Punching Stupid and Evil in the Face Since 1986!

"We are on strike, we the men of the mind. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties."-John Galt

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Well, your glorious Net Neutrality Rules have been released......

I've just started reading through the 'Net Neutrality Rules" this morning and you know what's funny? All this BS and RIGHT IN THE FIRST SECTION I find this:
"Likewise, innovation at the edge moves forward unabated. For example, 2010 was the first year that the majority of Netflix customers received their video content via online streaming rather than via DVDs in red envelopes. Today, Netflix sends the most peak downstream traffic in North America of any company. Other innovative service providers have experienced extraordinary growth— Etsy reports that it has grown from $314 million in merchandise sales in 2010 to $1.35 billion in merchandise sales in 2013. And, just as importantly, new kinds of innovative businesses are busy being born. In the video space alone, in just the last sixth months, CBS and HBO have announced new plans for streaming their content free of cable subscriptions; DISH has launched a new package of channels that includes ESPN, and Sony is not far behind; and Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks has announced a new over-the-top service providing bandwidth-intensive programming. This year, Amazon took home two Golden Globes for its new series “Transparent.”
Hmmm, all that before Net Neutrality and government interference.......what are they protecting against again????? It's so funny that in their own paper they tout how the Internet has grown and been wildly successful and in the same breath talk about how the government must step in. Yep, if you wanna ruin something, get the government involved.

More to come.......

Monday, February 2, 2015

5.46 million foreign work permits issued since 2009

If you're looking for a major reason why labor participation remains at 37 year lows for the entirety of the Obama Administration, you might want to take a look at their shadow immigration racket.
More than 5.46 million foreign nationals received work permits from the federal government since 2009, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Data uncovered from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency reveal that approximately 982,000 work permits were given to illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals unqualified for admission, most of whom crossed the border without inspection. USCIS is the agency within the Department of Homeland Security responsible for issuing work permits and processing applications related to President Obama’s executive action on immigration. On Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that funds DHS, while blocking funding that would allow USCIS to implement the president’s executive action. 
The remarkable number of work permits granted by the federal government to law-breaking aliens better explains how all net jobs growth since 2007 has gone to immigrants. The government issued approximately 1.7 million work permits since 2009 to aliens whose status was not known, not recorded, or not disclosed by USCIS, according to the report. The report says employment is not authorized by law for approximately 1.2 million immigrants who collected work permits while having a temporary visa status. And the data show that approximately 1,200 new work permits went to unlawful entrants who were denied asylum, were suspected of using fraudulent documentation, were stowaways, or were refused at a port of entry. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

State Run Media sad because they are treated like State Run Media

Apparently the media doesn't like it when their message is tightly controlled by outside forces.......except when they are totally cool with it.
Reporters covering the House Democrats' retreat in Philadelphia this week are having a much different experience than when they’re on their home turf on Capitol Hill. Reporters are being escorted to and from the restroom and lobby and are being barred from entering the hotel outside of scheduled events, even if they've been invited by a member of Congress. During Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at the retreat Friday, reporters were required to have a staff member, usually a junior member of the press team, escort them when going to the bathroom or to the lobby. The filing center for reporters was at a separate hotel from where the retreat was taking place, so access was limited to members of Congress specifically made available to the press
Peters said he was told by a staffer they were being escorted to prevent them from talking to members of Congress.
Basically we had Congress slamming their iron fist as to what information reporters were going to get from the Democrat Representatives......sort of like what the media does with the general public.

GOP goes after all White House communications with IRS

Well hopefully they've taken better care of their hard drives than Lois Lerner. Senate GOP is going straight to the source since they didn't get anywhere prior:
Senate Republicans on Thursday asked President Obama to turn over all communications he and his aides have had with the IRS since 2010, hoping to find out whether the tax collection agency shared private taxpayer information with political operatives at the White House.

The request, made in a letter obtained by The Washington Times, is signed by Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and all 13 other Republicans on the committee, and is addressed specifically to Mr. Obama, saying they want to see if his employees broke the law by acquiring or sharing private information.
We'll see. One thing we can be sure of, now that the GOP controls both houses, there are no excuses for not getting to the bottom of this thing.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

FCC redefines words, thinks that makes the Internet faster

Today the FCC put the final touches on their latest hair-brained idea for broadband in America. They have redefined "Broadband" to mean 25Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps to 3Mbps for uploads. Previously "Broadband" was defined as anything at or above 4 megabits per second. See what they did there? They gave "Broadband" a new definition. Now service providers won't be able to meet this definition and the government will have to intervene. This is just one more step towards Net Neutrality, which I have written about several times on these pages. (You can watch my interview with former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell)
In a 3-2 vote, the commission approved a measure that increases the minimum standard for broadband speed, giving the agency more power to force internet service providers to improve their service.
The definition of broadband is set to be raised from 4 megabits per second (Mbps) to 25Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps to 3Mbps for uploads.
With that speed as the benchmark, significantly fewer Americans have access to high-speed broadband. Under the previous definition, 19 million Americans were without access; the new definition means that 55 million Americans – 17% of the population – now do not have access to high-speed broadband, according to the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, which is in the final editing process but was cited at the hearing.
Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, our FCC is charged with making sure broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion”. So, if the service you are paying the same amount for today is no longer broadband tomorrow, who do you think will pay for the new and ever increasing speed demands? And, if you're dissatisfied with your cable provider today, what exactly does changing the definition of broadband do to improve that relationship? While the US might be ranked 25th in broadband speed globally, changing the definition of the word "broadband" does nothing to improve access and encourage innovation. Do you ever wonder why companies like Netflix and Google aren't founded in other countries? Our open and free markets create an environment where a couple of folks sitting around in their basement can have an idea they can take to market all by themselves. If we want better Internet in this country we don't need more intrusive and strangling regulation by the government, we need less. With moves like this and Net Neutrality you only need look at the massive innovation of the telephone over a 50 year period (there was basically none) to see what will happen if the Internet falls under Title II control. It wasn't until the government loosened their stranglehold on the telecommunications industry that we got things like provider choice, call waiting, call forwarding and the like. While these may even seem like dinosaur inventions these days, keep in mind this same deregulation also gave you that shiny cell phone you're reading this article on.

Changing definitions doesn't bring the Internet to more people, it doesn't make it faster or better or cheaper. Changing definitions only give the government a stronger hold on one of the last truly free and open market places we have left in this country.

The Science is Settled-Gun Ownership Reduces Crime

A post over at bearingarms.com highlights newly released information for the first 6 months of crime data from the FBI which shows violent crimes are reducing as gun ownership is increasing. That is great news. The science is settled-gun ownership lowers violent crimes!
Violent crimes reported for January through June of 2014 were down 4.6 percent from the same time period in 2013. All of the offenses in the violent crime category—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery—showed decreases. And the number of property crimes during the same time period decreased 7.5 percent, with all three offenses—burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft—showing declines.
Society is much safer as a result of people legally owning and learning to use firearms to defend themselves. As gun ownership becomes more commonplace, those that choose to break the law have a much greater chance of running across someone willing to defend themselves as not. This is a good thing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MO State Auditor Tom Schweich *probably* Announcing run for Governor Today

Missouri's favorite state Auditor is making a "major announcement" today at 4pm on the campus of UMSL. Everyone in the state believes this will kick-off his run for governor. I like Schweich. He has been a good auditor and is pursuing action against the municipal courts system here in MO as part of an on-going effort to clean those systems up. (While I am sure there is more to come on that front, it looks like our municipal courts system has some 'splainin to do.)

I wish Tom good luck in what I know will be a tough campaign. If you have a minute to stop by his press conference today, please do!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gun haters hatin' on guns again

The gun confiscators are at it again....... Sandy Hook Commission says Screw the Constitution - Confiscate Guns!
Just a little over a week ago the Sandy Hook Commission presented its recommendations to Communist Governor Daniel Malloy (D-CT). Among those recommendations were to confiscate all guns that had the capacity to fire more than without reloading. They further showed their disregard for the law by stating that it wasn't their job to determine constitutionality.

Of course it is not their job to determine the Constitutionality......ugh.

Rick Perry creates 1.169 million jobs, Obama takes all the credit

From AEI:
It’s a pretty impressive story of how job creation in just one state – Texas – has made such a significant contribution to the 1.169 million net increase in total US employment (+1,444,290 Texas jobs minus the 275,290 non-Texas job loss) in the seven year period between the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and December 2014. The other 49 states and the District of Columbia together employ about 275,000 fewer Americans than at the start of the recession seven years ago, while the Lone Star State has added more than 1.25 million payroll jobs and more than 190,000 non-payroll jobs (primarily self-employed and farm workers).
I have to agree with Red State on this, if the Great One wants credit for these numbers, he should stop pushing the majority of folks to disability and food stamps. Maybe work on creating an environment that encourages this kind of job growth nationwide?

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Break from Pot Talk to talk about Pot.....

Purusing the headlines this morning I found an article (Here in it's entirety if you are so inclined.) in the Missourian in which the writer seems to have a problem with legalizing the "devil weed". As you all know we are going to explore our options and discuss legalization in Missouri over the next week or so, but I felt it important to point out the fallacies I find every single time with some of the arguments the writer makes.

So, let's get at it......
To supporters of recreational marijuana use, we pose this question: What is so unsatisfying or unfulfilling about your life that you feel a need to get high? .................................................................................................................................... Among the most frequent responses are: Marijuana is no worse than alcohol. That’s true. We recall a story last year with the headline: “Alcohol is still the deadliest drug in the United States, and it’s not even close.” Alcohol abuse is a scourge in our society. Consequences include accidents, fatalities, family breakups, job losses, health problems, legal issues and more.
To the opponents, I pose this question:
  • What is so unsatisfying or unfulfilling about your life that you feel the need to eat ice cream? or watch that soap opera? or read 50 Shades of Grey? or have an affair? or eat fast food everyday at lunch? or meddle in the choices of grown adults?
    • And conversely, what is so great about your life that makes you think a few drinks at happy hour with friends is ok? or that glass of wine with dinner? why do you go to the gym?
I think you can see where I am going with this. There are choices that people make everyday in their lives. Folks choose if they want to be happy, healthy and wise. And, they choose what that means to them. As a freedom lover you do not get to pick and choose what freedoms another is allowed to have. You don't have to like or even approve of someone's choices, but they are their choices to make. To the extent that there is no harm extended to you, you do not have the power to choose for another. Otherwise, you also like Obamacare and the EPA.
Alcohol prohibition in the United States has been tried; it failed. A comparison to alcohol is not a compelling reason to legalize another mood-altering substance, which experience has shown creates problems and is difficult, if not impossible, to repeal.
It’s my business if I want to get high; I’m not hurting anyone else.
That may be true for a person who lives in a vacuum. Otherwise, it is classic denial. A person who is impaired cannot be completely involved in activities with a spouse, children or friends. Impaired judgment impedes the ability to follow instructions, interact with co-workers or complete routine tasks. Getting high is about self, not about others.
To this silly argument, I would just like to point out, you already deal Every. Single. Day. with what might be hundreds of people that are high. Maybe you think this is part of the problem with society. That's fine. You are entitled to think whatever you want, but again, legalizing it or not does not change this fact. The only thing you accomplish by keeping cannabis illegal is possibly making criminals out of people who are doing ZERO harm to you or yours. People you like, who clean your house, care for your children, are your BEST friends; all for no other reason than you disagree with how they spend their alone time. You are ok with their doors being kicked in. Their dogs shot. Their families torn apart. Their lives ruined. You will sit in judgement of how much is too much or too little involvement with families, children and spouses, their ability to do their job or take on tasks, yet I guarantee lots of normal, regular people are already doing those things around you every day. Personally I think, if someone is not doing themselves to your satisfaction, you are the one with the problem. You do you, let them do them.

When we discuss legalizing pot, we have to be honest about what the real discussion is. If someone is a bad parent, a lazy bum, stealing to support their habit, using substances under-age-all of these things are already addressable with existing law. The legality of marijuana has nothing to do with it. If you blame pot for failings in the human race, we must revisit the whole "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument.

Don't be a hypocrite.

The goal of every true freedom lover should always be to have the least amount of laws (and control) over the lives of others while maintaining order and giving the opportunity to prosper in society.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What do we Want? WEED! When do we want it? NOW!

There has been much discussion the last few years about legal weed. With many states enacting various pro-marijuana laws over the last 10 years (or more, for a select few) and in the more recent past, some states adding recreational use, debate rages across the land. Legalization, decriminalization, medical use, the options for not making felons out of the hippie next door and the vast array of options available to states-these are all points that must be considered. It is an issue fraught with opinions and limited research. Whether you smoke pot or not, it won't be long before there will be some type of marijuana legislation in your state. As a freedom lover and a capitalist, a free-market type of gal, I am excited for the prospect of it becoming legal in my home state. It is important that folks understand marijuana, the choices states face when changing their laws, how best to enact these changes so they are actually beneficial and how to provide a fair and reasonable path to that end. 

It is my plan to provide a multi-part post over the next few days to provide some evidence for legalization in my state of Missouri. I think my state legislature should take up not only marijuana legislation, but also industrial hemp. I think it is important for many reasons. If you believe in freedom, it's important. If you believe in capitalism, it's important. If you want to protect the environment and find new, renewable resources, it's important. If you want to fill the state coffers with tax revenue from industry and create jobs, it's important. If you would like to see less folks get dragged into the criminal justice system, it's important. There is no reason why the left and the right can't get behind this movement TOGETHER.

A couple of points today, then I'll leave you to be excited and open minded about the information forthcoming on these pages-of which there will be plenty!

First, I don't smoke pot. I have.....oh yes, in my youth I was quite the pot smoker. And so what? I gave it up in my 20's. I had a couple of kids. I had a good job. I started my own business. I just simply had other things I wanted to do. That was the choice I made, because it was right for me. When the girls were young, I crusaded against drugs of all types, as parents generally do. Did I feel hypocritical? Nope. Not in the least. As a parent, you always set limits on your kids. I also didn't encourage or tolerate under-age drinking or fast driving either. I didn't harp on the illegality of pot, because I always felt it being illegal was a non-starter, but I did point out the limits it would set on their life and, just like an alcoholic, if you (or someone you love) is dependant on any substance, it will send your life down a path you might not want. One of the more infamous lines in our household is "Choose your life, don't let it happen to you." In this debate I do think there is reasonable room for discussing age as a factor in the laws. But, just as most people I know don't want the government raising their kids, it is up to the parents to instill the core values they believe are right for their family in their kids. You do it with family, you do it with futures, you do it with alcohol......you already do it with drugs. Changing the law changes nothing when it comes to raising your kids.

Second, I know lots of pot smokers. Tons. Some are business men and women, in professional positions. Some are lazy bums, with no job and no prospects. I wouldn't want them to be a big part of my life. What does this prove? That just like people you know in life, pot smokers are a large, diverse part of society. I guarantee at least one neighbor of yours smokes pot occasionally. Most likely there is someone within a 10 block radius of you that grows pot in their basement. And your doctor smokes it. Or banker. Or financial advisor. Probably a couple of teachers in your kids school. And, yes, that guy you work with, his brother-in-law that can't quite seem to get off the couch and get a job, he is just as likely to be a pot smoker as not......but frankly, pot isn't that guys problem. There is no good, clear-cut evidence that people like that wouldn't be bums, without motivation or prospects, even absent pot. This is very important. I also find the research pointing to lower IQ's and test scores to be suspect at best. And, the fact is, there are likely things we non-pot smokers do that aren't good for our bodies, our brains or our lives, everyday that are totally legal. Does watching too much TV make you less smart? Does spending too much time on the Internet slow down your ability to think? Does all that sitting and relaxing you're doing make you less healthy? I mean seriously, as adults, we all make choices everyday on how we want to live our lives. I don't put much weight on those studies because I know too many people who are extremely intelligent, are super motivated and have everything going for them that smoke pot. If they are slightly less than they could have been, who cares. They are still much more than I will ever be. It is not societies prerogative to decide how much of our potential we should live up to. Conversely, there are plenty of people who never smoke pot that don't live up to their full potential-because they don't want to.

Finally, there are lots of choices that need to be made when debating the issue of legal weed and hemp. It is important you know the difference. It is also important to realize you can have one without the other, if you so choose and it is easy to tell the difference. Of note, if you do your research you will also find that allowing industrial hemp does not in fact lead to rampant weed growing. They are different crops and a good pot grower wouldn't be caught dead growing their prize pot-crop next to a field of hemp. Also, when considering the issue there are varying degrees of legalization including, decriminalization (better than nothing), medical use (kind of silly), home grows (excellent), retail sales (creates a government run cartel), and full out legalization (mostly good). These all present with positives and negatives, like anything else, and it is up to us to decide what is going to work best in our state. Don't worry, I will clarify my positions briefly shown above in later posts. This just gives you a peek at what I think. Also, don't send me a bunch of hate comments on the medical use remark up there. I don't think it is silly because I don't believe it works-I know it has many medicinal uses. I think it is silly because medical use only encourages people to go ahead and be law breakers. It sets up a system of people trying to skirt silly laws to get what they want. Can you imagine if we required that people have a medical reason for growing tomatoes or drinking booze? I mean, who cares what ones reason for smoking pot is-either it should be legal or not in the eyes of the law. We don't need to put people in ridiculous positions when simply allowing it lets medical and recreational users alike be law abiding citizens.

I will leave you with this: I have a very liberal (and I know, radical) position that ALL drugs should be legal. However, for the purposes of this series I am sticking to the evil weed. I think it is the least offensive and most widely used, and I think it has a lot of value beyond just gettin' stoned and eating Twinkies. I hope you'll take the evidence I present to heart and really evaluate from a strong position, your stance on reefer.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts too!