Penn Jillette on Politics and Religion

The self-described libertarian nut is interviewed concerning his thoughts on Nevada being moved up in the primaries.

[Youtube video “Penn Jillette speaks of his atheism with Wolf Blitzer” could not be found. to re-attach. My apologies.]

Apparently he was on Paula Zahn prior to this, also talking about religion, or his lack of it. I couldn’t find any content on the ‘net with Penn in it; but if these other clips are any example, she should be ashamed of the hatchet job she performed on Atheists everywhere.

YouTube – Paula Zahn – discrimination against atheists part 1
YouTube – Paula Zahn – discrimination against atheists part 2

At least she attempted to make amends by inviting Dawkins on after some viewers protested (YouTube – Richard Dawkins on Paula Zahn Now) but even the average talking head on TV should know that your panel should include people who hold the views under discussion.

…Making Paula Zahn a below average talking head, I guess.

Perhaps they should Read the Bills first

Here’s a quote from Senator Dianne Feinstein (credit to DownsizeDC blog) on the subject:

“Unbeknownst to any of us, in March 2006, in the PATRIOT Act reauthorization, a provision was included that allows the Attorney General to appoint an interim U.S. attorney for an indefinite period of time.”

Maybe she should have read the bill she voted for, before she and her reckless colleagues turned it into law.

Now she wants to undo it by passing another law. I wonder if she’ll read that one? It would be even better if she wrote it.

Doesn’t it make sense that congress should read and write the bills they vote on? Want to tell them this yourself? Drop by Downsize DC and send a message concerning the Read the Bills act and the Write the Laws act.

If you want to preserve your right to speak to your congressman through an organization like DownsizeDC, then you might also want to talk to your congressman about their attempts to stifle grassroots organizations with regulation.

Let them know what “shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech” really means. Clearly they don’t understand it themselves.

If the idea of congressmen voting on legislation they didn’t write and haven’t read doesn’t scare the pants off of you, then perhaps you should wander over and give The Late, Great American Nation a read.

If that doesn’t do it, I don’t think anything else will.

Hillary Declares her Intentions

Hillary Clinton has also decided to seek the presidency (I buried the story on Digg, myself) Like that’s a surprise. We’ve all been told she was going to run since the day her husband left the White House.

Personally, I think she’s a shoe-in to win the Democrat nomination, even though she’s not a Democrat (she’s a socialist, her attempt to socialize medicine during her husband’s tenure proves this) or even much of a woman, a parent, or a wife. She’s connected to Bill, and Bill still pulls a lot of strings in the Democrat party. That’s really all she needs to win at this point.

I’m just waiting to see who the Republicans field against her. I’m still betting on Condi; not because she’s got a chance of winning, but because polling has revealed that her group (black, female) is the only group less likely to win the presidency than a white female.

…and the Republicans are playing to loose this time around.

Whatever happens in the four to eight years following Bush’s time in office, it isn’t going to be good. The Republicans want to be able to capitalize on that by blaming it on the next occupant of the White House.

Look to see them attempt to scuttle any other viable candidates (including Dr. Paul, the only Republican that I would vote for) in the coming years, leaving only Condi to run against Hillary.

Chinese Test Anti-Satellite Weapon

As reported in Aviation Week, the Chinese gov’t:

performed a successful anti-satellite (asat) weapons test at more than 500 mi. altitude Jan. 11 destroying an aging Chinese weather satellite target with a kinetic kill vehicle launched on board a ballistic missile.

Let’s hope no one remembers that Bill Clinton is responsible for approving the sale of technology to China that made this sort of development possible. It might hurt Hillary’s chances of becoming the next president.

What a shame that would be.

Of course, not nearly as devastating as the now very real threat to the rest of the world, if you believe the US government propaganda on this issue, that is posed by China having the capability of creating long range Weapons of Mass Destruction.

As usual, we have the best enemies money can buy. I just keep wondering why we pay for them.

George Bush is Leeroy Jenkins

“Alright chums, let’s do this! LEEEROY JENNNNNKINS!” Pretty much covers my thoughts on the subject of Bush and Iraq (credit to Kung Fu Monkey: Shorter Bush for the idea)

“W” rushes in where even is hawklike father, HW, refused to go.

Or, to quote Wil Wheaton:

Iraq Study Group: Sir, you’ve totally screwed the pooch on this one, so here are some things you can do to get out of this war with some serious cover. It’ll limit casualties, and maybe even help save your legacy a little bit.

Bush: Yeah, about that. I know that was pretty much the whole point of your little study and stuff, but I’m not so much going to listen to anything you suggested as I am going to do the complete opposite. See, I’m the decider. That means that I get to decide what to do, and I don’t have to listen to anyone else if I don’t want to. That’s what deciders do: they decide. Mission Accomplished. God bless me. Uh, I mean, America. Yeah, God bless America. Heh. Heh.

There is a mandate out there to bring the troops home and abandon the conflict in Iraq. The war was over when Saddam was toppled, and the current conflict cannot be won. It can’t be won because it’s a conflict that existed before we got there, and will exist after we leave. It’s a conflict between groups living within the borders of Iraq, a country created by men who never lived there, men who just drew what was essentially random lines on a map. (incidentally, this is the precise reason cited by George H.W. Bush when asked why he did not remove Saddam Hussein. The foregone conclusion that this would lead to a bloody civil war) These people are going to keep fighting until they learn to live together, and no amount of external pressure will make this come about.

The Decider just doesn’t realize that he’s about to become less popular than Nixon if he doesn’t change course, and soon.

Ron Paul Throws His Hat Into the Ring

I doubt this will change the outcome of things. The US bus of happiness is already careening on the cliff’s edge. It’s going to take more than one good president to drag it back onto the straight and narrow.

However, Ron Paul (the only member of congress for which I have any respect) has declared his intention to seek the Republican presidential nomination. I wish him the best of luck, he’s going to need it. Especially with press coverage like this:

Paul limits his view of the role of the federal government to those duties laid out in the Constitution. As a result, he sometimes casts votes at odds with his constituents and other Republicans.

Imagine that? A congressman who actually fulfills his oath to uphold the Constitution, and it’s considered a liability by writers at the Washington Post. I guess they’re ready, willing and able to help push the bus the rest of the way over the cliff.

I missed my first opportunity to vote for Dr. Paul back in ’88 when he ran as the Libertarian candidate for President. I was still deluded at the time, thinking I was a Democrat. If (and it’s a big if) he’s successful this time, I won’t make the same mistake twice.

I’m sure I won’t be the only one. He has a solid antiwar record, being one of a handful of Republicans to vote in 2002 against giving President Bush the authority to use military force in Iraq. Which gains him Democrat votes.

On the other hand, he’s The Taxpayers’ Best Friend and is routinely ranked either first or second in the House by the National Taxpayers Union. Something that should win over the truly fiscally conservative.

You’ve got my vote Dr. Paul. Here’s hoping you can collect on that.

Curtailing Jobs for the Young and the Poor

A minimum wage hike will only help the Democrat union buddies whose constituents have incomes keyed to the minimum wage.

Minimum wage in large cities is already over the proposed national minimum wage, and raising the price of employment in areas that have not exceeded it will simply drive more poor people into the unemployment line.

There really is very little debate about this among economists. The empirical evidence is also pretty clear. Increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment among the young and the poor and the disabled. As recently as a few years ago this was a “settled issue,” even in the minds of the editorial board of the “New York Times,” which argued strongly against the minimum wage.

This is bad law, and should be resisted at all costs.

Mea culpa review 2017. I have eaten a Big Bowl of Crow since publishing this and other thoughts on many subjects. Another post I would just delete if I had a choice. I’ll just point you to Robert Reich’s Big Picture for Fixing the Economy dear reader. Yes, my views have changed quite a bit. 

Central Texas Toll Roads

Roads that have already been paid for by taxes (or are being paid for by tax funded bonds) belong to the taxpayers of Texas. They are our roads, not to be given to a third party at the whim of a governor who has overstepped his authority in this matter. They are our roads, built as freeways, for the use of Central Texans; they are not revenue generators serving the greater goals of the Trans-Texas Corridor.

If the residents of Central Texas wish to alter the method by which roads are paid for, I’m quite certain we are capable of presenting a question to the voters concerning tolling roads in lieu of further taxes. This is not what has happened. Roads that we have already paid for have been given to a for profit foreign company to manage. This is unacceptable.

If the residents of Central Texas wished to sell our roads to a management company to maintain, that would be our business. The sale of said roads would be used to retire bonded debt associated with the roads. This also has not happened.

What has happened is bureaucrats with more perceived authority than actual sense acted to sell-out Central Texas residents in exchange for lucrative deals that profit themselves and their families. This must not be allowed to continue.

Feedback on the Farm Bill? How about this?

The Agriculture Department is looking for feedback on next year’s farm bill; and they are closing the doors on the subject tonight. I guess they aren’t too anxious to hear our feedback. I left them some of mine anyway.

Stop the NAIS, the National Animal Identification System. If we start chipping the animals to keep track of them, how long before we’re chipping the citizens to keep track of them?

Why does no one understand that creatures aren’t born with an RFID tag attached, and consequently there is no way to guarantee that infected animals won’t intermingle without being tracked? This is a waste of time boondoggle of a program that sets an extremely bad precedent, profits only the large corporate farms; and it should be stopped immediately.

I probably should have said “Don’t pass one, other than to repeal the provisions of the previous ones” but I’m sure I would have been dismissed as a flake with a message like that.

Don’t pay farmers not to grow produce, or pay tobacco farmers to grow tobacco while at the same time paying for advertising discouraging smoking. What kind of weirdo is he…?