Friday, August 15, 2008

Privacy takes another hit to help out law enforcement.

I hope I'm not the only one ticked off at the prospect of this serious loss in privacy.

I'll take a bold stand on this: If it comes down to some criminals getting away OR a serious loss of our privacy rights, then I'm on the side of privacy.

Screw law enforcement if they can't do their jobs without demanding that the rest of us sacrifice our right to be left alone.

The police need to get their crap together instead of expecting us to be okay with the steady encroachment on our rights.

The line is clearly being moved.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taxes are only for the "little people"

This story goes to show that taxes are really "just for the little people."

And we wonder why our deficit has mushroomed.

Not only do we have runaway spending, but we also have a significant number of corporate tax cheats.

I wish I could get away without paying taxes for 7 years with the excuse that it's just too tough.

Here's why corporations get away with it: Individual taxpayers can be jailed for non-payment of taxes. How do you jail a corporation? You can't.

So, where's the incentive to pay taxes if the consequences are only financial?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Russian plan for Georgia made clear in March: "Divide & Destroy"

Here's a story back in March about the Kremlin's attitude toward Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO.

This provides some background as to the how and why of Russia's attack on Georgia.

A quote from a Kremlin guy lays out the Russian plan:

Gleb Pavlovsky warned on the program that Ukraine shall be “destroyed, divided” if it pursues a MAP leading to NATO membership. To deter Kyiv from pursuing a MAP, Pavlovsky recommended that Russia should raise the full range of complaints regarding the Russian language and rights of ethnic minorities in Ukraine and present Ukraine with a “yes-or-no choice.”

Russia is carrying out their stated plan, but instead of Ukraine, they're picking on a smaller country to check the commitment of NATO. Putin's plan is to show the Georgians that NATO is all talk. That way, the Georgians will grow angry with the West for failing to help them.

Putin is a genius and we're on the receiving end.

We've seriously dropped the ball and now we cannot effectively deal with this.

Putin is a danger to the world--Bush could have warned us after he looked into his soul.

Robert Kagan provides a glimpse into the purpose and intentions behind Russia's attack on Georgia.

I think this has been a long time coming.

Putin has managed to jail, kill, or exile all the Energy barons of Russia, nationalizing its vast energy resources for himself.

Putin is consolidating his power with oil and natural gas because the West is too dependent, so we will tow Putin's line.

The West has stepped into a pile of Russian intrigue.

We cannot afford to sit back and let Putin and his mobster-like crew put us in an energy strangle-hold. Alternative energy is one step.

Next, we must act fast to counter Putin's shenanigans. This may raise the specter of open hostilities, but I suspect China and India would get on board. China won't like a jingoistic and imperialistic Russia knocking around. India likes its prosperity too much to sacrifice it now.

I don't like war, but we must address it now.

Unfortunately, we are weakened by our preemptive war in Iraq. We have a weakened economy from the war and bad economic policy here.

We also have no discernible energy policy aside from one that subjects us to Russia's growing energy hegemony.

McCain spreading B.S. about Obama to scare people--Again.

As is typical of the Republican machine, John McCain is spreading lies about Obama to discourage voters. This comes from a non-partisan source too, so Fox News can't do its usual claim of bias against the source.

Republicans have successfully thrown this stinkbomb for years and it is typically nothing but a pack of lies.

Too bad U.S. voters, as a whole, do little in the way of background checking before they buy into this sort of campaign garbage.

Socialized Health Insurance is a wildly popular idea that could be doomed by inertia

Here's an article by Paul Krugman laying out the issues related to universal health care.

I think Paul is on target. I agree with what he says.

He makes the point that Republicans have for too long bristled at the notion of universal health care as "socialized medicine." This is true. He doesn't make the same distinction between socialized medicine and socialized insurance that I do, but he does allude to it.

Here's my previous posting about it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ideology favored by the uninformed.

Finally, scientific evidence supporting what I've argued for years.

Specifically, under-informed U.S. voters favor ideological purity from their politicians.

The downside: Ideology is no better than a mere coin toss when making a decision, yet still it hangs on like a bad cold.

This study supports my view on ideology and its insidious effects.


I argue that Ideology fills in the conceptual blindspots for those who shun critical thinking. When an ideology invades someone's mind, much like a virus, it infects all their thought processes and slowly informs their worldview.

Ultimately, the ideology contorts its victim's thinking to further the ideology, even at the expense of critical thought.

Ideology behaves like a meme. Reason and critical thought are immaterial to an ideology. Ideology behaves more like a disease of thought bent on virulence and its own survival.

Once ideology gains a foothold dislodging it becomes almost impossible. It sinks deep tendrils by offering pseudo-certainty and faux order to a world where neither certainty nor order exist.

Those with a high certainty orientation, like those with little perceived control over their lives, are particularly susceptible to ideology. It offers an attractive mental sanctuary staving off a chaotic world.

Ideology gives answers where no answers may lie. Yet, these answers may be incorrect and may actually defy reason.

So where does this leave us?

Certainty or truth. Sometimes the choice is stark.