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User Journal

Journal Journal: NY Times: being anti-tax is an act of vandalism 1

Robert Frank takes the NYT's standards even lower. Now it seems that if you think lower taxes are better than higher taxes, well, you're some kind of vandal.

"Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?"

"Be allowed"? Nice, Ill Duce. We'll take that under advisement. BTW, here's what the law actually says about issue:

"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes." - Judge Learned Hand, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934)


Journal Journal: Lawrence Lessing, enemy of government transparency?

In the New Republic, copyright activist and professor Lawrence Lessig pens an essay called Against Transparency: The Perils Of Openness In Government (Warning: the essay is 11 pages of some pretty dry writing). Lessig makes the argument that while transparency in government seems like a good thing, it's not always so, and he seemingly worries that there are some things that citizens just wouldn't understand in government if given complete access to data, and that the whole process will simply make voters more cynical. That strikes me as a little lame, and more like "I don't trust voters to make decisions based on what they see".

  Sayeth Lessig:

How could anyone be against transparency? Its virtues and its utilities seem so crushingly obvious. But I have increasingly come to worry that there is an error at the core of this unquestioned goodness. We are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where and when it may lead to confusion, or to worse. And I fear that the inevitable success of this movement--if pursued alone, without any sensitivity to the full complexity of the idea of perfect openness--will inspire not reform, but disgust. The "naked transparency movement," as I will call it here, is not going to inspire change. It will simply push any faith in our political system over the cliff.


Journal Journal: NYT Op-Ed calls for one-party rule 7

New York Times Op-Ed writer Thomas Friedman is showing his true colors. He's advocating "enlightened" one-party rule, as he tires of Republicans refusing to co-operate with Democratic initiatives. Friedman says that we currently have a "one party democracy" because of near-total GOP opposition to Democratic bills, and that perhaps an enlightened one-party autocracy with America's best interests at heart could be the answer. Friedman further thinks China is a good model of government to emulate. "One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century." Friedman flatly states that "our one-party democracy is worse". Perhaps we too can look forward to things like a one-child policy and extensive Internet censorship. Friedman is the type of Liberal Jonah Goldberg was talking about when he wrote Liberal Fascism.

Further, Goldberg says that liberals like Friedman are nothing new, that we've seen this kind of liberal pining for benevolent dictatorship many times before:

"I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives."

User Journal

Journal Journal: Is The New Republic infected with a Trojan?

I rarely go there, but on two occasions now, I've gone to following a story link, and an attempted AntiVirus 2008 infection begins. Lucky me that I use a Mac this time of day.

National Review doesn't have this problem.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A poster named ScentCone...

... has really impressed me of late.

In the recent story McCain releases technology platform, one poster stood out in his responses against the usual left-libertarian grain here. He's ScentCone, and he consistently posts forcefully argued, well reasoned ripostes. Despite the left-libertarian slant here, he's usually modded pretty well because, frankly, he makes very good arguments. He's apparently a productive poster as well. I'm a little wary of adding friends here, but after his "performance", so to speak, in that story, I had to add him. Simply an outstanding guy, and a great read.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Safari/Slashdot problems? 3

Safari (on OS X Tiger, all the latest updates) seems to be dying way too much when I'm on Slashdot. It's gotten bad enough that when I report it to Apple, I put "Slashdot hates you" in the what-were-you-doing part of the crash dialogue box. I wonder if Slashdot has some funky scripts that Safari chokes on?

User Journal

Journal Journal: So Thompson is now out... 6

...and I just don't know who I'm going to vote for in the GOP primaries now. I'm down to a few very bad choices. This will very much be a lesser of the evils election for me.

I have to choose between John McCain, a man who seemingly has more fondness for Democrats than for his own party on the big issues of the day (save for the war), and Mitt Romney, a man who ran and governed as a liberal in Massachusetts, and now claims to be the heir to Reagan....which means either he's had the mother of all mind changes, or that he just tells the crowd whatever it wants to hear to win the next office. Nice choice,eh?

And don't even mention Huckabee, a man more like Jimmy Carter than a Republican nominee for President.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I'm back, though I don't know for how long 2

Just out of morbid curiousity, I've returned to Slashdot after almost a year and a half. To my utter surprise (not), Slashdot is still the land of the Idiot and the home of the Troll. And the "America Sucks" people are more prominent than ever.

Oh well...I'm in a mood to give the virtual finger, so bring 'em on.

I have to say one thing...I'm surprised I don't see more Ron Paul supporters here. I figured Slashdot would be a breeding ground for them. Most here are just generally apathetic assholes that complain a lot.

User Journal

Journal Journal: From SlashKos to SlashTroll

Well, that's a start.

In the Nasa-cuts-budgets story, there were lots of chimpymcbushhitler comments, but all were modded down either troll or flamebait or offtopic. Which is a refreshing change from the norm. I think our complaining (by our, meaning the many right of center folks here) has gotten some attention, and perhaps an attempt is being made at some balance across the board. Or maybe the moon is just at low ebb...I don't know.

It was a nice change, in any case.

User Journal

Journal Journal: We need to find another place to go 3's painfully obvious that Slashdot has went from a geek site to full blown moonbat site. I was posted today that because of my subservience to Bush, when the troops came and put America behind barbed wires, I'd be safe.

Ladies and gentlemen, that's as close to clinical paranoia as you can find...and it's now the norm here.

Like Moses leaving Egypt, we need to find the Promised Land, and stat, because this site is now moonbat central. When conspiracy theories are the accepted norm, it's time to get out of Dodge, guys. Rather than just sit here and bask in the insanity (no other word describes a mindset that thinks America is truly a north korea style barbed wire dictatorship), we need to blow town and let the madmen have SlashKos to themselves.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Burning through my Karma 2

As long as the editors keep encouraging flamebait troll political hit pieces, disguised at stories, then I'm going to keep responding to this tinfoil hat insanity, and thus burn through my Karma, as judging from the responses, insanity is now the norm at Slashdot, where 9/11 was a CIA-Mossad conspiracy, and Emporer Pat Robertson orders his NSA to identify all porn torrents in order to send sinners to Gitmo. of absolute madness.

The Media

Journal Journal: The most disgusting piece of anti-war tripe ever filmed 1

Tonight, as I was relaxing after work, I turned on the TV. Showtime was on, and a new Zombie flick was coming on, from Showtime's Masters Of Horror series. I thought, cool.

One hour later, I'm disgusted.

Not from the Zombies in the horror flick. Nope, the special effects were cheap and badly done. Nope, I'm disgusted because Joe Dante, the director (of Gremlins fame) used a Zombie movie as a front for the dumbest, most offensive, and blatently awful anti-war statement ever put to film.

And what's worse, Dante is about as subtle as a rock over the head. He makes it obvious that the villains are Bush, Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, and anyone that votes for Republicans. He openly states as facts that the last two elections were stolen, and that Bush "has a gift for making stupid people feel as smart as him". Only the names are changed. But Dante makes it obvious EXACTLY who he's talking about. The cover of the Blonde pundit's book is a carbon copy of the cover Time magazine did of Ann Coulter. The only thing missing here, and I mean the ONLY twisted leftist caricature is the "ann coulter is a man" thing. Everything else, from a Cindy Sheehan Clone, to stupid middle America voters, to a Jerry Falwell stand-in is there.

If you don't know the premise of the movie, dead soldiers from Iraq come back to life....what do they want?

To vote Bush out of office. Then they can rest in peace.

No, I'm not kidding you. Really. I told you sublety wasn't Dante's strong suit.

There's an incredibly offensive scene where flag draped coffins arive at Dover, and dead zombie soldiers start bursting from their coffins, covered in the American Flag. They march in the streets, speaking at Democratic political rallies, one going on tv to tell the Kerry-stand-in that "they've come back to vote for anyone that will end this evil war".

It's like someone hired Michael Moore to direct a Zombie movie. It was that, maybe even worse.

I really, really hope this gets to the troops in Iraq, that they get to see it. People like Dante seem convinced that they're on his side. I want him to find out for sure.

The Media

Journal Journal: Maureen Dowd whines about men...again

What is it with this harpy, anyway? She makes a career of being a feminist blade, and is first shocked when she can't land a man, and now is apparently very bitter about it.

Well, what the hell did you expect, Dowd?

Feminism has prided itself on it's attitude towards men for 40 years now, an attitude that says "I can take you or leave you, and you'd better be grateful if I deem you worthy of my time, male".

And she (and her broom-riding sisterhood) seem shocked that men, as a whole, went "fuck you...I'm going for a beer with the boys, and then I'm going to hook up with a gal that actually appreciates men, instead of an ice-beast like you". Drudge is running a contest to caption the latest PR photo Dowd has released for her book Are Men Necessary. Among the most hilarious entries, this is my favorite:

"If You Want To Keep The Beer Cold, Put It Next To My Heart."

Dowd is panicky. She's in her 50's, and headed for that dreaded 60, with no man in sight. No one will marry her. And I laugh like hell. Couldn't have happpened to a nicer frost-maiden.


Journal Journal: Expert speaks out against rebuilding New Orleans 3

The increasing chorus to NOT rebuild New Orleans is growing, and a prominent geophysicist lays out why not here. The article basically reiterates what I've been saying all along...New Orleans' geography and physical makeup render it unsuitable as a base for a city in the long run.

But should we rebuild New Orleans, 10 feet below sea level, just so it can be wiped out again? Some say we can raise and strengthen the levees to fully protect the city. Here is some unpleasant truth: The higher the defenses, the deeper the floods that will inevitably follow.

It's about damn time. Lots of people want to save NO for sentimental reasons, but folks, that city is GONE. Even if they rebuilt in its present location, so much of the city has to be bulldozed, it'll almost be brand new, except for the French Quarter.

It is time to face up to some geological realities and start a carefully planned deconstruction of New Orleans, assessing what can or needs to be preserved, or vertically raised and, if affordable, by how much. Some of New Orleans could be transformed into a "floating city" using platforms not unlike the oil platforms offshore, or, over the short term, into a city of boathouses, to allow floods to fill in the 'bowl' with fresh sediment.


Get 'em out, bust open the levees, and start over....elsewhere.

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