Site Notes: Malware Infection
Bill Quick

UPDATED UPDATED UPDATE (7/5/15 9AM}: I removed every ad from the DP main page that had any java code connected to it, including the Amazon ads. I cleared the caches in both my browsers, FF and Chrome.

I rebooted the computer and have since refreshed the DP main page several times with each browser, but I am no longer getting the redirects, extra windows or tabs that I was getting before.

Let me know if you are still seeing them after clearing your cache, rebooting, and then opening or reopening the DP site.

As an additional precaution, if you are running windows, check your programs for unfamiliar entries. If you don’t recognize something, google it. I found a couple of iffy programs I didn’t recall installing, and I uninstalled them. Also check your browser extensions/add-ons/whatnot for anything you don’t recognize, and delete that stuff, too. You guys running Apple, Linux, or Chrome OS, I dunno. Do whatever it is you do.

END UPDATE.

Several readers have reported to me they’ve had redirect issues when accessing DP.  It’s not you.

I was able to duplicate the infection using Chrome browser, which I run clean, no add-ons.  I’ve had no problems with Firefox, which I run with two add-ons that block ads (AdBlockPlus and NoScript) which prevent most scripts and ads (especially java, which I suspect it what is being used here) from running in my browser.  TheseAdBlockPlus is available for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Apple Safari.

NoScript is only for Firefox.  However, similar addons are available for other browsers:  ScriptSave or uMatrix for Chrome.  For IEX, if you wanted the approximate equivalent of NoScript with IE, you would block active scripting in the Internet Zone.  JavaScriptBlocker for Safari.  NotScripts for Opera.

Hostgator tech support confirms something is amiss with my server/website, and opened a security ticket earlier today.  It’s still open, and I’m waiting for completion and response.  As soon as I know more, I’ll either update this post, or put up a new one.

Sorry for the inconvenience. 

UPDATE (7/1/15): As of last night, according to a Hostgator customer service tech, HG security techs were still working on the problem. As of just a moment ago, a quick check of the ticket itself indicates the ticket is still listed as “open.”

UPDATE: As of 1:00PM today (7/2/15) the ticket still had not been worked. I called tech support, and after investigation, the tech discovered that the ticket had been placed in the “general support” queue rather than the specialized security queue. The general cue had about 2000 tickets in front of me. The security queue had five. The ticket has been moved to the security queue. I now await further action.

UPDATE: (7/4/15 – 10AM) Hostgator security finally responded. They said they scanned my server and didn’t find any malware. Then they pushed a boilerplate add for paid security feature called SiteLock, which, when I tried to sign up, wouldn’t let me do it because it said I didn’t have the “correct package.”

So I dunno. It may be something that is popping up out of the ads, likely the google ads. They bring in about fifty bucks a month, and I hate to take another hit to the DP income, but if it gets rid of this problem, it might be worth it.

I must say that I’ve had zero problems with FF using the AdBlock add on (I have NoScript disabled on the DP site, and still havenb’t had any evidence of infection.

However, using Chrome without AdBlock does reproduce the infection.

Finally, malware scans with Avira and Malwarebytes don’t show any evidence of malware infection on my computer itself.

UPDATE: I’ve removed the Google ads from the site. We’ll see if that helps.

Just Tell Me Who Won
Bill Quick

Clinton and Obama are on the wrong side of history – The Washington Post

These are not isolated events. Together, they show anew how the populist movement is ascendant within the Democratic Party, and they confirm that the balance of power has shifted. Clinton, who reports raising $45 million since launching her campaign in April, will almost certainly beat the upstart 73-year-old with the crazy white hair. Obama won on trade.

Bottom line:  Obama won on trade, and Clinton will defeat Sanders.  All the rest is Oligarchy Theater designed to keep the boobs stupid and happy.

Rahmbo the Desperate Taxman
Bill Quick

Chicago Netflix customers: Your bill is about to go up 9 percent | Ars Technica

Elizabeth Langsdorf, a cityspokeswoman, told Ars by e-mail that this new “ruling” is consistent with current tax law and is “not an expansion of the laws.”

“The City has issued limited official guidance on digital access to entertainment and information,” she wrote. “As a result, some online providers of movies, music and games have collected amusement tax, some lease tax, and some no tax. In addition, some online providers of financial products and other databases have collected lease tax, but many have assumed that they were exempt. The City’s new rulings clarify the application of taxes to digital goods to ensure consistency and eliminate revenue gaps.”

She also said that Chicago expects to take in $12 million per year due to this new tax ruling.

The ordinance says that the city will use a person’s billing address to determine whether or not the tax should be levied upon them.

In addition, Chicago is facing a massive budget shortfall largely due to school district pension payments.

Greece could never happen here.  Well, it could.  It already has in Detroit.  Chicago and other such socialist hellholes are now crowding to the top of the list as well.

BTW, keep in mind:  Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders:  Socialists.

Good News for Old Farts
SteveF

(Where “old farts” means anyone older than I.)

Older Athletes Have a Strikingly Young Fitness Age

Older athletes can be much younger, physically, than they are in real life, according to a new study of participants in the coming Senior Olympics. The study found that the athletes’ fitness age is typically 20 years or more younger than their chronological age, providing a clear inspiration to the rest of us to get out and start moving more.

The younger “fitness age” isn’t surprising. The size of the difference is. In fact, I’m not the only one who’s surprised:

“This is a massive difference,” Dr. Wisloff says. “I had expected a big difference,” he continued, “since these people have trained for years. However, I was surprised that it was this big.”

Interesting. I’d want to see a more rigorous study, rather than a largely self-selected group of respondents and I’d also want to look at the algorithm which determines the “fitness age”. Still, very interesting.

And here’s the second-most important point:

Few Senior Olympians returned to or began exercising and training regularly until they were middle-aged or older, she said.

“So you can start any time,” she said. “It’s never too late.”

So get off your butt.

Bernie Sanders Is Not A “Liberal.” He’s A Dangerous, Committed Socialist – And Proud Of It
Bill Quick

What candidates really mean when they invoke the ‘Founding Fathers’ – The Washington Post

You’ll encounter it especially when politicians want to take on large issues such as race or the increasingly prominent role of big money in politics. Expect to hear this from Clinton and especially openly liberal presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has used it before to celebrate Independence Day.

Welcome to the Orwellian world of Newspeak at the Washington Post.

Bernie Sanders is an “open liberal.”  You heard it at WaPo first.

It’s a naked, bald-faced lie, part of a push to whitewash what Bernie Sanders is. 

But Bernie Sanders is proud to tell us openly what he really is:

Vermont’s Bernie Sanders Becomes First Socialist Elected to U.S. Senate | Democracy Now!

In Vermont, Bernie Sanders to become the country’s first self-described socialist to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Running as an independent, Sanders won 65% of the vote, easily beating his Republican opponent Rich Tarrant. We speak with Sanders about what it means to the country’s first socialist senator. [includes rush transcript]

Today, Sander’s official partisan designation is “Democratic Socialist.”

Election 2016: Five things to know about Bernie Sanders – CBS News

1. He’s not officially a Democrat: Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, and he’s preparing to jump into the 2016 race as a Democrat, but he’s not officially a member of the Democratic Party.

Sanders identifies as a “democratic socialist,” and since a 1981 bid for Burlington mayor, he has actually campaigned as an independent in his political races. He ran as an independent for the U.S. House in 1990 and won, becoming the first U.S. House member with no party affiliation since Ohio’s Frazier Reams retired 40 years earlier. When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006, he again ran as an independent.

That, by the way, is a very specific form of socialism:

Democratic socialism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Democratic socialism rejects the social democratic view of reform through state intervention within capitalism, seeing capitalism as incompatible with the democratic values of freedom, equality and solidarity. From this perspective, democratic socialists believe that the issues inherent to capitalism can only be solved by a transition from capitalism to socialism – by superseding private property with some form of social ownership; and that any attempt to address the economic contradictions of capitalism through reforms will only cause problems to emerge elsewhere in the economy.[3][4]

Do you get that?  Bernie Sanders believes that capitalism in America should and must be replaced by socialism in a form that supercedes private property ownership.

This is not a liberal point of view by any stretch of the imagination.  Nor can I think of anything more in contravention of the heart of the American ethos: Free people and private property.  Sanders supports neither idea.  He is the most radically left-wing candidate to achieve semi-serious status in my lifetime.

And the hacks of the leftstream media are not just willing, but eager, to cover up what he is by calling him a liberal, or an independent, when the truth is, he’s a statist, socialist, capitalism-hating, America-hating bag of commie crap.  But then, so are most of the members of the leftstream media.

You think that Barack Obama was interested in a “fundamental transformation of America?”  Wait until you see what Bernie Sanders, committed Socialist as in mind for you.

Stupid, Ignorant Greek Child Wonders Why All the Bad Luck?
Bill Quick

A 21-Year-Old Greek Unloads: “I Am Terrified Of Tomorrow…It Feels Like An End” | Zero Hedge

They say that all we hear is propaganda; but we have lost our trust in all sides, now everything seems to be lies.

Well, there is your problem right there. They tell you bald faced lied that a three year old should be able to detect, and you believe them because you “trusted’ them.

Democracies fail when the demos has the collective IQ and mindless greed of a two year old.

It feels like an end. The end of our lives as we knew them. Yes, the lives that, before Friday, we already thought could be better; now we realise they were better then. The only thing we truly wish for is that the worst is not yet to come.

Too late for that, kid.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings are clearing their throats as they get ready to walk out on your stage.

It’s going to be a dei ex machina you won’t like at all.

More Popcorn, Please
Bill Quick

Mitt Romney: Donald Trump’s Comments About Mexican Illegal Aliens ‘A Severe Error’

Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney Join Marco Rubio In Attacking Donald Trump Over Immigration Comments: ‘A Severe Error’

Heh.  This just might be enough to push him to the head of the pack, at least for a while.  If all the Jeb, Mittens, and Rubio haters started supporting the Trumpster….

Conservatarian? Freethinker? Both?
Bill Quick

I have to confess, I’ve been a bit discombobulated over the past couple of years, as I’ve discovered that what I’d assumed were my political and ideological touchstones were crumbling away from me.

It was more of a shock than I expected when I formally admitted that I was no longer an Objectivist.  I’d thought I was for a long time, but every time I dug deeply into one aspect or another of Rand’s creation, I kept finding that the foundations were in large part made of clay. 

The worst realization of all was that Objectivism shared the same primary failing that Marxism possesses – it is a utopian philosophy/ideology that has not, can not, and will not ever work in any world that contains humans that are anything other than slaves.  That it contravenes human nature so drastically that is can never be more than an interesting mental exercise with some conclusions – never mind how shakily grounded they are – that I might find congenial, but that’s about it.

Libertarianism has at least a shot at real world practicality.  One can envision a libertarian state existing – at least for a little while, and providing that it is small enough – and that it concentrates on “defense and doing justice, government out of my bedroom and my wallet” (and all the other places governments so love to get in to).  Even so, a libertarian state cannot long exist in a heavily populated nation.  The history of the United States has been one long march away from the quasi-libertarian notions of the Framers to our current Oligarchic socialism – all wealth and power for me, bread and circuses for thee – a situation that has steadily worsened as our population has steadily increased.

It is no accident that the least libertarian organs of governance in our nation are in the biggest cities.

So, as I say, discombobulated.  It’s wrenching to realize that there is no handy word that sums up your thinking.

Conservatarian comes reasonably close.  In terms of conservatism as classical liberalism, I can find a fair description of my views of the proper role of government, and that view might even be realistically achieved in the real world.  It was, you see, once upon a time.  Although, admittedly, that time lasted only about seventy years.

And then I thought:  What about “freethinker?”

Freethinker | Define Freethinker at Dictionary.com

noun

1.

a person who forms opinions on the basis of reason, independent of authority or tradition, especially a person whose religious opinions differ from established belief.
Well, that sounds promising.  A bit or research turned up the following:
 

Freethought – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Freethinkers are heavily committed to the use of scientific inquiry, and logic. The skeptical application of science implies freedom from the intellectually limiting effects of confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, or sectarianism.

Better and better.

Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena.[9] According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, “No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.” and “Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims have not withstood the tests of reason. Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition. Most freethinkers consider religion to be not only untrue, but harmful.”[10]

Bingo.  Although I don’t necessarily buy into the “harmful” part – well, unless you’re a gay person on the wrong end of a whole load of state-sponsored religious compassionate conservatism.

I know I’m not just a conservative, and not just a libertarian, but some yet-to-be-decided blend of the two.  So, maybe I’m a Conservatarian?

But that Freethinker stuff really calls to me.  It sounds liberating.  And it does reflect fairly well the way I think about, and approach most things.

So, what do you think?

Should I go with “Conservative Freethinker?”

Or just plain “Freethinker?”

I have to admit I’d look forward to responding, when asked what it means by people seeking to pin a perfect label on me,  “It means that I’m free.  And that I think.”

Just Discovered Something Interesting
Bill Quick

Apparently at the NRO site, if you post a comment and two other commenters downvote it, it is deleted.

This assures that there will always be a healthy amount of mutual mental masturbation healthy, vibrant debate, and a pleasant atmosphere as you hear nothing but the echoes of one set of constipated opinion.

I’ve noticed that over the past few years I’ve gone to that site less and less often.

Now I think I understand why. 

My sin was apparently that I dared venture the opinion that turning the Supreme Court over to the mob was neither a good idea, nor what the Founders had in mind when they put the Amendments clause into the constitution.

As usual, the prevailing opinion in a place like that is that the Supreme Court should be destroyed because it had the unmitigated gall to do something that benefitted sinners abominations perverts Teh Gayzors.   Oh, and that Obamacare thingy, too, but that’s way in second place – with just about every major conservative site, I might add.

Greeks Bearing Gifts
Bill Quick

Greece’s Sorry Reckoning – The New York Times

The effort to restore Greece to normalcy has been a failure, because of poor policies, fundamental problems in Greece’s dysfunctional state and a pitiful lack of leadership in Greece and among policy makers in Europe and at the I.M.F. The collapse of the parties that had mismanaged Greece for decades created a vacuum that Syriza, a coalition of the radical left, filled with promises: It would continue to procure bailout funds, scrap austerity, undo reforms and still keep the country within the eurozone.

Five months of acrimonious sparring with our partners and creditors failed to achieve this. Domestically, the government has overseen the unraveling of many reforms, done little to crack down on tax evasion and corruption, and repeated the cronyism of the past with blatantly political appointments in the public sector. With no options left before bankruptcy, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rolled the dice and announced the referendum, urging citizens to vote “no.”

This is hilarious, in a surreal sort of way.

The author writes as if this all somehow just happened to Greece.  That it’s all nothing more than bad luck.

Well, perhaps it is.  At least in this sense of bad luck:

Quote by Robert Heinlein: “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condi…”

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Or perhaps this:

Poems – ‘The Gods of the Copybook Headings’

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

The Greeks, as they have often been through their long history, were once again ruled by greed and stupidity.  Those “pitiful, dysfunctional leaders” were elected and reelected solely because they promised an unending gusher of free money supplied at no cost from other people’s purses.

In fact, those leaders were shoved out of office only because they could no longer deliver the promised “free money prosperity.”

And the Greek people then turned around and put into power a new set of leaders who offered them exactly the same con.

And now that the con is fully exposed, and the endless open purse is revealed as the fraud and lie it always has been, the Greeks are beating their breasts and wailing, “How could this happen to us?  Why is the world so unfair?  Why is our luck so bad?”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

In any successfulcon, there are always two elements:  The con man, and the victim made gullible by his own greed.

The Greeks have played their greedy, gullible victim role to perfection, and the con man has stripped them clean, leaving little more than bones.

But this is not to say that the con man did not, and does not, exist.  The bankers who conjured up this money, often out of thin air, knew full well that the Greek people were taking on a debt they could never hope to repay.  The Greek people took the money anyway, because they were greedy and stupid.  The con men, on the other hand, regarded themselves as highly intelligent, because, while they were greedy, and knew the Greeks would eventually have to default on their loans, they also assumed they could tap other peoples’ purses for other peoples’ money as well – in this case European central banks and large international institutions like the IMF, in order to preserve the stability of the Eurozone. 

They’re going to lose the bet they made, because just as the Greeks cannot pay their debts, the owners of the purses filled with other peoples’ money are not going to pay them either.  And once all of that becomes obvious, the entire con will collapse.

Now, that time may not be quite yet.  The Greeks might vote to stay in the Eurozone and make yet another attempt to pay off debts impossible for them to pay.  But five, or six, or seven months down the road, as their lot continues to worsen, they will elect yet another government that will promise them big piles of something for nothing.

Eventually the string will play out.  Eventually reality will reassert itself in no uncertain terms, and Greece will collapse into chaos.  Because at that point the Greek people will be like a maddened bear attacked by ravening hounds:  Their only thought will be that they must make it stop.  Somehow, some way, they have to make it stop.

But they can’t.  They no longer have that ability, if they ever did.  And those who might be able to make it stop will choose not to do so, because, well, there’s no point.  If somebody’s money cannot be tapped, they sure as hell aren’t going to risk their own money on an unwinnable bet like Greece.

And what happens then?  What happens when the money is gone, and no more is coming in?  When Greece exits not only the Euro, but the Eurozone itself?  Well, maybe this:

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Exit note:  Most experts concede that even after a Grexit, banks would continue to loan at least something to Greece, but at enormously higher rates of interest in order to “cover their risks,”  In other words, their own greed would lead the cons to try to run their Greek Con one more time.  But the truth is, everybody involved is being conned, either by themselves, or the other cons.

Greece will never come out of its self-made abyss unless and until it gives up its fatal attraction to free lunchs.  And it’s going to take a series of amazingly poisonous meals to bring them, gagging and heaving, to that point.

Watch closely, because America is staring at the same fate.  We’ve got a ways to go yet, but we’ll get there, because it is now too late to turn aside, and anyway, our own stupid, greedy browsers at the free lunch table won’t let us.

Prepare accordingly.  And by that, take note at what the Greeks are going to suddenly find themselves without, post-collapse.  Check what the price of coffee goes to.  Water.  All food stuffs, especially imported food.  Medicines.  Power and transport.  Computer bytes and cycles.  All the things they can no longer afford.

And then think for yourselves about how you might meet a similar emergency.  Because even though intelligent folks will have seen this coming miles and years ago, to the greedy, gullible, stupid sheep who make up most of the population in the United States, it will come as a thunderbolt from the sky, totally undreamed of, totally unanticipated, unexpectedly.

As is happening in Greece today.

 

 

Changes
drach

This was their first hit single, a far cry from the music that they would later produce.

Later it went more like this.

American Flag: With Friends Like These….
Bill Quick

This seems like it might be an appropriate post for Independence Day:

Weenies burn flag to protest cops, get attacked by bikers, need cops to save their asses | New York Post

Now they probably love the cops.

A group of flag-burning anti-NYPD protesters needed New York’s Finest to save their skin from a gang of angry bikers who tried to pummel them in a Brooklyn park for setting Old Glory ablaze Wednesday.

Okay, let’s keep score here:  Some protesters were burning an American flag to protest some unnamed police actions.

All perfectly legal.  Burning the flag, whatever you may personally think of it, is entirely protected by the First Amendment:

Texas v. Johnson – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The opinion of the Court came down as a controversial 5-4 decision, with the majority opinion delivered by William J. Brennan, Jr. and Justices Marshall, Blackmun, Scalia, and Kennedy joining Brennan, with Kennedy also writing a concurrence.

Note that the highly revered (on the right, at least) Antonin Scalia concurred in the decision, though he didn’t write an opinion.

Okay, so, while engaged in a legal and peaceful political protest, and a protected act of political speech, the protesters were set upon and beaten by a gang of motorcycle thugs.

That part is not at issue, either.  The motorcycle thugs, in fact, seem quite proud of their criminal actions.

Finally, the author of the piece makes much of the supposed irony that people protesting against certain actions of the police should find it necessary to call on the police to rescue them from physical harm by a gang of thugs.

I think we are intended to cheer on the motorcycle thugs here, because…American!  Flag!

Now, this is not a matter of what you think about the burning of the national flag.  I’m not very happy about this particular act of protest either.

Nonetheless, it is both legitimate political speech, and it is entirely protected by rights guaranteed under our Constitution. 

Nor do I see anything to applaud in the actions of a gang of thugs who took it upon themselves to initiate force, in the form of assault and battery, on a group of people peacefully and legally exercising their Constitutional rights.

As for the irony is calling for a cop rescue, well.   First off, they weren’t protesting the existence of the police entirely.  They were protesting what they felt were bad deeds committed by some police.  Doesn’t mean they feel the same way about police who behave as they think they should (which, by the way, even by their own standards, make up a large majority of cops in general).

In our society, who were they supposed to call?

Of course, this was NYC, so the other American alternative to calling the cops was unavailable to them.  But had they been able to bear firearms, a right guaranteed to them by the Constitution, they could have simply shot dead the gang of criminal thugs attacking them.  And, frankly, I would have preferred that very American outcome.

It would have been entirely legal, too.  Being attacked by a gang of motorcycle thugs would certainly rise, I would think, in the minds of any American jury, to the level of fear-for-life that would justify an armed response in self defense.

Of course, if you’re one of those folks who think a nation ruled by the fists of gangs of thugs is a great idea, you’ll love this story.

Me, not so much.  The gang of criminal thugs here are not heroes.  They are villains.  It’s a pity that many folks won’t instinctively understand that, or understand that their actions were a far greater threat to the flag, and the nation for which it stands, than anything the protesters could ever do to Old Glory.

Trump: Problem For the Scamnesty Addicts of the Gentry GOP?
Bill Quick

Donald Trump hinders Republican Latino outreach – CNNPolitics.com

Washington (CNN)Republicans seeking to broaden the party’s appeal to Latino voters have a challenge: Donald Trump.

Yeah.  Broaden the party’s appeal to Latino voters by giving the country away to their illegal alien Mexican counterparts.

If Trump is throwing a monkey wrench into that project, more power to him.

I Doubt This Will Turn Off Any of Trump’s Supporters
Bill Quick

Donald Trump’s Voting Record in Primaries Is Shaky| National Review Online

He hasn’t bothered to go to the polls in the last half-dozen campaign cycles.

I don’t blame him, given the endless banquet of crap sandwiches the GOP has had on offer in those primaries.

Happy Fourth of July, Everybody!
Bill Quick

On this day, 239 years ago, the Continental Congress issued a declaration containing the following words:

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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I intend to celebrate the expansion of my ability to pursue happiness via the institution of marriage by heading off to the shooting range and blowing through several boxes of ammo.

Then maybe I’ll come home and grill a big chunk of dead cow for dinner.

Enjoy your Fourth!  I sure plan to.

 

California Christian Whackadoodle Pushes Initiative Calling For Death Penalty For All Homosexuals.
Bill Quick

Yesterday I was taking on a pack of socons and Christians who just hatey-hatey-hate themselves a whole bunch of Teh Gayzors.

One of these morons cited some BS from a tiny handful of gay loudmouths like Dan Savage, who said things like:

‘I Wish [Republicans] Were All F**king Dead’: Dan Savage’s History of Bizarre Rhetoric & Ties to the Obama White House | Video | TheBlaze.com

 ”I wish they were all f**king dead,” during an appearance on “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

This was offered as incontrovertible evidence that all gays want to murder all Christians and socons.

So I decided to return the favor:

California Sodomite Suppression Act Proposes Death Penalty for Gays | The New Republic

It’s been exactly one month since the office of Kamala Harris, the California attorney general, received the $200 filing fee and proposed text for a citizen initiative—the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act—that says “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head.”

This whackjob specifically cites Christianity for his murderous insanity:

snopes.com: Sodomite Suppression Act Proposed in California?

a) The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also
sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty,
commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.

b) Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that
all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly
of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely
command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another
person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to
death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.

c) No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic
propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the
age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at
creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other
than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million
per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from
the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.

d) No person shall serve in any public office, nor serve in public
employment, nor enjoy any public benefit, who is a sodomite or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does.

e) This law is effective immediately and shall not be rendered
ineffective nor invalidated by any court, state or federal, until heard
by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges
who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder.

This law is effective immediately and shall not be rendered ineffective or invalidated by any court, state or federal, until heard by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder.

Oddly enough, Snopes gives this claim, “Claim: A pending ballot initiative would make homosexuality a capital crime in California,” a rating of “Mixture.”

Which is strange, because this pending ballot measure would make homosexuality a capital crime in California.”

Although this is real, and is currently in the early stages of the initiative process, of course it has no chance of gathering enough signatures to make it onto the ballot (well, unless the Mormon Church decides to pour several million bucks into the California political process again – in that case, it might, because you could probably get 360 thousand Californians to sign anything), but even if that were the case, it has zero chance of passing or ever being implemented as law.

So, obviously, this guy is proof positive that Christians and socons want to murder all of Teh Gayzors.

Or, actually, in a sane world, it isn’t.  It is only evidence that there are some pretty crazy people out there.  And even Dan Savage, rude as he might be, at least isn’t actually trying to pass his tossed off wishes into law. 

Oh, wait.  Christians would never try to hijack the power of the state to enforce their religious bigotries on unbelievers, would they?   Of course not.

Later in the same comment thread:

Choose to continue to slander Christians and we will take the Muslim tack toward dealing with your kind. We’re very aware that you cower before them, and we know exactly why and how to apply the same methods.

But gawd help you if you call these fine Christian socons bigots.  Just because they think it is perfectly reasonable to murder you if you exercise your First Amendment right of free expression to disagree with them and their religious beliefs.

 

Today Only At Amazon
Bill Quick

Bowflex Xtreme SE Home Gym – You can put together a very nice Rippetoe-style home gym with this sort of money, but some people don’t like lifting weights. If that’s you, this might be what you need.

Also….

The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection – I never managed to watch even one episode of this show, but, as always, YMMV. If so, for you, this would be an excellent deal.

Remember – anything you buy from Amazon through any link on this site puts a commission in my pocket, at no cost to yourself, so thank you very much! Also, arf! from the Presidential Pomeranian.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Check out my new bestseller, Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com says: “Bill Quick has authored a terrific thriller that is also an all too plausible warning. Highly recommended!” Available in Kindle e-book or trade paperback formats.

San Francisco’s Sanctuary Policy Murders Another Innocent Citizen
Bill Quick

San Francisco: No ‘legal basis’ to hold shooting suspect – Yahoo News

Freya Horne, counsel for the sheriff’s office, said Friday that federal detention orders are not a legal basis to hold someone, so Sanchez was released April 15. San Francisco is a sanctuary city, and local money cannot be spent to cooperate with federal immigration law.

The city does not turn over people who are in the country illegally unless there’s an active warrant for their arrest, she said. Horne said they checked and found none. ICE could have issued an active warrant if they wanted the city to keep him, she said.

“It’s not legal to hold someone on a request to detain. This is not just us. This is a widely adopted position,” Horne said.

Of course there is a legal basis.  Federal law supercedes state and local laws.  San Francisco may not arrest people using medical marijuana, but the feds can, and do.

San Francisco calls itself a “Sanctuary City,” which means it does not enforce federal immigratation laws.  It is, of course, illegal for them to fail to do so, just as it is illegal for all the rest of the Sanctuary Cities, but they get away with it.

How?  Why?

Well, because Barack Obama, almost all of the current Presidential candidates, and most of the Ruling Party leaders like Boehner, Reid, McConnell, as well as their oligarchic controlllers, want them to get away with it.  The goal of all of them is to continue to import illegal aliens, most of them from Mexico, and then “normalize” their status (turn them into legal citizens) for various not necessarily conflicting purposes.

The technical description of the San Francisco sanctuary policy is sedition:

Sedition | Definition of sedition by Merriam-Webster

:  incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority
 
In this case, the lawful authority is the federal government, as expressed through federal immigration law.  And the resistance, which approaches insurrection (would San Francisco police resist federal immigration agents with armed force?  Hard to say….) is San Francisco’s (and California’s effective) policy of sanctuary for illegal aliens.
 
I’m sure those who take the position that a federalist approach on the part of the states, letting them set their own immigration policies, will react with full approval of San Francisco’s policies, which resulted in the senseless murder of this woman.  Actually, of course they wouldn’t.
 
In other words, it’s more complicated than it looks.  Federalist policies, when advocated by the “fire them, deport them, build a wall, and shoot them if they try to cross” – which is fairly close to my own position, not to mention being fairly close to the official federal policy on the question – which the feds themselves ignore – meets their approval when states attempt to implement it.  However, these same advocates are appalled when their preferred nostrum results, as it inevitably will, in travesties like San Francisco’s Sanctuary City policy, and this poor woman’s murder.
 
The ultimate solution, of course, is to somewhat strengthen the federal laws already on the books – I would recommend a robust and effective effort to find and punish employers who illegally hire illegal aliens, as well as a ban on “sanctuary policies” at whatever level – and then enforce those laws to the hilt everywhere in the country.  That would include taking whatever measures are necessary to get cities like San Francisco to drop their illegal Sanctuary City policies.
 
But since the entire Ruling Class and its Ruling Party would never dream of doing so, we are apparently stuck with this sort of crime and, no doubt, repetitions of it as well.
 
 

Be Alert. America Needs More Lerts.
Bill Quick

Potential Holiday Threats Assessed With Focus on ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, American counterterrorism officials have increased security at national landmarks and large public events ahead of major holidays or significant anniversaries, and issued bulletins calling for increased vigilance by the public.

But this Fourth of July weekend has spawned particularly strong warnings about a potential attack as the federal authorities and national security experts say the United States is more susceptible now because of tactics chosen for recent terrorist strikes by the Islamic State.

Officials cite an increased effort by the Islamic State to galvanize its sympathizers in the United States and elsewhere since Memorial Day and during this Ramadan season to carry out acts of violence on their own — so-called lone-wolf attacks. Those potential plots by individuals are harder for the authorities to detect and disrupt, senior American officials say, and have led the F.B.I. to put more Americans under investigation for suspected ties to terrorist groups than at any point since Sept. 11.

“Harder to disrupt?”

Which terror attacks have you managed to disrupt prior to now?  Well, except for the ones you ginned up yourselves:

The Informants | Mother Jones

With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings. (The exceptions are Najibullah Zazi, who came close to bombing the New York City subway system in September 2009; Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, an Egyptian who opened fire on the El-Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles airport; and failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.)

I predict we are about to see a spate of last minute arrests of terrorist planning to slaughter thousands on July Fourth.  I further predict that every single one of these plots will have, at its center, an American security agent mobilizing and enabling the plotters.

And, not to sound too tinfoil-hatty about it, but I wouldn’t be all that terribly shocked if, through some perfectly understandable fumble, at least one small plot was allowed to proceed to an actual attack, before the evil terrorist(s) are gunned down by brave Alphabet Agents.  Gunned down fatally, of course.  Corpses tend to be much less chatty about who and what motivated and enabled them in their attack….

Because America needs More Security.

Pickers and Screamers
Bill Quick

Mark Rippetoe rates Joe Bonomassa as a better guitarist than Jimi and SRV.  I dunno about that, but he is a fair country picker.  Here he is with a bunch of other fair pickers.

By the way, Dusty Hill (ZZ Top) has aged rather well, dontcha think? When I first saw these guys back in 1970, that was my first thought: behind those shades, beards, and whatnot, you’ll never be able to figure out how old they are. The only other group I can think of that managed to pull that thing off properly was Kiss.

Speaking of which, here they are, still banging heads 40 years later:

Anybody in any of these two groups could croak tomorrow, and they just stick a replacement with a beard or greasepaint into the mix, and you’d never be able to tell.  They could go on for, like, hundreds of years that way.

De Blasio Spouts Off About the Trumpster
Bill Quick

Donald Trump’s business relationships with New York City under review, administration says | Newsday

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that his administration is reviewing the city’s business relationships with billionaire developer Donald Trump, who is under sustained fire for his presidential campaign speech suggesting criminals were rife among Mexicans who enter the country.

“We are reviewing Trump contracts with the city. Donald Trump’s remarks were disgusting and offensive, and this hateful language has no place in our city,” de Blasio, who is vacationing in New Mexico, said in a statement.

Big talk, but no real action.  There is too much boodle and grease involved.  And De Blasio is no more than, and never has been, and never will be anything more than a greasy little boodlebagger.

Bloomberg would have been a different story, being maybe three times as rich as Trump.  He could probably hurt Trump in ways entirely beyond a little greaseba like De Blasio.

Although once you’re moving in the Trump/Bloomberg stratosphere, I’m not sure how much effect the difference between ten and thirty billion bucks really has.  A better interior decorator for the backup second 747?  Ten houses you don’t live in, versus five?

Hard to say.

The Usual Fun With Numbers Employment Report
Bill Quick

Record 93,626,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Declines to 62.6%

(CNSNews.com) – A record 93,626,000 Americans 16 or older did not participate in the nation’s labor force in June, as the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As I keep telling you:  When the last American worker is hired to fill the last American job, we will finally reach an employment rate of 100%, and an unemployment rate of zero.

Walker No Savior: None of Them Are
Bill Quick

Scott Walker privately reassures ally: “I’m not going nativist; I’m still pro-immigration” « Hot Air

Is this news? Nothing he told Stephen Moore in this account is strictly inconsistent with what he said a few months ago about reducing legal immigration as president. Walker was careful at the time to say that was something he wanted to look at, to see if current legal immigration levels are depressing wages and should be adjusted accordingly. He didn’t commit to anything, although he got plenty of excited buzz among the conservative voters he’s wooing for daring to raise the possibility. Even if he had committed to new limits, anything short of a total moratorium could, I suppose, be considered “pro-immigration.” Maybe he was BSing Moore.

Or maybe he’s BSing us. Between his previous agonizing immigration flip-flop-flipping, his well-timed reversal on ethanol in Iowa, and his sudden rediscovery of social conservatism, I don’t really believe anything Walker says anymore. He’s the most conspicuous panderer among the field’s top candidates. If there’s anyone running who might be telling voters one thing in the name of getting elected while telling donors and establishment allies another, it’s him.

Bottom line:  Razorbacker is right.  None of these clowns are going to save us.  The system that permits them to reach a level of name recognition, money, and power that allows them to run for a major state or national office guarantees that they will be lying, pandering snakes – and that in order to raise the money necessary for such campaigns, they will have to increase their previous levels of lying, pandering, and general snakehood.

In short, to seek a major promotion in the Ruling Class, they first have to be bonafide members of the Ruling Class itself.

There are no sure, easy, or quick answers, certainly not among the current field of candidates – or among previous fields, or likely future fields.

We’re on our own.  Plan accordingly.  And carefully.

Still The Way the World Works
Bill Quick

Some GOP candidates becoming unhinged over gay marriage ruling – The Washington Post

It is, therefore, especially disheartening that Cruz, who clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and who is better equipped by education and experience to think clearly about courts, proposes curing what he considers this court’s political behavior by turning the court into a third political branch. Imagine campaigns conducted by justices. What would remain of the court’s prestige and hence its power to stand athwart rampant executives and overbearing congressional majorities? Sixteen months before the election, some candidates are becoming too unhinged to be plausible as conservative presidents.

“It is, therefore, especially disheartening that Cruz…”

Yes, it is.  It indicates that either he’s nowhere near as constitutionally and historically learned as we thought he was, or that he is, but is willing to ignore what he knows in order to pander to a certain electoral and cultural demographic in order to get himself elected.

Neither option is very reassuring to those of us who once supported him whole-heartedly – as I once did, but no longer do – in significant part because of this indigestible chunk of electioneering hackery.

And George Will, of course, here leaves out one of my major problems with Cruz’s solution:  It is self-canceling.

The ostensible purpose is to make the court more “democratic,” and hence, more malleable to the people.  But realists understand that in America today, national elections cost an enormous amount of money, and the only source of such money is the distinctly un-democratic members of the very tiny oligarchy that rules America via the power of its own purse.

Handing the Court over to “democracy,” then, actually means handing it over to the control of the extremely rich few, not the many. But, of course, it is those same extremely rich few to whom Cruz is currently going, hat in hand, seeking to sell himself in exchange for funding for his own very expensive national campaign.

I’m not sure which I think is worse:  Selling your potential future influence as President, or selling SCOTUS decisions as a retained Justice.

Exit question:  Is mega-billionaire and potential self-financier prexy candidate Donald Trump potentially the least corrupted man in the field?

Dear Justice Scalia: Fuck You Very Much
Bill Quick

Oh, of course, you have to wait six months or more for a handgun permit in NJ « Hot Air

This gets back to the egregiousness of New Jersey’s gun laws. In February, a New Jersey man faced 10 years in prison for possessing … a nearly 300-year old flintlock pistol. In Bowne’s case, it was the Garden State’s abysmal permit law that arguably got her killed.

In Jersey, you need a permit to own a handgun (which is absolutely ridiculous). Fingerprinting is involved, but the whole process should only take 30 days. It’s explicitly clear in the NJ law books, but testimonies from other NJ gun owners say the real length of time ranges anywhere from three to six months to a full nine months until they get their firearm ID card. In Newark, some folks have waited for as long as a year-and-a-half. Shari Spivack, a firearm instructor interviewed by NRA News, waited nine months for her ID card.

 

 How could this be possible after Heller?  Well…

Why Liberals Should Thank Justice Scalia for Gun Control – NationalJournal.com

Scalia’s Heller Dicta:

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.

The dicta large enough to drive almost any gun control law through.  Thanks, asswipe.

Today Only At Amazon
Bill Quick

Bose Solo TV Sound System – Bose makes Good. Stuff.

Also….

Save 35% or more on NeverKink Hoses – Everybody needs a good hose.

Remember – anything you buy from Amazon through any link on this site puts a commission in my pocket, at no cost to yourself, so thank you very much! Also, arf! from the Presidential Pomeranian.

* * * * * * * * * * *
Check out my new bestseller, Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com says: “Bill Quick has authored a terrific thriller that is also an all too plausible warning. Highly recommended!” Available in Kindle e-book or trade paperback formats.

Those That Cannot Do, Teach – Badly
Bill Quick

Instapundit » Blog Archive » WHY COLLEGE KIDS ARE AVOIDING THE STUDY OF LITERATURE: Why is it, Prof. Gary Saul Morson of Northwes…

Literary texts, like other artworks, are neither more nor less important than any other cultural artifact or practice. Keeping the emphasis on how cultural meanings are produced, circulated, and consumed, the investigator will focus on art or literature insofar as such works connect with broader social factors, not because they possess some intrinsic interest or special aesthetic values.

In other words, what used to be called masterpieces are worthy of study only insofar as they fit into a liberationist program, and no further.

They haven’t a hope in hell of writing such things.

Therefore, they must be intrinsically worthless. Because if that were not so, these geniuses would already be writing such things.

How the Mighty Have Fallen.
avatar

When you see this, you probably think, “Ha, another (former) CNN progressive hypocritically toting around a gun”.

Pshaw. That isn’t the take-away. Hypocritical news people are a nickel a gross.

The takeaway was…they were staying at Motel 6.

It’s like seeing George Soros dumpster-diving.

And on a Lighter Note – Pots and Pans and Skillets, Oh My!
Bill Quick

As a former pro in the food and booze biz, as you would expect, my kitchen equipment tends to follow the Julia Child approach, who once remarked on her show – “You probably only have one fish poacher in your kitchen.  I have three…”  I found this especially hilarious because most Americans don’t know what a fish poacher is, let alone have even one of them in their kitchens.

I have a lot of pots and pans.  But how many do I use on a regular basis?

Two.

And not just any two.  These two.

On the left is an Erie cast iron skillet I got from my mom, who got it from her aunt, who got it from her own mother.  So, old iron.  The Erie line was made from the 1880s to about 1910 or thereabouts.  It’s still mostly smooth as a baby’s ass, and works great for searing, frying, sauteeing, really almost anything.

The other pan is a three quart anodized aluminum non-stick 3 quart chef’s pan from Cuisinart: Cuisinart 635-24 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 3-Quart Chef’s Pan with Cover

It costs under thirty bucks (as does the 4-quart version, which I also have) and it lasts about two years, after which I replace it and toss the old one.  The 4-quart pan lasts considerably longer because I don’t use it nearly as much.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I do have two fish poachers, as well as one of these: BBQ Fish/vegetable Grill Basket

And I have just about every type of pot, pan, skillet, dutch oven, or roasting pan you can imagine.  Many are specialty items I might use only a couple times a year.  (Not to mention more knives than any sane person should own, but that’s another kettle of poached fish.

And gadgets, of course, but we certainly don’t want to go there.  I already said I need to cut down on the time I spend blogging, in favor of my other writing.  Delving into my overflowing gadget drawers is not the way to go about doing that.

Anyway, these two pans take care of 90-95% of all my cooking needs.  I cook everything in them.  If I need real non-stick, I use the Cuisinart (especially, for my Szechuan-style shrimp omelets).  Although sometimes I use the Erie to give the shrimp a fast sear before dumping them into the eggs.  If I don’t need non-stick, though, I generally I use the Erie.

If you’re going to start a kitchen for yourself, you can do a hell of a lot worse than to buy yourself these two pans.

Oh, Jebus – I Yanked Big Moron Ace’s Chain Again, and the Usual Pot-Full Flushed Out
Bill Quick

Viacom Removes “The Dukes of Hazzard” Reruns from TVLand Schedule, Because Urge to Purge

Some time ago, Bill Quick attacked me, claiming, wrongly, that I was inconsistent to support a baker’s right to not make a gay wedding cake when of course I would be fighting, racistly angry about a Muslim who insisted on Islamic dress codes in his own store.

Ah.  I see I’ve yanked Big Moron’s chain again, and gotten the same regurgitation that I did before.

Ace is four-square Fuck You! War! for his delusion about the desirability of a society in which absolute freedom of association rules.  Hence:

That’s fucking America.

Did you not know that? That that’s what America is?

That America is the right to be different from other people?

I don’t see why a store run by a pious conservative Muslim can’t demand that women be covered, if that’s his bag, nor why a store run by a pious conservative Catholic can’t also insist that women cover their shoulders, if that’s his sense of what his business should be, of what should happen on property he owns.

Will there be hurt feelings when some are turned away?

Sure.

And who cares?

Well, Big Moron, for one thing, that ain’t America.  That’s your delusion of an America than never has, and never will, exist.   For another, as to who cares?  Those shut out of the pursuit of happiness by this mythical absolute liberty.  They care.  In many cases, they care quite a lot.

I realize that Ace is an ignorant moron, (he’s proud of this, I think) who knows little or nothing about American history, or even very much about the reality of human nature, but the claim that America is the right to be different takes cluelessness to a moronic new height.  First off, everybody is “different.”  There is no “right” involved in that at all.  It is merely an observation.  And as is befitting much of what passes for Big Moron’s “thinking,” even as an observation, it’s a very trivial observation.  The real question is what actions should a state permit in regards to the fact that everybody is different?  Big Moron, once you dig through the crap tons of horseshit he spouts on the matter, is really advocating something called the Absolute Right of Freedom of Association.

What’s that, you ask?  This:

Freedom of association – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Freedom of association is a term popular in libertarian literature. It is used to describe the concept of absolute freedom to live in a community or be part of an organization whose values or culture are closely related to one’s preferences; or, on a more basic level, to associate with any individual or group of ones choosing.

I should add that this includes the “right” not to associate with any individual or group of one’s choosingwhich is the aspect Big Moron is pushing here.

Libertarians and Objectivists dance all around this concept as it would theoretically apply to the real world:

The libertarian concept of freedom of association is often criticized from a moral/ethical context. Under laws in such a system, business owners could refuse service to anyone for whatever reason. Opponents argue that such practices are regressive and would lead to greater prejudice within society.

Right-libertarians sympathetic to freedom of association, such as Richard Allen Epstein, respond that in a case of refusing service (which thus is a case of the freedom of contract) unjustified discrimination incurs a cost and therefore a competitive disadvantage. Left-libertarians argue that such refusal would place those businesses at an economic disadvantage to those that provide services to all, making them less profitable and eventually leading them to close down.

This is, of course, nothing but theory, because, absent pure anarchy, an absolute right to freedom of association has never, and can never exist in the real world, only in theory.  And even in a pure anarchy, your “absolute right” to free association will exist only so long as somebody with a sufficiently large club doesn’t kick down your door and compel you to associate with him.  Big Moron and Libertarians and Objectivists can babble on and on about this fantasy, but I defy them to show me any society in all of human history in which this mythical right existed in the real world, or where these theoretical market punishments have functioned as they claim to enforce this “right.” 

If you’d like to take a crack at it, keep in mind that this “absolute liberty” includes both the liberty to associate, and not to associate.  In other words. if a shopkeeper (or any other commercial purveyor is permitted to not sell to somebody, he must also be permitted to sell to whomever he wishes.   So if any society bans the sale of, say, facial shaves to male Muslims who want them, or horses to Jews, or handguns to seventeen year olds, they are not practicing the absolute right to freedom of association.  (Fair warning:  I’ve laid a little trap in the aforementioned, in case you think you see a big fat gotcha, and are inclined to jump all over it).

Now, we have a reasonable test case about this in the Jim Crow era that gripped the South for nearly a century after the Civil War.  Libertarians like to claim that Jim Crow was a product of government oppression, rather than an expression of the will of large majorities of Southern voters through their legislatures and the laws they passed in response to the public will.  But they lie.

Even absent the state enforcing the rights of blacks to avail themselves of the same goods, services, housing, jobs, and so on that whites could freely enjoy, it is an extremely dubious proposition that the South would not have remained almost entirely – I would suggest entirely, and stop the quibbling – segregated, because even whites inclined to cater to blacks would not have done so for fear of public censure – or worse (being forced out of business by “other means,” or by being denied the same housing, goods, and services denied to blacks spring immediately to mind – “You like nigras so much?  Fine.  We’ll treat you like a nigra, then….”).

Jim Crow Museum: Origins of Jim Crow

Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-black laws. It was a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens.

Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-black racism. Many Christian ministers and theologians taught that whites were the Chosen people, blacks were cursed to be servants, and God supported racial segregation. Craniologists, eugenicists, phrenologists, and Social Darwinists, at every educational level, buttressed the belief that blacks were innately intellectually and culturally inferior to whites.

Pro-segregation politicians gave eloquent speeches on the great danger of integration: the mongrelization of the white race. Newspaper and magazine writers routinely referred to blacks as niggers, coons, and darkies; and worse, their articles reinforced anti-black stereotypes. Even children’s games portrayed blacks as inferior beings (see “From Hostility to Reverence: 100 Years of African-American Imagery in Games”).

All major societal institutions reflected and supported the oppression of blacks.  The Jim Crow system was undergirded by the following beliefs or rationalizations: whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep blacks at the bottom of the racial hierarchy.

Be that as it may:  It took the federal government’s enforcement of the Civil Rights Acts to finally free blacks (and others) to enjoy the same access to goods, services, housing, and jobs that whites took for granted.  The markets and social and cultural pressures sure as hell didn’t.  And when Ace supports absolute freedom of association, he is supporting a society that relegates the despised to the back alleys, slums, ghettos, crap jobs and cheap, substandard goods and services of Jim Crow, simply because they are despised.  It is a stupid, primitive, and repulsive view, but hey:  We’re talking Big Moron here.

But in fact I don’t. I don’t give a shit. I don’t give a shit about being denied service at a Muslim Halal Shop, and, as long as we work out a system which avoids me waiting in the rain for a cab which later rejects me, I don’t care about Muslim cab drivers refusing to ferry alcohol or dogs around, either.

He quibbles.  In the world of absolute freedom of association, if Ace wanted to find a cab that would give him a ride, he might not be able to do so, no matter what technological gimcracks he used to find such.  Because, just as decent jobs, good housing, seats at the front of the bus, and most goods and services were simply unavailable under any circumstances to southern blacks under legally – and socially and culturally – mandated Jim Crow, so would Big Moron, if he were regarded as enough of a pariah, be unable to find them either.

So much for absolute freedom of association.  Big Moron himself implicitly admits that he doesn’t really want that (as long as we work out a system which avoids…)   And if we can’t work out such a system, Big Moron, because the services you want are simply not made available to you, what then?  You just go home and cry yourself to sleep while sucking on a tattered copy of Atlas Shrugged?  Assuming, of course, you’re able to find someone who would even rent you a hobo’s cardboard box for you to go home to?

Now, let’s go on to Big Moron’s other ludicrous contention:  That America means absolute freedom of association.  I said that “everybody is different” is so obviously true it isn’t even worth assertion, and instead ask something actually relevant:  How should society deal with that obvious fact?

Do we want a society in which everybody is free to lock everybody else out from any commerce with them whatsoever, for any reason whatsoever?   If every non-black person wishes to refuse goods and services to black people, is that the society we want to live in?  (Fill in your own blanks for other forms of mass discrimination or even specific discrimination).

Do we really want the War of All Against All?

I don’t think so.  (I put in the link because I doubt Big Moron has one single clue about what Hobbes really meant by the phrase). 

Nor did the men who designed the United States of America recognize this absolute freedom of association Big Moron is prattling on about..  There is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees such a right, especially in regards to commercial association. 

While the United States Constitution’s First Amendment identifies the rights to assemble and to petition the government, the text of the First Amendment does not make specific mention of a right to association.

And even modern discoveries of such a right deal more with rights to political or religious associations, (in churches, not in church-owned businesses).

Nor did absolute freedom of association exist in Revolutionary Era America at the time of the Constitutional Convention and the Bill of Rights.  Keep in mind that absolute freedom of association prohibits laws laws that rule out the prevention of  commercial transactions, too.  In fact, there is no real difference between laws that prevent or require commercial transactions.  They both limit the asserted absolute freedom of association involved.

Of course there were many, many such laws, and the Framers were well aware of them.

Northern Exclusion of Blacks

In colonial times, Northern freemen, like slaves, were required to carry passes when traveling in some places, and they were forbidden to own property in others.

Which meant that potential sellers could not exercise some mythical absolute right of free association and sell them such property.

They could only use ferries under certain conditions in New England. In South Kingstown, Rhode Island, they could not own horses or sheep.

Which meant that ferryman could not sell them rides, or herdsmen sell them sheep.

Having set controls on their black residents, the Northern states busied themselves in passing laws to make sure no more blacks moved within their boundaries. These were not elitist actions. The pressure for total exclusion came from the working class whites, struggling for a little bargaining power with the shopowners and fearful of inexpensive black competition that could drive down wages.

Anyway, the Framers, even knowing perfectly well that laws in the colonies, and in their new nation, infringed this “right to absolute freedom of association,” they ignored it entirely.  Because the didn’t recognize an absolute right to freedom of association.

So much for “…America is the right to be different from other people…

Now, this does not mean an absolute right to freedom of association cannot be theoretically asserted to exist.  But it does allow one to entertain the question of whether such a right can actually exist in the real world.

And here is where we get to Big Moron’s hallucinatory beliefs on the matter.

Libertarians are nearly as well-known as Marxists for trying to hand-wave away human nature and then, when human nature utterly wrecks their delusions, smiling bravely and saying, “Well, if we try this same one thing over and over, I’m sure it will turn out differently.”

Let’s imagine, for a moment, Big Moron’s Brave New World of Absolute Freedom of Association:

First off, every person who is an anti-black racist, or who fears blacks, or who steps to the other side of the street upon seeing blacks approaching, or would like to to do so will be free to wall blacks out of their lives entirely.  Refuse to sell to them.  Band together with like-minded folks to do likewise.  Put up walled communities with signs on the front gates:  “No homes sold to blacks here.”  And of course you wouldn’t want them in your schools, or your churches, or your places of business.  After all, absolute freedom of association, you know.

Now multiply that by every cancerous clot of fear, bigotry, or hatred in the body politic, and see what sort of society you end up with.

For starters, you end up with disgruntled blacks, shut out of the majority of possible avenues for the pursuit of happiness, firebombing stores and shooting bigoted landlords.

At which point perhaps Big Moron raises one palsied finger and quavers, “Aha.  But that’s why we have a society of laws!  The government will protect us all from such violence.”

Izzat so, Big Moron?  Which government?  What cops?  Gonna send some black cops to protect racist white landlords from the wrath of their fellow blacks?  That might even work out, one out of four times or so.  The rest of the time, the black cops will join with the mob to make sure that Whitey is dead, dead, dead.

Of course, white elements of the state power will rise to the defense of their right-skin-congenial brethren and their right to absolute freedom of association, so we can then all enjoy the Second US Civil War, but hey:  We all have absolute right to freedom of association, so it’s all worth it.  We all have a right to sleep under bridges, too, but some find that right more useful than others.

And that’s just on the issue of the racial divide between one set of races.  Multiply that by all races, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, national origins, religions, etc., and every other excuse for discrimination you can think of.  But no matter.  According to Big Moron, the result will be a fucking nirvana of absolute freedom of association.

Actually, dumbass, the result will likely look a hell of a lot like Beirut, not so long ago

Of course, I would expect Big Moron to sputter, “Well, we’re better than that now.  That sort of racism (or sexism, or ageism, or gay hatred, or religious bigotry) would not find social acceptance today.” Except that some of it does, and the rest of it did, not so long ago.  And could be acceptable again, absent any legal prohibitions against expressing it via hate-based discriminatory practices in housing, public accommodations, education, and so on.

A while back I actually had a reasonably intelligent discussion with some of my Randian and Libertarian readers, (probably impossible with a Big Moron) which resulted in my decision to no longer claim full-blown Randian Objectivism, or Big L Libertarianism as entirely my own:

Libs and Progtards: Or Why I Won’t Be Calling Myself a Randian Objectivist Any Longer | Daily Pundit Archive Site

Further, I don’t pay sufficient attention or respect to the notion of freedom of association, because I support the notion that public businesses should serve the whole public, black, white, gay, straight, male, female, and so on, on the grounds of fairness and long term system stability.

What these disgruntled Libertarians and Objectivists miss is that I am not suicidal, either on a personal or a national basis.   A nation riven by ethnic and religious warfare between factions excluded from various goods and services on the basis of freedom of association is not a nation in which Libertarianism or Objectivism are likely to flourish.

This was written long before Big Moron attempted to put in his one cent (two cents are obviously far beyond the contents of his intellectual purse).

One of the more repellant aspects of not-very-bright ideologues is a willingness to believe that their ideology perfectly reflects reality.  Which is why they are so often shocked and amazed when reality itself points out that their ideology is delusional.

Big Moron thinks I’m an “authoritarian.”  Of course, he apparently thinks that any existence or application of state power beyond what is, in effect, anarchy, is authoritarian.  Stupid people like to take single words and turn them into iconic symbols of their faiths.  But what stupid people miss is that every single government that ever existed is authoritarian to some extent.  It has to be, because if it isn’t, it cannot govern.

That’s why we call them “the authorities.” 

authorities – definition of authorities by The Free Dictionary

au·thor·i·ty

(?-thôr??-t?, ?-th?r?-, ô-)

n.pl.au·thor·i·ties

1.

a. The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.
b. One that is invested with this power, especially a government or body of government officials: land titles issued by the civil authority.
2. Power assigned to another; authorization: Deputies were given authority to make arrests.
And that’s why people who reject all authoritarianism are nothing more than anarchists.  And very big, very stupid, very suicidal Big Morons as well.
 
America is really about unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Says so right there in our founding document (although not, apparently, in Big Moron’s fever dreams of America).  None of the three are, or can be, absolutely compatible all the time.  We make choices when they are not compatible, giving one aspect primacy over another.  I advocate giving primacy to the pursuit of happiness for the many over the imaginary absolute liberty of a few.
 
Big Moron doesn’t.  I’d wish him the joy of living in the society that would result if he got his wish, but that would likely mean I’d have to live in it too.  And since I’m not stupid, ignorant, suicidal, or delusional – or a Big Moron – I don’t want to do that.
 
Or, you never know:  Big Moron might just be lying about his opinion of all of this.

Glenn Beck: I’m Done With the GOP

Here’s Some Truth: We all know this, but being Part of the Team, I felt obligated to lie, because I figured you expected me to lie, even though you didn’t believe it.

So yeah: The GOP is never repealing Obamacare or even trying hard to do so. They will make false efforts at doing so which they can present to voters as a Good College Try, but aw shucks, we couldn’t quite do it.

It’s a relief to no longer have to propagate this obvious, feeble lie.

I’ll buy feeble.  Maybe he’s just lying to push the delusions of his Randian Objectivist Team, and doesn’t really believe them for a minute.  He just thinks his gang o’morons expect to hear him say them, and so he does.  Not that his pack of yap-dogs will care, as they piddle on their paws at his every pronouncement, lie or not.

Anyway, to drag Big Moron’s dog’s breakfast all the way back to the beginning:  What apparently moved him to repost this unavoidable evidence of his own stupidity and delusion was that a Viacom-owned TV channel no longer wants to purchase the right to run episodes of Dukes of Hazzard the company believes contains offensive symbols.

Well, hey, Big Moron.  We can’t, under any circumstances, abridge Viacom’s right to absolute freedom of association, including their ability to choose whom they are willing to do business with, right?

Actually, if you are intellectually honest (and I don’t credit you with intellectualism, let alone honesty) you’d have to admit that according to the doctrine of absolute freedom of association, they have a bedrock right to do exactly that.  As, of course, you have a bedrock right to howl at them for exercising the absolute right you support.

“I disagree with what you do, but will defend to the death your absolute right to do it.”

Most won’t, though.  And that’s where the real problems for a society lie.  But that’s a problem for the real world, and you’ve already made it obvious you’re not equipped to deal with that, or even remotely interested in so doing.

But keep right on telling your readers what you think they expect to hear – and you probably do know what they expect.  It takes a Big Moron to know a bunch of Little Morons.  Because principles.  And honesty.  And, by God, liberty.

You big Champion, you.

Next time, I’ll bet that they let it burn.
avatar

a group of firefighters was forced to remove their uniforms at the request of a hotel manager who feared that they might have pilfered valuable items while extiguishing a fire in the hotel. In a video broadcast by local media (see below) the firefighters can be seen stripping off their equipment under the watchful gaze of rather bemused local police officers.

According to Mayte Rivera, the owner of the hotel, it was all just a terrible misunderstanding. “At no point was there any intention of accusing the firemen of theft. The hotel manager just wanted to safeguard the belongings of hotel guests, who told us that they had valuable items in their rooms and asked if everything was secure… This awoke the manager’s suspicions… In his heart and mind he feels that he has done nothing wrong.”

Heh. It’ll be a hot time in the old hotel next time.

The Henderson’s will all be there.
drach

I do not believe that Beijing realized that they were opening Pandora’s box when they engineered the takeover of Hong Kong. They thought they could take the money that was generated and still incorporate that colony back into the mainland. They failed to allow for the law of unintended consequences.

Thousands march for Hong Kong democracy

Then again there is nothing like a show of force.

Today Only At Amazon
Bill Quick

Get 67% or More Off Select Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolts – These are pretty fancy-schmancy locks, but the bottom line is that a good lock is a good thing to have. And these are good ones.

Also…

50% Off Khombu Women’s Walking Shoes

Remember – anything you buy from Amazon through any link on this site puts a commission in my pocket, at no cost to yourself, so thank you very much! Also, arf! from the Presidential Pomeranian.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Check out my new bestseller, Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com says: “Bill Quick has authored a terrific thriller that is also an all too plausible warning. Highly recommended!” Available in Kindle e-book or trade paperback formats.

The Way Things Work, Part Two
Bill Quick

BTW, Part One of this got published before I was done with it. I clicked the wrong icon, most likely.

I wanted to go on to examine the question of who has the real power: the rich, or the politicos whom they finance?

I think the answer is obvious: It is, it must be, the rich.

Politicians are like pork bellies: You buy them, and if they don’t work out, you throw them away and buy yourself some new ones.

The only time that politicos will exercise state power against the rich is when some rich exception refuses to play the boodle game. Then – with the full support of the oligarchic majority – the politicos will attack the refuseniks.

Billy Hollis should recall this one.  I know I sure do.

Carney: How Hatch forced Microsoft to play K Street’s game | WashingtonExaminer.com

Here’s the Hatch-Microsoft story:

The Clinton administration brought antitrust charges against Microsoft after the Windows 95 operating system came preloaded with Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer. Though the case was in the hands of the Federal Trade Commission and the courts, Hatch brought Microsoft CEO Bill Gates before his Senate Judiciary Committee in 1998, and gave him a good dressing down, ostensibly for being a monopolist.

But it grated on Hatch and other senators that Gates didn’t want to want to play the Washington game. Former Microsoft employee Michael Kinsley, a liberal, wrote of Gates: “He didn’t want anything special from the government, except the freedom to build and sell software. If the government would leave him alone, he would leave the government alone.”

This was a mistake. One lobbyist fumed about Gates to author Gary Rivlin: “You look at a guy like Gates, who’s been arrogant and cheap and incredibly naive about politics. He genuinely believed that because he was creating jobs or whatever, that’d be enough.”

Gates was “cheap” because Microsoft spent only $2 million on lobbying in 1997, and its PAC contributed less than $50,000 during the 1996 election cycle.

“You can’t say, ‘We’re better than that,’ ” a Microsoft lobbyist told me on Friday. “At some point, you get too big, and you can’t just ignore Washington.”

“You can sit there and say, ‘We despise Washington and we don’t want to have anything to do with them,’ ” the lobbyist said. “But guess what? We’re going to have hearings about the [stuff] you do.”

It’s no shocker that lobbyists think companies should hire lobbyists. But so does Capitol Hill — Orrin Hatch included.

In a 2000 speech to technology companies, Hatch called Microsoft “knuckle-headed and hard-nosed,” according to Wired magazine. “I have given [Microsoft] advice, and they don’t pay any attention to it.” In that same speech, Hatch warned: “If you want to get involved in business, you should get involved in politics.”

“The industry had an attitude that government should do what it needs to do but leave us alone,” one Hill technology staffer complained to Business Week at the time. “Their hands-off approach to Washington will come back to haunt them.”

After the Hatch hearings, Microsoft complied. Its PAC increased spending fivefold in each of the next two elections. In the 2010 elections, Microsoft’s PAC contributed $2.3 million to House and Senate candidates. The PAC has contributed the maximum $10,000 to each of Hatch’s last two campaigns.

Did you get all that?  Microsoft’s “sin” was in refusing to play the cozy game of bribery that all the other rich guys were happily involved in.  And so, with the full support of them and their lobbyists (and surely you don’t think those lobbyists were expressing anything other than the opinions of their oligarch masters, do you?) the politicos were turned loose to make war upon the apostate, until the Black Sheep of Redmond returned to the fold, chastened and carrying bags of money in penance.

Today, of course, Hatch – or any other politico, for that matter – wouldn’t dream of makings a similar attack.  Microsoft is a full-fledged oligarch now, and were some worm of a politician to attack them, that pol would find his money drying up, and the purses of his opponents suddenly overflowing.  And they know it.

Microsoft was an issue not because they tried to simply be left alone, but because they tried to opt out of the game that their fellow rich folks had designed and implemented entirely for their own power and benefit.

And if they could opt out and remain successful, then that was a deadly threat to the entire game.  They had to be shown that opting out was not an option.  You either play, or you pay.  One way or another, you will pay. 

In the end, Microsoft played.

Lesson learned?  And how about you?  Have you learned anything about how America really works?

The Way Things Work
Bill Quick

In order to make sense of most things, you have to start with some basic assumptions.  When it comes to matters of American governance I posit that the two primary factors that shape the nature of our government are money and power, in that order.

I give money primacy of place, because our political system, nominally the repository of power, has over time structured itself so that the men and women who comprise it are dependent on the money of others in order to achieve power for themselves.  Hence, no matter how powerful they may appear in their elected offices, they still answer to those who paid for the campaigns that bought them those offices: the people with money.

The Golden Rule still holds:  Those who have the gold, rule.

This is why I found the notion of throwing open the Supreme Court to national elections, either to attain a seat, or retain a seat, such a horrifying prospect.  Boobs who don’t really understand how money and power function in the halls of the American government delude themselves with the notion that “democratizing” the Supreme Court would somehow give them some sort of control over it – when, in fact, the same people who pay for John Boehner’s campaigns, and MItch McConnell’s, and Barack Obama’s, and Harry Reid’s, and Nancy Pelosi’s – would then  be able to pay for Antonin Scalia’s, John Roberts’, Steven Breyer’s, and Tony Kennedy’s campaigns.

Where, pray tell, is your role in that?  How much influence do you think your puny five dollar contribution, and your half-dozen emails of complaint will have?  If you throw national positions open to national elections – which are enormously expensive (the only such we have currently are presidential candidacies, which run a minimum of half a billion dollars out of the winning candidate’s pocket….

Well, not really.  Out of the pockets of those who paid that half-billion dollar tab for him.

Say.  You don’t suppose they expect something in return for all that, do you?

Every single effort to replace the republican system of checks and balances with pure democracy (mob rule) has been peddled with the same sort of justifications to those who are suicidally stupid (conservatives convinced the world is coming to an end because of gay marriage) by coldly knowledgeable actors (those who know who will end up controlling the winners of these popularity contests because they rented the gym, hired the band, paid for the flowers, and wrote the speeches) as being a method of returning power to the people.

Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.  They know it, and you had better learn it.

There is a reason major government legislation is so monstrously long these days.  Ten pages of a 1000 page bill is the basic law.  The remaining 990 pages consist of carve-outs, exceptions, irrelevant pork, gifts, government clubs against competition, and a host of other goodies required to reimburse off those who paid for the efforts that put the politicians who write such legislation into office.

Even worse, the politicians don’t write those bills.  They are written via a collaborative effort on the part of legislative staffers and lobbyists for the deep pockets who pay the tab for everything.  And the goal of that collaboration is always first to deliver the boodle, and second, to arrange for new opportunities to exploit the deeply corrupt relationships between the rich and the powerful.

This is oligarchy, and it has been for quite a while.

Oligarchy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oligarchy (from Greek?????????(oligarkhía); from ?????? (olígos), meaning “few”, and ???? (arkho), meaning “to rule or to command”)[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, religious or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical (relying on public obedience and/or oppression to exist). Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich,[4] for which another term commonly used today is plutocracy.

For years I have abided by the truism that when the reason for something is not immediately apparent, the reason is always money.  It very rarely lets me down, and it has served to illuminate many otherwise opaque occurrences for me.