Category Archives: Technology

I Told You It Wasn’t a Woman’s Health Issue !

I have been saying, to the irritant of my friends on the Left, that abortion has nothing to do with women’s health.

One of the original questions the Supreme Court had to deal with in the seventies when they approved this “slaughter law” was, when does life begin. Well, all the academics and doctors that were willing to take some money and testify said life did not start until the third trimester.

Remember, this was a time when cancer was almost always fatal. AIDS was a death sentence, and, in some cases, people still died from the flu.

Medicine has come a long way since then. And now, many agree, scientists and doctors alike, that life begins at conception or shortly thereafter.

Dr. Bill Fifer, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, said, “Everything that a newborn baby does, a fetus has pretty much done already.” He went on to say “We know that a baby’s tiny heart is beating as early as 18 days after sperm-egg fusion. Brain waves are detectable by 6 weeks and babies can experience dream (REM) sleep by 17 weeks. Substantial medical and scientific evidence has demonstrated that unborn children are capable of feeling pain by 20 weeks, if not earlier.”

Not Joe Messina’s opinion, but science. This is now the understanding of many in the medical field. However, I am still perplexed. You see, the Left continually beats on Right-wing, conservative, Bible-thumping Republicans (like myself) for not believing in science but rather the fairy tales of the Bible.

But when confronted by science and facts (not theories like, let’s say, evolution) that don’t line up with their way of thinking they ignore them and tell us that we hate women (in the case of our abortion stance.) Why? Because is easier than discussing the facts.

So, if at 18 days that little blob of cells has a heartbeat, what can we call it? What will it eventually be? A canine? A fish? A tree? Nope. Simply, a human. Its only potential outcome is that it is a developing human!

Now with science we can see with sonograms and 3-D imagery what the baby looks like. We can’t run from that truth. Our youth are seeing it more and more and are changing the way they view abortion.

So then… it is a life! But what about the argument for years from the Left and the pro-abortion groups that it’s not a life? As of late, some of the abortion proponents are saying that life begins when the mother says it does, that the unborn blob of cells can be snuffed out even up to the time it’s exiting the birth canal. Wow! That’s a stretch!

But wait! Jodi Jacobson, Editor in Chief of RH Reality Check, a Reproductive and Sexual Health and Justice blog says it was never when life beings because “life begins at conception.” Huh?

OMG! Wasn’t the abortion debate all about women having access to clean safe medical facilities so that when they were seeking this “medical procedure” the mother’s health would not be at risk? The fetus, or as it’s been called “blob of cells,” needed to be removed to save the mother.

You were duped!


Read more at http://therealside.com/2014/08/i-told-you-it-wasnt-a-womans-health-issue/#L9t6j1vAXCU2XaUl.99

Five Helpful Hints For The Newbie “Prepper”

As recent events continue to show us, one never knows when either a man-made or natural disaster can strike. Normal, routine, everyday life can change in the twinkling of an eye. Part of being a responsible adult (especially if one has a family to protect and care for) is to be mentally and physically prepared to face a wide variety of crisis and scenarios. SHTF scenarios unfold everyday across the world and have claimed the lives of countless millions. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the increasing complexity and fragility of our modern technological society and financial systems, increased concentration of governmental power, and deepening ideological divides are a cause for concern.  While we are blessed to live the relatively comfortable and secure lives that we do, there is no guarantee that cannot change overnight. It is far better to be prepared for a serious crisis that never happens, than be unprepared for the one that does. There are many useful hints, tips, and ideas you can easily implement to not only survive, but perhaps even thrive, in a moment of crisis. Here are just a few ideas for your consideration.

Use solar-powered lawn lights instead of candles

solar_lights_01This is a ‘trick’ I just recently heard about and I can only wonder why I hadn’t actually thought of such a simple but effective idea before. Pick up a dozen or so at your local big box store and stick them in the plants in your windowsill and you’ll have all the light you’ll ever need if you lose your electric power. At that time you can spread them around the house in other potted plants or even in vases giving you lots of long-lasting and comforting light without having to dip into your all important and limited stash of candles. Plus, you are actually a little less likely to burn down your humble abode by following this advice. These are cheap, found nearly everywhere, and can be purchased for as little as 99 cents a piece. There is no reason any home should be without them. Such simple, easy to use, and inexpensive technology is your friend. Take advantage of it.

Use bleach or natural sunlight to purify water

sodismethodA clean and safe water supply or stockpile is underrated and often not spoken about. Whether it’s kept in the back of the guest closet, in the crawl space, or under the bed, you need to be storing water. But if not, you still need to be able to purify any water you may have to collect from local lakes, streams, or rain runoff in an extended emergency situation.

If you are using water from a stream or lake pour the water through two coffee filters and into a clean, airtight container. The coffee filters will remove large particles of impurities. Let the water stand for 15 minutes so it can settle. Fill a liquid dropper with bleach and then add eight drops of bleach to the water. Mix well. Wait 30 minutes, then smell the water. The water should have a very faint bleach odor that is present but barely noticeable. If you cannot smell the bleach, add two more drops and mix it again. Do not exceed 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. If you purifying water that came from a safe well or municipal water system you can skip the first and last steps.

I believe it is better to add the bleach just prior to drinking versus adding the bleach before storing it. Some sources say that is perfectly acceptable to skip the bleach step if the stored water came from an already chlorinated source. Either way, definitely keep a gallon of new and unopened bleach around ‘just in case.’ The active ingredients do start to break down over time so rotate your emergency water purification bleach bottle once a year or so. For just a couple of dollars you can reliably purify thousands of gallons of water in a SHTF scenario. And that simple fact may save your life someday.

The SODIS method of water purification, on the other hand, uses the natural UV rays from the sun to purify water stored in clear water or soda bottles. Used effectively around the world, this method does not seem to be as well-known in the U.S. but would be a good trick in a pinch and when other water purification methods may not be available. I do not rotate my water storage (though it is kept in a cool, dry place) and will just line even several year old water up along the roof gutter for a days worth of sunning before deeming them good and safe to drink if I need to. Obviously, the cleaner the water source you are starting out with the better off you’ll be. Just remember, it only works with clear bottles.

Keep the extent of your preparations and supplies a secret

This is a hard tquiething for most people to do, especially in the age of Facebook, blogging, and the Internet. Perhaps it is a bit hypocritical of me to say so in a publicly posted article, but the truth is that Operational Security must be exercised if you store or stockpile extra weapons, ammunition, food, or supplies. Human nature is such that it is in fact very hard to not be tempted to ‘show off’ your preps and hard work to those around you. But the opposite must be practiced. Do not advertise the fact to random people, your neighbors, and friends who do not share your viewpoint when it comes to preparedness. By doing so you only make yourself a serious target if, God forbid, any serious WROL or SHTF scenario was to unfold. Networking with like-minded individuals is advisable but showing off your “stash” to all the neighbors and everyone who ever stops by the house may be very tempting, but it is extremely unwise.

If you are making the necessary preparations to keep your family and yourself safe, secure, and supplied in a crisis then do not, under any circumstances, let a careless (or purposeful) word, FB post, or YouTube video compromise all the hard work and financial outlay you have already committed to that cause. The veneer of civilization and civil behavior is a thin one at best and it is in your best interest to remember that. A bunch of unexpected mouths showing up at your door expecting you to feed or supply them in a crisis situation because of your past “indiscretions” can only end badly for all involved. Remember to lay low, keep calm, keep quiet, and be smart if you are suddenly thrust into a serious man-made or natural disaster. Advertising your preps before hand is foolish, and advertising them during such a time can potentially have deadly results. Loose lips will indeed sink your ship, endanger your loved ones, and sabotage your own efforts to be prepared in a world of surprises.

Plan on bugging in, not bugging out

buginThere is a huge amount of talk in Prepper circles about the need to ‘bug out.’ Everyone’s secret fantasy seems to be to go play “Wolverines” in the nearest forest or hole up at some secret survival retreat in the wilderness at the first sign of serious trouble. The truth is not one out of a thousand people would survive a month in the wilderness (let alone in the middle of winter) and most do not have the financial resources to purchase the type of Bug Out location that would be of any true benefit in a major emergency. The average modern man doesn’t really have the knowledge anymore to survive as Jeremiah Johnson if he were just thrust into the wilderness. And those woods would get crowded pretty darn fast as undoubtedly a great many people share the same half-baked scheme if worse comes to worse.

The reality is that one should plan to hunker down and bug in except in the most dire of extreme emergencies. And there are numerous ways one can strengthen and fortify ones own home to make it less of a target and more defensible if necessary. I was forced from my home and played refugee for four days following a massive tornado that ripped through my hometown a few years ago. I was given fifteen minutes to get out by the local police so I know the value of being prepared to leave if one has too and the importance of having a place in mind to go (in this case to my brothers home a few miles up the road). But I also know that leaving your home base of supplies, comforts, and frankly all ‘your stuff’ simply sucks and the minute you hit the road without a very well stocked and friendly place to go you are really simply becoming a refugee. And refugees quickly become hungry, desperate, and victimized in a serious crisis and have since the beginning of time. Ask the stinking, desperate hordes that got stuck in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina about how having to rely on government help during an emergency can work out.

The other thing that no one seems to think about that if you tried to get out of dodge along with the rest of the lemmings you will get hopelessly stuck on some clogged roads with a bunch of increasingly desperate, panicky, and potentially dangerous other people. Unless your life or humble abode is in immediate danger or you were smart enough to perhaps decipher some early warning signs of a disaster and hit the roads before the Golden Horde, you will probably simply not be able to reach your perceived sanctuary at Grandma’s house in the country. Think about how bad it is during rush hour if there is even a single accident. Multiply that by a thousand fold during a true SHTF crisis. Now take the time to rethink that bug out plan again. You either have to get out extremely early, or hunker down.

If you can, it is best to hunker down, fortify your home as best you can, lie low, and try to ride out the first wave of panic and violence. Stay inside, wisely use your stockpiled supplies, have your defensive arms at the ready, and avoid drawing any attention to yourself whatsoever from anyone including LEO’s (law enforcement officers) who can often get both trigger happy and extremely gun grabby in a SHTF scenarios. If you absolutely must leave your home, then do have a very specific place in mind to go that is safe, dry, stocked, and with reasonable accommodations that is as close as possible to your current location. The closer it is the more reasonable chance of you actually being able to reach it in a serious and scary situation. Generically “heading for the hills” on the other hand is not a plan, but merely an act of desperation and thinking that you can easily flee to Aunt Betty’s country farmhouse 300 miles away is probably little more than a pipe dream.

Get to know your neighbors

mr-rogers-neighbor-hello-welcome

This is far more important than most people realize. You do not need to fully blab all your secrets and reveal all your preparations to everyone on the block or be an annoying idiot, but it is a very good idea to be on a cordial and first name basis with all your neighbors in case you may ever have to turn to them for help or assistance. In a crisis scenario they will undoubtedly have ideas, skills, resources, and tools that you do not. The ability to quickly band together can be imperative for safety when needed and even possibly save your life or property. You should not live in just a sea of strangers on your block but at minimum have a decent, friendly relationship of some sort if possible with those around you. You do not need to be everyone’s best buddy on the block, but you should be able to easily show up on their front door without them seeing you as a stranger or even as potential prey or danger instead of a friendly neighbor if things ‘go south’ quickly. Friendly relations before a SHTF fan event can quickly turn into an important ‘we need to stick together’ alliance afterwards.

I live on a cul-de-sac where everyone knows everyone to one degree or another and some of us know each other quite well. I regularly share fresh eggs from my backyard chickens and extra harvest from my garden with all my neighbors. And the casual wave as one drives by or the friendly greeting at the mailbox can pay handsome dividends in the end. Such gestures costs you absolutely nothing more than the most minimal of effort. My neighborhood banded together magnificently when it was hit hard by the tornado that I referenced earlier and the lessons I learned from that experience have stuck with me to this day.

In conclusion, let me state that reasonable “prepping” is not paranoia but merely insurance to help you get through an unexpected, potential crisis in the future. It is wise to prepare for the unexpected and be ready to respond effectively to “disagreeable” future events that may unfold without warning. Planning ahead dramatically decreases your chances of being a frightened refugee or merely another desperate person in a sea of others if disaster strikes. It buys you valuable time to adapt to a fluid and potentially dangerous situation and will help you keep a clear head when possible panic rears its ugly head. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst should be your motto and adapted into your everyday life.

How Smartphones are Dumbing Down Our Society

Business colleagues reading an SMS while in a lineHow many times every day do you find yourself visiting with a friend or a family member and you feel like their phone or other electronic device is more important to them than you are? How often do you find yourself in a one-on-one or a group setting and the other person or individuals immediately pick up their phone with every chirp, beep, or ring-tone they emit? We have a society that is increasingly less humanly social, and have in some distorted way, become less connected sociologically and emotionally, and more isolated, precisely because of the electronic connectivity that has come to dominate our culture.

The smartphone is well on its way to creating a socially dumb society. According to eMarketer from a study completed last year, Americans now spend more time on their smartphones and other electronic devices than they do with anything else. The average American now spends over five hours every day tinkering, playing with, responding to, and interacting with their digital devices. Such over-reliance on electronic gadgets has now eclipsed watching TV as the single-most over-indulged time hog of the average American’s daily schedule.

Liam-Walsh-Cartoon-New-YorkerA CNN story last year calculated that by the time teens reach middle school, they text nearly 3,500 times a month, and spend more time with electronic media than they do with their parents or teachers. The report stated, “The impact of heavy media and technology use on kids’ social, emotional and cognitive development is only beginning to be studied, and the emergent results are serious. While the research is still in its early stages, it suggests that the Internet may actually be changing how our brains work. Too much hypertext and multimedia content has been linked in some kids to limited attention span, lower comprehension, poor focus, greater risk for depression and diminished long-term memory.

texting“Our new world of digital immersion and multitasking has affected virtually everything from our thought processes and work habits to our capacity for linear thinking and how we feel about ourselves, our friends and even strangers. And it has all happened virtually overnight.”

And that barely scratches the surface in terms of the social ineptitude fostered by such overt dependency on electronic devices. It’s virtually impossible to sit in a family, business, or even mealtime setting without someone being glued to their phones rather than visiting, interacting with, or communicating with the others who are present. The clear signal, via body language, is that the device, and whoever is texting or messaging on the other end of the digital conversation, is much more important than the living, breathing, cognitive beings in the room with them!

hfmbookRachel Macy Stafford was a young wife and mother who had an epiphany of sorts. She realized that her children, and other important people in her life, were being short-changed by the attention and devotion she paid to her smartphone. She started maintaining a blog of her observations and “confessions” of her own overuse of digital media.

One reader of her blog sent an email to her that was seismic in its impact. The reader said, “I can recall a time when you were out with your children you were really with them. You engaged in a back and forth dialog even if they were pre-verbal. You said, ‘Look at the bus, see the doggie, etc.’ Now I see you on the phone, pushing your kids on the swings while distracted by your devices. You think you are spending time with them but you are not present really. When I see you pick up your kids at day care while you’re on the phone, it breaks my heart. They hear your adult conversations. What do they overhear? What is the message they receive? I am not important; I am not important.”

On her blog, Handsfreemama.com, (and in her book by the same name) she has listed a series of introspective statements on “How to Miss a Childhood.” For those who have children at home, this is a real eye-opener. But to all of us, regardless of age or familial composition, the messaging is poignant with regard to our most treasured relationships.

She says that if you want to miss your children’s childhood, “Keep your phone turned on at all times of the day. Allow the rings, beeps, and buzzes to interrupt your child midsentence; always let the caller take priority.”

“Carry your phone around so much that when you happen to leave it in one room your child will come running with it proudly in hand—treating it more like a much needed breathing apparatus than a communication device.”

“Decide the app you’re playing is more important than throwing the ball in the yard with your kids. Even better, yell at them to leave you alone while you play your game.”

“While you wait for the server to bring your food or the movie to start, get out your phone and stare at it despite the fact your child sits inches away longing for you talk to him.”

gg58805038“Neglect daily rituals like tucking your child into bed or nightly dinner conversation because you are too busy with your online activity.

After listing many more such examples, the author concludes: “Follow this recipe and you will have: missed opportunities for human connection, fewer chances to create beautiful memories, lack of connection to the people most precious to you, inability to really know your children and them unable to know you, and overwhelming regret.”

If we are to avoid becoming a socially inept and illiterate society, we must learn to use our electronic devices not as proxy relationships, but as tools to broaden and enlarge our human experience, and with a sense of temporal balance, rather than as our veritable raison d’être or center of our existence. Perhaps it’s time to reintroduce social etiquette into our school’s curricula, before our anti-social behavior unravels our last few remaining threads of humanity.

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

 

Sure… Bergdahl Left Because His Platoon Was Full of Psychopaths.

What are the chances? Now we have a senior ranking official in the Obama administration suggesting that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s entire platoon was crazy. Because that’s so much more likely than just one guy deserting?

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Brandon Friedman went so far as to call members of Bergdahl’s platoon “psychopaths”. Seriously? Someone needs to check on this Friedman guy. There’s a lot of speculation and theory about what happened to Bergdahl


Read more at http://therealside.com/2014/06/sure-bergdahl-left-because-his-platoon-was-full-of-psychopaths/#R0jeVZHOQDKHmC8l.99

Is Truth Alive, Anywhere?

I have had this mindset that truth prevails and I believe truth will always win, eventually, not always at first, but it will always win. The Bible calls the truth “light” and light always drives out darkness.

It seems in today’s society truth is a fleeting 140 character or less thing. Mainstream media can’t find it if you put it in a bag marked with flares. The president, being the constitutional scholar that he is, can’t even spell it.

When President Obama interviewed with Bill O’Reilly he said there were no scandals. I guess he doesn’t know what a scandal is. According to Websters Dictionary, a scandal is:

an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.
“a bribery scandal involving one of his key supporters”

synonyms:   (outrageous) wrongdoing, impropriety, misconduct, immoral behavior, unethical behavior, discreditable behavior, outrageous behavior

Let’s focus on the synonym “wrongdoing.” The IRS targeted 99% of applications received from conservative-sounding applicants using keywords like, liberty, constitution, and freedom (very nasty words!) According to IRS rules, that was WRONG and evidence of this can be found in MANY emails sent by Lois Lerner and the other IRS personnel. Mr. President, that, according to the dictionary, is a classic example of a scandal.

Remember in the interview, Mr. Obama said there were no scandals. I guess they were just “FoxTales” (my words not his.)

He might as well just say, “I have a pen and I’ll pass my own laws.” Those of you who are going to tell me that President Bush (and others) signed more executive orders than Obama, wake up! There are executive orders, and then, there are EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

Pardoning the turkeys on Thanksgiving is done by executive order, really deep. Re-writing the healthcare law by executive order circumvents the value of the three branches of government. That’s a problem. Mr. Obama sees this as a dictatorship, not a democratic republic, where he can say or do anything he wants because he is king. He has issued over 22 executive orders to modify a LAW. That is not the intent of an executive order.

Why doesn’t he follow the law he swore to uphold? Why not just acknowledge that we need to fix this law that was passed too quickly? Why? Because this administration has never done anything wrong. They take responsibility for nothing.

He has a default script in his teleprompter. The Republicans are blocking us. It’s because of climate change and if the Republicans would pass the bill we could fix this. If the speaker could get control of his members we could pass my jobs bill (that doesn’t exist.)

We should move the White House to Walt Disney World and put it in the land of “make believe” where it belongs under this administration.

According to Forbes, “frustrated by the inability of Congress to pass immigration reform, Obama kicked off his own set of reforms by executive order, halting the legal deportation of thousands of immigrants in the U.S. illegally.” Another shining example of King Obama writing law on his own.

Read the rest at: http://therealside.com/2014/05/is-truth-alive-anywhere/

Apple’s Stock drops on underperforming iPhone Sales

Apple announced earnings today and it wasn’t what analysts had expected to hear – the tech giant missed expectations and gave lower future guidance.

Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the last quarter vs. analysts expectations of 55 million units.

The company also announced that it expects to bring in $42-44 billion in revenues. Analysts had expected more than $46 billion.

The downside announcements sent the stock down 5% and BGC downgraded the stock from “buy” to “hold.”

A larger story may be the lack of innovation coming from the technology darling. The next two iPhones slated for release seem to be nothing more than the current model with a larger screen.

Samsung and other players in the smartphone market can easily upsize or downsize screen sizes to match while also adding new features at pace that Apple is struggling to match.

Leading-edge products like the iPod, iTouch, iPad and iPhone were the steps Apple took to get where it is. The question on investors minds is – got anything left?

Prayer App Now Available for Android in Google Play

oraBELLINGHAM, Wash., Oct. 22, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — ORA NET LLC announces its Ora prayer app is now available for Android smartphones in the Google Play store. Android users can now join the initiative to use a disruptive technology to promote the oldest form of recognized religious expression in the Christian and Jewish faiths — prayer. The ORA system creates a personal mobile experience for the individual and an enterprise-quality community management platform for any organization to invite, connect, share, respond and interact with one another in intercessory prayer.

“ORA’s technology gives us the ability to do so much more to leverage existing social networks and mobile devices to connect individuals in the most meaningful relationship they can have with others and with God. And now that technology is available to an even larger group of smartphone users in a secure, private setting,” said Jeff Bone, Chief Marketing Officer for ORA.

The Bellingham, WA, company introduced what many have called the most revolutionary development for the faith community to be released in decades.

“We all maintain a number of social and spiritual connections within a broad community that includes our favorite people and our favorite places of worship and ministry. ORA collects, organizes, tracks, reminds, connects and securely shares prayer requests and answers with anyone you choose. Android is the largest and fastest growing segment of smartphone users in the world and we are pleased to be able to offer this to the Android community as well,” Stated Dusty Gulleson, ORA Chief Executive Officer.

“We are very excited to use the ORA app in our Life Groups. We think God will use this app to connect people through prayer in a way that hasn’t been done before,” said Jake Schwein, Pastor of Grace Chapel, Wilsonville, Oregon.

Typical social networks are inappropriate “high noise” areas that are not private enough for sensitive postings like prayer requests. ORA creates an environment where prayer is the most important thing and your privacy is mission critical. ORA employs financial-grade security to protect your privacy and keep your intimate postings secure. ORA not only makes prayer available on your smartphone, but it makes comments, reminders and prayer partners always available too and gives immediate feedback to requests, questions and comments from prayer partners and helps to track and remind the user of how prayers are answered immediately or over time. ORA helps you get a glimpse of the eternal that can be missed when we’re caught up in the stress of everyday life.

ORA is a free download for iPhone, AppStore.com/ora, and now for Android at: ora.net/android.html. The ORA smartphone app integrates into the ORA Community system. The ORA Community system is a software as a service (SaaS) solution designed with many more management features that allows an organization to administer community-wide prayer communication and easily integrate with existing email, church management or relationship management software from leading providers. Visit the ORA website for more information: ora.net.

The End Of Policy Revisited

us_map_flagNote from Taylor: My buddy, William K, sent me an email last week in reply to this article from Reason Magazine. I don’t 100% agree with him, especially on foreign policy where I think he’s dead wrong, but he brings up some excellent points.

Hi Taylor,

I almost agree with what he’s saying. I do agree that the GOP has an almost non-existent public policy. I disagree with the idea that the Democrat party has no public policy. It may be that there is nothing distinctly new about their policy, but I believe their policy is to chisel in the public a new dependence upon the types of central planning (efficient government or some other euphemism) which provides the essentials (food, health, transportation, even jobs). Most of the impactful parts of Obamacare have not actually been implemented and can, in theory, still be brought down. What I do agree about is the sort of dishwater leadership we currently have in both chambers and the party at large.

Furthermore, there’s nothing “wrong” with the Democrat policy agenda. It’s working as long as they can tie their failings to the nebulous “other” which is the source of all wrongs. Were it not for the “other,” we might have found the philosopher’s stone of governance. In any case, true scandals (intelligences leaks, Ambassador Stevens killed in the Islamist attack on Benghazi and the subsequent obfuscation of what happened and why, the IRS targeting conservative oriented non-profits which faced scrutiny at a rate of almost 15:1, etc.) have yet to stick or gain traction. There are three more years and no sign that any of these will actually matter.

Regardless of the legality or the propriety of their actions, what the Democrat party is doing is working, even if it is slower than what they prefer. This incremental approach works, even if it is frustrating for them. If a conservative compromises on a law over a conviction, he moves further away than where his ideals state he should be. If a liberal compromises the same way, his march is simply a little slower.

Finally, I want to point out one thing that bothers me about libertarians, especially the more fiscally conscious ones – the ones with whom I am probably the most aligned. There seems to be a streak of isolationism in them and a aversion to defense spending. While a lot of energy based problems are self-inflicted, one cannot deny that the American Navy has kept the seas safe for international commerce. Our Navy basically guarantees that the crude petroleum produced in the Levant is able to make it to America as well as the mostly free Western Europe. Our defense spending as a percentage of GDP has been falling for decades. If our Navy shrinks too much, we risk conceding important trade routes and strategic seas. China has recently published a map which claims Philippine territory de facto and de jure controlled by the Philippines which is slowly being consumed by Chinese soft invasions (invasions which we are, by treaty, supposed to repel, but for which we do nothing).  Without defense spending, we have no ships, no fuel, no sailors to protect our interests and the interests of our allies. I honestly even hate the euphemism “interest” because it makes it sound like protecting commerce on the seas and protecting territorial integrity of allies is just a hobby, like knitting or bird watching. These are not pedestrian dawdlings – this is impactful for not only our way of life, but for the mostly democratic and free way of life that is genuinely threatened by the Communists in China and the Oligarchs in Russia.

Sincerely,

William K.

Internet Taxation

Relaxed Wisdom

Relaxed Wisdom

Today 21 Republican Senators vote to tax Americans even more, while five Democrats voted against higher taxes.

Shame on those republicans, and applause for those five Democrats.

Those Republicans that are worthy of scorn are listed below. When they begin bragging about how wonderful they are and attempt to distract you with lies, don’t buy into their deceit. They will sell you a lot of snake oil, but in the end they will strike with venom again and again.

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)
Boozman (R-AR)
McCain (R-AZ)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Isakson (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Collins (R-ME)
Blunt (R-MO)
Cochran (R-MS)
Wicker (R-MS)
Burr (R-NC)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Fischer (R-NE)
Johanns (R-NE)
Portman (R-OH)
Graham (R-SC)
Thune (R-SD)
Alexander (R-TN)
Corker (R-TN)
Enzi (R-WY)

The five Democrats with a proper vote are

 

Baucus (D-MT)
Tester (D-MT)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Merkley (D-OR)
Wyden (D-OR)

America is taxed enough.  Anyone with any common sense knows the federal government is one of the most wasteful organizations in the world.  Taxes should be cut until the government learns how to manage its business in a responsible manner.

I hope everyone that believes in the dignity of this nation will call their senators as many time as possible demanding better of them.

Rand Loves The Drones? Not Quite…

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has learned another key lesson of the “age of sound bytes.” During an appearance on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business Network show, Paul pointed out he didn’t mind using drones or any kind of technology against an “imminent threat,” whether it was a terrorist or “someone coming out of a liquor store with a weapon and 50 dollars in cash.” He also said it didn’t matter if it was a cop or a drone who killed the criminal. To fans of his father, ex-Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the reaction was fast and it wasn’t pretty.

Rand Paul was called someone who was “bullsh—tting,” a “politician” (which he is), someone who supported “the militarizing of police” and someone who needed to get away from neoconservatives because they were “rotting your brain.” Even Matt Drudge threw up the clever headline, “RAND LEARNS TO LOVE THE DRONE!”

However, people are ignoring the second half of his quote. Paul specifically said it was different if a drone wanted to go over someone’s hot tub or yard just to look at you. Even when Cavuto asked what if police were searching for a criminal and accidentally found something “bad,” Paul didn’t budge. He said no one should be looking into someone’s backyard and didn’t want surveillance when there wasn’t “probable cause.” Paul made it very clear police must have a warrant to use a drone, unless there was a “killer on the loose” or someone “running around with a gun.”

 

This is very similar to what he said during his 13 hour filibuster and the comments he made afterward. It’s also part of the no domestic drone strike legislation he and Texas Senator Ted Cruz co-sponsored. Drones can only be used on “dangerous criminals” and people who poses an “imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury” to another person. So Paul is being consistent.

 

There are still problems with how Paul worded what he said. The definition of a “dangerous criminal” may mean someone like the Boston terrorists, who engaged in an active shootout with police. But, as Paul pointed out in his filibuster, the Fusion Center of Missouri considers “dangerous criminals” as people who have pro-life bumper stickers, people who may want more border security, support third party candidates or might be in the Constitution Party. Unless the “dangerous criminal” terminology is strictly defined, the use of drones by governments on American soil could end up being as slippery of a slope as warrant-less wiretapping. Even with the strictest of definitions, it may not be worth it, despite how awesome the technology is.

 

By making broad comments on an issue, Paul giving potential political enemies more ammunition against him. It also disappoints his supporters and those who consider him a “political hero.” Plus, the liquor store example is a bad example, which Paul realized. He made it clear in a statement he released Tuesday. After all, hindsight is 20-20.

 

There may be ways to figure out how people in the private sector (i.e. farmers) could use drones, without raising questions about privacy. Drone countermeasures are already being developed and sold to those who can afford it. That may be the ultimate solution.

 

But in the end, Lucius Fox may have it right when he raised questions about technology Bruce Wayne developed in The Dark Knight. Even when it was obvious Batman could use a city-wide tracking device to find the Joker, Fox said, “No one should have it,” because the tracker could be abused.

 

It may be time for us to listen to Lucius Fox on drones. Cool technology, but not worth using.

 

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