Drat! I told Jim I’d include his latest in yesterday’s links post. Then I forgot. So here you go. A question follows.
President Obama recently suggested that mandatory voting could cure some of the ills of American democracy. Mr. Obama observed that compelling everyone to vote is one way to “encourage more participation” — perhaps the same way that the specter of prison sentences encourages more people to pay taxes. While there are many good reasons to oppose mandatory voting, compulsory balloting could help Americans recognize what their political system has become.
Mr. Obama declared that “the people who tend not to vote” are “skewed more heavily toward immigrant groups and minority groups … and there’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.” If minorities vote at a lower percentile rate, that is sufficient justification for destroying everyone’s freedom in the name of equality. The fact that blacks had a higher turnout rate than whites in the 2012 presidential election is not permitted to interrupt the progressive victimization narrative.
Mr. Obama declared, “It would be transformative if everybody voted” …
Yup. You damn betcha it would be transformative. Transforming a once-free country into a third-world statist hellhole. For starters.
Picture it: you get tased or jailed for “failure to v*te.” The IRS adds a “failure to v*te” tax right next to your “failure to buy Obamacare” tax. Your most robotic neighbors drag themselves to the polls and robotically vote for whoever promises more goodies.
Nah, not gonna happen. Well, not the part about tasing, most likely. The rest of it? Oh yeah. Mostly there already.
While we’re on the subject of third-world politics what are some of your “favorite” ways that the U.S. is being made over in the image of Woody Allen’s Bananas?
I was stunned when about half the reader response implied that I was opposing freedom of association.
Thanks to a comment by PB, I went back and realized I’d written this phrase in the final paragraph of the article: “discrimination is wrong.”
That’s simply a dumb statement. Discrimination is not wrong, certainly not categorically wrong. It’s obviously something people do every day and something a free society would just cope with, no need for laws and regulations about it. Discrimination is wrong only when governments or government-sponsored enterprises practice it; but then that’s not news, since most everything governments do is wrong.
I now kick myself for those three hastily chosen, dead wrong, words.
I remain chagrined that three careless words obliterated everything else I was trying to say and thought I had said. But that is simply the Way of the ‘Net. I know that. It was my fault and I walked into it with eyes that should have been wide open.
Back in the day, science fiction was a realm where freedom of ideas prevailed. Prevailed by definition, I assumed, because how can you speculate about alternate futures and realities without the freedom to think unbound thoughts? I’m still having trouble understanding how political correctness has consumed SF.
Self control in a world that promotes self indulgence. This is about primal eating, but has implications way beyond that. (H/T PT)
Chris Christie has pardoned Shaneen Allen. (Updated to direct to Nicki Kenyon’s new post at The Zelman Partisans.)
It’s a fascinating and amazing thing that the last two elections have given the U.S. (among other less desirable things) a strip of cannabis legalization that runs from southern Oregon alllllll the way out to the tip of the Aleutian islands, within spitting distance of Russia.
I can’t imagine there are going to be too many “Mr. Doobees” stores out there on the islands. But in a vast stretch where once ruled the hysteria of Harry J. Anslinger, a new legal business is taking shape. Now all we need is for British Columbia to join us and the north coast weed freedomization will be complete. (And yes, yes, yes, I know that state-controlled legalization isn’t Libertopia; can we just stipulate that and not quibble?)
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that legal pot is affecting rural areas even more than urban ones. Makes sense, of course. Ag product. Cheap land. Small towns hungry for development. But still.
Even my little area is poised to benefit, and with that in mind our local Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council pulled together a terrific panel discussion earlier this week to answer questions from us locals.
Once in a while, buddy Jim Bovard will include “Claire Wolfe” in a group of searches. This apparently gets interesting.
Images like this come up (embiggenate for proper appreciation):
I have no idea who the cute-in-an-officey-sort-of-way “me” is, but she’ll do.* And while I truly, truly, truly don’t get why Sonia Sotomayor keeps coming up in searches on my name, it’s a fact. And it’s far from the first time. Poor Sonia and I appear to be linked by karma. Bad karma, no doubt. But her karma or mine, who knows? (I’ve probably deepened the karmic connection by writing her name here.)
And the “related” searches results persuade me that I really do need to quit writing about Al*n G*ttl*eb.
Still, I can live with all of the above. But when Jim did a Bing search this morning … Oh, the horror!
Again, I have zero idea who that particular “Claire Wolfe” is. I have a vague recollection of seeing that photo before. Maybe I used or linked to it in a blog post.** But I wish to pronounce publicly, firmly, loudly, indignantly, and excruciatingly categorically — NOT ME.
Furthermore, it’s not even my sister, my third cousin once removed, my next-door neighbor, or some grouchy woman who once snarled at me at the DMV.
She would snarl, though. You can tell. Probably bites, too.
Jim suggested I sue Bing. Or at least put some better “me” images out there for them to notice. Funny that hardly any search engine ever turns up the infamous “hat” photo — which actually is me and is right up here on this blog every, single day.
Deeply offended though I am to have some Aileen Wournos lookalike misrepresenting my graceful, pleasant, and refined self, these crazily crapazoid results do help restore my hope that privacy is still possible. Despite all the ominous news, it’s clear that “they” don’t yet know everything there is to know about us all.
* Mystery solved by Commentariat member Laird. The cute young woman holding a manuscript is, according to Google’s caption, one of my editors, Rhoda Denning. Hi, Rhoda! The perils of working at long distance: I don’t know what most of the people I work with look like. :-(
** Mystery solved by Commentariat member Donna. The Wournos lookalike is Debra Oberlin, a former chapter president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, busted for [drumroll] … drunk driving. Good detective work, Donna.
Let me see if I understand this. It’s okay for the government to blackmail, extort, threaten violence, and steal all the assets from Silk Road. But it’s wrong if individual government agents do it. No, no matter how I try, I can’t wrap my head around whatever principle they’re going by.
I always love these articles on how being a grumpycurmudgeonlydoom-bearingsky-is-falling worrywort can actually be good for your work.
While I disagree with some of the contentions in this article (e.g. that it takes no skill to wield a knife!), it does offer some food for thought on why it just might be okey-dokey after all to bring a knife to a gun fight. (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
Mechanic came out to my house today, poked around under the hood of the Xterra, and kept repeating, “Interesting. Hm. Interesting situation …”
Trust me, “interesting” is not a word you want spoken by someone examining your vehicle’s engine.
Seriously, though, things aren’t too bad.
I noticed a grinding noise in the front brakes a couple of weeks ago and figured I needed new brake pads. No surprise. I’ve been driving only “litely” since then and had already made an appointment with the mechanic for next week.
Then yesterday, the grinding in the front end took on a whole new character. Now it wasn’t just when braking. But also when backing, fronting, and steering. And the steering characteristics at low speed became “interesting.”
Sure enough, I peeked under the engine compartment this morning then opened the hood. Power steering fluid everywhere.
The mechanic refilled the reservoir and has given his blessing to one-mile trips to the grocery store and post office until the parts come in, but I’m opting to leave the Xterra in the driveway.
So it’s carlessness for the next week. Which, given how close I am to everything I need, is no biggie.
You might remember that I was carless for 15 months toward the end of my years in Cabin Sweet Cabin. That was also “interesting,” though also mostly no biggie. Eventually a heroic reader fronted me the price of an ’84 Subaru station wagon and even drove it 150 miles out to me. I reimbursed him in silver coins — which promptly lost 20% of their value the very next week. Poor guy. He was a good sport about it, though.
Loved that little car. When it rained the passenger compartment floor would fill with several inches of water, and “interesting” was the best word to describe its exhaust system. But it was great to drive. I’d have another one like it in an instant.
The Xterra’s been super reliable, but OMG, what a gas guzzler. Been meaning to cut down on my driving, so here’s my chance. It’s only a week or so and I find I’m actually looking forward to being footloose and peripatetic.
You’re looking at three heavy boxes on that bottom shelf there. They’re physically heavy because they’re full of paperwork. But much bigger deal: they’re emotionally heavy because they contain everything I own that’s related to Randy Weaver and the horrors his family endured. Correspondence with Randy from jail. Notes from his trial. Notes and photos from my visit to his home (including the spot where son Sam was murdered by fedthugs).