Fired FBI official authorized criminal probe of Sessions, sources say

I'm not even sure this is legal against a sitting Attorney General

FOSTA Passes Senate, Making Prostitution Ads a Federal Crime Against Objections from DOJ and Trafficking Victims

Another headline grab for politicos

Comments

I promise you this

I promise you this, the second after America starts exiling, imprisoning, or permanently disenfranchising people for political opinions, conservatives will be kicked out the same as progressives. That "solution" depends on who controls the politics. What makes you think it will be people you trust who trust you?
     — NeoWayland
Comments

Government action displaces private action

Government action displaces private action. If government does something, it's not because they do it more efficiently or more humanely or whatever the justification is. It's because government uses the law and the implied use of force to keep anyone else from doing it.

We know that choice and the free market work because even a partial free market over time delivers things faster, cheaper, and with a wider distribution. The same can't be said for government
     — NeoWayland
Comments

Bonus Sunday supersized roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

NeoNote — Somebody had to pull the trigger

I am not going to go into gun rights here.

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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
Comments

NeoNote — non-citizens voting

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the internet. As nearly as I can tell from a fast scan, Federal case law says that states are responsible for setting voter qualifications within certain limits. Apparently you can't restrict someone from voting for something like not paying poll taxes, or by requiring them to pass a literacy test.

I'm pretty sure it can't be done by a city, but it looks like it may be possible for a state to create voters.

Gods, that's a huge loophole. It may well be legal to be a voter without being a citizen.



There's a small problem. I've looked over the Constitution, paying special attention to the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendment.

It looks to me that Congress (and therefore the Federal government) has no power to deny people the power to vote, citizen or not. Congress only has limited powers to prevent the States from denying people the vote.

Which means that most Federal election law is illegal. And the loophole remains. If a state permits non-citizens to vote even it's a Federal election, there's nothing the Congress or the Federal government can do.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

Friday roundup


‘Barbarism’: Texas judge ordered electric shocks to silence man on trial. Conviction thrown out.

Freedom of speech also means freedom not to speak

CIA Still Arguing Its Official Leaks To Journalists Shouldn't Be Subject To FOIA Requests

Codswallop. It's just because they don't want citizens taking a close look at their propaganda

Sanctuary Showdown: The Feds Sue California

Article I Section 8 gives Congress control of immigration. This is not a "states rights" thing, the Tenth Amendment does not apply

Geek Squad's Relationship with FBI Is Cozier Than We Thought

I wonder if Best Buy's customers knew that the FBI was peeking into their computers

Gun crackdowns have already led to too many federal abuses

Government WILL abuse power. The only long term answer is reducing the power that government has.

The Deleterious Effects of Our Tabloid Discourse

It's screwing with our thinking, says the guy typing blurbs for headlines

South Africa Is Prioritizing White Land Confiscation Over Critical Water Supply Needs

So who will be blamed for the drought?

The Ever-Changing ‘Russia Narrative’ Is False Public Manipulation

Taxpayer funded no less

Which Democrat is obstructing confirmation on Trump’s openly-gay nominee for Ambassador to Germany?

So now it's not enough that he is gay and very qualified? So much for looking out for minorities

CNN, MSNBC Journalists Give Trump Glowing Praise for North Korea Move as Obama Flacks Lose It

These were the same journalists who a few months ago were saying that Trump was a clown who was endangering the world.

The Robot Replacement for Fast Food Workers Has Finally Arrived

If it costs less than a salary would and is more reliable, this is the wave of the future

Medicare’s New Day

“The program’s privately managed plans provide quality care while controlling costs—and winning political support.”

These communities sued Big Oil over climate change; then the backlash began

One lawsuit begats others. Irony abounds.

Comments

Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Legal and orderly

In approaching immigration reform, I believe we must enact tough, practical reforms that ensure and promote the legal and orderly entry of immigrants into our country.
     — Senator Barack Obama, Senate floor, 2007
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Better secure

We all agree on the need to better secure the border, and to punish employers who choose to hire illegal immigrants.
     — Senator Barack Obama, 2005
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Rightly disturbed

All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.
     — President Bill Clinton, State of the Union address, 1995
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Five gun control facts

“5 Facts That Gun Control Advocates Hate”

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Comments

Friday roundup

13 Ways Public Schools Incubate Mental Instability In Kids

The simplest solution is allowing more private schools unbound by most government regulation

Shooting Survivor: CNN Gave Me "Scripted Question" After Denying Question About Armed Guards

There is a political agenda, even if the kids are not crisis actors. See also CNN Scrambles: Denies ‘Scripted Question,’ Invites Pro-Gun Student to Appear

Judge Nap: Order From New Judge in Michael Flynn Case Is 'Unheard-Of

It's looking more and more like Michael Flynn was blackmailed by the special prosecutor's office

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Unaccountable. Trump’s Budget Tries to Change That.

No governmental agency should be unaccountable.

Wendy McElroy: Privacy Prevents Violence and Crime

This contradicts the government narrative about privacy. That is the biggest reason you should pay close attention. Government is not your friend, especially when it is pretending to be.

Money Laundering Via Author Impersonation on Amazon?

I didn't expect that

Armed School Resource Officer Stayed Safely Outside School While Mass Killing Was Underway

The professional

Competition In Technology Is More Vibrant Than It Looks

It doesn't fit in the normal market segments

Are We Free to Discuss America’s Real Problems?

“It is only when people are confronted with speech they don’t like that we see whether these abstractions are real to them. ”

Police Announce Program to Illegally Stop People for ‘SAFE Driving’ & Facebook Owns Them

“Safe driving is now a reason for police to pull you over, check the inside of your car, demand your papers, and stomp what is left of the 4th Amendment into the ground.”

“Cash Must Not Be Made the Scapegoat”

“In the War on Cash, a rare defense of physical money by an ECB Board Member.”

Mueller Files Sealed New Charges in Manafort, Gates Case

Why does this look more and more like blackmail?

Idaho is ignoring Obamacare rules. That could set off a catastrophic chain reaction.

Using the process against itself

Should Teachers Be Armed?

Sometimes even LewRockwell.com asks the right questions

Comments

Deportation

We will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace
     — President Bill Clinton, State of the Union address, 1995
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Thursday roundup

Florida Shooting Survivor Says Media Is Exploiting Shooting to Push an Agenda

Brandon Minoff is a voice of reason. No, not the only one. And no, his opinion isn't necessarily the last word. But ask yourself, why aren't we hearing more from students like him? See also Parkland School is turning into America’s Grenfell Tower

Witnessing the Collapse of the Global Elite

It was always about promises they couldn't keep.

Unrestrained Judgment

Obama put a policy in effect by decree, and the judge claims that Trump can't repeal it by decree

School shooting survivor knocks down 'crisis actor' claim

David Hogg says he is not a crisis actor. See also Houston-area school district threatens to suspend students who protest after Florida shooting

The End of (Artificial) Stability

“The central banks'/states' power to maintain a permanent bull market in stocks and bonds is eroding.”

Officials Identify More Rotherham Victims, Number Up to 1,510

This is why nations must insist that the rule of law applies to everyone. No exceptions.

JOURNALISM! CNN harasses Trump supporter at her home over what she shared on Facebook

Thou shalt not dissent

Donald Trump's Listening Session With Mass Shooting Survivors Was Really Powerful

If this is acknowledged at all, within 24 hours someone will find a reason to dismiss it.

Broward Deputies to Carry Rifles on School Grounds: Sheriff

After the fact and it's only temporary

Cleaning Up Air Pollution May Strengthen Global Warming

Unintended consequences. Maybe.

Parkland shooter always in trouble, never expelled. Could school system have done more?

Not just the school system. 39 visits by police.

South Africa's Brand New President Wants To Confiscate Land From White Farmers

That didn't work so well in Zimbabwe. Bottom line, when government confiscates and redistributes, expect disaster

Dr. Gina Loudon: Do You Trust Federal Bureaucrats to Decide if You’re Sane Enough to Keep Your Second Amendment Rights?

The state is not a moral entity

Comments

Employers must use

I continue to believe that we need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace. And that means a workable mandatory system that employers must use to verify the legality of their workers.
     — Senator Barack Obama, Senate floor, 2007
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Second Amendment

The Second Amendment is about a single mom living in a tough neighborhood with a crack house down the street being able to defend herself and defend her kids.
     — Ted Cruz, Hypocrite Celebs Want Gun Control For Everyone, But Their Bodyguards
Comments

Supersized Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Break our laws

If you break our laws by entering this country without permission and give birth to a child, we reward that child with U.S. citizenship and guarantee full access to all public and social services this society provides — and that's a lot of services. Is it any wonder that two-thirds of babies born at taxpayer expense (in) county-run hospitals in Los Angeles are born to illegal alien mothers?
     — Senator Harry Reid, Senate floor, 1993
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Need to start

We need to start by giving agencies charged with border security new technology, new facilities and more people to stop, process and deport illegal immigrants.
     — Senator Barack Obama, 2005
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Monday roundup

Black History Month is a failure

Read Carter G. Woodson

Greg Gutfeld: How To Stop Mass Shootings Without Gutting the 2nd Amendment

Smart thinking here

Hillary Clinton Claims There Have Been ‘Over 230’ School Shootings Since 2012

Overhyped hysteria aimed at gun owners

Florida students turn to activism in wake of shooting

Feelings trump common sense

Top GOP donor threatens to cut off contributions unless party supports assault weapon ban

A reminder that most shootings in America use handguns

Women’s March organizing national school walk-out

More feelings trumping common sense

Google's firing of James Damore was legal, labor board says

Technically correct but morally wrong. Also ‘Advancing Gender Stereotypes’: You Can Be Fired for Telling the Truth, Feds Rule

Arizona House approves ban on harassment secrecy pacts

“The Arizona House on Thursday approved legislation allowing victims of sexual misconduct to talk to police or testify in a criminal case even if they signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of a civil settlement.”

‘Peace Through Strength’ Is a Racket

“The way to achieve peace is not to prepare for war but to reject militarism and empire, and embrace nonintervention.”

“Blockchain” Stocks Completely Disintegrate

Bubbles pop

‘Top Priority’ — Sessions Orders ‘IMMEDIATE REVIEW’ Of FBI, While FL. Gov. Calls For Director Wray’s Resignation

Not sure if it can be cleaned up, it might be time to blow it up and start over

Chronicle of a white supremacist PR crisis and the making of a hoax

Those who seek attention

Marijuana Criminal Cases Dropped En Masse by Philadelphia District Attorney

As Wendy McElroy asks, what about the people already in jail?

Comments

Millions of illegal immigrants

Right now we've got millions of illegal immigrants who live and work here without knowing their identity or background.
     — Senator Barack Obama, 2005
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

NeoNotes — Let people make their own choices

There comes a time when the only way to win is not to play.



Just pointing out again that if you don't like government power, maybe the real answer is taking the power away from government.



At that point I'd have to stand and say no.

You can't exile someone because of what they believe. It's what they want to do to you. That doesn't make it right.

We need to have our ideas challenged by people we don't agree with. If the ideas are good, they will stand on their own merit.



Maybe it's time the libertarians (small l, not the party) were in charge. We could start by abolishing any political party, reducing the total amount of taxes to ten percent and making the politicos pay for anything government spends above that amount.

Then we can talk about who is allowed to have influence.



And organizing everything from the words anyone is allowed to say to the calorie count of a pizza slice, just how well is that working out?

The problem isn't who is calling the shots. Experience has shown that no matter what promises someone makes, as soon as they have power they will be just as tyrannical as the opposition. Look at this discussion. You are literally writing about who is and is not allowed to have influence. And making sure that capital L Libertarians are on display, but not allowed to influence policy. That's better for people how? We are supposed to trust in the benevolence of conservatives?

The answer is massively reducing the size and scope of government. Let people make their own choices.



Can you do that without pointing a gun at people?

Do you have enough courage in your convictions to do it without force?



And I am not convinced that conservatives can be totally trusted. As I rule, I trust conservatives more than I do progressives, but I don't trust you that much.

It's not easy to do it without a gun, but it's possible. The thing is, progressives don't start with guns. They start by establishing Moral Authority. You can do more by taking that away than you can with guns. Hurting them or killing them just makes martyrs to the "cause."

The Left doesn't like it when I do a lot of things. That doesn't stop me much.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
Comments

“Penn & Teller on Gun Control”

Comments

A pet peeve

It's not a right unless the other guy has it too.

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Nation of immigrants

We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.
     — President Bill Clinton, State of the Union address, 1995
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Strong border security

Let me repeat: We need strong border security at the borders.
     — Senator Barack Obama, 2005
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Wednesday roundup


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Easy

If only everyone (in the Middle East) could be like Scandinavians, (achieving peace) would all be easy.
     — President Barack Obama, 2016
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Award to be an illegal immigrant

If making it easy to be an illegal alien isn't enough, how about offering an award to be an illegal immigrant. No sane country would do that, right? Guess again.
     — Sen. Harry Reid, Senate floor, 1993
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Aggressively

Our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.
     — President Clinton, State of the Union address, 1995
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Bonus Saturday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

The Nation goes after the intel community

“Russiagate or Intelgate?”

Read More...
Comments

Obama's foreign policy & YOUR TAX DOLLARS at work

“Obama-era cash traced to Iran-backed terrorists”

Read More...
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Friday roundup

Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress

Clintons, the scandals that keep on giving

Canadian PM: Sharia law is compatible with democracy

In which the Canadian PM proves his idiocy beyond any doubt

Let Us Eradicate Poverty, Not Demolish Wealth

Smart headline, but the rest of the article worth reading

Before You "Buy the Dip," Look at This One Chart

I think this is sound advice

Judicial Watch Tom Fitton Reports 3rd Dossier Provided by Obama to Sen. Cardin

If there was a third dossier, was there a fourth and fifth? What did President Obama know and when did he know it?

Online Gambling -- None Of Washington's Business (But Its Enemies Don't Care)

Beware of politicos who promise things for "your own good"

Institute for Justice Sues New Jersey Over Ban on Home Bakers Selling Their Cakes

Notice how Big Government loves to go after the little guy

One year later: President’s regulations crackdown is working

Less government means more prosperity

Consumers Are Open to Superhuman Vision and Cognitive Enhancements. Are Regulators?

Regulators shouldn't have any say

Congress must stop union scheme siphoning funds from Medicaid

Yep.

Why are we still regulating Main Street like Wall Street?

Good question

Senate Report: Obamacare and Medicaid Expansion Contributed to the Opioid Epidemic

You mean reducing the cost of medicine by fiat made addiction problems worse? Gee, who could have foreseen that?

$20 Billion Hidden in the Swamp: Feds Redact 255,000 Salaries

Somebody is hiding stuff from the voters

Comments

Disrespect the rule of law

Those who enter the country illegally and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law, and they are showing disregard for those who are following the law. We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented (and) unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.
     — Senator Barack Obama, 2005
Source : Take The 'Racist Xenophobe' Quiz: Who Said This About Illegal Immigration?
Comments

Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Friday roundup


Comments

Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

What did President Obama know, and when did he know it?

“House Intel votes to release controversial surveillance memo to the public”

Read More...
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Bargin with the state

Is it moral for the state to compel a product or service?

Read More...
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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

NeoNotes — compel an individual

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Friday roundup

California, Poverty Capital

Not all is golden

Real Federalists Need to Step Up to Fight Jeff Sessions' War on Weed

I still want to know where the Federal government gets the power to outlaw cannabis

She was 91 and dying of dementia. City Hall fined her $39K. Now it says her family must pay.

“In Coachella, Officials Buried A Great-Grandmother In Debt By Mailing Fines To The Wrong House, Then Took Her To Court After She Was Dead.”

Wells Fargo Glitch Leaves Customers With Empty Bank Accounts

I'd say it's time to change banks

Worst-case global warming scenarios not credible: study

Seems like the science isn't settled

Catherine Deneuve, #MeToo, and the Fracturing Within Feminism

This is more important than it looks. The RadFems DO NOT speak for all women. This also confirms a trend I've been watching for five years or so

Fear and Mass Surveillance: Our Constitutionally Toxic Political Cocktail

The politicos want you scared and not asking questions

House Report Concluded Pakistanis Made ‘Unauthorized Access’ To Congressional Servers

So why isn't this make more headlines?

I Propose the 48 Hour Trump / MSM News Rule

Why does this make too much sense?

These Hospitals Are Sick of High Drug Prices. So They're Starting Their Own Nonprofit Drug Company

Competition works

Mexican Cities Are Escaping Corruption and the Cartels through Secession

Now that is an interesting idea.

Massive flu outbreak? Here’s the real story the media won’t touch. The lies, the hoax, the scandal.

“That would mean the flu vaccine has been ineffective for decades.”

Bill Introduced to Stop Civil Forfeiture Funding of DEA Marijuana Eradication Program

“DEA's use of proceeds acquired through civil asset forfeiture to expand marijuana enforcement makes the already unacceptable practice even worse.”

Comments

Wednesday roundup

FBI, DOJ Argue for Dismissal of Suit About Garland, Texas Attack

The FBI not only knew about a 2015 terrorist attack, they provoked it. So why aren't the people responsible under arrest?

Thanks Capitalism, Refrigerators Are Awesome!

Living better than the kings of a century ago

GOP Leaders Tell Fiscal Hawks To Fly Away, No Budget This Year

Reduce spending. Reduce taxes. Decrease regulation. Decrease laws. That's the only way to restore lasting freedom.

NYC Police Union Argues Releasing Body Cam Footage Violates Cops' Civil Rights

Police privilege.

Thoughts on Challenging the Climate Orthodoxy

Nobody should be beyond question

Senate Votes to Shut Down Rand Paul Filibuster Against Surveillance Act Renewal

When government doesn't trust you, why should you trust government?

Trump to PC: “No More!”

Donald Trump's greatest virtue is that he disrupts.

Jeff Flake: You know that ‘Trump is Stalin’ thing I mentioned? Nevermind.

Right out of an old SNL sketch

President Nobama

No one should be surprised that Trump is unraveling Barack Obama's "legacy"

Carillion’s Demise

“To me, this looks like a catch-all company that has bedded itself in with the government and helpfully told politicians and civil servants that they can take care of everything. No problem, just leave it to us, just keep that cash hose turned on full.”

European Angst Over Immigration

Europe may have committed cultural suicide by opening to "immigrants" who don't want to assimilate to the existing cultures

Clinton Corruption Update: It’s All One Scandal

You should ask yourself why Hillary Clinton is not in prison?

Democrats: Trump must capitulate on DACA “to prove you’re not prejudiced or bigoted”

This will make the Democrats look very foolish. Go after Trump with anything less than the truth and it will backfire.

Comments

NeoNotes — Conservatives and big government

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Comments

Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Force

Government is force. Every government program, law, or regulation is a demand that someone do what he doesn't want to do, refrain from doing what he does want to do, or pay for something he doesn't want to pay for. And those demands are backed up by police with guns.
     — Harry Browne, Principles of Government
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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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More expensive and more expansive

Every government program will be more expensive and more expansive than anything you had in mind when you proposed it. It will be applied in all sorts of ways you never dreamed of.
     — Harry Browne, Principles of Government
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Limits

Government must be subject to absolute limits. Because politicians have every incentive to expand government, and with it their power, there must be absolute limits on government.
     — Harry Browne, Principles of Government
Comments

Wednesday roundup

The Government Loves to Make Us All Criminals

When the ordinary becomes illegal

Chicago Police Union Trying To Stop New Use-of-Force Policies

Police power beyond constraint

Electric bike crackdown spurs delivery worker concern

"Electric bikes are illegal to operate on city streets and those at the top of the food chain need to be held accountable."

Regulator tells Vermont hospital to dial back surgeries, revenue

“That's a problem for the Green Mountain Care Board, which has come down on Copley for making too much money and doing too many surgeries. Copley's success is seen as a violation of the Board's master plan for managing health care costs in the state.”

Using the Blockchain to Fight Corruption

A promising approach to fight election fraud

ONE-THIRD Of U.S. Homicide Spike Coming From 5 Chicago Neighborhood

Conservatives would point out that Chicago is a victim of liberal polices.

"Wealth Effect" = Widening Wealth Inequality

Not sure I agree, but worth thinking about

Words We Didn't Hear

Interesting

President Trump Cuts Funding to UN After Israel Vote

Actions have consequences> Or at least they should.

Comments

Cutting taxes only makes the problem worse

Cutting taxes only makes the problem worse unless they cut spending.

Personally I don't think Congress should get paid unless they bring spending in under income. I'm also in favor of liens against their homes and seizing their bank accounts.
     — NeoWayland

Comments

Keeping the public safe

“Why legal guns can’t be banned from (Delaware) state parks”

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Principles of Government

Standard Approved Government Solution

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Wednesday roundup

Can States Reimpose Net Neutrality?

More importantly, should they? Net neutrality is about something that might happen, not something that has happened. And once government starts regulating, existing firms are protected and new competition is discouraged.

Trump and the NFL Agree: Taxpayers Should Keep Subsidizing Stadiums

The stadium scam is one of the biggest boondoggles ever allowed in America

Rebuilding America First

Major priority shifts

Un-Merry Christmas: The Perverse Incentives to Over-Consume and Over-Spend

If you have enough, why do you need the Brand New Model?

How Activists Took Control of a University: The Case Study of Evergreen State

Social justice displaces education

Massachusetts Adopted Common Core – and It’s Beginning to Show

Another case of education taking a back seat to social objectives.

Would More Infrastructure Spending Have Stopped Yesterday's Derailment?

Politicos still aren't answering the big question. Is mass transit cost effective?

Ben Carson Admits War on Drugs Conflicts with War on Poverty

Major opinion change from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Matt Damon faces backlash for latest sexual harassment comments

"We're in this watershed moment, and it's great, but I think one thing that's not being talked about is... the preponderance of men I've worked with who don't do this kind of thing."

Dictionaries as Propaganda Tools

Gods, enough of the social justice activism and toxic politics corrupting everything

Swedish Police Warn Rapes ‘Worst They Have Seen in 35 Years’

It's not the native born Swedes who are raping women

German Jews Told To Hide Jewish Symbols To Avoid Attacks By Muslim Migrants…

The first duty of government is to protect citizens. So where are the police and other authorities?

Hillary Clinton campaign, DNC accused of 'corrupt' money scheme in new FEC complaint

The corruption just keeps on coming

Comments

Tuesday roundup

The Big Con: The Truth Behind Net Neutrality and Why the Sky Is Not Falling

“Net neutrality was the government’s response to an actual problem. As usual, their response ignored the problem completely.”

The Modern Art Of Pervs

Changing mores and the sexualization of children

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

“How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.” So Obama let them break the law. I don't agree with the War on Drugs, but the President should uphold the law.

CDC director says there are ‘no banned words’ at the agency

Well, I fell for this one too. I should know by now that the really bad stuff about Trump seldom turns out true. Also No, the CDC did not ban a list of words

Since Feeding the Homeless is Now Illegal, A Group Carried AR15s to Give Out Food—It Worked

Unsanctioned, unofficial charity.

The Other Tech Bubble

The ugliness behind the startup culture.

In Legalizing Marijuana, Uruguay Trips over the Dollar, US Laws, and Global Banks

or “Why Drug Lords Love the Patriot Act.”

3 Reasons Millennials Should Consider Ditching Karl Marx for Ayn Rand

“Karl Marx doesn’t align with what’s important to Millennials.”

Jedi Mind Trick: The Disturbing, Destabilizing Abnormal Is Now Normal

Change means disrupting the system. And there's plenty of disruption.

Is Your Cell Phone Protected by the Constitution?

The Supreme Court will decide, and it doesn't look good.

‘We Made This (Harassment) Law Up From The Beginning And Now We’ve Won’

Deliberately screwing up society.

Comey Should Be Indicted

It was obvious months ago, but now it's a given. It won't happen though. Indicting Comey is one step closer to HRC. And indicting HRC is one step closer to Barack Obama.

Right Wing Extremism vs. Islamic Extremism in the United States: A Look at the Numbers

Debunking the claim that most terrorism in the US is carried out by the right wing.

Comments

Monday roundup

Trump to remove ‘climate change’ as a national security threat

It never was a threat. It was an excuse to divert money and resources to a religious cause. Yes, the climate alarmists are a religion. Right down to treating dissenters as heretics.

Miami pulls the plug on its red light camera program

Too many cities have leveraged red light cameras into a revenue source and manipulated the light timing to maximize revenue.

Donald Trump, Lying, and Eroding Social Trust

Good questions. Presidents and politicos lie, it's what they do. The problems is believing one flavor is better than the other.

States Fight Calif. and Mass. over Meddlesome Livestock Law

Why should one state control how farming occurs in another?

Navajo Nation sues Wells Fargo in fake-account scandal

“Vulnerable” needs some explaining. There are cultural assumptions that the Diné have that most of the U.S. doesn't. This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to legal issues.

‘Internet Service Providers Should Not Be Able To Decide What People Can See Online,’ Says Man Who Decides What People Can See Online

Mark Zuckerberg is a hypocrite.

The #MeToo Movement Is Destroying Trust Between Men And Women

“Demonizing Men Undermines Both Sexes”

Judicial Watch President: "Forget Mueller," The Real Question Is "Do We Need To Shut Down The FBI?"

The Bureau is compromised.

Democrats Can Weaponize the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Trump

It won't work. Trump is better at this game than the press or his political opponents. He won't go quietly when allegations are in the air.

Masterpiece Cakeshop: Are We Free To Disagree?

This nuance is important and often misreported in the media. Jack serves all customers; he does not want to be forced to create all messages.

UN Security Council weighs resolution saying Jerusalem decisions are void

Yeah. The UN has no authority in the affairs between two nations or in the internal affairs of any nation. Nor does the US. Nor should they.

CA Dems Proposing Spending $1 Billion Giving Health Care To Illegal Immigrants

As long as CA pays and not the rest of the country, I've no problem. But they will find a way to shift the costs, just watch.

Trump administration forbids CDC officials from using 7 words and phrases

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I don't think the administration should be banning words. On the other hand, I've seen some of the nonsense coming out of the CDC in the last few years.

Comments

244th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party

“The Tea Act: The Catalyst of the Boston Tea Party”

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Bill of Rights Day

You should know these rights. You should defend these rights.

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — Achievement

Odd tactic from the Grand and Glorious Imperious Leader

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“Freedom to Discriminate? | Wedding Cakes vs. Liberty”

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❝Are Human Rights Real? | Natural vs. Legal & Positive vs. Negative❞

“What are human rights? Are they universal? This video compares the definition of natural vs. legal rights, and positive vs. negative rights. Locke's Second Treatise of Government was a big inspiration to me in this video, so if you haven't read it yet, you definitely should :)”

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❝Senator Jon Tester Disparaging Tax Bill❞

“Senator Jon Tester Showing How He Received the Republican "Tax Reform" Bill Just Hours before the Late Night Vote was Scheduled and how it was marked up in a way that made it impossible to read/understand. Is this even legal?”

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NeoNotes — Bad purposes

There are two assumptions implicit in public accommodation laws. First is that there is a class of people who no matter what can never ever do things on their own. Second is that most people no matter what can never ever be trusted to do the right thing.

I think both assumptions are wrong.



Good law has been used for bad purposes since someone bothered to write down the law. The question you should ask is which is more important, freedom or misuse of the law?

It's my old friend, the parity test. If Christians can be barred from living their faith, what's to stop pagans from being barred from living theirs? Or atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, or any of a thousand others?

Just because someone does something you don't like doesn't mean that it should be illegal and that someone should be punished for it. I'd say that the guideline should be measurable harm to someone's person, liberty, and property. Hurting your feelings shouldn't qualify. I deal with the difference between mala in se and mala prohibita laws at my politics blog at www DOT paganvigil DOT com SLASH files SLASH RootsGovPower061204 DOT html.

Incidentally, the right of free association was one of the "understood" rights covered by the Tenth Amendment. After all, the U.S. had just fought a war over it.



Up until that time, it was one of the biggest wars about non-association ever fought.

Freedoms seldom clash with each other. Someone wanting to control others through religion isn't freedom, it's politics. Knowing the difference can be helpful.

I'm not responsible for how someone feels, especially since both the feelings and the standards used to justify those feelings change often. Measurable harm to someone's person, property, and liberty is one of the few objective standards we can agree on. A microaggression is what the victim says it is, and some things become microaggressions that weren't last week. It's privilege. I don't have time or energy to indulge it anymore.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
Comments

More from the stack

New Segregation Signs Pop Up in Leftist Establishments

Perpetuating racism in the name of freedom

Border Agents Seized American Citizen's Truck, Never Charged Him With A Crime

"You have no rights here"

The Senate Is Close To Undermining The Internet By Pretending To 'Protect' The Children

Justifying tyranny

We Didn't Normalize Trump. We Normalized the Left's Violence.

All other things being equal, the side that can't stand dissent is wrong.

Exclusive: US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman

So why isn't Obama called to account for this?

I moved from a blue state to a red state and it changed my life

"As I got to know my new Midwest home, I realize how living in a bubble and subscribing to the Middle America stereotypes is truly damaging to this country."

To Combat "Hate," Make Government Weaker

Worth thinking about

James Comey Tried to Discredit Trump’s Wiretapping Assertions That Proved True

Why isn't this man in jail?

Entire Volume of CIA Files On Lee Harvey Oswald, Set to Be Released in October, Has “Gone Missing”

Somebody is still hiding truth.

The Silencing of Dissent

A paranoid take that may be true

Trump: “Venezuela Has FAITHFULLY Implemented Socialism…” The UN Goes SILENT!

Trump is right on this

Hours After Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County Tickets Residents for Code Violations

You'd think there would be other priorities. You'd be wrong.

File a FOIA, Get Sued

Why do you want to know, Citizen?

Comments

Clearing out the stack

Breaking the boundaries of civilization.

"I remember back in the early nineties when as a young man I started copping flack for polite acts of a gentlemanly nature."

Scientists have spiders producing enhanced web that can hold a human

All sorts of possibilities

Canada demands U.S. end ‘right to work’ laws as part of NAFTA talks

Not going to happen

Rex Murphy: 'Antifa' are despicable fascists — call them that, openly, now

Hiding violence behind a mask is cowardice

Antifa has a rapid response team that targets alt-right organizers

Not surprising

The United States of Manufactured Hysteria

Politicos WANT you to panic and not think things through

More than 5,000 out-of-state voters may have tipped New Hampshire against Trump

Potential voter fraud

NBC, AP Publish Article Saying Crooked Democrat Menendez on Trial in New Jersey Is a Republican

Except he isn't

U.S. Virgin Islands spent money intended to help after hurricanes

Another case of politicos diverting money

How a Not-Racist Cop Arrested a Man for ‘Walking While Black,’ Blamed It on Black People and Walked Away With $100,000

Of course he did

The Deep State: How it Came to Be and Why it Fights so Hard

Accountable to none

Civilian Review Board Substantiates Charges Against Policeman in Eric Garner Case

This is why civilian review boards need more power

The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded

One less mystery for speculation

98.5 Percent of Federal Crimes Never Approved by Congress

Out of control bureaucracy staffed with self-righteous technocrats

Catalonia mayors sign decree approving independence vote, defying Spanish government

Spain won't let them go

What Happened To "What Happened": Amazon Slashes Hillary's Book Price 40% Before It Hits Shelves

I don't think people care what Hillary thinks anymore

WATCH: Police ‘Protect’ Society by Stealing Man’s Money for Improperly Selling Hot Dogs

Robbery is robbery

Supreme Court temporarily lifts restrictions on Trump travel ban

Why do progressives want to limit the same power every President has had?

Apple and 7-Eleven Are Why Trump’s Threats to Sever Trade With China Are Empty

Trump likes to draw attention to things

Pope Francis: People Have a ‘Moral Responsibility’ to Combat Climate Change

Nope. Not when it's a fraud.

This New Database Is Tracking How Many Cops Are Charged With Crimes

We need this

Comments

Wednesday roundup - current headlines

Roundup of my link stack

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Plunder

The law of unintended consequences strikes again

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NeoNotes — net neutrality

As it exists right now, local, state, and Federal governments allow and protect area specific telecommunications monopolies.

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Begging government

Do you really want pagans and heathens begging government for table scraps that they might give us? If we're really REALLY good and cute enough?
     — NeoWayland
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Pay attention to laws

The people who pay attention to laws are not the ones you have to worry about.
     — NeoWayland
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Hate crime

I'm still waiting for you to make the case how a hate crime is worse than a non-hate crime for the same “transgression.”
     — NeoWayland
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Nature of government

Government gets bigger and more oppressive, that is the nature of government.
     — NeoWayland
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Regulating

When government starts defining, it starts regulating.
     — NeoWayland
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Headstone

If someone has served honorably, then they should have whatever they want on their headstone up to and including Mickey Mouse. Government issue or not, it's not about what is “approved.” It's about honoring someone who chose to serve and fulfilled that duty.
     — NeoWayland
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Find things we share

We need to find things we share rather than using faith to define the morality of our society. We can agree to outlaw theft and vandalism, we can't agree on marriage. We can agree that people shouldn't drive under the influence, we can't agree to ban all intoxicants. We can agree that people should be free to make their own choices, we can't agree which choices should be eliminated.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Measurable damage vs. forbidden

Mala in se means "bad in and of itself." Something is mala in se if and only if it threatens or results in measurable damage to life, liberty, and property. Mala prohibita means "bad because it is prohibited." Something is mala prohibita if and only if the state has forbidden it. I would add regulation as well.

To prove mala in se, you have to show measurable damage. Mala prohibita means that the government will impose morality and ethics by force.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Forbid

If someone wants to forbid gay marriage, what would they do if the law only allowed gay marriage? If someone wanted Bible study in schools, what would they do if the law only allowed the Koran in schools? If someone wanted a Christian president, what would they do if the law prohibited a Christian president?
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Surefire

It's the old parity test again. And it is the surefire method to tell if a law is mala in se or mala prohibita.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Distrust government

I distrust the very notion of government. Especially an ever expanding government with no apparent restraints where the only real concern is when “your guys” aren't in charge.
     — NeoWayland
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Societies work best

Societies work best when the moral and legal authorities are separate.
     — NeoWayland
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Legislation and morality

Legislation is not morality, and morality certainly isn't legislation. The distinction must be made. Otherwise politicos wrap themselves in the flag AND hide behind the most convenient faith/moral code they can find. Arguing over morality keeps us honest. We're better when we verbally defend our ideas to people who don't necessarily share our beliefs.
     — NeoWayland
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Illegal

Passing a law saying that a behavior is illegal doesn't stop the behavior. Prohibition is the best known failure. Pick a vice law, any vice law for others.
     — NeoWayland
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Collapse

At this point, I don't think anyone can stop the collapse. Nor do I think that's bad. There are how many laws on the books? How many regulations in the Federal Register? We've been conditioned to depend on government to help us. Cut spending, but not national defense. Cut spending, but not aid to Israel or Saudi Arabia. Cut spending, but not Social Security. And some banks and unions are Too Big To Fail.
     — NeoWayland
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Govern

We've been taught that government is supposed to govern and control the other guy.

That's the guy who is the problem.

Not us. Never us. It's not our fault.
     — NeoWayland
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Meddle

People love to meddle. They want to control other people “for their own good.” Public education, foreign policy, sub-prime mortgages, all happened because someone thought they knew better and used force to inflict it on everyone else.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Roy Moore and the Decalogue monument - updated

You don't demand that others submit to your religion. If I can object when the Islamists do it, if I can object when the climate change crowd does it, I can damn well object when a theocratic Republican passes it off as religious freedom and tells tales of his "oppression" because of his faith.

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NeoNotes — Infrastructure

Let's talk about infrastructure. Specifically, let's talk about Puerto Rico's infrastructure that was mismanaged and mostly ignored for decades before Trump took office. We could also mention Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and a number of other cities. What makes these places unique is that they have massive overspending, crumbling infrastructure, and Democrat leadership for decades.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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NeoNotes — Lower the cost of medical care

The best thing that government can do to lower the prices of medical care is get out of medical care and medical insurance. There's a lot of reasons, but at it's core politicos and technocrats have no incentive to contain costs, make a profit, and get a bigger market share. Competition means that companies have to make things cheaper, faster, and more available or they will lose business. Today's smart phones have more computing capacity than the Cray 2 did in 1985, they are more reliable, more capable, cheaper, more available, and a lot more profitable. That's what 30 years of the free market and competition without government interference will give you. Government has shielded the medical industry and the medical insurance markets from the very things that would make medicine better.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
Comments

NeoNotes — Tax the rich

OK, taxes. According the the OMB, the top 20% of taxpayers pay 95% of income taxes. In 2015, the WSJ reported that the top 20% paid 84% of income taxes. In 2015, the top .1% (yes, that's one-tenth of one percent) of families paid 39.2% of income taxes. In 2015, all but the top 20% of taxpayers paid more in payroll taxes than they owed in Federal income tax, effectively giving the Federal government an interest free loan. Meanwhile, the bottom 20% of taxpayers have the Earned Income Tax Credit, a negative income tax. The government pays them. The thing is, smart rich people don't stuff their money in mattresses. They put it to work. If their money doesn't earn more than the rate of inflation, they've lost money. So they look for ways to maximize returns. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are the most common methods. This pumps money back into the economy. Lower prices, more companies hiring, and better distribution of goods and services are direct results. In other words, cutting taxes at any level gives people more choices and more economic power. It's not cutting taxes for the rich, it's cutting taxes. If you like, I can show how a progressive tax system locks people into income tiers and suppresses the natural movement up in income.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
Comments

Less government

Always, always, always less government than absolutely necessary.
     — NeoWayland
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Rights do not emanate

Rights do not emanate from a state, nor do they require state sanction or approval.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Witch hunts without due process

Sometimes we pagans take our sex way too seriously.

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from crux № 7 — age of consent

I think the age of consent is the best rule anyone has come up with so far.

But let's not kid ourselves.

The whole post WWII extended childhood thing is an artificial American invention.

The biology disagrees.

Before we start talking about the morality, we need to acknowledge that.

If we insist that kids wait until 18, 19, 25, or 37 we need a good reason.



Sometimes the kids do know. Most of the time in fact, if they know they will be held responsible for it.

Sometimes the adults don't know, no matter what the age. Any one going to a bar to hook up isn't being rational.

Sometimes the experience of making mistakes and having to deal with the consequences are the things that make us wise.



I know that for you, marriage and sex should be (ahem) wedded at the hip. I don't think it's a universal one size fits all solution though.

I do like your condition of marriage though.



I wouldn't call it loosening. I would call it changing.

I'd also say that it's necessary. Some of the social mores of the last two centuries needed to be dropped. For example, child labor under terrible conditions and for terrible pay used to be the norm.

The rules that work, we should keep. But you can't do change without testing all the rules constantly.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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Free speech



That's what worries me most about this. Once people decide that some labels deserve free speech and others don't, where does it stop?
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Religion in public schools

I don't think religion belongs in the public schools. Public schools are compulsory, students can't walk away if they do not agree.

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“John Stossel vs. Noam Chomsky on Venezuela”

Yep, it was almost as if it were scripted. A myth for the ages - revised

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from crux № 22 — law did not create civil rights

No law required people to march in protest. No law demanded a sit-in at Woolworth's lunch counter. The changes were happening before the act was passed.

I'd say that in many ways the 1964 act froze that change. People weren't responsible any more, it was government's job. Add a changing civil rights movement leadership that put guilt politics and special privilege over equal rights, and you get one big gooey mess.

It's been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed. Do we still need it because we locked people into a lower social class? When will those who benefit from the 1964 act not need it anymore?

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
Comments

The message was clear

The message was clear. There are problems but your Government Is Taking Care Of It. You don't have to worry. It's Somebody Else's Problem. You don't have to be responsible. Just put the right people in charge. Give more money. Give more authority. Sacrifice more rights. Repeat until we get it right. And don't ask too many questions.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — the Johnson amendment

Let me point out that tax exempt status is at best a "devil's trade." In exchange for the tax deduction, the organizations (and sometimes the officers) lose their political voice and the IRS gets itemized lists of what was donated and who donated it.

There's also the small bit that if there are tax deductions, then by definition taxes are too high.

However, Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.



The 1st Amendment doesn't deal with subsets. The incredibly ironic bit is the history of churches in American politics, particularly the abolitionist movement.

I didn't say it was a complete list, I said it was an itemized list. It is enough to find "known associates" though.

Tax deductions are evidence that taxes are too high. It's also evidence of diverting capital, taking it away from unapproved activities and moving it towards approved activities. There's more, but it involves a long examination of progressive tax systems and it won't add anything but noise to our conversation.



Abraham Keteltas, Samuel West, Jonathan Mayhew, Peter Muhlenberg, and Samuel Cooper were just some of the colonial era ministers. In England for a while, the American Revolution was called the Presbyterian Revolution because so many Presbyterian pastors were involved.

But the abolitionist movement and the American Civil War was when things really got going. Look at names like John Todd, Joshua Leavitt, Benjamin Bradford, Luther Lee, and Samuel Salisbury. Without these men and their churches, the abolitionist movement would never have blossomed. Christians aren't perfect and I am certainly a critic. But it took British and American Christians to end the slave trade, they deserve credit for that.

The 1950s-1960s civil rights movement was heavily rooted in churches, especially in the American south.

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.



I provided examples which at the very least would have violated the propaganda restrictions of the Johnson amendment if it had been in effect then. Yet those are a valued part of American history and important benchmarks in religious freedom.

A little further examination would have shown that American churches and synagogues have traditionally called politicos out on bad ideas and bad behavior.



It's not about "prophesy of the pulpit." It's about moral authority. Ideas like liberty, revolution, and slavery were talked about during worship. In those days more than anything else including the press, worship is where those ideas were set out in detail by men who made their living communicating well and clearly. I admit it's a part of history that is often overlooked, but it exists none the less.

Take a closer look. The Johnson amendment covers both endorsement and anti-endorsement, intervening in political campaigns is prohibited. It also limits lobbying, propaganda, and other political activity.

Pagans of all people know what a bad idea it is when a politico wraps themselves in the flag and waves holy writ as justification.

BTW, I have to give you points for that phrase "prophesy of the pulpit." It's poetic if not exactly accurate in this case.



You're right, that part of the law is seldom enforced. I was waiting for someone to bring that up.

So here is my next question. If the law as it exists is so potentially prone to abuse even as it is not enforced, why does the Johnson amendment exist?

My theory is that it was one of Johnson's infamous deals. In the early 1950s, the modern civil rights movement was just getting started, but the split was already there. It's a little inaccurate, but I call the two sides the MLK side and the Malcolm X side. Later the Malcolm X side was dominated by the Black Panthers, but that part of the story isn't necessary for our discussion here.

The MLK side wanted to work within the system making sure that existing law was enforced. The Malcolm X side relied on direct confrontation to create radical change and separate from the US if necessary. There was rivalry between the two sides, and at the time no one was sure which side would dominate. Johnson saw the potential need for what today we would call the nuclear option. As long as everything proceeded peacefully, the government would never need to use the stick. Meanwhile, everything was nicely registered and reported to the government, "just in case."

It wasn't the first time the IRS was used to monitor Americans and it wouldn't be the last.



You're right. I should have said existing Constitutional law, that was my mistake.

That wasn't the only operational difference, but it certainly was one of the most important. Bryan Burrough points out in Days of Rage that some "blacks" were disappointed as more moved north and they didn't instantly get more of what they felt had been denied them.

Existing state and local law in the south supported segregation, most Federal law did not. It varied in other states, not so much in the West but heavy in union states. When Truman reversed Wilson's segregation of the armed forces, the writing was on the wall.



Under what part of the 1st Amendment is Congress granted the power to regulate free speech?

Under what part of the 1st Amendment is Congress granted the power to regulate religion?

Yet the Johnson amendment does both.

Which tax argument? The fact that deductions mean that taxes are too high? Or that government uses a progressive tax code to encourage some behaviors and discourage others?

Can you show that either argument is BS?



Actually it does.

The perception in America is that you are not a "real" church unless you have tax exempt certification. Just like a few years back when conservative groups were having problems getting 503 certification, most people don't want to give money unless they know that the IRS is not going to audit them. The easy path is to do what the government tells you to do. That is not necessarily the right thing. Once a group has the certification, they are bound by the regulations if they wish to keep the majority of their donors. Those regulations are subject to change at any time, and have gotten more restrictive since the Johnson amendment was passed.

Every dollar that the government collects in taxes reduces individual purchasing power. Regardless of what some experts will tell you, the economy is driven by the individual buying goods and services and not by government regulation. More money, more purchases (or savings). Less money, more credit, less purchases and less savings.

Even if you think that only the "rich" pay higher taxes, that means less money for things like jobs, equipment, and expansion. That means less economic growth.

The second order effects of special taxes can be even worse. A few decades ago, Congress put out a luxury tax on high end planes, yachts, high end boats, and cars. All those industries took a major hit. Building and storing yachts and high end boats still haven't recovered.

It gets worse. Thanks to payroll withholding and "standard" deductions, the government effectively gives itself no-interest loans from your money. Multiply that by a hundred million or so and you get into some serious cash.

These are examples from taxes. I haven't discussed currency manipulation (inflation) or spending.



"Surely by your argument, there should be no tax exempt organizations at all, because the very existence of them proves taxes are too high."

Yes.

At the very least, no tax exempt organizations would mean fewer bureaucrats to monitor compliance and regulate.

"Government money goes back into the community and absolutely does stimulate economic growth."

It does that by displacing private investment. Private money wants a return on investment, which means maintaining facilities and periodic upgrades. Except for corporatism, companies stay in business by making their products better, cheaper, and more available.

"The rich actually mostly sock money away…"

Um, no they don't. There isn't a money vault or a stuffed mattress, smart people put their money to work. Some buy stocks, some buy bonds, some invest in companies. Unless the money earns a higher yield than the rate of inflation and the tax rate, it's worth less.

"…and pay LOWER taxes than the rest of us…"

According to the National Taxpayer Union Foundation, in 2014 the top ten percent of income earners paid 70.88% of the income tax. The top fifty percent of income earners paid 97.25% of the income tax.

Spending is not the same as taxing. Government at all levels has done a rotten job of maintaining facilities, much less upgrading them. Private ownership does wonders, as things like the Empire State Building show.

Government usually puts money aside for infrastructure and then diverts the money into more "essential" things. It's one of the oldest tricks in government accounting. Then more money is "needed."

What's more, government is a lousy judge of where to spend and what to spend it on. Just as one example, less than a handful of VA hospitals are worth it, but we keep tossing more and more money at the problem.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Monday roundup

Molina Healthcare Exits Obamacare Exchanges in Two States, Experiences $230 Million Loss

Remember, the exchanges were never meant to last. And this is another mess that Obama chose to have his successor fix.


Coast Guard Chief Will Disregard Trump’s Ban on Transgenders in Military

He can't, not legally. If the code changes and Trump gives the order, it's a court martial offense.


FBI monitored social media on Election Day for 'fake news' about Hillary Clinton: Report

So who gave the order? And did this really happen?


Venezuela says crushes anti-government attack on military base



BOM scandal: “smart cards” filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP!

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology apparently gooses the numbers before they become Official™.


Immigration Brings Out the Social Engineers

“If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders, and liberate ourselves.”


Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow

I don't think it will happen, but you can practically feel the NY Times drool


Dunkirk: A contrary view about a movie everyone else loves

Something I never considered but well worth thinking about.


U.S. job growth surges in July

I'm not sure the growth is stable, but yes, the numbers did surge. And yes, Obama would have killed for those numbers.


1.8 million California acres were set aside for frogs.

Environmentalism is a crusade, ecology is a science studying interconnections and tradeoffs.

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Won't be

t3_6os5zl

h/t Wendy McElroy

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Friday roundup

Somehow I don't believe this.

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NeoNotes — Civil Rights acts - updated

If the Civil Rights Act of 1866 had worked, there would have been a need for another in 1871, in 1875, in 1957, in 1964, a Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

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Only religious activities

Palo Alto Cracks Down On Neighborhood Churches

The city of Palo Alto is cracking down on churches that are trying to cut costs by subletting their space.

The clock is ticking for one church, which has been told all its tenants have to get out in a few weeks, or face severe fines.

The First Baptist Church has been on the same street corner in Palo Alto, serving the poor and needy, for 125 years.

But after a brief, informal meeting with city code enforcement officers earlier this year, Pastor Rick Mixon suddenly got a sternly worded letter from the city, telling him he must cease all non-religious activities, and that his tenants, which include a music school, a psychologist, and the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, to get out by August 17 or face severe fines.

Mixon said, “In order to operate here, to keep it looking good, looking nice in a nice neighborhood, we need to rent the space. It represents about a third of our budget right now.”

For years, the church has rented the space on the second floor to music classes, choirs, dance clubs, and hosted dinners and weddings.
     — Kiet Do

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☆ Other people's property

People look for better value if it's their own money at stake.

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“Stossel: Stop! You Need a License To Do that Job!”

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“The War On Cars”

“There is a war against cars in America. Regulators want Americans out of cars and onto trains, buses, and bicycles. Why? Because of what cars represent -- freedom. Automotive expert Lauren Fix ("The Car Coach") explains.”

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Government

“America's Media Meltdown”

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NeoNotes — public accommodation law is wrong - updated

I wonder too.

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NeoNotes — Marriage revisted

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Religion enshrined in law

Simple questions.

Why should any religion be enshrined in law? Raised above all others as THE Moral Standard?

Perhaps more importantly, would you accept it if it were not your religion?

Or at least something calling itself your religion.



Pardon, but that isn't the question.

Why should any religion be enshrined in law?

Shouldn't faith be between you and the Divine?

Shouldn't religion be your choice and not imposed on you by some government functionary?

Coke may be less disagreeable than Pepsi, but I don't want armed special agents making sure I drink it.



Only if you think government must be predicated on or derived from religion.

Which, thankfully, the Founders did not.



But it's not about if religions are "equal" or not.

It's about if a single religion should be enshrined in law. And what happens if you are not a member of the religion that is made part of law.

Should you be bound by a religion you are not a part of?



Yep, I did. And for very good reason.

I also said this:

Perhaps more importantly, would you accept it if it were not your religion?



I've really tried to be polite on this board, but believe when I say I've seen more than enough Christian intolerance to last me several lifetimes. It's not every Christian, but it is there. Nor are Christians alone in their intolerance.

What I am trying to say is that by making religion a part of government you're setting the grounds for much more intolerance.

Even if you stuck to Christians, you'd be asking for trouble. Should Catholics have precedence over Baptists? What about the Mormons and the Methodists?



Yep, that happens too.

But when someone defines intolerance as everyone else not putting that someone's religion over every thing else, well, the someone crossed the line and they are fair game.



No, that isn't what I said.

Look at what Moore said in the article. He's talking about defending Christianity in the law. And creating more law that incorporates "Christian principles."

"Do not murder." That's a good idea. It also predates Christianity by quite a bit and is shared by many cultures and faiths.

"Do not murder because of the Ten Commandments and what Jesus said." That's not the same thing and it adds baggage to something that should be simple.



Pardon, but that is an opinion.

My gods prefer that people work it out for themselves.

That's an opinion too.



You mean other than Roy Moore up there in the original post?

You’re talking about overturning God’s natural order ….

That's certainly a religious point of view.



Nondenominational? Ah, I see.

It's only the Christians that need apply? You don't need the Jews.

I live next to the Navajo reservation. Will you exclude the Sky People?

One of my neighbors three doors down is a Buddhist. Doesn't she get a say?

One of my companions is an atheist. She's also one of the wisest women I know. Should she get a say?

Why or why not?



And I've answered it several times, twice directly.

When you assume that government is based on a religion you are imposing and enshrining that religion.

When it comes to religion becoming the law of the land, the devout don't need it, the non-believers don't want it, and the politicos will corrupt it.



Then why is Roy Moore making so much noise?



I'm not demanding that you give up your faith.

I'm asking why religion should be enshrined in law.

Faith is between you and the Divine, no other person can change that. It's up to you and your choices.

I'm asking for no sacrifice unless you believe that your religion should govern the faith and religion of others.

And if that's the case, I'm asking why.



No, actually we weren't.

The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention the Christian God except in the date.

It's wholly remarkable in that it may well be the first document in history that didn't claim government power derived from the Divine.

Men of faith and men of reason deliberately chose not to make a public declaration of religion even as they acknowledged it's role in individual action.

They knew that faith must be chosen, not compelled.



Talk about timing…

I always find it amazing when I have to point out the U.S. was not founded as a "Christian nation" when one house of the national legislature is called the Senate.

I've written about this many times before. But please don't take my word for it.

http://www.usconstitution.net

That's a site created to explore and explain the Constitution. Look for yourself. Try to find any mention of the Bible or the Divine.



Considering the custom of the times, omitting "those words" was even more revolutionary than the Declaration of Independence and the battles that followed.

Again, that doesn't mean that the Founders weren't devout. It does mean that they knew about the English Civil War and the problems caused by some colonies and their religious restrictions.

I'd like to think that each of the Founders decided that if his church wasn't going to be "top dog," no one else's would be either.

And that is why Roy Moore is wrong.



Can you show where I'm wrong?



The question you should be asking yourself is not if the Founders were religious or if the U.S. was founded as a "Christian nation."

No, the question is why the Founders, among the best educated men of their time, chose not to make the Constitution dependent on any faith.

I'll give you a hint. Too many people are in religion for the politics.



I am, and it relates to the question in the title of the post.

If anyone thinks their religion needs the force of law to back it up, then they are doing it wrong.

The law should neither help nor hinder religion. But no religion should rely on force either.



If it's a straw man, then why did Roy Moore say what he did?

There's a difference between personal faith and public policy.



Pardon, but I think that's wrong.

It's not that the American people hate the Divine. And I don't think they may object because it is a Christian policy.

I think they object because it is a religious rule made policy.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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What Obama did

America's Media Meltdown

In the 2008 campaign, reporters ignored the close and disturbing relationships between the mostly unknown Obama and a cast of unsavory characters: his racist and anti-Semitic pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the neighborhood confidant and former terrorist Bill Ayers, and the wheeler-dealer and soon-to-be felon Tony Rezko.

Instead, journalists quickly started worshipping candidate Obama in a manner never quite seen before, not even in the days of the iconic liberal presidents like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas declared Obama to be a deity (“Obama's standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of God.”) His very words were able to make the leg of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews “tingle.” His pants’ crease proved for David Brooks a talisman of his future greatness, along with the fact that the mellifluent Obama “talks like us.”

While a few journalists were aware of their cult-like worship, most were hooked and competed to outdo one another with embarrassing hagiographic praise. Upon election, Obama was summarily declared by one presidential historian and television pundit to the smartest man with the highest IQ ever to have been president.

Obama himself channeled the veneration, variously promising in god-like fashion to cool the planet and lower the seas, remarking that his own multifaceted expertise was greater than that of all of the various specialists who ran his campaign. For the next eight years, the media largely ignored what might charitably be called an historic overextension of presidential power and scandal not seen since the days of Richard Nixon’s presidency. A clique of journalists set up a private chat group, JournoList, through which they could channel ideas to promote the Obama progressive agenda.
     — Victor Davis Hanson

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❝The Sinister Reason Weed is Illegal❞ by Adam Ruins Everything

“The End of Cash; The End of Freedom”

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Itemized deductions

Itemized deductions are extortion. Government takes your money. You beg for it back. Government might give it to you.

If you are especially nice and if you do as you are told.
     — NeoWayland

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Another exception

Are there any type of calls that are exempt from the robocall rules issued by the FCC or the FTC?

There are several exemptions. Calls made for debt collection, charitable solicitation, political causes or campaigns and surveys are all exempt from these rules.
     — Marguerite Reardon, Why am I getting so many robocalls?

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Standard deduction

If there is a “standard deduction,” then by definition taxes are too high.
     — NeoWayland

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Thursday roundup 20Jul2017

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Solving” net neutrality

“Net Neutrality Supporters Should Actually Hate the Regulations They're Endorsing”

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Fix health care

Taxing Hospitals Is a Lousy Way to Fix Health Care

But if that’s the case, then the best solution is probably to stop subsidizing it, not to make the subsidy more complex. A lot of the current mess in the American health-care system can be traced back to the thicket of hidden subsidies and fiddling regulations we’ve enacted over the years, trying to fine-tune the system into some platonic ideal where nothing ever goes wrong and no one ever makes an unseemly amount of money. But fine tuning has not delivered us the platonic ideal of anything, except perhaps the word “dysfunction.” It might be time to step back and rethink our approach.

We might start by asking ourselves, “Why are hospitals tax exempt in the first place?” When the income tax was first levied, giving hospitals nonprofit status made sense, because these organizations did largely act as charities. Over the succeeding decades, however, the government decided that it didn’t want to rely on charities for charity care, and enacted a series of programs that financed such care with government dollars.

In an ideal world, perhaps hospitals would have gratefully accepted those dollars, and redirected the money they’d been spending on treating patients to cover gaps in the system, like dental care (woefully underprovided either by charity or government fiat). But we do not live in the ideal world. The difference between a charity hospital and its for-profit brethren has shrunk smaller and smaller, and by now, seems too small to justify treating them as charities.
     — Megan McArdle

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“The Truth About Net Neutrality” by Stefan Molyneux

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I can't stress this enough

I can't stress this enough.

The state is not a moral entity. Government is not your friend, at best it is a bad servant.

Religion can not be allowed the coercive power of the state and the state can not be allowed the moral justification of faith.

You can't trust law to do the right thing. You have to watch it. You have to argue with it. And sometimes you have to fight it.
     — NeoWayland

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Highway robbery

Authorities in Utah Seized Nearly $3 Million in Cash and Assets From Citizens Last Year

In one case highlighted by the Salt Lake Tribune, cops seized cars and other property—including "a $25 flashlight…a $4,000 mountain bike, a $2,500 motorcycle and a guitar autographed by Led Zeppelin worth $3,000"— and charged several people after a methamphetamine bust, prosecutors say.

Cops like to publicize such busts because it feeds a narrative that asset forfeiture is used primarily against big-time drug dealers. But they're rather out of the ordinary, the report shows.

Most forfeitures (69 percent) take place during traffic stops and most of the time only money is seized. According to the state report, cash was taken in 99 percent of forfeitures during 2016, with the median seizure amounting to only $1,031.

That means, in many cases, the amount seized was considerably less than four-figures. In one instance, the report shows, police took $16 from a motorist.
     — Eric Boehm

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Friday roundup

DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump team

Something else about the 2016 election that traces straight back to the Obama administration. Gee, what are the chances?


De Facto Federal Legislation of Cryptocurrency is Nigh

“An upcoming meeting of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is likely to change how law enforcement across the U.S. approaches bitcoin. Right now, the meeting is under the radar, but its fallout could soon make a pivotal debate flare on a state-by-state level.”


Which Campaign Truly Colluded With Russia?

Many questions about Russian influence if people looked harder at the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton campaign.


The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation

Thirteen steps that the media has used every time so far.


The crisis in America’s crime labs

No one person and no one agency has all the answers. No one is beyond criticism. No one is beyond question.


Illinois' Fiscal Problems Won't Stay in Illinois

“Wisconsin's budget takes a $51 million hit as The Land of Lincoln tries to extract more revenue from its residents, including those who work or live elsewhere.”


Jeff Sessions Wants More Mandatory Minimums, Less Justice

Mandatory miniumum sentences have seriously warped the justice system.


Damning New Report Shows How Oakland Cops Covered Up Their Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

Cops must be held accountable if they have powers. If proven true, this should result in immediate dismissal, arrest, and a fast trial.


Trump Jr. Entrapped by Obama White House to Obtain FISA Warrant and Spy on Campaign

Very interesting, but it's mostly speculation.


Kid Rock for Senate

I am not sure it's really happening or if it's a stunt. He'd be better than most of the serving Senators.


Radical Dem Worked For Russian Lawyer Who Met With Trump, Jr.

Odd how Democrats have the most Russian connections, isn't it?

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NeoNotes — government requires

There's a very real question why there should be any government grants, but I will leave that for another time.

Assume for a moment that you ran a bookstore. Should you be required by law to carry the Bible even though you were not Christian and did not believe Christianity was a valid faith? What if someone complained because you didn't have it?

Should a vegan restaurant be required to sell pulled pork BBQ?

Should a health food store be required to sell pipe tobacco?



Except we know that government does mandate that some products and services be sold or provided.

Let's take another example or two, shall we?

Imagine you are a lawyer or accountant. You know a specific businessman is crooked and can't be trusted. Should you be required to provided services?

Imagine you are an employer. Should you be required to verify the immigration status of each of your employees?

Most importantly, why should prior marginalization get a higher priority when it comes to the rule of law? Doesn't that lead to abuse of it's own when the formerly victimized class games the system?



Ah, so you are going to stick to "class of people." That's the problem. People aren't their labels. Or at least they shouldn't be.

Someone doesn't have higher moral authority because their group has been marginalized in the past.

And just in case you hadn't noticed, "American identity politics" is all about oppressing everyone else. All of which is predicated on the guilt of the former oppressor.



Black Lives Matter. All too ready to go after "white" cops, but doesn't want to address the problem of "black on black" crime. Nor does it want to address the major underlying problem, single parent families. Something that was encouraged by government, effectively relegating inner city families to poverty. Nor do they accept any criticism of their movement.

Much of third and fourth wave feminism. Apparently feminism is no longer about equality, it's about forcing men to sit down and shut up. And if a man complains, he's accused of rape.

The recent kerfuffle over the "redesigned" rainbow flag that put black and brown stripes at the top so that "people of color" had "representation." Literally "my victimhood is more important than your victimhood."

Identity politics is built on a carefully maintained hierarchy of victimhood. You're not allowed to speak unless you rank high enough with your victimhood or have demonstrated sufficient "compassion," usually by drawing attention to the "problem." But never actually solving anything.

And you are not allowed to question the victimhood.



Stop.

Step back. You are excusing their behavior.

Look at what has been done, not at the justifications.

Look at what is allowed within the groups.

Your enabling is just one example of what has locked people into their victimhood.



What you've given is excuses why people can't be held accountable.

Black Lives Matter is pushing a narrative that all police interactions with minorities but especially with "blacks" are racist. That's not true. And as I said, they overlook "black" on "black" crime that does not fit with the narrative.

It's victimhood I don't like, especially when perpetuated by bad government policy and "community outreach" that exploits the victims by keeping them victims.



And the courts were wrong.

Not because interracial marriages were wrong (they aren't). But because government can't be trusted to make individual moral decisions for you.

If you didn't choose your morality and if you do not commit to your morality, is it really yours?

Or did it just get sacrificed for the greater good?



Remember, most of the complaints against the current President are because he is doing the wrong moral things. Or at least, according to some people. Such as pulling out of the Paris accord.

Frankly there are people I want to discriminate against. There are evangelical Christians I want nothing to do with. There are radical feminists that I also don't want anything to do with. My list also includes some of the climate alarmists, the man-boy love crowd, anyone associated with a child beauty pageant, the extra-devout followers of Silver Ravenwolf, pretty much any organized political party, and a few dozen others.

Should government protect those people from my discrimination?



Actually we don't know that pulling out of the Paris accord is dangerous for the planet.

Here's what we do know. The "debate" about climate change has been heavily weighed on one side. A recent study has some of the most prominent climate alarmists admitting that the predictions didn't match the reality. President Obama committed the US, but the G20 and Obama didn't call it a treaty so it wouldn't have to go to the US Senate for approval. These aren't exactly moral actions.

Commerce is based on voluntary economic transactions between consenting adults. There's no “public service” about it. A company improves it's product or service (and lowers the price) because it wants to keep business from the competition. The "moral good" is based on pure greed. Nothing government demands from a business won't impose greater costs on the customer. Government relies on force. When government acts against people, it distorts the economy and morality.

It's not about public service, and commerce shouldn't answer to corrupt politicos.



The data was fudged. The people who fudged it knew it. The people who sought to make it a political issue beyond the control of any single government knew it.

If it's not about "saving the planet," then you have to ask what it is about. Especially when there is an everchanging deadline and No One Is Allowed To Question the failed predictions.

The entire movement is built on computer models, not science. I can't emphasize that enough. Models, not science. If the models have bad assumptions and/or if the data has been changed, the models aren't accurate.

But, "the science is settled." So you aren't allowed to dissent. You wouldn't accept that from a Creationist, why accept it from people who benefit financially and politically from forcing their agenda?



That wasn't what I said.

The models haven't been accurate in more than a dozen years. Even before that, the models had to be "goosed" to show a link between the past and the present.

I've said before that I can create a spreadsheet that makes me a millionaire in a week. That doesn't mean that the spreadsheet is accurate. And it sure doesn't mean I should wave cash around.

If the model isn't accurate, if we know it's not accurate, and if the people pushing the model hardest know that it's not accurate, don't you think it's time to ask why we should use the model?



No, that is what you have been told that the model is.

I strongly urge you to take a closer look. And I would remind you that there is no science in history that has ever been considered holy writ and beyond criticism.

For example, if I wanted to know the average global temperature right now this very minute, I'd have to accept that most land based measuring stations are in developed areas, many in highly urban areas that influence the readings. Satillite measurements are better, but don't go back further than about sixty years. And most of the ocean is a mystery below a mile deep.

So what exactly is the global average temperature?



I'm not shy about it. I don't approve of their life choices. I especially don't approve when *insert group name here* demands that it is not enough for to acknowledge their words and actions, it must be celebrated as the only accepted truth.

I don't want them on the ballot. I don't want to do business with them. I don't want them in my town.

And I think they are corrupting society.

Again, should government protect them from my discrimination?



I may not be a pure libertarian when it comes to the Zero Aggression Principle, but I don't usually initiate force. It's sloppy and takes too much energy.

“How many NAMBLA neighbors do you have, anyway?”

One.

Once.



I've been a corporate VP and I've run my own business.

Can you point to the spot in the Constitution where it defines the powers of the Federal government to control who I can and can't do business with? How about the spot where it defines that I must do business with everyone who wants to do business with me? Because under the Tenth Amendment, there isn't one.

If government isn't defending my ability to choose as long as I accept the consequences, then government has failed.

Even if my neighbors don't approve of my choice.

Especially if my neighbors don't approve of my choice.

If I am not free to discriminate as I choose, then government is discriminating against me. And that is what we see now. Some choices are more equal than others.



Not really.

That clause is the most abused in the Constitution, largely because it does not place significant restrictions on the Federal government. By some interpretations, the government can do what it wants when it wants and despite what people want. When you consider that everything from FDA approval to requiring transgender bathrooms is shoved through that loophole, it's a wonder that there is anything left of the rest of the Constitution.

Even in your flawed interpretation, public accommodation only applies in certain cases. Some are more victimized than others, remember?



Volumes have also been written against it. For generations in fact, right back to to the Anti-Federalist Papers

And then there is always the practical common sense approach. Here's the clause straight from Article 1 Section 8.

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

I can tell you know many Diné, Hopi, Havasupai, and White Mountain Apache who think that "Great White Father speaks with forked tongue." Just look at what the Interior Department did when it came to mineral rights.

You've tried to tell me what the consensus says, but you haven't disputed my conclusions. The commerce clause has been used to expand Federal power far beyond the scope of the rest of the Constitution. The only other comparable Federal power grab in American history has been the USA PATRIOT Act and the open-ended declaration of hostilities that happened after 9-11.



Or we could just stop handing out government grants and do something radically different like lower taxes, reduce government spending, and let people decide what to do with their own money.



Church playgrounds aren't national religious issues unless government is funding them.

The First Amendment is very clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Neither help nor hinder. It's the only way to win this particular battle. Otherwise you have things like a Faith Based Initiative (for certain faiths approved by law) and school prayer.



I think we do. And it's right there in the First Amendment.

Don't.

If there is one thing worse than a politico wrapping themselves in the flag, it's a politico standing on religion wrapping themselves in a flag.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Language of force

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tragedy from incentives

“The Tragedy of the Commons in the American Prison System”

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Details, details…

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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☆ The special asterisk is a multiplier

Keep law simple and absolute.

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Difference

What is the difference between pickpocketing and taxes?

Taxes are legal.
     — NeoWayland
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How many?

“How Many Federal Agencies Exist? We Can't Drain The Swamp Until We Know”

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NeoNotes — Costs of the drug war

We could do more for addiction and to stop violence and corruption by stopping the war on drugs.

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☆ Our permission society

Everything not forbidden is compulsory.
     — T. H. White, The Once and Future King

Once upon a time, the old saying applied. “Everything which is not forbidden is allowed” illustrated the freedom of the English citizen while “Everything which is not allowed is forbidden” applied to English authorities.

Today I want to recognize two societies, the liberty society and the permission society.

The liberty society assumes that people take responsibility for their choices. Unless it harms someone or their property, you are free to do what you choose, when you choose, and how you choose. You choose.

But you are responsible for the consequences.

The permission society forbids people from acting without permission. Or license. Or approval.

Sadly, America has moved well into being a permission society. And our politicos want to move us further.

Your income must be reported under penalty of law. Spend too much, and it is reported. Save too much and it is reported. Take it out in cash and cross state lines and it is confiscated.

You're free to take what drugs you need as long as you have a doctor's permission. Except some drugs can't be legally sold. And some you must sign for because government assumes you might be making other not so legal drugs.

You can buy alcoholic beverages usually. But some states require that you buy from the government. And some wines and beers can't be sold across state lines.

You can buy insurance if your state government has approved the policy in advance. Don't like what's offered in your state? Sorry, you don't have permission to buy anything else.

You can carry a gun or not as your state decides. You might or might not need a license. You might or might not be able to carry a concealed weapon. Oh, and just because you can do it in your state doesn't mean you can do it in another.

You can start your own business. If you get the proper permits and occupational licensing. And sometimes, if your would be competition doesn't object.

You can rent out your house. If the local hotels and motels don't raise a fuss.

You can use your car to drive people. As long as you don't charge them if you don't have a taxi medallion.

How is this freedom?

Where is the harm?

Why do you stand for this?

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Health care funding

Which raises the question why should care be publicly funded?

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Thank the CIA for your drugs

“Nothing To Be Proud Of”

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Getting away from the bankers and Feds

“How I missed the point of bitcoin”



“Congress considers bill greatly expanding feds’ power to seize your money, Bitcoin, and property”

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Authority

Government authority tends to be used against those least likely to resist.
     — NeoWayland

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Friday roundup

Report Says DEA Doesn't Even Know If The Billions In Cash It Seizes Is Having Any Impact On Criminal Activity

So if seizing cash doesn't work, why do it?

Poor Neighborhoods Hit Hardest by Asset Forfeiture in Chicago, Data Shows

Another of my maxims applies here. “Government authority tends to be used against those least likely to resist.”

Redesigned pride flag recognizes LGBT people of color

Behold the victim hierarchy, “my victimhood is more important than yours.” They took something that was inclusive and made it about race. What's more, the black and brown stripes are on top. Do you really think that just happens to be the way it turned out? See also There's Controversy Over The Addition Of Two New Colors To The Gay Pride Flag

The Progressive Tea Party that Never Was

Why can't progressives build effective groups from the ground up?

What to do with a broken Illinois: Dissolve the Land of Lincoln

Utter catastrophe is not strong enough for what Illinois faces. This may well be the only way out.

Good riddance to the Russia myth — and blame Team Obama for promoting it

I'd say Team Hillary, but at least they are calling it a myth.

Fifteen Lawyers in Search of a Crime

There's no evidence that the Russians helped the Trump campaign, but that doesn't stop the government lawyers.

Carrier Will Move Jobs to Mexico, Despite Trump’s Promise to Keep Them in Indiana

It's still crony capitalism, an unholy alliance between a company and government.


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Bilingual futility

I can tell you the second I realized the utter futility of mandated bilingual communication. I was at an ATM in San Francisco and the only two language choices were English and Spanish.

In Chinatown.
     — NeoWayland
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Headline roundup

Net Neutrality Supporters Want to ‘Ban Drudge’

One of my maxims applies here. “Ever notice that when someone starts talking about the common good, they try to take something away from you?”

Judge: Lois Lerner’s tea party-targeting testimony can stay secret — for now

So what are they hiding?

How Team Obama tried to hack the election

We know it happened. Why isn't it being investigated?

Inside Obama’s Secret Outreach to Russia

Again, we know it happened. Why isn't it being investigated?

Get Congress Back to Legislating, Not Just Budgeting

Another example of unintended consequences.

CNN’s Kathy Griffin and the Face of Tolerant Democrats

Griffin doesn't want to face the consequences.

Flashback: Obama Admin. Offers to Share Syria Intel on Terrorists With Russia

Yep. We know it happened. Why isn't it being investigated?


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NeoNotes — Deserved to be heroes

For length reasons, this entry appears on it's own page.

“We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.”

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from crux № 1 — hate crimes

I've never agreed with the “hate crime" nonsense.

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❝Shut up. You have no rights.❞

“Detroit Cops Raid an Innocent Family's Home at Gunpoint on Bogus Sex-Trafficking Tip”

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Innocent but imprisioned

“Jury renders not guilty verdict in gun crime, but defendant still imprisoned”

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Greatest crimes of our times

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 10 — the system

Another classic that I've used in the sidebar for years.

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Government shutdown

And this would be a bad thing how?

I know what CNN is saying.

But realistically, why would a government shutdown be bad?

We know what Milton Friedman said.
Pretty much everything else could be done better by the states or the private sector.

If your local grocery store closed because they forgot to order, you'd go somewhere else. If the plumber you called couldn't come because his truck got repossessed, you'd call another. If your favorite coffee place had no one to work and was closed, well, there are other options.

But with government services, there aren't options.

Government doesn't like competition.

Every year, statists tell you How Important Government Is and how the "other party" is about to screw up your life.

It's political theater.

There isn't even a budget.

The last time there was officially a budget was 2009. But it was pretty much a budget in name only. Even if there was a budget, it would be several thousand pages long, incredibly detailed on some things and disturbingly vague on others. It's meant to be abused. I don't want to examine the Federal budget process here but I will tell you that even if Congress makes no changes, each agency gets the same amount it had the previous year plus an automatic increase. This is the so-called discretionary spending.

That's right. It takes an act of Congress to keep spending at the same level it was in the previous year.

The default setting is more government and more spending.

Then there is the mandatory spending which isn't part of the budget process. Congress may revisit the rules every few years on mandatory spending qualifications, but it usually rolls along on it's own. Mandatory spending is about two-thirds of the budget, Social Security alone is about one-third.

And I haven't even gotten to earmarks.

Government doesn't like competition so it locks private interests out of the services it provides. It manipulates you into blaming the other party so it can tax and spend more of your money. And it expects thanks for it's hard work.

Government shutdown.

This would be a bad thing how?


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Official Solution®

The problem is that the best intentions can lead to the worst results.

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“American Indians Are Still Getting a Raw Deal” by PragerU

“American Indians are the poorest of all of America's ethnic groups. Why?”

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NeoNotes — Best intentions - updated

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Somebody KNEW

Feds knew of 700 Wells Fargo whistleblower cases in 2010

America's chief federal banking regulator admits it failed to act on numerous "red flags" at Wells Fargo that could have stopped the fake account scandal years earlier.

One particularly alarming red flag that went unheeded: In January 2010, the regulator was aware of "700 cases of whistleblower complaints" about Wells Fargo's sales tactics.

An internal review published on Wednesday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found that the regulator didn't live up to its responsibilities. The report found that oversight of Wells Fargo (WFC) was "untimely and ineffective" and federal examiners overseeing the bank "missed" several opportunities to uncover the problems that led to the creation of millions of fake accounts
     — Matt Egan
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Secret demands

“Court Rules Facebook Can’t Challenge Demands for User Data (and Can’t Tell Users)”

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“On Women's Right to Vote”

After she was arrested, Susan B. Anthony showed just what a woman could do.

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Yeah, he kinda does

Rand Paul: Trump needs Congress to authorize military action in Syria

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday night that President Trump needs congressional authorization for military action in Syria after Trump ordered an airstrike in retaliation for a deadly chemical attack earlier this week.

"While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked," Paul said in a statement shortly after reports that the U.S. had launched more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles against an airfield in Syria.

"The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate," Paul said. "Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different."
     — Brooke Seipel

This is what I was talking about.

While Democrats are muddying the water with the "Russian connection" and judicial filibusters, President Trump just ordered attacks on another sovereign nation
without Congressional authorization.

Why is this legal? Well, part of it is because of Bush the Younger and Obama. They too launched military strikes without Congressional approval.

All the nonsense that is being thrown at Trump, and when he does do something that is morally wrong, no one cares.

It gets lost in the noise.

Hey Democrats, you own that one too.
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Still think libertarians are paranoid?

NSA selfies

The question isn't if the NSA watches everything. We now know that they do.

Libertarians have been watching this for a very long time. Ever since the
Inslaw affair we've known. Rumors have been flying since the days of minicomputers that certain machines were modified to report to the various spy agencies.

So let's talk about the story headlines from yesterday.

Donald Trump and his associates were under surveillance, but not directly. They were incidentally surveilled because of active surveillance on other parties. This may have been taking place for up to a year before the 2016 election. At least one source dates the surveillance to 2011.

This is where we start getting into legalisms. Because Trump and associates were not the direct targets of surveillance, intelligence officials say that Trump was not under surveillance. Technically true and absolutely false.

By American law, the names of American citizens are "masked" in surveillance reports unless they too are under investigation. Or unless an authorized government official orders the names unmasked.

So the NSA spies on everyone but Americans are supposedly shielded and protected by a legal process. Even there the names would have only have been unmasked for that one official. Except President Obama had recently changed the regulations, some intelligence would be shared among 16 different agencies.

Washington is a political town, gossip rivals actual intelligence as trade goods. While it was illegal to share those unmasked names with those who did not have clearence, that's also business as usual.

And so far no one is asking what Hillary Clinton and her associates were doing for the same time period.

So the NSA spies on everyone on the planet.

One government official can unmask the American names in intelligence reports, even if those Americans had done nothing wrong.

And it all could be denied because the denial is technically true while absolutely false.

Your government. Working to protect you.

I'm going to tell you some secrets now.

The NSA can't monitor everything on the internet. They may record it to batch examine later, but there's no computing power that can watch everything in real time.

Despite all the enhanced algorithms, despite the focus on encrypted data streams, and despite the probability matrices, the system is half blind.

I don't remember which one, but when I was a teenager I read a novel about WWII spies. There was a bookstore in the novel, and every couple of hours a certain book was moved. From the noon position to the two o'clock, from the two to the four o'clock, and so on. The first thing that the spy ring did was check the window, if the book wasn't in the right spot they knew their cover had been blown.

So imagine a Facebook page and the picture on the top is a border collie. One day the picture changes to a pinto mare. Two hours later something blows up.

Imagine a reddit about French cooking. One day a newbie signs in and asks about substitutes for heavy cream. The next day a newspaper gets a tip about the L.A. water supply being contaminated.

Do you see?

All this spying can't reliably predict what might happen except by blind chance. It's amazingly good about putting all the pieces together after.

All these intelligence agencies are subject to political corruption.

So, does all this spying really protect you?

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Illegal spying on legal phone calls

“Former US Attorney: Susan Rice Ordeblurb Spy Agencies To Produce ‘Detailed Spreadsheets’ Involving Trump”

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NeoNotes — Prostitution

Do you really want politicos deciding what is moral harm?

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Minority rights

I don't think there are minority rights. I believe we have human rights and that it's not a right unless the other guy has it too. Which other guy? All other humans. At least all other humans in our culture and our society.

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Real & impossible rights

Since the Women's March in January I've been talking to and emailing people. I've been trying to find out exactly what "women's rights" are and which ones have been threatened by Donald Trump.

In the United States, women have more rights than any where else in the World. Period. This cannot be disputed. The
Fourteenth and Nineteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution pretty much took care of that. It's not perfect by any means, and yes, some males can be total a*holes about it. But (and this is a darn important but), American women enjoy rights that are impossible for other women in much of the World.

To start with, American women are secure in their persons and that is protected by law. They are not usually forced into radical surgical modification such as
female genital mutilation. They can not be forcibly married. They can't legally be forced into sex. They can't be required to provide body parts, organs, or blood on demand.

American women can AND usually do own property. They can exchange their labor for cash. They can have bank accounts (even if there were problems with that until well into the 1970s). Their property is protected by law just as any man's property is.

Third and most importantly, American women have the right to vote. As citizens, they have every right to try changing government within the system if they don't like it. And if they and enough of their fellow citizens agree, they have the right to abolish the government and start again.

There are other rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, the right to bear arms, and so on. Somehow these other rights are never under discussion, even though they do not exist for women elsewhere on the planet.

These are the very same rights that every American citizen possesses.

Then there are four sets of rights that some women want that are not guaranteed by the Constitution and law.

The first set concerns equal pay. This can be confusing. Some jobs are inherently more dangerous and pay more. Some jobs require much more than the normal time and a near obsession with the job itself, these often pay more. Jobs are like anything else, there are tradeoffs.

The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents. And no one knows if the five cents is a result of discrimination or some other subtle, hard-to-measure difference between male and female workers.
     — Christina Hoff Sommers, No, Women Don’t Make Less Money Than Men

The second set concerns the sexualization of women. Some describe it as the hyper-sexualization of women.

Yeah.

Well, I have news for you. Humans are sexual creatures. Men are going to pay attention to women. Yes, even homosexual men. It's hardwired into the biology. The fact that the overwhelming majority of men do not have sex all the time with every female in sight at every opportunity is a credit to morals and Western Civilization. You're going to get speculative looks and appreciative looks. Sometimes you may get comments.

And you know what? Not all ladies are offended by that. Please don't act as if women are a monolithic block who all speak and act as one.

Sometimes women dress to get attention. Men are going to respond.

But since America is not a rape culture, women are still secure in their person. Or they should be anyway.

There's a difference between admiration and forced sex.

The third set concerns privileges for women because of past wrongs done against the gender by men. These aren't rights because everyone (men and women) share rights. These are special privileges that apply only to women because they are women.

That's not going to work.

In my case, I'm not going to take responsibility for something I didn't do. If the guy three streets over did it, I'm not responsible. If it happened in my grandfather's time, I'm not responsible. If my brother did it, I'm probably not responsible, but we'll talk it over and see.

Guilting someone into giving you privilege means the privilege will only last as long as the guilt.

That brings us to the fourth set. Somehow this set gets more attention than the rest, it concerns reproductive rights. As nearly as I can tell, this is reduced-cost and/or free contraception and abortion.

Going back to the first right I discussed in this post, American women are secure in their persons.

This means that sex is a voluntary activity. I'm going to say that again.

Sex is a voluntary activity.

I'm not responsible for a woman's sexual behavior any more than I am responsible for the color of her shoes. It's her choice and her responsibility. It's not her neighbor's responsibility. It's not society's responsibility.

Unless it's with me, who you have sex with, how you have sex, and how many times you have sex is frankly none of my business. Likewise, unless it is sex with me, I'm not responsible for the consequences.

So that is four sets of impossible "rights" that some women call "women's rights." These rights can't be granted. And the only set that President Trump threatens is the last set, the "reproductive rights."

I can't support these "women's rights."

I can support American rights as I discussed in the first part of this post.

Those are actually rights and worth defending.

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Legal theft

Maine is poised to make it a lot harder for police to steal your stuff

Civil asset forfeiture is a national problem, and a big one. In 2014, for the first time in recorded history, police in the United States seized more money and property through civil asset forfeiture than all burglars and thieves combined. Making matters worse, civil asset forfeiture has been known to disproportionately impact African Americans and Latinos, creating significant barriers to opportunity in their communities. According to a study in Oklahoma, nearly two thirds of seizures come from racial minorities, representing a significant disparity.
     — Payton Alexander

Emphasis added. H/T reddit

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Black & Blue & hate crimes

Louisiana and Kentucky have both passed laws that add police and emergency responders to the hate crime laws.

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Repeal Obamacare with just one sentence

Rep. Mo Brooks files bill to repeal Obamacare

Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.
     — U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks

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NeoNotes — Which god?

With government interference, one side exploits the others.

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Right to boycott

“Fashion Designers Are Boycotting Melania Trump. Shouldn't Bakers and Florists Have the Same Right?”

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“The Nature of Liberty”

We can argue whether the law is morally right or not.

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Tiny houses banned

Tiny Homes Banned in U.S. at Increasing Rate as Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living

As the corporatocracy tightens its grip on the masses – finding ever more ways to funnel wealth to the top – humanity responds in a number of ways, including the rising popularity of tiny houses.

These dwellings, typically defined as less than 500 square feet, are a way for people to break free of mortgages, taxes, utility bills and the general trappings of “stuff.” They’re especially attractive to millennials and retirees, or those seeking to live off-grid.

But government and corporations depend on rampant consumerism and people being connected to the grid.

Seeking actual freedom through minimalist living should seem like a natural fit for the American dream, but the reality is that many governments around the country either ban tiny homes or force them to be connected to the utility grid.

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Unlimited immigration redux

Entirely too funny.

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“I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Entirely too funny.

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“Parliament is sovereign.”

This classic 1867 piece has lessons for today.

For length reasons, this entry has it's own page.

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Government & religion

Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand

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Unlimted immigration is not a good idea

She doesn’t think the law should apply to her.

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Same as 2004

There are some ideas I have been playing with the last few years or so

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Four amendments

We’re at the point where the American republic may fall.

At this point, I’m honestly not sure it can be saved.

I’m not sure it should be saved.

There are some ideas I have been playing with the last few years or so. I’ve tried to talk these out with people I trust. And now I am putting them here. All are Constitutional amendments.

Remember that the Constitution was designed to restrain the actions of government, not citizens. Remember too that many of the checks and balances have been removed over the years. And finally, the Federal government was never intended to run smoothly and efficiently. The checks and balances were designed to protect freedom.

Liberty is the goal, not democracy.

• Repeal the 16th Amendment

The income tax is one of the biggest threats to freedom ever enacted. With it, the Federal government assumes you are guilty unless you can prove that you are not. This is a complete reversal of the rule of law prior to the amendment.

With the 16th, the Federal government is not restrained by the need for a warrant. Your employer, your bank, any financial company that you do business with, all are required by law to report transactions over a specific amount or any “suspicious activity.” There are “rewards” if other citizens turn you in. Effectively, everyone around you is required to spy on you and penalized if they do not.

Tax cases are heard in an administrative court run by the Internal Revenue Service with it’s own rules of evidence. Your money and property can be seized and the only way you can get it back (less interest) is to prove that the IRS is wrong by it’s own regulations. Regulations that are so complex that it is literally beyond the ability of any one person to understand.

The “progressive” tax system is designed to foster envy and “class” disruption. The income tax is one of the most despised Federal laws in American history. The only thing that keeps Americans from hanging IRS agents is that citizens think the “system” hits someone else worse. It fosters scapegoats so it seems “fair.”

An income tax system inevitably leads to political corruption. Unpopular groups find themselves under extra scrutiny. Politicos use it to keep their enemies and rivals in line.

There are technicalities that I could spend pages and pages examining. For example, if there is a “standard deduction,” then by definition taxes are too high.

The income tax took away your freedom. You have to acknowledge this every year by signing a Federal form. Under penalty of law.

• Repeal the 17th Amendment

Brought to you by the same merry madcaps who gave us the 16th, the 17th Amendment reduces freedom in the name of popular democracy. The 17th has made Senators political bosses in their own states, with control of the Federal money spigot and a guaranteed spot high up in the political parties.

The popular election of Senators took away some of the oversight the state legislatures were supposed to have on Congress. But since Senators no longer answer to their state legislature, they have become tools of their party.

This does not serve freedom.

This part of popular democracy destroys freedom. It’s an illusion designed to expand the major political parties while fooling the voter into thinking that they have influence.

There’s a place for popular democracy, but not unrestrained popular democracy. The Bill of Rights is the best example.

• None of the Above and Alternative Voting

Every election should have a None of the Above choice. If NOTA won, then those candidates on the ballot would be barred from serving in that office for that term.

One choice that people should always have is the choice to walk away.

We should never assume that the default is to elect someone. Especially if the voters aren’t picking who gets to run.

Alternative voting just means ranking the candidates in order of your favorites. The biggest advantage is that the minority candidates have a better chance of being elected and major parties are forced to pay closer attention to all the voters. Instead of voting against a bad candidate, voters could choose someone closer to their beliefs and priorities.

• Laws and Regulations

As things stand now, there will always be more laws and regulations unless Congress takes direct action. Think about that carefully.

The default state of the American Federal government is more government.

That is not freedom.

I suggest a three pronged attack.

First, ALL government regulations would sunset within three years unless made law by Congress and the President.

Second, state legislatures would approve Federal regulation before it applies in that state. This approval could be withdrawn at any time. Congress has the power and authority to pass laws for the nation, but it can’t delegate that power. Every single Federal regulation that governs individuals and states is unconstitutional.

This would reduce Federal regulation to it’s proper scope and shift coercive power away from millions of unelected technocrats.

I know this seems excessive, but it is actually well within Constitutional principles. There’s nothing in the Constitution that provides for regulatory agencies except the much abused and overused commerce clause. Certainly there is nothing that provides for administrative court systems outside the Federal courts.

Third, each state legislature could choose one Federal law annually for referendum at the next Congressional election. Each Congressional election, there could be up to 100 Federal laws on the ballot. And if a law does not get a national majority voting to retain it, it would be gone.

Practically, this would effectively be automatic repeal. Unless it was a very good idea, I can’t see a majority voting to keep a law. But the possibility is there. The automatic repeal means that Congress would have to convince voters of the worth of each and every law. And if the state legislatures are canny, one carefully chosen law could defang dozens of others.

In other words, this proposal gives the states direct oversight of Congress.

There are other things that I would love to see done. But these four would do wonders. I welcome your comments and ideas.

Comment from discussion Four amendments.

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Ideas

When both choices are bad…

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NeoNotes — Sexuality & society

Most of the problems caused by illegal drugs come from the drugs being illegal in the first place.

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NeoNotes — Homosexuality wasn't illegal

I'm too tired to play by the rules tonight, so I will lay it out.

Homosexuality wasn't illegal. It wasn't legalized. Certain homosexual acts were illegal, but not the status itself. What's more, you don't want homosexuality made illegal because it will become much more popular and any government that can make homosexuality illegal can also make heterosexuality illegal. All it takes is the right politicos in the right places. There's a long convoluted argument for both of those points, but I'm too tired to condense things right now.

Despite your personal beliefs, homosexuality is not the issue. It's the distraction.

Yes, the distraction. It's the pink pantaloons and bared breasts and freaky tattoos. It's all designed to make you nervous, to make you clutch your Bible harder, and maybe even make you froth at the mouth.

It's the distraction.

Because if you're convinced that homosexuality is the issue, you fight a war that cannot be won.

You cannot outlaw homosexuality. You can only try to outlaw sexual behavior you don't like. But Americans have this habit ignoring laws they think are stupid.

I tell people all the time that the people who pay attention to gun laws aren't the ones you should worry about.

The same thing applies here.

The real issue is completely different.

Tax money is going to endorse and encourage one set of behaviors over all others.

That's it.

While the distraction captures your attention, they're picking your pocket to do things for your own good.

Whether you agreed or not.

It's for your own good.

How dare you question!!!

You want to win the battle?

Take away that government support.

Let the free market of ideas work.

If people want to study, fine. But no subsidies. People will have to pay.

And by the way, the same goes for the ideas you agree with.

If people want to study, fine. But no subsidies. People will have to pay.

Yes, there will be ideas taught that you don't like. But those ideas will have no artificial advantage.

The only measure left will be which ideas work in real life. class="ghoster">

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Political discussion

Any robo-caller demanding money is almost certainly a scam

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Scam - not the IRS

I was adding commentary to some of my lexicon entries

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About that Brexit thing

Vice laws tell people that we don't think they can be adults

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Rainbow arms

I didn't realize until I was much older just how cool Ali was

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Brexit

Competition keeps us honest. Progress never comes from satisfaction.

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NeoNotes — Vice

Something different. Something unexpected. Something wonderful.

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Ali was cool

Get that? The science is settled. Don't question the dogma. Thou shalt not dissent!

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DOJ delays Apple case

I'm pretty sure there's more to this story. But the government is staying mum.

I think the FBI was fighting a PR war and it blew up in their face.

So now the FedGovs retreat until they can try again.


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Thirteen thousand

So here's a simple question.

If the U.S. Marshalls arrested 13,000 "worst of the worst," repeat, violent offenders…

Why were there 13,000 "worst of the worst" repeat, violent offenders out there to be arrested?


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John Oliver speaks on encryption

The FBI and the DoJ don't believe the U.S. Constitution applies

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The FBI demands you sacrifice privacy

It's not illegal to deny climate change

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The FBI wants your iPhone

That alone isn't enough

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NeoNotes — Immigration

Not all feminists & not all lesbians

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Giving away the choice

We ceded our right to choose our morality to government functionaries.

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One thing that can keep you free

Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it is just.

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from crux № 2 — defining liberty

It’s not a right unless the other guy has it too.

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Going after the cash

Follow the money

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Less

Less government means more freedom



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from crux № 23 — Uniformly

We say that the United States relies on the uniform rule of law. Then we look for loopholes.

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Measure your freedom

Automation, yeah, that's the ticket!

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The AlterNet Tea Party article

Demonstrating that certain modern liberals don't understand economics

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Forbidden

The law and you

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Sex and crimes

Some people are deliberately confusing the issues to advance their beliefs

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Not a bright idea

Killing off 90 percent of humans

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Law for the little guy

The real problem with "progressive" laws

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