There’s a biometric database of all adult Americans hidden in the immigration reform bill. Good thing the federal government is in charge of this, otherwise there would be real cause for concern. If this were some corrupt oligarchy people would worry about the information being misused, for example to target opponents of the regime for harassment.
Still, being a paranoid right-wing nut, I will actively work against the re-election of any politician who votes for this.
If we’re going to have them, they need to protect all of us, not just Democrats.
FIRE is right to note that fair, inclusive enforcement of this mindlessly broad policy is impossible. But I doubt it’s intended to be fairly enforced. I doubt federal officials want or expect it to be used against sex educators, advocates of reproductive choice, anti-porn feminists, or gay rights advocates, if their speech of a sexual nature is “unwelcome” by religious conservatives. — Wendy Kaminer, quoted by the Instapundit
Oh, surely federal laws and regulations will be fairly enforced, whether the accused is liberal or conservative. Why would anyone think otherwise?
Crack-brained zero-tolerance policies are condemned as stupid by everyone but the school administrators who impose them. You’ve read about these. A little girl points her Hello Kitty Magic Bubble Gun at a classmate, and gets suspended. A little boy gnaws his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, and gets suspended. Another points his pencil and says “pow!” and gets suspended.
Teaching the constitution
Regular people think these are just kids playing, and educated idiots making fools of themselves. In fact the suspending authority will be an experienced teacher with a Ph.D. in Educational Administration or a similarly rigorous field. He-or-She is teaching the children a great lesson, teaching their parents too, and doing it all by in an inclusive cross-cultural modality. You may not speak English or know much about America before the lesson, but after the lesson you’ll be an American patriot committed to the constitution. By suspending a boy for making a threatening gesture with his fruit snack, the child who might otherwise have become a solid citizen respectful of authority is radicalized into a conservative patriot who respects the constitution.
It’s an end run, just like the liberals’ brilliant campaign to make every American buy a rifle and a thousand rounds. If President Obama had issued an executive order that everyone had to buy and maintain an AR-15, people would have fought for the right to be gun-free. Instead, he took the shrewd approach of a master psychologist. Every time a politician says something stupid about guns, a hundred more people buy guns. Merely an accident by tone-deaf nit-wits stunningly out of touch with the people who elect them? I think not.
This level of ignorance just isn’t natural, it’s deliberate. They’re maximizing the number of stupid things they say about guns. When Senator Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate, people wondered if he was crazy (wondered if Obama was crazy, I mean, not Biden…) Hah! Obama was crazy like a fox! Similarly, those elementary school principals are shrewd operators who know exactly what they’re doing. They have graduate degrees, after all. It’s not like you can finish grad school and be a idiot.
They’re doing it on purpose. Every time a school administrator suspends a second-grader for pointing his pop-tart aggressively, a family joins the Tea Party.
“The primary thesis of the book [Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview, by Gene Edward Veith] suggests that the replacement of rational debate with media manipulation, the subordination of logic to emotionalism, and the trivialization of politics–all tenets of our popular culture–form a fertile breeding ground for new forms of fascism. Veith points out that fascism has stood in opposition to the Judeo-Christian worldview because of its rejection of a transcendent God and His moral law. [...] Veith’s concern is that when transcendent values are excluded from a culture, politics can become reduced to sheer “will to power.” And if there are no absolutes, no basis for moral persuasion or rational argument, then power becomes arbitrary, allowing the side with the biggest propaganda machine and the dirtiest tactics to win. In Modern Fascism Veith relies on Postman to show how electronic media, particularly television, has eroded linear logic, sustained inquiry, tradition, and deferred gratification.” — The Secular C.S. Lewis: Neil Postman’s Unlikely Influence on Evangelicals, by Arthur W. Hunt III
The Republicans continue their drive to stop me voting for them. Sure, Democrats want more and higher taxes. It’s no surprise that President Obama and the Democratic Senate are trying to impose a internet sales tax. But with the Republicans controlling the House of Representatives, no internet sales tax has a chance. Because Republicans are against taxes, and even want to cut taxes. Right? So don’t tell me Barack Obama and the Democrats raised my taxes, unless you’re willing to tell me the Republicans and the House of Representatives raised my taxes.
And hey Republicans! With amnesty for illegal aliens, gun control, and gay marriage, you’ve pretty much lost me. Raise taxes again and it’s all over between us.
“Dear MSNBC, if our kids belong to you, do your kids belong to us too? If so, can we take them hunting after church in our big pickup truck?” — Sarah Palin.
Here’s the background.
“I guess there is not much in Science that is fixed in stone.
“Except the temperature. The only thing that Science knows for sure is that the temperature was exactly right about 100 years ago. Now of course, the temperature is almost a little hotter and we’re all going to die. But thank goodness civilization lived long enough to find that one exactly right temperature. I hope Mr Obama chisels the number into some sort of monument so that, should humans evolve again from the wreckage, they won’t have to waste their energy determining The Proper Temperature and they can get right down to blaming each other about just who is responsible for ruining everything this time.” — Science!
There’s a fair chance such a monument will be built. President Obama is, after all, the man who hoped we’d tell our children that his inauguration “was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
“Some problems solve themselves. There has been a mild spate of stories about armed police being asked to leave coffee shops and restaurants — at least one a Denny’s — because the establishment has a no-gun policy. I suggest that the simplest solution is to require that any such gun-free establishment be required to warn everyone, including the police, that this establishment doesn’t want them. A large sign saying ‘THIS IS A GUN FREE ZONE. POLICE NOT WELCOME INSIDE’ would solve the problem. Potential armed robbers would of course obey the sign, so there would be no need of police, who could improve their own health and safety by ignoring any calls for succor from inside the shop. The problem, if it is a problem, would soon go away without expenditure of public resources.” — Smart Phone Cramming; Saber Rattling in Seoul; Is the Korean War on again? Is AI humanity’s greatest threat?, by Jerry Pournelle
In a multicultural society, some cultures are more equal than others. Accused of marginalizing Christians in Britain, Prime Minister Cameron said,
“Christianity plays a vital part in the Big Society, from the many brilliant church schools to the huge number of charitable causes based in churches across the country.
“The prime minister values the profound contribution that Christianity has made and continues to make to the country, which is why he strongly backs it.” — Lord Carey attacks PM over Christian ‘support’, BBC News
It’s a statement worthy of an Ottoman Sultan. Mr. Cameron might even think he was flattered by the comparison; he can style himself ‘steadfast guardian of religious architecture; hope and comfort of statists; confounder and great defender of aging religious cranks.’
Regularly at Walmart, I’ll want to buy onions, but the onion bin is empty. Or a pouch (Welcome to the World of Tomorrow!) of salmon. There’s a space on the shelf, maybe an empty cardboard box where the salmon used to be, but there’s no salmon. Or gherkins, or oyster crackers, or hot dog buns. The stuff is in the store, but it’s on the pallet back in the back. The shelves look like the Moscow Central Grocery Collective might have looked in 1982. In Soviet Russia you could slip some money to the clerk, and she’d sell you some of the salmon hidden under the counter. In Walmart, there are no clerks.
In Communist Russia, the central planners set the price of salmon below its market price, so alternate mechanisms developed for distributing salmon. Maybe fish was rationed by hassle — the salmon cost twenty kopecks plus two hours in line, or twenty kopecks plus a bribe for the clerk. Or maybe you bought your salmon from a guy who stole it from the cannery.
In America today, it’s completely different. To keep costs down (Thanks, Obamacare!), Walmart has thinned out their supply chain until they have too few people working too few hours to keep the shelves stocked, and there are long lines to check out. They have, in effect, set the price of salmon below what it costs. But this is America! Here, we don’t wait for hours or bribe the clerks (there are no clerks; that’s the point!) Here in America, we buy something else, or we make a scene. We stand in the aisle and holler “Where’s the salmon!” or “Customer need assistance!” I mean, one would rather politely ask a clerk for help, but like I said there are no clerks.
People could shop somewhere else, but circumstances are the same there. Mom and Pop’s closed because they couldn’t compete with Walmart prices. Ritzy Organic’s prices are too high for someone on disability or working part time at, wait for it, Walmart! where their hours just got cut. Before the current food price inflation (which of course is not really happening), I thought the retail business model of the future might be membership. Customers would pay a flat monthly fee for whatever they wanted to carry out of the warehouse. Now, I don’t know. Maybe we need federal food insurance.
UPDATE 28 March 2013: more here with links.