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Internet debates

Sometimes, you're wrong.

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More expensive and more expansive

Every government program will be more expensive and more expansive than anything you had in mind when you proposed it. It will be applied in all sorts of ways you never dreamed of.
     — Harry Browne, Principles of Government
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Misused

Power will always be misused. Give good people the power to do good and that power eventually will be in the hands of bad people to do bad.
     — Harry Browne, Principles of Government
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Does not work

Government doesn't work. Because government is force, because government programs are designed to enrich the politically powerful, because you can't control government and make it do what's right, because every new government program soon wanders from its original purpose, and because politicians eventually misuse the power you give them, it is inevitable that no government program will deliver on the promises the politicians make for it.
     — Harry Browne, Principles of Government
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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Limits

Government must be subject to absolute limits. Because politicians have every incentive to expand government, and with it their power, there must be absolute limits on government.
     — Harry Browne, Principles of Government
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Thursday roundup

United Apologizes To Passenger Booted For Congresswoman

also Sheila Jackson Lee’s Long History Of Being An Entitled ‘Queen’

Half of America thinks we’re making it up

And they are not wrong

UK Muslim No-Go Zones ‘Heading Toward Disaster,’ Non-Muslims Scared, Businesses Stoned

Radical Islam is a cancer and still remain so until other Muslims take a stand.

Homeland Security’s Multibillion Dollar Comedy Show

This agency never should have been created

10 times the intel community violated the trust of US citizens, lawmakers and allies

In the words of Claire Wolfe, "Only ten?"

Freedom Necessarily Includes the Freedom to Act Self-Destructively

Don Boudreaux answers his mail.

#MeToo Is Turning Into a Witch-Hunt

What happens when the radical feminists destroy their own goals?

Why Does Blow-Drying Hair in Arizona Require 1,000 Hours of Training?

Occupational licensing has become a bane on American society

Collision with Reality: What Depth Psychology Can Tell us About Victimhood Culture

I despise the politics of victimhood. This goes a long way to describing it.

Sen. Ron Wyden cosponsors bill to legalize marijuana across U.S.

It's amazing to me that marijuana is considered more dangerous than alcohol, despite all evidence to the contrary

H.R. 38: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017

A Federal law for gun freedom?

Roy Moore files lawsuit to block Alabama Senate result

Back in 2000, I blasted Al Gore for demanding the courts intervene. Here is a result.

Another Arctic blast poised to usher in 2018

But, but it's global warming climate change…

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Wednesday roundup

The Government Loves to Make Us All Criminals

When the ordinary becomes illegal

Chicago Police Union Trying To Stop New Use-of-Force Policies

Police power beyond constraint

Electric bike crackdown spurs delivery worker concern

"Electric bikes are illegal to operate on city streets and those at the top of the food chain need to be held accountable."

Regulator tells Vermont hospital to dial back surgeries, revenue

“That's a problem for the Green Mountain Care Board, which has come down on Copley for making too much money and doing too many surgeries. Copley's success is seen as a violation of the Board's master plan for managing health care costs in the state.”

Using the Blockchain to Fight Corruption

A promising approach to fight election fraud

ONE-THIRD Of U.S. Homicide Spike Coming From 5 Chicago Neighborhood

Conservatives would point out that Chicago is a victim of liberal polices.

"Wealth Effect" = Widening Wealth Inequality

Not sure I agree, but worth thinking about

Words We Didn't Hear

Interesting

President Trump Cuts Funding to UN After Israel Vote

Actions have consequences> Or at least they should.

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NeoNotes - Real religion

Pardon, I don't think anyone is capable of judging what is and is not a "real" religion. I can't tell you how many times certain Christians have told me that my faith isn't real.

Pauline Christianity is something completely different that what Yeshua Ben Yosef preached. Gnostic Christianity is something completely different yet again. Which is true? Who knows? Who am I to judge what happens between someone else and the Divine?

I think these are the wrong questions. Christians are much nicer when they aren't the only game around. From what little I've seen, the same applies to Muslims.

I think what matters is how we treat others, especially others who do not share our faith and culture. Ramming it down other's throat by force will cause resentment. That's where some monotheists go wrong. It's not that they have the True Faith™, its that no other faith can be allowed. Because of their Greater Understanding and enlightenment, they can break society's rule for the Greater Good. Thou shalt not dissent.

Climate change alarmists stole the game lock, stock, and barrel. It's common for some of the radical feminists too. If anything, I think it indicates a weakness in the argument. Their faith isn't strong enough, they can't convince others, so it must be forced.

Getting back to Christianity, how much would history have changed if Constantine hadn't made it the state faith? How would it have developed if it had stayed one faith among many? How much of the Official® was really about politics and controlling the populace?

Could it be that control is really the issue?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Tuesday roundup

Israel to formally announce intent to leave UNESCO

Although I am not a blind supporter of Israel, there is no other nation that has been vilified for so little reason.

University of Minnesota Retracts Restrictions on Christmas Decorations

“In a memo sent by the University of Minnesota earlier this month, staff was told that Santa and Christmas tree decorations were “not appropriate” for campus buildings.”

Santa Calls It Quits

Parody

Cities, volunteers clash over feeding homeless in public

It's not charity unless it's Officially Approved

How Opaque Healthcare Pricing Mechanisms Rip Off Consumers

Or How Government Conspires to Keep Medical Costs High

Wrong-footing the NYPD

Going through the motions without fixing the problems

Christmas 2017: Why I'm Hopeful



Who Regulates Bitcoin Trading? No U.S. Agency Has Jurisdiction

No regulation is not necessarily a bad thing

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Offensive

People get offended by different things, but just because something offends you, doesn't mean the whole world has to change to accommodate you, so I would say please be more tolerant.
     — Mark Wivell, Family asked to remove 'offensive' Jesus sign from their Christmas display because it offended a neighbour
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Jesus is offensive

Family asked to remove 'offensive' Jesus sign from their Christmas display because it offended a neighbour

A family has been asked to take down a sign with the name “Jesus” from their Christmas display, after a neighbour reportedly claimed it was offensive.

Mark and Lynn Wivell said their homeowner’s association had made the request after they put up the display outside their home in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

"As part of our Christmas decoration, we would display the name Jesus to point out to everyone that we in this family believe that the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus," Mr Wivell told the FOX43 news channel.
     — Henry Austin
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A good man

Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
     — The Doctor, A Good Man Goes to War
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Cutting taxes only makes the problem worse

Cutting taxes only makes the problem worse unless they cut spending.

Personally I don't think Congress should get paid unless they bring spending in under income. I'm also in favor of liens against their homes and seizing their bank accounts.
     — NeoWayland

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Keeping the public safe

“Why legal guns can’t be banned from (Delaware) state parks”

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No roundup for the next few days

Although I do not celebrate Christmas, this will be the last headline roundup until Tuesday. It's almost impossible to find interesting news stories this close to the holiday.
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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Rebuke

U.N. Vote Rebukes U.S. for Jerusalem Move

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday for a resolution effectively rebuking U.S. President Donald Trump for recognizing the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pledging to move the U.S. embassy there.

The vote came despite threats by Mr. Trump and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley that the U.S. would take punitive measures, such as reducing foreign aid and cutting contributions to the U.N., against countries voting in favor of the resolution.

The General Assembly resolution didn’t explicitly refer to the U.S., instead asserting that unilateral decisions such as Mr. Trump’s have no legal effect and must be rescinded. In the vote, 128 countries voted in favor and 9 against, with 35 abstaining.

“We will remember [the vote], when so many countries come calling on us to pay even more and to use our influence to their benefit,” Ms. Haley said during the General Assembly debate, adding the emergency meeting and the vote were signs of disrespect toward the U.S. for exercising its sovereignty by deciding to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. She said the vote wouldn’t affect Mr. Trump’s decision.
     — Farnaz Fassihi

So let's talk about this.

The UN has absolutely no power to interfere with the internal affairs of any member nation.

In the past, the UN has meddled for "humanitarian reasons" or to prevent greater violence. That hasn't worked out well at all.

Most of the money and most of the military might of the UN comes from the United States. Overwhelmingly so. If the US decided to take it's toys and go home, not only would the UN have to move, but it's ability to act would be less than a fifth of what it is now.

Since it's founding, the UN has tried to steer the World towards one world government. American elites have pursued globalization along the lines of the European Union. But centralized unaccountable bureaucracies seldom work. That in turn leads to more government, more technocrats, and even less accountability. For the last thirty years, globalization has be the goal.

Trump is going to disrupt things.
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Moral absolute

Every moral absolute I’ve ever encountered depends on cultural or religious assumptions that probably aren’t shared by all people present.
     — NeoWayland
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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Principles of Government

Standard Approved Government Solution

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What a piece of work is a man!

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a God.
     — William Shakespeare
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Adversity toughens manhood

Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.
     — Patrick Henry
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A man must become

A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.
     — Camille Paglia
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Stand true

Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men.
     — Elisabeth Elliott
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Power to abuse

The problem isn't the abuse of power; it's the power to abuse.
     — Michael Cloud
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Giving back

Tea Company Exchanges Fair Trade Status For Giving Back Directly to their Farmers

Tiesta Tea’s co-founders and marketing director just got back from installing a water well for our company’s hibiscus farmers in Nigeria.

Words can hardly describe the feeling of seeing thousands of villagers so genuinely happy to receive one of life’s basic necessities: water. Giving back directly to that community made a life-changing impact, not only for our farmers, but on our entire company.

To summarize our experience, we defied the US travel recommendations and traveled to northern Nigeria (Kano and Jigawa states), an area known for unrest and harsh conditions. With the Boko Haram activity in the region, we knew this would be a risky journey.

Our visas were denied through the typical US process. Driven by our determination to give back, however, we had to work with the Nigerian government directly to receive a visa upon arrival.

As a loose leaf tea company, we get all of our hibiscus from farmers in Jigawa, Nigeria, who produce the best hibiscus in the world. Nigeria is one of the few countries that can produce hibiscus because of the hot, dry climate required to grow it.

Learning that women and children spend up to 5 hours every day walking 2-3km to collect water to use for cooking, cleaning, and drinking, we recognized the opportunity to give back to our hibiscus farmers.
     — Rachel Heinzinger
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Wednesday roundup

Can States Reimpose Net Neutrality?

More importantly, should they? Net neutrality is about something that might happen, not something that has happened. And once government starts regulating, existing firms are protected and new competition is discouraged.

Trump and the NFL Agree: Taxpayers Should Keep Subsidizing Stadiums

The stadium scam is one of the biggest boondoggles ever allowed in America

Rebuilding America First

Major priority shifts

Un-Merry Christmas: The Perverse Incentives to Over-Consume and Over-Spend

If you have enough, why do you need the Brand New Model?

How Activists Took Control of a University: The Case Study of Evergreen State

Social justice displaces education

Massachusetts Adopted Common Core – and It’s Beginning to Show

Another case of education taking a back seat to social objectives.

Would More Infrastructure Spending Have Stopped Yesterday's Derailment?

Politicos still aren't answering the big question. Is mass transit cost effective?

Ben Carson Admits War on Drugs Conflicts with War on Poverty

Major opinion change from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Matt Damon faces backlash for latest sexual harassment comments

"We're in this watershed moment, and it's great, but I think one thing that's not being talked about is... the preponderance of men I've worked with who don't do this kind of thing."

Dictionaries as Propaganda Tools

Gods, enough of the social justice activism and toxic politics corrupting everything

Swedish Police Warn Rapes ‘Worst They Have Seen in 35 Years’

It's not the native born Swedes who are raping women

German Jews Told To Hide Jewish Symbols To Avoid Attacks By Muslim Migrants…

The first duty of government is to protect citizens. So where are the police and other authorities?

Hillary Clinton campaign, DNC accused of 'corrupt' money scheme in new FEC complaint

The corruption just keeps on coming

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Duty

Duty is the essence of manhood.
     — George Patton
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Lesson taught

The lesson taught at this point by human experience is simply this, that the men who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down. Personal independence is a virtue and it is the soul out of which comes the sturdiest manhood. But there can be no independence without a large share of self-dependence, and this virtue cannot be bestowed. It must be developed from within.
     — Frederick Douglass
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Iron qualities

We need the iron qualities that go with true manhood. We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shirking the rough work that must always be done.
     — Theodore Roosevelt
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“STOP. SEXUALIZING. CHILDREN.”

“This video looks at the concerning trend toward the sexualization of children through shows like Big Mouth, provocative toys like Bratz, and the dangers of advocating acceptance of attraction to children.”

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Tuesday roundup

The Big Con: The Truth Behind Net Neutrality and Why the Sky Is Not Falling

“Net neutrality was the government’s response to an actual problem. As usual, their response ignored the problem completely.”

The Modern Art Of Pervs

Changing mores and the sexualization of children

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

“How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.” So Obama let them break the law. I don't agree with the War on Drugs, but the President should uphold the law.

CDC director says there are ‘no banned words’ at the agency

Well, I fell for this one too. I should know by now that the really bad stuff about Trump seldom turns out true. Also No, the CDC did not ban a list of words

Since Feeding the Homeless is Now Illegal, A Group Carried AR15s to Give Out Food—It Worked

Unsanctioned, unofficial charity.

The Other Tech Bubble

The ugliness behind the startup culture.

In Legalizing Marijuana, Uruguay Trips over the Dollar, US Laws, and Global Banks

or “Why Drug Lords Love the Patriot Act.”

3 Reasons Millennials Should Consider Ditching Karl Marx for Ayn Rand

“Karl Marx doesn’t align with what’s important to Millennials.”

Jedi Mind Trick: The Disturbing, Destabilizing Abnormal Is Now Normal

Change means disrupting the system. And there's plenty of disruption.

Is Your Cell Phone Protected by the Constitution?

The Supreme Court will decide, and it doesn't look good.

‘We Made This (Harassment) Law Up From The Beginning And Now We’ve Won’

Deliberately screwing up society.

Comey Should Be Indicted

It was obvious months ago, but now it's a given. It won't happen though. Indicting Comey is one step closer to HRC. And indicting HRC is one step closer to Barack Obama.

Right Wing Extremism vs. Islamic Extremism in the United States: A Look at the Numbers

Debunking the claim that most terrorism in the US is carried out by the right wing.

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Way of the superior man

The way of a superior man is three-fold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.
     — Confucius
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Truth and manliness

Private and public life are subject to the same rules—truth and manliness are two qualities that will carry you through this world much better than policy or tact of expediency or other words that were devised to conceal a deviation from a straight line.
     — Robert E. Lee
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Share a photograph

“Marine's wife finds way to include deployed husband in touching Christmas card”

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Monday roundup

Trump to remove ‘climate change’ as a national security threat

It never was a threat. It was an excuse to divert money and resources to a religious cause. Yes, the climate alarmists are a religion. Right down to treating dissenters as heretics.

Miami pulls the plug on its red light camera program

Too many cities have leveraged red light cameras into a revenue source and manipulated the light timing to maximize revenue.

Donald Trump, Lying, and Eroding Social Trust

Good questions. Presidents and politicos lie, it's what they do. The problems is believing one flavor is better than the other.

States Fight Calif. and Mass. over Meddlesome Livestock Law

Why should one state control how farming occurs in another?

Navajo Nation sues Wells Fargo in fake-account scandal

“Vulnerable” needs some explaining. There are cultural assumptions that the Diné have that most of the U.S. doesn't. This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to legal issues.

‘Internet Service Providers Should Not Be Able To Decide What People Can See Online,’ Says Man Who Decides What People Can See Online

Mark Zuckerberg is a hypocrite.

The #MeToo Movement Is Destroying Trust Between Men And Women

“Demonizing Men Undermines Both Sexes”

Judicial Watch President: "Forget Mueller," The Real Question Is "Do We Need To Shut Down The FBI?"

The Bureau is compromised.

Democrats Can Weaponize the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Trump

It won't work. Trump is better at this game than the press or his political opponents. He won't go quietly when allegations are in the air.

Masterpiece Cakeshop: Are We Free To Disagree?

This nuance is important and often misreported in the media. Jack serves all customers; he does not want to be forced to create all messages.

UN Security Council weighs resolution saying Jerusalem decisions are void

Yeah. The UN has no authority in the affairs between two nations or in the internal affairs of any nation. Nor does the US. Nor should they.

CA Dems Proposing Spending $1 Billion Giving Health Care To Illegal Immigrants

As long as CA pays and not the rest of the country, I've no problem. But they will find a way to shift the costs, just watch.

Trump administration forbids CDC officials from using 7 words and phrases

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I don't think the administration should be banning words. On the other hand, I've seen some of the nonsense coming out of the CDC in the last few years.

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In time for Christmas

Funny how that only works if there is a liberal President

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Unhappy

No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity, for he is not permitted to prove himself.
     — Seneca
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We do not admire

We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life.
     — Theodore Roosevelt
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Money and power

Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
     — P.J. O'Rourke
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Strongest argument for socialism

The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn't work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.
     — Thomas Sowell
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What we obtain too cheap

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.
     — Thomas Paine
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Does what he must

A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.
     — Winston Churchill
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Friendship

Demonstrating that certain modern liberals don't understand economics

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Weekend roundup

How Using Eminent Domain to Seize Land for a Border Wall Harms American Property Owners

Your property rights are gone. Also National Butterfly Center Founder: Trump’s Border Wall Prep ‘Trampling on Private Property Rights’

How you can be tracked even with your GPS turned off

Why wouldn't you want to be tracked, Citizen? Are you doing something wrong?

Feds moving quickly to cash in on seized bitcoin, now worth $8.4 million

Seized from a "suspected" Dark Web dealer. Not convicted, but "suspected"

Federal Labor Board Reverses Bad Decision that Made Corporations Responsible for Franchise Decisions

If it's the franchisee that cut's the employee's paycheck, then the franchiser has no responsibility. This was a cash grab pure and simple.

Harlem Shook: Google Is Using Its Immense Power To Censor Content That Doesn’t Fit Its Political Goals. Everyone In America Should Be Concerned About That

For all the talk about net neutrality, it's the service providers who are the real censors. Why is Google filtering results? Why is Facebook manipulating your feed and tracking down everyone you may have talked to since the sixth grade? Why is Twitter monitoring the non-Twitter online activity of it's verified members? If you are not paying for a product, you are the product.

Don’t Blame Big Cable. It’s Local Governments That Choke Broadband Competition

And oldie but still accurate

The Warlock Hunt

#MeToo will destroy everyone, women and men. That's what happens when you raise table stakes.

Big Brother Installing Surveillance Cameras in Places of Worship

Two simple questions. Will surveillance cameras make parishioners safer? How long until an Authority Figure™ decides to monitor the cameras to make sure the worshipers are doing things "correctly?"

Bitcoin futures are about to get another big boost

“TD Ameritrade, the largest futures operation of any online brokerage, is going to allow bitcoin futures trading on its platform starting Monday.” The Federal Reserve is about to get competition.

Residents Outraged as DHS Spraying Town With Chemicals—Using Them as Human Guinea Pigs

Did anyone bother asking the residents what they thought?

Is climate change REALLY the culprit causing California’s wildfires?

More claims without proof

Court Rules Plastic Flamingos Okay But Growing Vegetables in Front Yard Is ILLEGAL

“That’s what government does – interferes in people’s lives.”

Watch: Police body cam of innocent woman clamped in K-9’s jaws. She’s suing.

Even if she wins, the cop won't pay. In many states sovereign immunity and qualified immunity "protect" police officers, even fi the actions of the police are illegal.

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≠ Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

End Violence, Not Demand

anniversary of the 17Dec2003 sentencing of the Green River Killer

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The free market is more free

What does it say about Bill Maer? - updated

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244th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party

“The Tea Act: The Catalyst of the Boston Tea Party”

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Walk towards the fire

Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too.
     — Andrew Breitbart
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Anything at all

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
This is bar none my favorite picture version of this George Orwell quote. The guy's expression sells it. He didn't expect it, and now he has to think about it.

And yes, it influenced me. It's probably my favorite Orwell quote.

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Bill of Rights Day

You should know these rights. You should defend these rights.

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Utopia

If you want to find utopia, take a sharp right on money and a sharp left on sex and it's straight ahead.
     — Penn Jillette

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My mother was amazing

I'm not allowed to share her story while she still lives, but my mother was amazing. While other women were complaining and expecting someone to save them from Terrible Injustice, Mom faced down the obstacles and changed things. Not by protesting, but by quietly demanding the same respect she gave. I learned the aunts and grandmothers theory of history by watching her. She's retired now (for the fifth time) and I am now her caregiver. I'm still terribly proud of her.
     — NeoWayland
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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — Achievement

Odd tactic from the Grand and Glorious Imperious Leader

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“I am an American and a Patriot”

I am an American and a Patriot. I am my country's keeper. The President and Congress report to me. And so - I will stay informed and involved. Ignorance, apathy, and complacency are my enemy. I will make my voice heard and not just at election time. Silence is the same as consent in the face of oppression. I can make a difference. I matter.I am an American and a Patriot.

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“The pathetic legacy of feminism’s Women’s Liberation Movement”

Regular readers know that I've agreed and disagreed with Mrs. Bookworm before. She's one of my daily reads, and I am a semi-regular commenter at her site.

Well, she's done an excellent piece on The pathetic legacy of feminism’s Women’s Liberation Movement, Here's an excerpt.

The Women’s Liberation Movement, that bridge between Second and Third Wave feminism, might be summed up as follows: We are women and, with enough government programs, public service announcements, and Planned Parenthood outlets, we can eventually be invincible!

Except after forty years of this “you are woman, you are strong, you are invincible” yadda, yadda, yadda talk, the daily sex scandals are revealing that the whole empowerment thing has been a sham. It turns out that, when confronted with an unprincipled alpha male, women are weak. Women do not fight back when these brutes sexually bully, humiliate, or assault them. Women are victims not warriors.

The whole piece is worth your valuable time. And if you aren't a regular reader, give her a try. You may not always agree, but she does make you think.

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Forgive

How hate and debate came to a Connecticut mosque

The night of Nov. 14, 2015, was not the first time Ted Hakey, 50, went into his backyard in Meriden, Connecticut, and fired guns to let off some steam. It was the night after a deadly terror attack in Paris, and Hakey was furious.

So he shot his Springfield Armory M1A .308-caliber rifle into the air. Some of those shots hit the Baitul Aman Mosque next door. Luckily, no one was in the building at the time.

“I wanted to scare ’em, but the shots that hit were never supposed to hit,” says Hakey, who admits he harbored significant hate for Muslims back then. His Facebook posts reflect that well enough.

Prosecutors used some of those posts to build their case against him. The shooting got him six months in jail on federal hate crime charges, but leaders of the mosque argued he should be forgiven and not even serve jail time. Dr. Mohammed Qureshi, the mosque president, expressed this feeling to the judge at Hakey’s sentencing.

For 29-year-old Zahir Mannan, the criminal case was an opportunity to show Hakey and anyone else paying attention — which by then included the national media — what Islam is really about.
     — Arthur Nazaryan
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Thursday roundup

Thoughts before election day

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“Freedom to Discriminate? | Wedding Cakes vs. Liberty”

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Syncretism happens even if it offends

Faith and religion don't stay in the nice neat boxes and cabinets we make for them. Syncretism happens, even if it offends the True Believer™.
     — NeoWayland

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Government is not reason

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
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We are not afraid

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
     — John F. Kennedy

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Take away your liberty

You didn't think they were serious, did you?

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Wednesday roundup

U.S. not granting loan relief to defrauded students: inspector general

A good move I think

Treasury's Tax Reform Analysis Confirms Republicans Don't Give a Damn About the Deficit

Both major parties want to spend more than the government actually has. Not more than it should have, but more than it has.

You Won’t Be Surprised To Hear Who’s Behind Today’s Press Conference By Trump’s Accusers

If you go after Trump with anything less than the absolute truth, expect to fail.

Georgia Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Require Conviction for Asset Forfeiture

A major step. There are 14 other states that already require this.

It's Official: Bitcoin Surpasses "Tulip Mania", Is Now The Biggest Bubble In World History

I don't understand bitcoin. Either this is a really big bubble, or there is a desperate need for an unregulated currency.

So I Just Had An Interesting Email Exchange With The Special Counsel’s Press Office:

Glen Reynolds tries to find out if Lisa Page was involved in approving Peter Strzok’s warrant requests.

America's malls are rotting away

Another sign of the commercial real estate collapse

Alabama election: Democrats defeat Roy Moore, dealing huge blow to Donald Trump

Theocratic Republican defeated

Uber Price-Gouges Millennial Passenger $14,000 For 5-Mile Ride

Uber is a good idea with lousy execution

The FBI’s Perjury Trap of the Century

There was no collusion. The Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign..

Starving polar bears are the fake news face of climate change

Don't fall for it

TSA To Stop Taking Driver’s Licenses from 9 U.S. States

The Real ID legacy

Global Conflicts to Watch in 2018

“The U.S. is now the most unpredictable actor in the world today.”

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Concede the war

Works like a charm.

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“Stossel: The Fight Against Food Trucks”

“Protectionism at play? Politicians say food trucks are "unfair competition" for restaurants.”

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“I’m trying to bring some happiness to people…”

Man Spends Black Friday Paying For $10K Worth Of Toys For Local Kids

A New Jersey man spent this Black Friday putting together a great surprise for dozens of local families.

The man, identified only as Charlie K., told CBS 3 that he woke up Friday morning planning to shop for his son when a bright idea hit him. He went over to the Toys R Us store in the town of Cherry Hill, where he paid for orders that customers had put on layaway.

He wound up paying for more than 60 orders totaling over $10,000, according to WMUR.

“I’m trying to bring some happiness to people, to the community that brought happiness to me and my family,” he told CBS 3. “I love this community and I am trying to provide back to it.”

A Toys R Us spokeswoman confirmed the good deed.

“We love the heartwarming acts of one secret Santa who visited Toys R Us Cherry Hill this morning - Charlie K. paid off more than 62 Layaway orders totaling approximately $10,780,” the spokeswoman told NJ.com.

On top of that, Charlie K. also purchased an additional $2,000 worth of toys for Toys for Tots, a charity run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve that brings Christmas gifts to children whose parents can’t afford them.
     — Hilary Hanson
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They say

Conservatives say the government can't end poverty by force, but they believe it can use force to make people moral. Liberals say government can't make people be moral, but they believe it can end poverty. Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other.
     — Harry Browne
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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Disturbing

What is especially disturbing about the political left is that they seem to have no sense of the tragedy of the human condition. Instead, they tend to see the problems of the world as due to other people not being as wise or as noble as themselves.
     — Thomas Sowell
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Force field cloak

This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.
     — Michele Debczak
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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Talkin' politics in 2017

tip of the hat to reddit/Libertarian
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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Not rights at all

These older blog entries have been reformatted and entered into the current directories.

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NeoNotes — blame game

Great quote that's right on the money

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Thursday roundup

The toy manufacturer was caught by surprise at user's ingenuity

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Revived 06Dec2017

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A place to pray

It's for your own good!

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“Stossel: Deceitful Bias in The NY Times”

A new study blames global warming, but provides almost no information

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Wenesday roundup

Former Dem Congresswoman Sentenced To Five Years In Prison On Corruption Charges

She used both her Congressional membership and a charity.

This Company Will Bring Health Care To Your Door, On Demand

As Obamacare destroys the healthcare system, expect smart people finding ways to make it work

They Don't Give Any Advance Notice When They Change The Narrative

Scapegoating on a massive scale

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg warns of a “Me Too” backlash against women at work

The backlash is inevitable. The question is how hard and how long.

Facebook Is Banning Women for Calling Men ‘Scum’

And the backlash begins…

12 states ask Supreme Court to block California egg law

This is long past due. California likes to use it's size and power to meddle in the internal affairs of other states. Almost like they learned it from the Federal government.

Judge Halts Indiana Town's Cruel Attempt to Fine Residents Out of their Properties

Not eminent domain, but almost as bad

Moore spokesman calls sex assault accusers ‘criminals’

I'm not surprised given Moore's history. The sex accusations without proof don't bother me. I'm seriously disturbed that a theocratic Republican with a history of ignoring court rulings is about to be elected to the United States Senate.

Can States Compel You to Bake a Cake Against Your Will? The Supreme Court Will Decide.

Most of the pagans and progressives I know think this is a slam dunk. But they don't like it when I ask if that means that the states can force you to do things that violate your beliefs.

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Unspoken fear

Those aren't union members on the picket line

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Destroyed their own brand

When the NFL players are on the field, that's not their time. They're being paid millions to play and put on a good show. That's millions by the fans in the stands and the viewers on TV. The NFL is selling a product, it's not something holy. If the fans and viewers don't like what they see, they will take their money elsewhere. And then where will the players be? Off the field on their own time, who cares what the players think? That's their time. Off the field, they have to prove their ideas just like anyone else. But when the players made their paid time political time, they destroyed their own brand.
     — NeoWayland
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Freedom and responsiblity

A few thoughts on the big summer films and declining box office revenues

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Tuesday roundup

Microsoft's new Chinese web portal censor's words like "freedom" and "democracy"

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The stack is still there

Older headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Charity vending machines

“LDS Church unveils charity vending machines on Temple Square”

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The Last Generator

“Man Who Gave The Last Generator To A Crying Stranger Gets A Free One From Lowe's”

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Molecular Robot

“Scientists Create World’s First ‘Molecular Robot’ Capable Of Building Molecules”

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Monday roundup

Congress has handed Trump a historic presidential victory

Appointing more judges than anytime in the last 40 years.

The next major battle over voting rights in America is based on a lie

Preventing voter fraud

Trevor Noah hits Warren: Native American claims are 'something problematic'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren manipulated the system into giving her more privilege

Have We Been Lied To About The Kate Steinle Case?

It's not so cut and dried. The defense argued it was an accident.

Cops Steal $91,800 From a Musician, Claiming He Gave It to Them

This is highway robbery, even if it did happen in modern day Wyoming.

Chicago’s Debt Dereliction

Chicago keeps playing games and faces insolvency

WATCH: Cops Kill Family’s Dog in Front of Kids, Force Dad to Cut Its Head Off Or Go To Jail

Another example of puppycide

The Last Thing A Suicidal (Or Any) Person Needs

“They’ve already called the cops more than 100 times on their users, with the best of intentions.”

Even a $1 million retirement nest egg isn't enough anymore

Part of this is inflation, but an out-of-control government is a close second

Feds Steal $1.74 Billion in Bitcoin, Kidnap Man for Life for Building Website that Used It

A tale of prohibition and government control

A must read: A Veneer of Certainty Stoking Climate Alarm

Without the alarm, they lose their moral and political power

Where the Government Fear-Porn Propaganda Industry is Headed

They need you afraid so you don't ask questions.

Ravens, NFL scramble as fans stay home

If a business doesn't give customers what they want, they go elsewhere.

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The stack abides

Flyers for Fairness stumps for a modernized ATC system

Because government can't get it done

Calls to punish skeptics rise with links to climate change, hurricanes

Because denying climate change AS THEY DEFINE IT should be a heresy punishable by law

A $150 Billion Misfire: How Disaster Models Got Irma Wrong

Golly gee wilikers Mr. Weatherman, you mean we can't perfectly predict disaster?

B.C. to parents: Please lock up your kids

Maybe government doesn't know better than parents

Blockchain Fix For Voter ID

This makes sense. Which is why the politicos oppose it.

A Hardware Privacy Monitor for iPhones

Because government can't keep your data safe

'I’ll Tell You One Goddamned Thing for Sure. I’m Not Staying at a Motel 6 From Now On.'

Seems this discount chain is a government informant

Legendary Mel Brooks: “Political correctness will be the death of comedy…”

He's right, and it's already showing.

Liberals sick of the alt-left are taking 'the red pill'

Perpetual victimhood can make you very tired

Trump Slams the Brakes on Self-Driving Cars

No regulation prevents innovation? First time I've seen that line.

Jimmy Kimmel Got a Hand From Chuck Schumer in His Fight Against Obamacare Repeal

There's no problem with speaking for the Democrat party AS LONG AS you tell people that is what you are doing

Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking

Yep, the election was hacked. Just not by the people you've been told

Health Care Costs Are the Reason You're Not Getting a Raise: New at Reason

Some things come full circle. Employers started offering health insurance and other benefits because the government imposed salary caps.

UN solution for a pollution free planet: polluters should pick up the bill

Even the United Nations can be right sometimes

Stanford Study Finds Fake News Didn’t Tip Election Against Clinton

And the truth will set you FREE

Undercover cop, Air Force officer, med student among those police swept up during downtown protest

Leveling

Fool Me Twice: Trojan Horse Democrats Pile into the House of Single-Payer

Obamacare was never designed to provide healthcare. It was designed to screw healthcare up so badly so that people would demand massive permanent government intervention.

It Gets Ugly in Catalonia

Spain can't afford to let Catalonia go

How to Disappear an Activist (Or, Where IS Andy Ostrowski?)

What government can do if they don't like what you say

DiCaprio: History will ‘vilify’ Trump for not fighting climate change

When the facts don't stand up, make it a moral case.

Big Brother Walmart Tries to “Help” You: “It’s Like Magic”

They want access to your house so they can watch you and deliver things

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Celebrate

Celebrate your beliefs and cherish your faith. All I ask is the same. Just don't demand that my beliefs and actions are bound by yours. Live and let live.

What you believe isn't important to me. Your freedom to choose what to believe, that is vital. That is what I will defend.
     — NeoWayland, A Pagan looks at “Christian America”

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❝Are Human Rights Real? | Natural vs. Legal & Positive vs. Negative❞

“What are human rights? Are they universal? This video compares the definition of natural vs. legal rights, and positive vs. negative rights. Locke's Second Treatise of Government was a big inspiration to me in this video, so if you haven't read it yet, you definitely should :)”

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The stack returns

Older headlines that don't merit their own entry

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❝Senator Jon Tester Disparaging Tax Bill❞

“Senator Jon Tester Showing How He Received the Republican "Tax Reform" Bill Just Hours before the Late Night Vote was Scheduled and how it was marked up in a way that made it impossible to read/understand. Is this even legal?”

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NeoNotes — Bad purposes

There are two assumptions implicit in public accommodation laws. First is that there is a class of people who no matter what can never ever do things on their own. Second is that most people no matter what can never ever be trusted to do the right thing.

I think both assumptions are wrong.



Good law has been used for bad purposes since someone bothered to write down the law. The question you should ask is which is more important, freedom or misuse of the law?

It's my old friend, the parity test. If Christians can be barred from living their faith, what's to stop pagans from being barred from living theirs? Or atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, or any of a thousand others?

Just because someone does something you don't like doesn't mean that it should be illegal and that someone should be punished for it. I'd say that the guideline should be measurable harm to someone's person, liberty, and property. Hurting your feelings shouldn't qualify. I deal with the difference between mala in se and mala prohibita laws at my politics blog at www DOT paganvigil DOT com SLASH files SLASH RootsGovPower061204 DOT html.

Incidentally, the right of free association was one of the "understood" rights covered by the Tenth Amendment. After all, the U.S. had just fought a war over it.



Up until that time, it was one of the biggest wars about non-association ever fought.

Freedoms seldom clash with each other. Someone wanting to control others through religion isn't freedom, it's politics. Knowing the difference can be helpful.

I'm not responsible for how someone feels, especially since both the feelings and the standards used to justify those feelings change often. Measurable harm to someone's person, property, and liberty is one of the few objective standards we can agree on. A microaggression is what the victim says it is, and some things become microaggressions that weren't last week. It's privilege. I don't have time or energy to indulge it anymore.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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More from the stack

New Segregation Signs Pop Up in Leftist Establishments

Perpetuating racism in the name of freedom

Border Agents Seized American Citizen's Truck, Never Charged Him With A Crime

"You have no rights here"

The Senate Is Close To Undermining The Internet By Pretending To 'Protect' The Children

Justifying tyranny

We Didn't Normalize Trump. We Normalized the Left's Violence.

All other things being equal, the side that can't stand dissent is wrong.

Exclusive: US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman

So why isn't Obama called to account for this?

I moved from a blue state to a red state and it changed my life

"As I got to know my new Midwest home, I realize how living in a bubble and subscribing to the Middle America stereotypes is truly damaging to this country."

To Combat "Hate," Make Government Weaker

Worth thinking about

James Comey Tried to Discredit Trump’s Wiretapping Assertions That Proved True

Why isn't this man in jail?

Entire Volume of CIA Files On Lee Harvey Oswald, Set to Be Released in October, Has “Gone Missing”

Somebody is still hiding truth.

The Silencing of Dissent

A paranoid take that may be true

Trump: “Venezuela Has FAITHFULLY Implemented Socialism…” The UN Goes SILENT!

Trump is right on this

Hours After Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County Tickets Residents for Code Violations

You'd think there would be other priorities. You'd be wrong.

File a FOIA, Get Sued

Why do you want to know, Citizen?

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Not the honor you take with you

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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More clearing out the stack

Older headlines that don't merit their own entry

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❝I believe in Liberty for all men…❞

I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls, the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love.
     — W. E. B. Du Bois
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Thusday roundup

Just in case you wanted to know

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Clearing out the stack

Breaking the boundaries of civilization.

"I remember back in the early nineties when as a young man I started copping flack for polite acts of a gentlemanly nature."

Scientists have spiders producing enhanced web that can hold a human

All sorts of possibilities

Canada demands U.S. end ‘right to work’ laws as part of NAFTA talks

Not going to happen

Rex Murphy: 'Antifa' are despicable fascists — call them that, openly, now

Hiding violence behind a mask is cowardice

Antifa has a rapid response team that targets alt-right organizers

Not surprising

The United States of Manufactured Hysteria

Politicos WANT you to panic and not think things through

More than 5,000 out-of-state voters may have tipped New Hampshire against Trump

Potential voter fraud

NBC, AP Publish Article Saying Crooked Democrat Menendez on Trial in New Jersey Is a Republican

Except he isn't

U.S. Virgin Islands spent money intended to help after hurricanes

Another case of politicos diverting money

How a Not-Racist Cop Arrested a Man for ‘Walking While Black,’ Blamed It on Black People and Walked Away With $100,000

Of course he did

The Deep State: How it Came to Be and Why it Fights so Hard

Accountable to none

Civilian Review Board Substantiates Charges Against Policeman in Eric Garner Case

This is why civilian review boards need more power

The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded

One less mystery for speculation

98.5 Percent of Federal Crimes Never Approved by Congress

Out of control bureaucracy staffed with self-righteous technocrats

Catalonia mayors sign decree approving independence vote, defying Spanish government

Spain won't let them go

What Happened To "What Happened": Amazon Slashes Hillary's Book Price 40% Before It Hits Shelves

I don't think people care what Hillary thinks anymore

WATCH: Police ‘Protect’ Society by Stealing Man’s Money for Improperly Selling Hot Dogs

Robbery is robbery

Supreme Court temporarily lifts restrictions on Trump travel ban

Why do progressives want to limit the same power every President has had?

Apple and 7-Eleven Are Why Trump’s Threats to Sever Trade With China Are Empty

Trump likes to draw attention to things

Pope Francis: People Have a ‘Moral Responsibility’ to Combat Climate Change

Nope. Not when it's a fraud.

This New Database Is Tracking How Many Cops Are Charged With Crimes

We need this

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❝The New York Times: Propaganda Machine❞

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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❝What Happens When Google Disagrees With You?❞

I know you were waiting breathlessly

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❝Many colleges claim that they develop 'leaders.'❞

What would you do and why would you do it?

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Wednesday roundup - current headlines

Roundup of my link stack

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Unity liberty charity

Unity in things Necessary, Liberty in things Unnecessary, and Charity in all.
     — Richard Baxter
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Revived 29Nov2017

Check out these stories all over the web

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Super oversized roundup - clearing out the old stack

Older headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Irregular

I'm spending time cleaning up and standardizing the code and format of older blog entries.

I'm also transferring entries from the old file structure to the current one and reformatting those pages. Then I'm putting in redirect pages at the old addresses.

I plan on resuming regular blogging around the first of the year. But the occasional new post will probably slip through.

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“A panic is not an answer”

A panic is not an answer: We’re at imminent risk of turning this #metoo moment into a frenzied rush to blame all men

Maybe so. But they could also hurt young women, who need the support and mentorship of male supervisors. In many industries, this means the kind of after-hours collaboration that has always advanced young men.

Unfortunately, a new puritanism seems to be ascendant. Timothy Noah of Politico suggests we could limit sexual harassment by making meetings with anyone behind closed doors a fireable offense.

Suddenly, office Christmas parties and happy hours are under a cloud. There is talk of replacing alcohol with game rooms.

Such suggestions are silly and infantilizing. We need rules to rid ourselves of creeps, not purge every workplace of all interpersonal risk.
     — Christina Hoff Sommers
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Authority banner

Authority progresses and freedom regresses
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Liberty demands

These blog entries have been reformatted and entered into the current directories.

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Plunder

The law of unintended consequences strikes again

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NeoNotes — net neutrality

As it exists right now, local, state, and Federal governments allow and protect area specific telecommunications monopolies.

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Revived 26Nov2017

Taking on the ethanol mythos

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NeoNotes - Hearsay

Moving quotes to individual entries

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What's with all the quotes?

Some of you may have noticed that I tried combining all my self-quotes on one page. It didn't work all that well. I already had a tag called maxims that I was using for the new self-quotes, so I just transferred all the ones from the page to the blog.

One. At. A. Time.

The good news is that it's done and the new quote templates work fine. You can't see it unless I use it, but the quote templates already have A HREF already there so I can attribute the quote.

Anyway, just like Technopagan Yearnings, I'm updating the code. I'm using classes with my copy-paste templates instead of individual copy-paste templates. That's so I can change the class definition in one spot and it will change every use site wide. I won't have to change the individual blog entries. Or the individual elements in the sidebar. Or any of the special pages.

When I get it done, which is going to take a while. The new stuff will have the cleaner code, the stuff that catches my attention and the oldest entries will get the code as I plod through it.
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Tolerance & control

It was never, ever about tolerance.

It was always, always about control.
     — NeoWayland
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Parity

If you won't honor someone's religious choice, why should they honor yours?

If you are not willing to live with those of other faiths, why should they give way and not you?

Parity. The Golden Rule. It's in your own teachings if you look hard enough.
     — NeoWayland
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Common sense

Common sense means ideas that work on their own without constant fiddling and tweaking.
     — NeoWayland
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Echo chamber

If you never leave the echo chamber, you never learn to defend your arguments.

It's a big reason why libertarians are better than average at debating on certain subjects. Nobody agrees with us entirely and we get plenty of practice.
     — NeoWayland
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Begging government

Do you really want pagans and heathens begging government for table scraps that they might give us? If we're really REALLY good and cute enough?
     — NeoWayland
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Taken stands

I've taken stands for gun rights, alternative sexual practices, the value of the family with men and women role models, religious choice, the free market, and good movies.
     — NeoWayland
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Single issue

If I have a single issue, it's less government and more freedom.
     — NeoWayland
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Bind me

If I can be moral without your faith, why do you wish to bind me to your faith?
     — NeoWayland
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What faith

I could care less what faith my neighbor is, but I do care if she lets her dog do it's thing on my lawn.
     — NeoWayland
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Pay attention to laws

The people who pay attention to laws are not the ones you have to worry about.
     — NeoWayland
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Beware

Beware anyone who offers an absolute.
     — NeoWayland
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Dogma

Resist dogma for growth.
     — NeoWayland
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Paradox

Seek paradox for truth.
     — NeoWayland
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Triviality

In the absence of understanding, triviality dominates.
     — NeoWayland
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Competition

Competition breeds progress and encourages honesty.
     — NeoWayland
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Passions

People cherish their passions.
     — NeoWayland
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Colony organism

Humanity is a colony organism.
     — NeoWayland
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Answers & questions

I’ve long since concluded that no one has all the answers or even most of the questions.
     — NeoWayland
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A choice that is imposed is no choice

A choice that is imposed is no choice. Religion imposed in the name of “freedom and decency” will be neither free nor decent.
     — NeoWayland
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Compelled

If you choose to do something, that's freedom. If you're compelled to do something, that's coercion.
     — NeoWayland
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Free speech

Free speech does not mean shutting the other guy up. It means you talk. It means sometimes you yell at each other and wave your fingers in each other's faces. It means you argue. It means you sit down over drinks and try to understand why they won't listen. It means giving the other the same respect you expect for yourself. At least until they show they don't deserve the respect. Even then, they get to talk.
     — NeoWayland
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Monotheisms

Not all monotheisms are alike. Just as one example, I'd rather deal with people trying to deny my rights instead of fanatics trying to kill me and mine.
     — NeoWayland
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Hate crime

I'm still waiting for you to make the case how a hate crime is worse than a non-hate crime for the same “transgression.”
     — NeoWayland
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Polyamorous

Most polyamorous people will tell you that polyamory is based on active, long term relationships. It's not a license to sleep with whoever at the drop of a hat. And it's certainly not the ability to compel sex from another.
     — NeoWayland
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Questionable

Messing with kids, that's perverted.

Demanding that others acknowledge AND celebrate your sexuality, that's questionable.

Actually being lesbian, gay, transgender, or whatever else isn't.

Mixing your sexuality with politics is a pretty good sign that you're corrupt though.
     — NeoWayland
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In terms of minorities

As long as rights are defined in terms of minorities, one person's gain will always be perceived as another's loss. As long as some get exempted from responsibility because they are minorities, they will claim victimhood.
     — NeoWayland
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Minority rights

Many of those making the most noise about minority rights are deliberately perpetuating the situation.
     — NeoWayland
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Climax

I learned a long time ago that it's worth the trouble to make sure she's got at least two climaxes for every one of mine.

Keeps her smiling too.
     — NeoWayland
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Nature of government

Government gets bigger and more oppressive, that is the nature of government.
     — NeoWayland
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Regulating

When government starts defining, it starts regulating.
     — NeoWayland
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Headstone

If someone has served honorably, then they should have whatever they want on their headstone up to and including Mickey Mouse. Government issue or not, it's not about what is “approved.” It's about honoring someone who chose to serve and fulfilled that duty.
     — NeoWayland
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Let people choose

Let people choose and accept responsibility for those choices. It won't be perfect, but it will shed less blood.
     — NeoWayland
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Society is not Christian

A society is not Christian. An individual is.
     — NeoWayland
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Virtue or vice

The virtue or vice is not in the title. It's in the individual.
     — NeoWayland
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American pluralism

As long as there is a rule of law that doesn't raise one faith above all others, we can deal with the mess. That's one reason I'm grateful for sectarianism. When they argue among themselves over truth, they don't have time to take on the rest. American pluralism grew out of the English Civil War and the American colonists trying to practice their faith as they saw fit and not as dictated by another sect or church.
     — NeoWayland
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Path to freedom

Politics is about power over people. Once you understand that government is not your friend and the politico only wants to get re-elected, you’re on the path to freedom.
     — NeoWayland
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Find things we share

We need to find things we share rather than using faith to define the morality of our society. We can agree to outlaw theft and vandalism, we can't agree on marriage. We can agree that people shouldn't drive under the influence, we can't agree to ban all intoxicants. We can agree that people should be free to make their own choices, we can't agree which choices should be eliminated.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Eliminating choice

Rather than eliminating choice, we should make sure that the consequences are clear.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Measurable damage vs. forbidden

Mala in se means "bad in and of itself." Something is mala in se if and only if it threatens or results in measurable damage to life, liberty, and property. Mala prohibita means "bad because it is prohibited." Something is mala prohibita if and only if the state has forbidden it. I would add regulation as well.

To prove mala in se, you have to show measurable damage. Mala prohibita means that the government will impose morality and ethics by force.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Right choice

If you have to make the "right choice" for someone, you're taking away their freedom. You're taking away their right to be wrong. You're taking away their opportunity to learn from their mistakes. You're taking away their judgement. You're saying they aren't fully human. You're saying that they can't be trusted.

And you're saying that your beliefs can't compete.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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National motto

We should go back to the original national motto. "In God We Trust" is so divisive, and it takes the responsibility away from the individual citizen and puts it in the hands of an unseen overlord. That is a big part of what led to this nonsense. I always preferred the original National Motto. E Pluribus Unum is Latin for "one from many parts" but I prefer another translation.

“United we stand.”
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Honoring your faith

Honoring your faith is admirable. Demanding that I honor your faith is despicable.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Ethics

If ethics have to be forced, that's pretty immoral right there.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Choose your beliefs

Free choice. Choose your beliefs, just don't choose mine. And I will do the same. Faith imposed is no faith at all. The only faiths and beliefs worthy of freedom are those freely chosen.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Forbid

If someone wants to forbid gay marriage, what would they do if the law only allowed gay marriage? If someone wanted Bible study in schools, what would they do if the law only allowed the Koran in schools? If someone wanted a Christian president, what would they do if the law prohibited a Christian president?
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Surefire

It's the old parity test again. And it is the surefire method to tell if a law is mala in se or mala prohibita.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Live under their beliefs

Why should I be expected to live under their beliefs if they aren't willing to live under mine?
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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We can't agree

We can agree on the mala in se but we can't agree on the mala prohibita.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Science doesn't work on consensus

Science doesn't work on consensus. The law of gravity didn't require a majority vote of the High Council of Scientists before working. It described a behavior which could be replicated and measured.
     — NeoWayland
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Religion is the excuse

Religion is the excuse not the reason.
     — NeoWayland
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Recognizing rights

Recognizing the rights of others is pretty much the only thing that keeps us from taking what we want and to hell with the consequences.
     — NeoWayland
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Moral harm

Do you really want politicos deciding what is moral harm?
     — NeoWayland
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Politicos lie

Politicos lie. It's what they do. The mistake is believing that one “flavor” is somehow morally better.
     — NeoWayland
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We're allowing ourselves to be manipulated

The question isn't which politico is better. The question is why we're allowing ourselves to be manipulated into believing that government and Our Elected Officials™ know what's best and will serve us.
     — NeoWayland
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Speak for me

Please don't presume you can speak for me. You do it badly.
     — NeoWayland
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Please do not salt the Earth

Please do not salt the Earth.

Plant flowers and fruit trees in the rubble.
     — NeoWayland
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Distrust government

I distrust the very notion of government. Especially an ever expanding government with no apparent restraints where the only real concern is when “your guys” aren't in charge.
     — NeoWayland
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Consenting adults

Consenting adults.

Nice, simple, solves WAY more problems than it causes.
     — NeoWayland
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We let it happen

We let it happen.

We bought the lie that compassion triumphs practicality. We accepted that “blacks” deserved more privileges because of history. We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.
     — NeoWayland
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Fighting and living

I could say that fighting and living serves better than dying. That, and making the place a little better before you leave.
     — NeoWayland
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Church Militant

A Church Militant with willing martyrs doesn't serve the glory of a god as much as the personal power of princes, potentates, and priests.
     — NeoWayland
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My faith

My faith and beliefs are at least as important to me as yours are to you.
     — NeoWayland
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Seeking power

History shows that politics corrupts faith. It's not the Divine who stirs up politics, it's the priests and priestesses seeking power.
     — NeoWayland
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Politics corrupts faith

We know politics corrupts faith and religion. We've ample evidence what happens when the People of the Book try it.
     — NeoWayland
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People who challenge my thinking

The only worthy faiths and beliefs are those freely chosen

Read More...
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Denying global warming

I'm notorious in online pagan groups for denying global warming and saying that environmentalism is a failed cause that should be replaced with ecology.

I'm rather proud of that.
     — NeoWayland
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Good person

Sometimes I ask Christians if someone can be a good person without being Christian.
     — NeoWayland
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Mark 12:17

One of my professors pointed out that Mark 12:17 could be interpreted to keep politics out of religion and religion out of politics. It's probably not true, but I like the thought. Politics is about controlling others and we know it corrupts almost everything it touches.
     — NeoWayland
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Syncretism happens

I would like to point out that there were vital and influential cultures that existed before Christianity. Syncretism happens.
     — NeoWayland
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Human Choice

I'm certain that these people do not have demonic hordes from realms infernal on speed dial, nor are they in direct contact with your Prince of Lies.

I'm equally certain that there will not be a heavenly host to put right what once was wrong, and that you didn't get marching orders directly from on high.

The manifestation is human.

The problem came from human choice and the solution has to come through human choice.
     — NeoWayland
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Folly

You haven't lived until you have an evangelical Christian and a radical atheist both trying to save you from your “folly” at the same time. After a bit they forget about you and argue with each other.

Great entertainment.
     — NeoWayland
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For Your Own Good

Right, because “For Your Own Good” was such a rousing success with Prohibition, explicit song lyrics, university speech codes, global warming, and Obamacare.
     — NeoWayland
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Tragedy of the “American Century”

That is the tragedy of the “American Century.” We forgot that liberty can't be imposed by the top down, it has to be seized from the bottom up.

As long as our government plays the games of international brinkmanship and global politics, we lose.

We're best when we protect our own freedom and inspire others though our example. People in other nations have to crave freedom and demand their own rights. It's the only way it will take root.

As a nation, we can't take out another government except by invading. Historically, that has not worked out well for America. It certainly destroyed our prestige.

But building trade, private investment in local economies, that delivered wonders.
     — NeoWayland
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Casting stones

Casting stones at another faith seems a little petty.
     — NeoWayland
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Diety

Let's just say that I choose to perceive and acknowledge Deity in a different form than you do and leave it at that.
     — NeoWayland
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Excellent

My favorite version of the Golden Rule is “Be Excellent to Each Other. And Party On!”
     — NeoWayland
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The Bible, tain't mine

The Bible may be a very fine book, but “tain't mine.” I don't expect to follow it's rules any more than I would expect you to follow Sikhism.

It's also not the only source of wisdom, or even the “Golden Rule.”
     — NeoWayland
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Insulting

I'm just saying that if a Christian complains because Christianity is being mocked or attacked, insulting another faith is deluded at best. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Or if you prefer, the Golden Rule. Or that bit about casting stones…
     — NeoWayland
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Syncretism

Do you know how many cultures and nations Western Civilization borrowed from? Syncretism, it's not just for religion.

It's not necessary to claim WestCiv as “white.” Just say it's a collection of extraordinarily proven good ideas that have worked time and time again. Claim it as “white” and you're invoking tribalism and rousing people's natural defenses. Claim it as “white” and in a very patronizing way you grant permission to join.

Invite people to join because “they can make it better” works with more people. And it makes your life better too.
     — NeoWayland
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Truthful answers

Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.

Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.
     — NeoWayland
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Behind the curtain

Invoke science as an unquestionable authority and someone will show the truth behind the curtain. That’s the nature of science.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes —Somebody finally said the C word

Ah, somebody finally said the C word. And that means I can say not all Christians.

I can say something else too. For all of the evidence of Christian bigotry, there's tolerance and pluralism right there beside it. America is the probably the only nation where it could happen. Religious diversity made it happen. And it goes right back to the Civil War. While there were plenty saying (with reason) that the Bible justified slavery, there were others making the case that a human was a human no matter what the color skin. The ones fighting hardest against slavery took their best arguments from their faith. That continued through the woman's rights movement, through the civil rights movement, and on through the gay rights movement. Without Christians speaking and fighting, those movements would have stalled.

As a newbie back in the 80s, I had a lot of baggage. I spoke and wrote against Christians with the best of them. Some of my stuff is probably still floating around there. But I discovered that I didn't like who I was. There were other things too, I was not a nice person. After some serious soul searching and couple of Divine thumps on the head, I came back to a very simple idea. In magickal terms, the energy you put out is the energy you get back. It's the Ethic of Reciprocity, Christians call it the Golden Rule. It's probably the cornerstone of Western civilization. Long story short, if you look for the negative in others, that is precisely what you will find. And that is precisely what you will allow to shape your own life.

But if you look for the positive, "catch them doing right," there will be enough good to overcome the bad.

Christians made marriage legal in the first place. But do you honestly think there would be legal gay marriage without a whole lot of Christians saying, wait, we have to fix this to be fair to everyone.

Because not every Christian, you see. Sometimes in the places you least expect and from the people you'd never consider, there is tolerance and acceptance and even encouragement. Not everyone wraps themselves in the fire and brimstone of the OT. Some really do believe that their god is love.

We need those people badly.

So, not every Christian.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
A class="pvc" HREF="http://www.paganvigil.com
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Politics is not about reform

Politics is not about reform.

Politics is about control.

Politics is never about reform, even when the politicos say that it is.

By definition, reform can't come from within. It almost always splits off into a new thing.
     — NeoWayland
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Perspective

My perspective is just a tad different. Does that make me wrong? Well, that's an interesting question, isn't it?

I'll give you another. If I'm right, does that make you wrong?

Oh, and remember that I prefer not to use either/or situations.
     — NeoWayland
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Societies work best

Societies work best when the moral and legal authorities are separate.
     — NeoWayland
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Legislation and morality

Legislation is not morality, and morality certainly isn't legislation. The distinction must be made. Otherwise politicos wrap themselves in the flag AND hide behind the most convenient faith/moral code they can find. Arguing over morality keeps us honest. We're better when we verbally defend our ideas to people who don't necessarily share our beliefs.
     — NeoWayland
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Illegal

Passing a law saying that a behavior is illegal doesn't stop the behavior. Prohibition is the best known failure. Pick a vice law, any vice law for others.
     — NeoWayland
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Show virtue

An individual can show virtue. At best, a label must borrow virtue. Labels will hold most of the blame, though.
     — NeoWayland
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Label

It's not liberalism, it's the label. And it doesn't matter if the label is progressive, conservative, Christian, atheist, or United States Senator. The label has no virtue or vice, no morality, and no inherent worth. It's the individual that owns the outcome of their thoughts, words, and deeds. It's the individual and the individual alone who can take responsibility.
     — NeoWayland
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Can't give liberty

It's about the liberty, you see. You can't give that to anyone.
     — NeoWayland
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Institutional churches

I think it has a lot to do with how connected someone feels to their church/temple/circle/whatever. I think that big institutional churches appear more interested in putting butts in pews than any genuine mission. The church members just give a little time every week and put some cash in the offering. Easy peasy. I really don't understand how those “megachurches” work. To me, if a normally-sighted person can't see the pulpit clearly from the back row without a huge television screen, then it's not really a church. It's an entertainment palace.

What can I say? My own practice demands personal involvement. Even without that, I've got a bunch of preacher ancestors who would disapprove.
     — NeoWayland
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Collapse

At this point, I don't think anyone can stop the collapse. Nor do I think that's bad. There are how many laws on the books? How many regulations in the Federal Register? We've been conditioned to depend on government to help us. Cut spending, but not national defense. Cut spending, but not aid to Israel or Saudi Arabia. Cut spending, but not Social Security. And some banks and unions are Too Big To Fail.
     — NeoWayland
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Core of Christianity

Exclusivity is not the core of Christianity. How Christians live their life is. That shows in how they touch the lives of others.
     — NeoWayland
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Nicer

Christians are a lot nicer to be around when everyone else doesn't have to defer to them. “One path among many” means Christians usually pay attention to what others say. It means Christians have to defend what they say and do without hiding behind scripture.
     — NeoWayland
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Choice & consequences

Recognizing that the choice AND the consequences are mine and mine alone means I'm a rational adult.
     — NeoWayland
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Meetings and updates

Weekly meetings and daily updates on any major project. Show up unexpectedly to poke around, not once but several times. And as the deadlines get closer, meet more and inspect more. If it is important, you watch it carefully. This is business school 201, this is leadership 101.
     — NeoWayland
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Answers that work

Science isn't about presenting conclusions, it's about finding answers that work.
     — NeoWayland
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Science is a process

Science is an inquiry process. It's not a set of laws carved in stone forever and ever.

Everything you cited above (claims, explanations, proposals) come from people, not science.

Science just shows how well it works. Or if people need to look harder.
     — NeoWayland
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Govern

We've been taught that government is supposed to govern and control the other guy.

That's the guy who is the problem.

Not us. Never us. It's not our fault.
     — NeoWayland
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Reform

I'm obligated to point out that the quickest and easiest way to achieve those reforms is for the "ship of state" to sink.
     — NeoWayland
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Charity

If I choose to give, that is charity and can be celebrated. If I am manipulated or threatened into giving, that is extortion. I don't care how good the cause is, if I am required to give without my consent, that threatens my freedom. I shouldn't be tricked into it “for my own good” or “for the greater good.” I want to know WHY, and I want an honest answer. I demand the choice to walk away.
     — NeoWayland
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Generations

We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.
     — NeoWayland
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Problem

The problem you see is not the problem they see.
     — NeoWayland
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Inspire me

Don't try to shame me with stories of victims, inspire me with the stories of the heroes.
     — NeoWayland
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Entitled because of your pain

You’re not entitled because of your pain. The world is full of pain. You can’t demand charity.

The world needs heroes more than it needs victims.
     — NeoWayland
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Empathy

You're not upset over my lack of empathy. It's that I don't show empathy in the approved fashion for the victim groups you designate.
     — NeoWayland
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Blood of the unbelievers

It's not the gods calling for the blood of the unbelievers. It's the priests. It's the generals. It's the emperors.
     — NeoWayland
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Science is the bastard child of magick

Science grew out of experimenting with things unseen and unknowable. Science is the bastard child of magick.
     — NeoWayland
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Fewer weapons

We could do with fewer weapons and soldiers if our politicos stopped the empire building.
     — NeoWayland
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Self-worth

If your moral self worth is defined by either your victimhood or your compassion, then those will be the things you defend. Even principles will take a back seat if “it's for the greater good.” Taking a stand is less important than reversing current oppression or preventing future oppression.
     — NeoWayland
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Tit for tat

Tit for tat. Long term rules means honor brings advantage. Short term rules mean that honor is a disadvantage.
     — NeoWayland
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Razzle dazzle

Everyone is amazed by the razzle dazzle moment. No one thinks about all the work, study, and experimenting beforehand that made it possible.
     — NeoWayland
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Experience

Experience trumps language every time.
     — NeoWayland
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Do more with less

Elegant simplicity adapts and does more with less. One sure sign of a master.
     — NeoWayland
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Ecology vs. environmentalism

Ecology studies how living systems interact and interconnect with each other. Environmentalism is about teaching and compelling behavior. These words are not synonyms. As both a pagan and a libertarian, I can not support environmentalism.
     — NeoWayland
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Proud

Be proud but don't invite trouble.
     — NeoWayland
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Aunts & grandmothers

“The men may sit in council but the aunts and the grandmothers shape lives.” Measure a culture by the attention it pays to those not a part of the official leadership structure.
     — NeoWayland
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Ask

Ask questions. Question the answers. Question your questions.
     — NeoWayland
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One side

We have one side of the story which isn't enough to judge.
     — NeoWayland
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Conservaties, progressives, & sex

When it comes to sex, conservatives want to deny choice and progressives want to deny responsibility. I want a world with both.
     — NeoWayland
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A person's worth

My grandfather's funeral taught me that a person's worth is found in the lives they touch.
     — NeoWayland
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A woman's sexual behavior

I'm not responsible for a woman's sexual behavior any more than I am responsible for the color of her shoes. It's her choice and her responsibility. It's not her neighbor's responsibility. It's not society's responsibility.
     — NeoWayland
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Responsible

Don’t hold someone responsible unless they were present, of age, and participating.
     — NeoWayland
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Signposts

Books aren't destinations, they're signposts. Like it or not, you still make the journey yourself. You can always go further than the book can carry you.
     — NeoWayland
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Words matter

Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don’t.
     — NeoWayland
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Honor expects

Honor expects three warnings before you act.
     — NeoWayland
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Test it thrice

Test it thrice.
     — NeoWayland
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Ease your pain

To ease your pain and shame, share it separately with three people you trust.
     — NeoWayland
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Information on the internet

If you find information on the internet, verify it with three offline, reputable, and independent sources and experiment BEFORE you depend on it.
     — NeoWayland
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Truth

Let people discover truth before you speak. Make sure the truth is necessary before you speak. Judge if the listener is worthy of truth before you speak.
     — NeoWayland
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One thing

Say only one thing for every three things they say.
     — NeoWayland
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Listen

Start by listening. Before you say anything, listen again. Just to make sure you understand, listen again.
     — NeoWayland
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Everyone shares a right

It's one of the simplest human guidelines. Everyone shares a right. You don't have it unless the other does.

Privileges exclude people. Only some get privileges. Privileges are not rights, and rights are not privileges.

It's why there are human rights. Most muddy the waters and call privileges rights. Black rights? Christian rights? Police rights? These do not exist. These are privileges that rule out whole classes of people.
     — NeoWayland
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Fringe

I prefer operating from the fringe. No great recognition, but no glow-in-the-dark targets either.
     — NeoWayland
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Secret of life

What is the secret of life?

Leave the place a little better than how you found it.
     — NeoWayland
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Wrapped in the flag

When a politico wraps himself in the flag, double check your liberty and count on finding brown stains afterwards.
     — NeoWayland
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Pattern in the universe

The patterns we see in the universe may be nothing more than longing and human conceit. But if using those patterns give us a desired result, then the patterns are a useful fiction. The “ultimate reality” or even our belief doesn't necessarily matter, if we behave as if we believe and successfully reach our goals.
     — NeoWayland
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Meddle

People love to meddle. They want to control other people “for their own good.” Public education, foreign policy, sub-prime mortgages, all happened because someone thought they knew better and used force to inflict it on everyone else.
     — NeoWayland
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Heroes

The best heroes are the ones who don't know they are heroes before they are needed and still choose standing between harm and another.
     — NeoWayland
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Paradise

There are reasons why the World is not a paradise. One reason is because we silly humans can't agree on what a paradise should be
     — NeoWayland
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Choice of faith

Faith is nothing without choice.
     — NeoWayland
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Media

Media has every right to exist.

Media does not have the right to be trusted.
     — NeoWayland
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Last, best hope

The internet is the last, best hope for mankind.
     — NeoWayland
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A god of love

Personally I prefer Christians when they aren't spouting hellfire in the name of a god of love.
     — NeoWayland
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❝The world doesn't work this way.❞

The world doesn't work this way.

So change the world.

     — Leverage, The Homecoming Job
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NeoNotes — Roy Moore and the Decalogue monument - updated

You don't demand that others submit to your religion. If I can object when the Islamists do it, if I can object when the climate change crowd does it, I can damn well object when a theocratic Republican passes it off as religious freedom and tells tales of his "oppression" because of his faith.

Read More...
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NeoNotes — Infrastructure

Let's talk about infrastructure. Specifically, let's talk about Puerto Rico's infrastructure that was mismanaged and mostly ignored for decades before Trump took office. We could also mention Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and a number of other cities. What makes these places unique is that they have massive overspending, crumbling infrastructure, and Democrat leadership for decades.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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NeoNotes — Lower the cost of medical care

The best thing that government can do to lower the prices of medical care is get out of medical care and medical insurance. There's a lot of reasons, but at it's core politicos and technocrats have no incentive to contain costs, make a profit, and get a bigger market share. Competition means that companies have to make things cheaper, faster, and more available or they will lose business. Today's smart phones have more computing capacity than the Cray 2 did in 1985, they are more reliable, more capable, cheaper, more available, and a lot more profitable. That's what 30 years of the free market and competition without government interference will give you. Government has shielded the medical industry and the medical insurance markets from the very things that would make medicine better.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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NeoNotes — Tax the rich

OK, taxes. According the the OMB, the top 20% of taxpayers pay 95% of income taxes. In 2015, the WSJ reported that the top 20% paid 84% of income taxes. In 2015, the top .1% (yes, that's one-tenth of one percent) of families paid 39.2% of income taxes. In 2015, all but the top 20% of taxpayers paid more in payroll taxes than they owed in Federal income tax, effectively giving the Federal government an interest free loan. Meanwhile, the bottom 20% of taxpayers have the Earned Income Tax Credit, a negative income tax. The government pays them. The thing is, smart rich people don't stuff their money in mattresses. They put it to work. If their money doesn't earn more than the rate of inflation, they've lost money. So they look for ways to maximize returns. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are the most common methods. This pumps money back into the economy. Lower prices, more companies hiring, and better distribution of goods and services are direct results. In other words, cutting taxes at any level gives people more choices and more economic power. It's not cutting taxes for the rich, it's cutting taxes. If you like, I can show how a progressive tax system locks people into income tiers and suppresses the natural movement up in income.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Should adjust

There seems to be a growing number of people who think that the world should adjust to them, while they don't have to show concern for anyone.
     — Thomas Sowell
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Purge a belief system

It's never common sense to purge a belief system, especially when you do it in the name of moral superiority.
     — NeoWayland
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Faith & threats

If you had faith, you wouldn't need threats.
     — NeoWayland
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Pick and choose

You do realize that if “the Bible is all one piece,” you can't pick and choose bits and pieces to quote, don't you? If you eat all your veggies and are especially nice, I won't demand that you start following all those bits in Numbers and Leviticus. We won't talk about the deleted texts now.

How do you suppose those disciples did it? They had to work without a New Testament.
     — NeoWayland
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Enlightened

No matter what the belief system, the truly enlightened don't need to call themselves that.

Or justify it either.
     — NeoWayland
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Less government

Always, always, always less government than absolutely necessary.
     — NeoWayland
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Some people I trust

I don't think that a magic set of neurons turns on at age 16, 18, or 25. I've said before there are some people I trust at 14 to make a major decision, and some I don't trust to do the same at 40. That's not including sex.
     — NeoWayland
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Age of consent

Age of consent is tied to taking responsibility for your own actions. It's that simple. If you can't take responsibility, you shouldn't do it.
     — NeoWayland
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Without using the Bible

If you can defend your beliefs without using the Bible, that means that you've embraced those beliefs and thought long and hard about making them a part of your everyday life.
     — NeoWayland
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Keep people from dealing

Trigger warnings, safe spaces, echo chambers, all that does is keep people from dealing with the World as it is
     — NeoWayland
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Equal treatment

When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.
     — Thomas Sowell
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❝Personal’s not the same as important.❞

Personal’s not the same as important. People just think it is.
     — Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies
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Bonfire

I have this mythical construct in my head of a bonfire with people I would like to hang out with, and maybe discuss matters large and small.
     — NeoWayland
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History

I make it a practice to never call it history until a year and a day after the event.
     — NeoWayland
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Laugh at ourselves

We have to laugh at ourselves. No one else would take us seriously enough.
     — NeoWayland
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Bilagáana

I’m one of the few bilagáana born on the Res, it’s shaped my outlook. I’m what happens when Louisiana farming stock takes root in the Four Corners region. The desert and the the sky here call to me. I’m a child of sand and wind.
     — NeoWayland
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Better human

Go tell three really dirty jokes. Share a piece of fruit with someone you can't stand. Cuddle with someone you care deeply about. Leave the place a little nicer than when you found it. And greet the sun when it wakes up.

No, that isn't all that there is to be a pagan, it's just a taste of how to be a better human.
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Change the universe?

Do I think I can change the universe? I already have. Can I make it better? Maybe.
     — NeoWayland
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Free to choose

I am free to choose and free to take responsibility for myself. I am not a child to be threatened into submission. I will not blindly accept your mandates when the Divine and the World beckon.
     — NeoWayland
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White knight

I can't be the white knight. I can only be a friend. I can't be a savior, but I can lend a shoulder and an ear. I can't shield anyone from the cold darkness, but I can share a little body heat under the blanket. I can't bring joy, but I can give a smile.
     — NeoWayland
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Strong women

The really strong women don't depend on government to do it for them.

They don't need to.
     — NeoWayland
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Rights do not emanate

Rights do not emanate from a state, nor do they require state sanction or approval.
     — NeoWayland
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Message & passion

Matching the message to the passion, that's the trick.
     — NeoWayland
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Angry guys

Where would we be if those angry guys hadn't been writing letters to each other for years by 1773?
     — NeoWayland
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American secret

Here is the American secret. You can occasionally be governed, but you can't be ruled.

That means you can't rule others, no matter how much you disagree with them.
     — NeoWayland
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Free market

I believe that the free market is the most potent force for organizing and creating yet discovered by humans. It cannot be managed, predicted, directed, or controlled.

It rests on choice without coercion. And to keep customers happy, you have to at least do as well as your competition, better if you want to expand.
     — NeoWayland
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The goal is freedom

The goal is not the institution of the Federal government.

The goal is freedom.
     — NeoWayland
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Moral people

Oddly enough, the most moral people I know don't have to brag about it.
     — NeoWayland
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Definition of liberty

That's today's quick definition of liberty, folks. It's not a right unless the other guy has it too.
     — NeoWayland
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Just in case

Just in case you misunderstand, I don't answer to you. I am who I am, and you don't need my name to understand what I say.
     — NeoWayland
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Make the rules

Why in the World do you think you get to make the rules?
     — NeoWayland
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I recognize Masculine & Feminine in Divinity.

I recognize Masculine & Feminine in Divinity. I seek the Divine in every woman I meet.
     — NeoWayland
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Influences

Children need strong male and female influences in their life.
     — NeoWayland
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Who I am

I am who I am, not who you wish I was.
     — NeoWayland
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❝What I do is not up to you.❞

What I do is not up to you.
     — Wonder Woman (2017 film)
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Ideology

The problem isn't ideology, it's the urge to meddle backed by the use of force.
     — NeoWayland
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What frustrates you

Perhaps what frustrates you most is that you can't denounce my faith without undermining your own. At the end of the day, we don't have anything but our faith. Mine is just as valid as yours by every “objective” measure you trot out.
     — NeoWayland
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Christian message

I don't think the Christian message was ever intended to be confined to dusty writings.
     — NeoWayland
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Free to choose

It's no secret that I believe that free market ideas apply to any human exchange.

Free to choose. It's not just for economics anymore.
     — NeoWayland
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Progress

Progress never comes from satisfaction.
     — NeoWayland
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Move beyond

Usually what you get out of something is what you bring in to something. Most people do not have the means to move beyond their own shadows.
     — NeoWayland
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Dark forces

You're so determined to struggle nobly against dark forces that you can't see what is casting the shadow.
     — NeoWayland
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Faith cannot be given

Faith cannot be given. Faith cannot be taken. To mean anything at all, faith must be chosen freely.
     — NeoWayland
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❝Is the accuser always holy now?❞

Is the accuser always holy now?
     — Arthur Miller, The Crucible
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NeoNotes — Witch hunts without due process

Sometimes we pagans take our sex way too seriously.

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She died

My beloved companion of eight years has died.

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“Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings Today?”

This was FDR's State of the Union address in January, 1941. It was another speech that changed everything.

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Govern

Your beliefs shouldn't govern my behavior.
     — anonymous
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Coexist

As a free trade supporter, the downside would be the loss of a free trade zone with the rest of Europe, but I am not sure it can be called a "free trade zone" if they are banning toasters.
     —Warren Meyer, Was Brexit About Racism or Tea Kettles?

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Why is this cop not under arrest for assualt?

“Utah Nurse DRAGGED out of Hospital by Police 'This isn't right"”

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“The Four Freedoms”

This was FDR's State of the Union address in January, 1941. It was another speech that changed everything.

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Clean water

“Anheuser-Busch Stops Canning Beer To Can Water For Hurricane Harvey Victims”

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Serving up hot meals

“Keep It Simple And Stay Open: The Waffle House Storm Menu”

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Mirror image

“How ‘Antifa’ Mirrors the ‘Alt-Right’”

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NeoNotes - We need our ideas challenged

I believe that competition makes us honest. I believe that the "free market" applies more to just products and services, it applies to ideas and creeds and politics and practically anything else human. I believe that no one person and no one group has all the answers.

And yes, I know I've said all that before. But for me, it's as certain as the Earth beneath my feet and the stars above my head.

We need our ideas challenged. We need to argue with each other and wave our fingers under each others noses.

We don't need violence in the streets.

We don't need scapegoats.

And we don't need people using some undefined Moral Authority to prevent others from speaking.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Antifa violence in Berkeley

Masked anarchists violently rout right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley

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Private citizens to the rescue

“Cajun Navy's on the way: South Louisiana springs into action to help Texas amid Harvey floods”

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Civilization

Civilization is an enormous improvement on the lack thereof.
     — P. J. O’Rourke

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Truth from the Federalist - worth your time

“America’s Post-Charlottesville Nervous Breakdown Was Deliberately Induced”

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Racism in response to oppression

My critique wasn't intended to capture the movement.

In the various moments however, I see one group excuse their violence and their racism because of their narrative. This one group gets a pass but others do not. That's certainly privilege and it hurts their case.

I've told people before. You want equality, I'll fight with you. You want privilege, I'll fight against you.

I can't take BLC BLM seriously when I read or hear the trash-talk some of the leadership directs at "whites." I'm not the only one. I'm against injustice, I don't think BLC BLM is.

You know the really ironic thing about this conversation? The motto of my political blog Pagan Vigil is "Because LIBERTY demands more than just black and white."



If group A gets something and groups B, C, and E are not allowed, that's a privilege. If things change and group B gets something and groups A, C, E, and H are not allowed, there is still privilege.

The definition of oppression keeps changing. Arguably things were worse for "blacks" in the 1920s after Woodrow Wilson re-segregated the civil service and the military. Not to mention all the Jim Crow laws that were still on the books. While there are issues today, they are no where near what they once were.

One of the biggest issues today is the prison population. This is usually one key argument about how the US is still a racist society. Before we can really look at that though, we should consider if there are some laws that in and of themselves might be unjust. Personally I think it's stupid to arrest people for being under the influence but not arresting people for being drunk. So if we take out all non-violent drug offenders, that reduces the prison population quite a bit. We're left with the violent offenders.

We know that a strong family, especially one with at least two parents, usually means the kids don't break the law. We also know that "black" inner city children in single mother households used to be about 7%, at one point that rose to well over 70% and is still a majority today. We know that this was made possible by well meaning government programs meant to provide. In other words, "the Man" paid single mothers not to get married and raise kids on their own. Yet any talk of reducing these benefits is immediately called racism. It's privilege, it promotes dependency, and yet it's seen as "compassionate." There's racism and oppression for you, but in popular opinion it's a "right." That doesn't mean that single mothers are evil or wrong. It just means that when a majority of households in a given population are single mothers, the kids (and especially the males) are much more likely to push the boundaries and get into trouble.

These aren't the only two things that put more "blacks" in prison, but they are two of the biggest. Yet instead, we hear how cops are racist. These are also two things that would take years, maybe decades to fix.

There are many other things too. Inner city public schools which are more and more like prisons. Public housing projects that displace neighborhoods and quickly become crime infested. Licensing laws that make it almost impossible for small household businesses to get started. These are real oppressions with absolutely devastating results, and yet we're arguing over who gets a slice of the pie. The oppressed demand action from the government and the institutions that are keeping them down. Star Parker does a much better job explaining this is her book Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It.

Maybe the pie isn't limited. And maybe the person on the street isn't the oppressor.



Peer review? Then the next question will be if the correct peers reviewed it. And that still doesn't answer the real question: Is Star Parker wrong with either her observations or her conclusions?

Look at what happened here. In one reply you've moved from Black Lives Matter to certain Black Lives Matter more than the ones who have not been politically approved. It's Orwell. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

What critical race theory doesn't tell you is the how and why of institutions, particularly those created to fight one cause or another.

I'm not going to assume the collective guilt. That's not my style, and that's not the way to fix racism.



Critical race theory isn't a part of sociology, it rejects much of sociology. It was designed as a political tool to silence dissent from an approved ideology.

I am not discounting peer review which can be a valuable tool. I just do not think that it should be the only tool, nor do I think that the only certain people should be allowed to do peer review.

I've run into abuse of the latter kind in third wave feminism "scholarship" where ideas aren't even considered for discussion unless the author has been approved.

Those are Star Parker's beliefs, she still has the right to write and talk about them. But she isn't hitting people if they disagree with her.

I was trying to find a quote from Thomas Sowell on critical race theory, but I can't seem to find it.



How widespread is critical race theory outside those who study it? Can it produce predictable models of human behavior? How well does it withstand analysis outside the discipline? These are some of the things that mark a science. At one point I was studying to be a Christian minister, that doesn't make Christianity true. These same things could be said about third wave feminism too. Even more in the case of third wave feminism, how well does it tolerate behavior that goes against what it teaches.

But the people in BLM who aren't hitting people aren't denouncing the people in BLM who are. And there have been pages and pages written about how the leaders of BLM are justified in their racism against "whites" with no one calling them on it.

If BLM is going to denounce the neo-Nazis for being racist and violent, shouldn't they be held to the same standard?



We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.



You seem to want understanding and validation for your sexuality. You won't get that from me. But if you want the right to make your own choices as long as you accept responsibility for those choices, count me in.

Which is more important?

I don't care about BLM's "cause," especially since I think it's only cover for their politics. I care about human rights and making sure everyone has them.

Which is more important?



See, I don't think there are as many oppressors as you do.

Nor do I think that people should take a back seat to talking and solving things because of their skin color, gender, creed, political affiliation, sexuality, gym membership, or the coffee they like. If there is a problem, let's fix it together and figure out who to blame afterwards.



I'm sorry, but this keeps getting more abstract.

What I saw was two groups using violence. One was condemned and the other was not. Both have highly racist members. Both have said and done some despicable things.

Why is the one group that has bigger numbers, much better funding, better political connections called the oppressed and therefore allowed violence without comment?



I don't approve of violence, particularly against bystanders. I said that in the original article.

But if you are going to overlook the violence of one group because they are oppressed, those same standards apply even more against the neo-Nazis. BLM is less oppressed by almost every measure you can name.

You keep excusing BLM and antifa's behavior. I don't. Not because I support the neo-Nazis, but because any excuse for violence is wrong. The fact that many BLM leaders are actively and openly racist and that BLM is constantly involved in violence even without neo-Nazis is enough to tell me that BLM is just another gang demanding tribute. Just as people were wrong to support the KKK in it's heyday, people are wrong to support BLM today.



I'm saying that by the standards that you yourself used, the neo-Nazis are more oppressed than BLM is. Do I agree? No. Do I think that the racism and violence of the neo-Nazis is despicable? Yes. Do I think that the racism and violence of BLM is despicable? Yes.

BLM shouldn't get a free pass. Excusing behavior usually encourages more bad behavior.

In this specific case, I think BLM and antifa came spoiling for a fight and they want moral justification.



Pardon, this conversation was never about white privilege.

It was never about me denying that people are oppressed. It was never about me, period. What we have is two groups that have used violence and racism. Violence and racism are terrible things.

One group gets excused and the other does not.

Yet the bigger group, the better funded group, the group with the better political connections, the group with academic support, blames the other for all the violence and racism **People deliberately excuse them from the consequences.** They get what they want with minimal costs. This leads to further bad behavior. Which is then excused.

I've pointed out that it was good intentions of the FedGov that has kept people trapped in poverty and crime. I can't and won't be responsible for something that happened before I was born. As a libertarian, I won't take responsibility for government failure. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, that's the history that I can do something about.

It's not about me. It's about the behavior I've seen and experienced.

There's a story about how after the assassination of MLK, Jesse Jackson came out waving a bloody shirt. The shirt didn't belong to Dr. King, it couldn't have given the timing. Yet there was Jackson, waving the shirt, accusing everyone in sight. Because even if they had nothing to do with the shooting, they should have done something. Even if it wasn't possible, they should have done something, faster, louder.

Jackson was aiming to be the new face of civil rights, and unfortunately he mostly succeeded. He turned it into an extortion racket in the 1970s and 1980s. If Jackson said that company X was racially insensitive, the company paid him off and he said the company had mended their ways.

That's how I see BLM, only with more thugs.

In Shelby Steele's White Guilt, he argues that the real problem is not racial oppression but white guilt. There are many people who have gotten power and money exploiting that guilt. I won't be a party to it.

You seem like a nice enough person. You and I are not going to agree on this issue. We can't even agree on what the issue is. I do think your heart is in the right place.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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“Five Cities That Got F*cked by Hosting the Olympics”

“The smallest minority is the individual…”

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When Trump supporters ask why I don't trust him…

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Individual

“Small Town Gives Dogs Their Own Pool Day”

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Liberty secure

“…guard even his enemy from oppression.”

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For future reference - What Trump first said about Charlottesville

“Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: 'Some Very Fine People on Both Sides'”

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thorium is the future

Never slaves & never Nazis

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Busting a move

“Cop Stops to Bust a Move With Senior Dancing Alone on the Street”

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Snuggles

“73% Say Freedom of Speech Worth Dying For”

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NeoNotes — Consider historical context to violence

What is to stop someone else from deciding that it's a good cause to thump you over the head? Once the excuses start, what's to protect you from the politics of the day?

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85% of Americans support free speech over not offending others, says survey

73% Say Freedom of Speech Worth Dying For

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that an overwhelming 85% of American Adults think giving people the right to free speech is more important than making sure no one is offended by what others say. Just eight percent (8%) think it’s more important to make sure no one gets offended.

>snip<

This shows little change from past surveying. Eighty-three percent (83%) think it is more important for the United States to guarantee freedom of speech than it is to make sure nothing is done to offend other nations and cultures.

Seventy-three percent (73%) agree with the famous line by the 18th century French author Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” Only 10% disagree with that statement, but 17% are undecided.

Among Americans who agree with Voltaire, 93% rate freedom of speech as more important than making sure no one is offended. That compares to just 69% of those who disagree with the French author's maxim.

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“John Cena Reacts | Fans Surprise John Cena | John Cena Loves the Internet | Cricket Wireless”

>
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Not going for the win

“The Taliban Tried To Surrender And The U.S. Rebuffed Them. Now Here We Are.”

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Rocky Balboa Fight For His Boxing License”

You could take the original Rocky and this film and you wouldn't need any of the films between them.

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“It's Trump's fault?”

Never slaves & never Nazis

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☆ Circus of hate

One last piece about the Charlottesville circus. Then on to other things, I promise.

When I first read about Charlottesville, the first thing that flashed in my head was an image of an ex-military type grabbing an antifa and a neo-Nazi by the necks and shaking. There should be an adult right there disciplining the misbehaving children. Except we were told that the antifa were fighting the good fight. We kept hearing about how terrible the neo-Nazis were and how they should be forcibly removed. We didn't hear about how bad the antifa were. And when some of us pointed out that antifa also attacked people, well, that rated an attack right there. “False equivalence!” we heard. Nazi ideas were so very much worse than anything antifa said.

Apparently no one could possibly oppose the neo-Nazi violence and the antifa violence at the same time. If you did criticize the antifa, you were lumped in with the Nazis. Not because of what you said or did, but because you didn't support the struggle against the forces of racism and fascism and marginalization. The antifa were brave despite the institutionalized oppression they dared to fight in the name of victimized people everywhere.

Except the antifa have heavy political support. Some of their funding comes from Soros organizations. Some politicos look the other way when it comes to illegal antifa activities.

Charlottesville specifically looked like a setup. The antifa heavily outnumbered the neo-Nazis. The governor and the mayor didn't seem interested in keeping the peace. Police weren't acting like police. Some officers even said they were ordered to stand down.

It was a Roman circus, a spectacle to distract the crowds. The neo-Nazis looked scary, but the noble antifa would soon dispatch them. Once again the heroic forces of good would triumph over the unenlightened. Blood would flow into the sands.

Yep, it was almost as if it were scripted. A myth for the ages.

Grand spectacle.

For your amusement.

With clearly defined winners and losers.

Morality would win, even if it meant breaking the law in the name of the greater good.

Nahh, I thought. You're imagining things. Even you couldn't be that paranoid and cynical. That would require a level of political manipulation unheard of since…

Since the last presidential election. Since the ongoing media campaign against Donald Trump. Since the astroturf effort to convince Congress that campaign finance was a grassroots demand for change. Since the climate change alarmists. Since the introduction of gender fluidity in public school curriculum.

Well, blistering blue blazes.

I had bought into it. While I had focused on saying that violent protest was unacceptable, the media had established the new Utterly Despicable Villains in American myth.

And if you dared hesitate too long before denouncing the Utterly Despicable Villains and all they stood for, well then, you lost your Moral Authority™ to speak at all.

And like a fool, I walked into it with my eyes wide open.

I had been had.

I'm sure there was no central office planning it. Just a bunch of like-minded opportunists who saw a chance to prove that the American Dream was fatally flawed. That the song of freedom draws on an Unpardonable Sin that persisted to this very day! That the American flag was eternally stained with the blood of the oppressed. There could be no hope in liberty. It was all a lie.

Something stinks.

We still have time to fix this. We can't let this deceit become the prevailing myth.

America still does have a Dream. We can make a better World for ourselves and our children. Sure, we'll make mistakes, but we'll fix them. Nothing is carved in stone except the promise of a better tomorrow if we try hard enough. Our sins and our mistakes are our own. Recognizing those mistakes, fixing those mistakes, learning from those mistakes, that's the foundation we need. We're not locked into the sins of our fathers. Blame does not lead to the future.

Hope and liberty do. Take yours, if you dare.
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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Hero brother

“10-year-old boy delivers his baby brother and saves his life”

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Wet dogs

“Small Town Gives Dogs Their Own Pool Day”

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Cured

“Peanut Allergy Cured In Majority Of Children In 'Life-Changing' Immunotherapy Trial”

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Name calling for politics

“Nazi-Hunting Fantasies Have Unhinged The Left”

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Defending scoundrels

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
     — H. L. Mencken

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Violence

“…guard even his enemy from oppression.”

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Statues

“What to do with Confederate Statues?”

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Returning the favor

Wombat at The Other McCain has been nice enough to link my articles in two of the In The Headlines features. I have linked to The Other McCain before and I am a regular commenter there.

Since turnabout is fair play and I appreciate the traffic, I decided that site needs a permanent link. So I've put my daily news reads in the sidebar.

No, these aren't my daily reads, just the regular news ones.
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Dog whistle

Image courtesy of Mrs. Bookworm at Bookworm Room. Used with permission. Click on picture for full size image.

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Electonic Frontier Foundation on hate speech

“Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression”

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Speech wars

The internet is the last, best hope for freedom.

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No more homework

Florida County Bans Homework, Asks Parents To Read With Their Kids Instead

Students in one Florida county will no longer have to do homework. Instead, parents are being asked to read to their children for at least 20 minutes a night.

Marion County School District Superintendent Heidi Maier issued a "no homework policy" for all 31 elementary schools in the district.

"Kids don't learn the way they used to," says Keven Christian of Marion County Schools. "And making them do meaningless or tedius homework assignments every night just really doesn't contribute to their learning."

Any parents who feel that they might have trouble fulfilling the reading request can receive additional support from school programs and resources.
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A billion trees

In ‘Momentous Milestone’, Pakistan Plants One Billion Trees Ahead of Schedule

Pakistan’s northwestern province, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw (KPK), has planted an unprecedented 1 billion trees in just more than two years and surpassed an international commitment of restoring 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land.

The massive effort aims to turn the tide on land degradation and loss in the mountainous, formerly forested KPK, which lies in the Hindu Kush mountain range.

Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party governing the province, launched the reforestation campaign, dubbed “Billion Tree Tsunami,” in 2015.

The cricket-star-turned politician revealed to VOA that the goal of adding 1 billion trees by planting and natural regeneration has been achieved this month, well ahead of the original deadline of December 2017.

He says his party plans to organize a special event in Islamabad in late August to celebrate the successful completion of the project, and experts as well as foreign diplomats will be invited.

“We will show them by coordinates, on Google map you can go and see where these trees have been planted, 1 billion trees, this is now the model for the rest of Pakistan,” Khan said.
     — Ayaz Gul
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“Brother Offers Support To Sister In Car Wash”

“The brother of a girl hilariously terrified of a car wash comforts her on the backseat as she cries to go home.”

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Monday roundup

China and India are dangerously close to military conflict in the Himalayas

While the rest of the world is fascinated by Brexit and Donald Trump.


We Fight for the Users

Related - The Justice Department Wants to Know if You've Visited an Anti-Trump Resistance Site. This is a direct threat to you.


Charlottesville and Its Aftermath: What if It Was a Setup?

We have no proof, this is all highly speculative rumor. But yeah. Related - Here’s How Virginia State Police Facilitated Violence At Charlottesville, ACLU fires back at Gov. McAuliffe after comments on violence at Charlottesville rally


Noam Chomsky: Antifa is a 'major gift to the Right'

I can't believe I'm agreeing with Chomsky for the fourth time in a week. But he's right. This time.


Change the sheets and kiss the Byrd statue goodbye, West Virginia

If the Confederate general statues should be removed, then what about the memorials to a Senator who was a ranking KKK member?


Is Google Working with Liberal Groups to Snuff Out Conservative Websites?

“In other words, nice website you've got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it.” Related - Gathering Storms And Threats to Liberty, Leftist “journalist” Lauren Kirchner of ProPublica threatens Jihad Watch, Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry, & Silicon Valley escalates its war on white supremacy despite free speech concerns


Libertarians of Convenience

“People identifying as urban progressives increasingly find their own goals stymied by laws and regulations, and they’re demanding that these restrictions be overturned or limited. In other areas of city policy, though—typically, when they don’t hold a personal stake—they often push aggressively for ever more regulations and a more intrusive government.”

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Conspiracy

Here's what we know so far.

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from crux № 7 — age of consent

I think the age of consent is the best rule anyone has come up with so far.

But let's not kid ourselves.

The whole post WWII extended childhood thing is an artificial American invention.

The biology disagrees.

Before we start talking about the morality, we need to acknowledge that.

If we insist that kids wait until 18, 19, 25, or 37 we need a good reason.



Sometimes the kids do know. Most of the time in fact, if they know they will be held responsible for it.

Sometimes the adults don't know, no matter what the age. Any one going to a bar to hook up isn't being rational.

Sometimes the experience of making mistakes and having to deal with the consequences are the things that make us wise.



I know that for you, marriage and sex should be (ahem) wedded at the hip. I don't think it's a universal one size fits all solution though.

I do like your condition of marriage though.



I wouldn't call it loosening. I would call it changing.

I'd also say that it's necessary. Some of the social mores of the last two centuries needed to be dropped. For example, child labor under terrible conditions and for terrible pay used to be the norm.

The rules that work, we should keep. But you can't do change without testing all the rules constantly.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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On some issues

On some issues I run deeper than granite and more certain than dawn.
     — NeoWayland
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Results

I don't usually submit my articles to reddit, but I did for This last week in free speech. I cross-posted the article on my politics blog Pagan Vigil and my pagan slice of life blog Technopagan Yearnings.

The libertarian link got hardly any views and quickly moved from the front page to the much deeper.

The pagan link got a couple of hundred views in two days and sparked an interesting conversation.

I was surprised at the insistence on historical and political context for violence. It's also interesting that the article kept moving up and down.

I'm disappointed to see how many people believe that "hate speech isn't free speech" and that certain people don't deserve free speech rights.

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“1970s Cartoon Music Video Black White”


tip of the hat to Maggie McNeill
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On public statues

Why should a city, state, or federal government put statues in public parks? Doing so addresses no plausible market failure, while using taxpayers funds and, as demonstrated tragically over the past few weeks, generates controversy, polarization, and violence. Thus governments should take down all statues, regardless of their political implications.

This is not “erasing” history but instead leaving it where it belongs, in the hands of private actors and mechanisms. Historians, textbook authors, universities, learned societies, the History Channel, and many other individuals and organizations can all present their own views of history and battle for the hearts and minds of the public. Government statues are government putting its thumb on the scale, which is one step down the slippery slope of thought control.
     — Jeffrey Miron, Statues

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“Adam Ruins Everything - The Real Reason Hospitals Are So Expensive”

"American healthcare might not be the best world, but it is the most expensive."

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“I Don't Care About Charlottesville, the KKK, or White Supremacy”

“Black people have scarier things on the horizon than the almost endangeblurb species of white supremacy.”

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☆ This last week in free speech

This article is cross posted at Pagan Vigil and Technopagan Yearnings. Feel free to repost as long as you credit me and one of those two sites.

Let’s talk about the mess that took over my life this last week. I had a hunch I could be in deep on Friday night when I got some phone calls asking me what libertarians had to do with Charlottesville, Virginia.

Some know I don’t like email and a few have my number. If I had company over or if I had been watching a decent movie, I probably wouldn’t have answered the calls. This was the first I had heard of Charlottesville. I thought at first they were talking about Charlotte, North Carolina. I poked around on the internet and found out about a torchlit protest. Hey, I told folks, they have a right to free speech too. As long as they don’t burn anything down or do any other property damage, it was no skin off my nose.

I didn’t agree with what white nationalists and neo-Nazis stood for, but that is what free speech is all about. They could protest all they wanted as long as they followed the law.

But, all my callers said, it’s hate speech.

So? I replied. I threw out the quote (from me) I had been using for a few months.

I am certainly against Nazism, supremacist groups, and misogyny. I just think they SHOULD be heard, if for no other reason than they can be laughed off the stage.

As loudly and as enthusiastically as we can.
I said that no libertarian would support bigotry. I could see the issues about protecting the statues and I thought that deserved a very public discussion. But the racist chants shouldn’t have anything to do with that. It was two different issues and they shouldn’t be mixed.

After the sixth or so call, the landline and the cell were both quiet. “Nice job,” I thought to myself. Another crisis averted. The folks I talked to would know that libertarians and Libertarians weren’t neo-Nazis or white nationalists. I patted myself on the back.

Then came Saturday. And I got flooded with emails. By Saturday night the phones were ringing.

I should explain. About twelve years back someone at Stormfront discovered Pagan Vigil and decided that I was something I am not. Some of my writings were passed around the internet. Worse, I was quoted out of context. Then some of my stuff was rewritten to make it seem that I supported certain causes and certain ideas. That took forever to mostly fix. But there are pockets left.

Then there was the mess from Florida. Long story short, white nationalists tried to co-opt part of the state Libertarian party. They were kicked out.

But here I was, a libertarian with supposed white nationalist ties. And a (scary? sexy? spooky?) pagan to boot. What did I have to say about vehicular homicide at a neo-Nazi rally?

Free speech is acceptable.

Unprovoked violence is not.

And you’d better be damn careful about “provoked” violence. Especially at a public protest.

People have the right to talk about their beliefs. People don’t have the right to impose those beliefs on others.

If you use force so others will listen, you’re doing it wrong.

All of the above went over pretty well. Here’s what didn’t.

I said that if the neo-Nazis were wrong to use violence first and not in self defense, so were the BLM members, the antifa, and the black bloc who had been doing exactly that for years. If you were a member of the right group, the authorities were mostly looking the other way. Mob violence had become part of American political culture again, and it wasn’t the neo-Nazis or the white nationalists who had made that happen.

Or for that matter, the Christian right, the Republicans, or the libertarians.

Violence was being used to shut down political discussion. What’s more, some groups were claiming moral authority because they had been victimized by American society. No one would be allowed to criticize if the proper groups were involved.

This. Was. Wrong.

This lay the groundwork for tyranny.

As you can imagine, those last five paragraphs did not go over well.

BLM, antifa, and the black bloc weren’t allowed to be guilty no matter what they have done or what they will do.

Anyone who says different is a racist. A fascist.

A Nazi.

And they must not be allowed to speak. At all. Under any circumstances. They must be silenced.

That’s when the pagan stuff started hitting the fan. If a pagan did not IMMEDIATELY drop everything and denounce the neo-Nazis and link them AND ONLY THEM to unprovoked violence, why, they were no better than the Nazis.

And therefore they must not be allowed to speak. At all. Under any circumstances. They must be silenced.

Suddenly free speech was only for the Morally Favored.

This made me angry. Not only was paganism getting dragged into a political situation (AGAIN) that favored progressives, but people were literally talking about Those Who Should Have Free Speech and Those Who MUST NOT BE ALLOWED Free Speech. Violence was ACCEPTABLE against Those Who MUST NOT BE ALLOWED Free Speech. The whole mess was pushing my buttons. I’m afraid I wasn’t always polite about it.

So that was my week. It cropped up again and again. Phone calls, face to face talks, internet discussion boards, and gods, the emails. People couldn’t or wouldn’t accept one simple idea. Take away someone else’s free speech today and you will lose yours tomorrow. Not might, will. The only sure way to protect your free speech is to protect other’s free speech. Even if you don’t like what they are saying.

Especially if you don’t like what they are saying.

Noam Chomsky (of all people) said something very similar.

Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.

That’s who I am. That’s where I stand. A right isn’t a right unless the other guy has it too.

     — NeoWayland, pagan philosopher, libertarian, and part time troublemaker

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Without government

310336_421852017873606_697311041_n

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Bannon out

Steve Bannon is out at White House

After watching the last few days, I'm pretty sure he wanted to be fired. I don't know what happened, but someone like Bannon doesn't just give a telephone interview on a lark. Word is he turned in his resignation on August 7th (pre-Charlottesville) effective August 14th, and it was extended to today.

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Free speech



That's what worries me most about this. Once people decide that some labels deserve free speech and others don't, where does it stop?
     — NeoWayland
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Identity in the tribe

They want to be someone other than who they are. That’s the great irony of identity politics: They seek identity in the tribe because they are failed individuals. They are a chain composed exclusively of weak links. What they are engaged in isn’t politics, but theater: play-acting in the hopes of achieving catharsis.
     — Kevin D. Williamson, Angry White Boys
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Remember this anniversary


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For the record, this is facism.

At least learn the definition

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Religion in public schools

I don't think religion belongs in the public schools. Public schools are compulsory, students can't walk away if they do not agree.

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Morality is based on selfish interest

I can make a case that our morality is based on selfish interest. It's the Ethic of Reciprocity. You don't do bad things to others because you don't want them to do bad things to you. You do good things to others because you want them to do good things to you. If they cross the line, you're not bound to tolerance and courtesy.
     — NeoWayland
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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Control how we touch other people

We can't let our faiths and our creeds control how we touch other people. Faith is between you and the Divine. But we're measured by how we touch the lives of other humans.
     — NeoWayland
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Don't be a sucker

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Governments make lousy banks

Governments make lousy banks. Politicos want re-election and technocrats are unaccountable. Both measure their success by spending taxpayer's money. There's no incentive to contain costs or make a profit.
     — NeoWayland
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“Charlottesville & The Alt-Right: Just Say NO to Identity Politics”

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“John Stossel vs. Noam Chomsky on Venezuela”

Yep, it was almost as if it were scripted. A myth for the ages - revised

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Good neighbor

How a Swimming Pool for Neighborhood Kids Helped Heal a Man After Wife’s Death

Keith Davison got so tired of his solitude following the death of his wife, he decided to do something about it – and things have been going swimmingly ever since.

The 94-year-old retired judge had been married to his wife Evy for 66 years until she passed away from cancer last year.

After dealing with the grief and the silence of his house, he decided to build a pool in his backyard.

But not for himself – he built it for the neighborhood kids to enjoy.
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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 22 — law did not create civil rights

No law required people to march in protest. No law demanded a sit-in at Woolworth's lunch counter. The changes were happening before the act was passed.

I'd say that in many ways the 1964 act froze that change. People weren't responsible any more, it was government's job. Add a changing civil rights movement leadership that put guilt politics and special privilege over equal rights, and you get one big gooey mess.

It's been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed. Do we still need it because we locked people into a lower social class? When will those who benefit from the 1964 act not need it anymore?

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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from crux № 8 — rights & revised history

Folks probably already know this, but this brand of revisionism uses hard confrontation with constantly escalating stakes. You can't win against it by being loud, that just makes you the closest and biggest target.



There have been many terrible things done in the name of an absolute, "transcendent" morality. Many by Christians. Many by Christians to Christians. And many by Christians to Christians in the last century alone.

A label doesn't define morality. In the words of Mark Twain, "Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often."

I'd rather know what someone has done than what they call themselves.



I have defended rights for homosexuals in comment threads on this site.

I want to make a distinction here. What the radical feminists are "fighting" for are not rights, but exclusive and irrevocable privileges backed by the force of law.

Rights do not emanate from a state, nor do they require state sanction or approval.

Most importantly, it's not a right unless the other guy has it too.

I tell people that I am not for Native American rights, homosexual rights, "black" rights, or women's rights.

I'm for human rights.

And you should be too.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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“What is a Libertarian?”

This is the 1963 speech that Dr. King is best known for. It is the core of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

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Special rights

Libertarians don't want special rights for certain groups based on their race, gender, age, orientation, or religion.

Libertarians want to protect natural rights for all people simply because they are human beings.
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Friday roundup

The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond

Google doesn't believe in diversity of thought. Related - The Most Common Error in Media Coverage of the Google Memo, Google Fires Engineer For Noticing Men And Women Are Different, The Google Firing Demonstrates That Identity Politics Is Incoherent and Vicious & Google is more afraid of liberal outrage than federal law


Graphic Video Shows Cops Hold Down Handcuffed Teen, Torture Him With Taser—For Sleeping in Truck

Why haven't these police officers been charged with assault?


The Guy Who Invented Those Annoying Password Rules Now Regrets Wasting Your Time

The rules don't work. Pay attention to the XKCD comic mentioned in the article.


Obama administration knew about North Korea's miniaturized nukes

That Pentagon report that has everyone worried lately? It's from April of 2013. The Obama administration was notorious for released revised news and figures later, usually on Friday when no one was paying attentinon.


Justice Officials Sent Talking Points to FBI on Lynch Tarmac Meeting With Bill Clinton

I'd say this qualifies as suspicious.


Venezuela inflation quickens to 248.6 percent in year to July: opposition

Socialism fails every time it's tried.


A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack

This one is from The Nation. It's the first major left wing source that even admitted that it may not be the Russians.


The Afghan War Doesn't Need to Be Privatized—It Needs to Be EndedSo when does the perpetual war end?


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Hee hee hee hee


duckduckgo2

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Not really second place

“1st Place Runner Collapses 50m Shy Of Finish Line, Gets Help From 2nd Place Runner”

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Neighbors parade

“Friends surprise woman with parade on her final day of chemo”

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Highway rescue

No law required people to march in protest.

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The message was clear

The message was clear. There are problems but your Government Is Taking Care Of It. You don't have to worry. It's Somebody Else's Problem. You don't have to be responsible. Just put the right people in charge. Give more money. Give more authority. Sacrifice more rights. Repeat until we get it right. And don't ask too many questions.
     — NeoWayland
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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“I Have a Dream”

This is the 1963 speech that Dr. King is best known for. It is the core of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

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When politics are at stake

Truth is subjective when politics are at stake.
     — NeoWayland
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☆ Soundbite politics

Barack Obama is a big reason why Donald Trump was elected President.

But I'll get back to that.

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Dreams seem small

If our dreams seem small, it's up to us to make them greater. We need to make our own, not reach for the dreams of another. We can make it our Journey, or we can live the Story of another. A simple choice but the price is high. Just your faith and trust.
     — NeoWayland
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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Getting better

“40 Ways the World Is Getting Better”

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Regrowth

“'Breakthrough' penny-sized nanochip pad is able to regrow organs and heal injuries”

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Escape from debt

“Why We Need Accountable Algorithms”

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Tuesday roundup

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.

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NeoNotes — the Johnson amendment

Let me point out that tax exempt status is at best a "devil's trade." In exchange for the tax deduction, the organizations (and sometimes the officers) lose their political voice and the IRS gets itemized lists of what was donated and who donated it.

There's also the small bit that if there are tax deductions, then by definition taxes are too high.

However, Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.



The 1st Amendment doesn't deal with subsets. The incredibly ironic bit is the history of churches in American politics, particularly the abolitionist movement.

I didn't say it was a complete list, I said it was an itemized list. It is enough to find "known associates" though.

Tax deductions are evidence that taxes are too high. It's also evidence of diverting capital, taking it away from unapproved activities and moving it towards approved activities. There's more, but it involves a long examination of progressive tax systems and it won't add anything but noise to our conversation.



Abraham Keteltas, Samuel West, Jonathan Mayhew, Peter Muhlenberg, and Samuel Cooper were just some of the colonial era ministers. In England for a while, the American Revolution was called the Presbyterian Revolution because so many Presbyterian pastors were involved.

But the abolitionist movement and the American Civil War was when things really got going. Look at names like John Todd, Joshua Leavitt, Benjamin Bradford, Luther Lee, and Samuel Salisbury. Without these men and their churches, the abolitionist movement would never have blossomed. Christians aren't perfect and I am certainly a critic. But it took British and American Christians to end the slave trade, they deserve credit for that.

The 1950s-1960s civil rights movement was heavily rooted in churches, especially in the American south.

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.



I provided examples which at the very least would have violated the propaganda restrictions of the Johnson amendment if it had been in effect then. Yet those are a valued part of American history and important benchmarks in religious freedom.

A little further examination would have shown that American churches and synagogues have traditionally called politicos out on bad ideas and bad behavior.



It's not about "prophesy of the pulpit." It's about moral authority. Ideas like liberty, revolution, and slavery were talked about during worship. In those days more than anything else including the press, worship is where those ideas were set out in detail by men who made their living communicating well and clearly. I admit it's a part of history that is often overlooked, but it exists none the less.

Take a closer look. The Johnson amendment covers both endorsement and anti-endorsement, intervening in political campaigns is prohibited. It also limits lobbying, propaganda, and other political activity.

Pagans of all people know what a bad idea it is when a politico wraps themselves in the flag and waves holy writ as justification.

BTW, I have to give you points for that phrase "prophesy of the pulpit." It's poetic if not exactly accurate in this case.



You're right, that part of the law is seldom enforced. I was waiting for someone to bring that up.

So here is my next question. If the law as it exists is so potentially prone to abuse even as it is not enforced, why does the Johnson amendment exist?

My theory is that it was one of Johnson's infamous deals. In the early 1950s, the modern civil rights movement was just getting started, but the split was already there. It's a little inaccurate, but I call the two sides the MLK side and the Malcolm X side. Later the Malcolm X side was dominated by the Black Panthers, but that part of the story isn't necessary for our discussion here.

The MLK side wanted to work within the system making sure that existing law was enforced. The Malcolm X side relied on direct confrontation to create radical change and separate from the US if necessary. There was rivalry between the two sides, and at the time no one was sure which side would dominate. Johnson saw the potential need for what today we would call the nuclear option. As long as everything proceeded peacefully, the government would never need to use the stick. Meanwhile, everything was nicely registered and reported to the government, "just in case."

It wasn't the first time the IRS was used to monitor Americans and it wouldn't be the last.



You're right. I should have said existing Constitutional law, that was my mistake.

That wasn't the only operational difference, but it certainly was one of the most important. Bryan Burrough points out in Days of Rage that some "blacks" were disappointed as more moved north and they didn't instantly get more of what they felt had been denied them.

Existing state and local law in the south supported segregation, most Federal law did not. It varied in other states, not so much in the West but heavy in union states. When Truman reversed Wilson's segregation of the armed forces, the writing was on the wall.



Under what part of the 1st Amendment is Congress granted the power to regulate free speech?

Under what part of the 1st Amendment is Congress granted the power to regulate religion?

Yet the Johnson amendment does both.

Which tax argument? The fact that deductions mean that taxes are too high? Or that government uses a progressive tax code to encourage some behaviors and discourage others?

Can you show that either argument is BS?



Actually it does.

The perception in America is that you are not a "real" church unless you have tax exempt certification. Just like a few years back when conservative groups were having problems getting 503 certification, most people don't want to give money unless they know that the IRS is not going to audit them. The easy path is to do what the government tells you to do. That is not necessarily the right thing. Once a group has the certification, they are bound by the regulations if they wish to keep the majority of their donors. Those regulations are subject to change at any time, and have gotten more restrictive since the Johnson amendment was passed.

Every dollar that the government collects in taxes reduces individual purchasing power. Regardless of what some experts will tell you, the economy is driven by the individual buying goods and services and not by government regulation. More money, more purchases (or savings). Less money, more credit, less purchases and less savings.

Even if you think that only the "rich" pay higher taxes, that means less money for things like jobs, equipment, and expansion. That means less economic growth.

The second order effects of special taxes can be even worse. A few decades ago, Congress put out a luxury tax on high end planes, yachts, high end boats, and cars. All those industries took a major hit. Building and storing yachts and high end boats still haven't recovered.

It gets worse. Thanks to payroll withholding and "standard" deductions, the government effectively gives itself no-interest loans from your money. Multiply that by a hundred million or so and you get into some serious cash.

These are examples from taxes. I haven't discussed currency manipulation (inflation) or spending.



"Surely by your argument, there should be no tax exempt organizations at all, because the very existence of them proves taxes are too high."

Yes.

At the very least, no tax exempt organizations would mean fewer bureaucrats to monitor compliance and regulate.

"Government money goes back into the community and absolutely does stimulate economic growth."

It does that by displacing private investment. Private money wants a return on investment, which means maintaining facilities and periodic upgrades. Except for corporatism, companies stay in business by making their products better, cheaper, and more available.

"The rich actually mostly sock money away…"

Um, no they don't. There isn't a money vault or a stuffed mattress, smart people put their money to work. Some buy stocks, some buy bonds, some invest in companies. Unless the money earns a higher yield than the rate of inflation and the tax rate, it's worth less.

"…and pay LOWER taxes than the rest of us…"

According to the National Taxpayer Union Foundation, in 2014 the top ten percent of income earners paid 70.88% of the income tax. The top fifty percent of income earners paid 97.25% of the income tax.

Spending is not the same as taxing. Government at all levels has done a rotten job of maintaining facilities, much less upgrading them. Private ownership does wonders, as things like the Empire State Building show.

Government usually puts money aside for infrastructure and then diverts the money into more "essential" things. It's one of the oldest tricks in government accounting. Then more money is "needed."

What's more, government is a lousy judge of where to spend and what to spend it on. Just as one example, less than a handful of VA hospitals are worth it, but we keep tossing more and more money at the problem.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Algorithm

You could take the original Rocky and this film and you wouldn't need any of the films between them.

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“Minimum wage causing issues for businesses in Flagstaff”

“The minimum wage increase is especially hurting businesses in Flagstaff as they deal with increase costs”

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Monday roundup

Molina Healthcare Exits Obamacare Exchanges in Two States, Experiences $230 Million Loss

Remember, the exchanges were never meant to last. And this is another mess that Obama chose to have his successor fix.


Coast Guard Chief Will Disregard Trump’s Ban on Transgenders in Military

He can't, not legally. If the code changes and Trump gives the order, it's a court martial offense.


FBI monitored social media on Election Day for 'fake news' about Hillary Clinton: Report

So who gave the order? And did this really happen?


Venezuela says crushes anti-government attack on military base



BOM scandal: “smart cards” filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP!

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology apparently gooses the numbers before they become Official™.


Immigration Brings Out the Social Engineers

“If we Americans value freedom, we will dismiss the social engineers, open the borders, and liberate ourselves.”


Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow

I don't think it will happen, but you can practically feel the NY Times drool


Dunkirk: A contrary view about a movie everyone else loves

Something I never considered but well worth thinking about.


U.S. job growth surges in July

I'm not sure the growth is stable, but yes, the numbers did surge. And yes, Obama would have killed for those numbers.


1.8 million California acres were set aside for frogs.

Environmentalism is a crusade, ecology is a science studying interconnections and tradeoffs.

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The BA Christmas bonus

When Richard Branson's airline won $945,000 from a lawsuit, he gave it all to his employees

Three decades after after its launch, Virgin Atlantic is the second-largest UK carrier. "But it hasn't always been easy ... during those 33 years," the founder writes in a letter to his employees.

Most notably, when Branson's airline was trying to establish itself in the 1990s, British Airways ran what became known as the "dirty tricks" campaign.

"We had about four planes flying, and [British Airways] went to extraordinary lengths to put us out of business," recalls Branson on an episode of NPR's "How I Built This" podcast. "They had a team of people illegally accessing our computer information and ringing up our passengers and pretending that they were from Virgin, telling them that flights were cancelled and switching them onto BA."

Virgin took British Air to court and won $945,000 in damages, the largest libel settlement in UK history. Branson chose to invest the money back into his Virgin Atlantic team.

"It was Christmas time," he tells Raz. "It became known as the BA Christmas bonus — we distributed it to all our staff equally."
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Serious cuteness

“Artist Brightens Up The Streets By Drawing Adorable Creatures”

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from crux № 13 — Competiton

Competition drives the free market, to keep customers companies have to make things better than their rivals and better than what they themselves did yesterday.

Competition is what the "single payer" eliminates in the name of efficiency, yet over time competition means that products and services will be better, faster, and cheaper.

There is no incentive to improve under a government controlled system. There is overwhelming incentive to pay off legislators and technocrats for favorable treatment.



I'm usually correct.

Except when I'm wrong… *grins*

Jokes aside, you probably agree with me on economics, smaller government and (most) individual rights. We won't agree on religion, personal morality, and sexuality. I hope we can agree on honor.

I hang out here to keep me honest and so I can see how conservatives think. And occasionally to keep you honest *wink* and keep you from taking yourself too seriously.



I just get very tired of watching people who should know better lump all members of a group into a monolithic block who is out to destroy their way of life and must be Stopped for the Good of Humanity™

The ironic thing is many of the people who complain loudest about it being done to them are only too willing to turn around and do it to someone else.

I've seen pagans do it to Christians, "blacks" do it to "Hispanics," Republicans do it to Democrats, and women doing it to men.

And vice versa.

You know what? It's not the label shouting and doing things, it's the individual person. Until you deal them as individuals rather than as a subset of a label, you have walled yourself off.

Not them. You.



Thinking about it just now, that raises a fascinating question.

Which is worth more, a moral code handed to you or one earned through personal experience?



I'm not asking you to follow my code.

I'm not even asking you to allow me to follow my code.

I'm telling you that I won't follow your code just as you would tell me that you won't follow mine.

Now we could find what we agree on and work from there, or you could spend effort telling me why your enlightenment requires my sacrifice.

I think the former would be more productive, but I would enjoy your frustration at the latter too.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.

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They should be heard

I am certainly against Nazism, supremacist groups, and misogyny. I just think they SHOULD be heard, if for no other reason than they can be laughed off the stage.

As loudly and as enthusiastically as we can.
     — NeoWayland
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“Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican?” from Prager University

“The south used to vote Democrat. Now it votes Republican. Why the switch? Was it, as some people say, because the GOP decided to appeal to racist whites? Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, explains.”

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Won't be

t3_6os5zl

h/t Wendy McElroy

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Friday roundup

Somehow I don't believe this.

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Rescued

Good Samaritans Jump In Canal To Rescue Elderly Man Trapped In Truck

Norman LaBarge, 79, of Tremonton, Utah, is grateful for the three good Samaritans that came to his aid Wednesday after he drove his truck into a canal on state Route 30.

LaBarge is diabetic and said his blood sugar had gotten a little low, which caused him to lose control of his vehicle.

"I remember bouncing off the guard rails, and I remember going over toward the canal, and then the next thing I knew is there was water coming in," LaBarge said.

Several people stopped to help, including Adam Blanchard, a Fire Department volunteer who was about a mile away when he heard there was a vehicle that had gone off the road into the canal. He, along with Utah Highway Patrol trooper Justin Zilles and a third man ran into the canal.

The good Samaritans were able to pull him out of the truck through the passenger side.
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NeoNotes — Civil Rights acts - updated

If the Civil Rights Act of 1866 had worked, there would have been a need for another in 1871, in 1875, in 1957, in 1964, a Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

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Beware

You should beware the politician who wraps himself in faith and the minister who wraps himself with the flag.
     — NeoWayland, personal journal
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Final Speech from “The Great Dictator”

"We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…"

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Thursday roundup

Whatever Is On Imran Awan’s Smashed Hard Drives Likely Can Be Recovered

This will be interesting.


Danish 17-year-old girl who used a pepper spray to fight off a rapist near migrant asylum centre is told SHE will be prosecuted for carrying the weapon

It's headlines like this that make me wonder if Europe has a future.


Scientists Still Seek A Reliable DUI Test For Marijuana



How Civil Asset Forfeiture Reduces Economic Mobility

Related - Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind. Someone please explain why civil asset forfeiture is not legalized highway robbery.


Maduro’s Stranglehold On Disarmed Venezuelans

Related - Venezuela's Price Inflation Hits an Annual Rate of 952%Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Detained at Gunpoint in RaidsVenezuelans killing flamingos and anteaters to stave off hunger amid mounting food crisisDeadly election day in Venezuela as protesters clash with troopsHungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse — The elites and politicos are building a case for intervening in Venezuela. It's a bad idea.


Pulitzer-Prize Winning Reporter: FBI Report Shows It Was Seth Rich – Not Russians – Who Gave DNC Emails to Wikileaks

Related - Lawsuit says Fox knowingly faked Seth Rich story


“No Please Stop!” Dash Cam Shows Cop Fire 21 Shots as Unarmed Teens Beg for Their Lives

When will Americans start holding police officers accountable for breaking the law?


Commercial Crabber Of 50 Years Tells Gore Sea Level Hasn’t Changed Since At Least 1970

Take away the adjusted numbers and there is no climate change.


Navajo Nation Purchases Colorado Land

This has been in the works for a while. It gives the Diné a place close to the last of their sacred mountains.

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Only religious activities

Palo Alto Cracks Down On Neighborhood Churches

The city of Palo Alto is cracking down on churches that are trying to cut costs by subletting their space.

The clock is ticking for one church, which has been told all its tenants have to get out in a few weeks, or face severe fines.

The First Baptist Church has been on the same street corner in Palo Alto, serving the poor and needy, for 125 years.

But after a brief, informal meeting with city code enforcement officers earlier this year, Pastor Rick Mixon suddenly got a sternly worded letter from the city, telling him he must cease all non-religious activities, and that his tenants, which include a music school, a psychologist, and the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, to get out by August 17 or face severe fines.

Mixon said, “In order to operate here, to keep it looking good, looking nice in a nice neighborhood, we need to rent the space. It represents about a third of our budget right now.”

For years, the church has rented the space on the second floor to music classes, choirs, dance clubs, and hosted dinners and weddings.
     — Kiet Do

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Oh really?

Somehow I don't believe this.

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☆ Other people's property

People look for better value if it's their own money at stake.

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One thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads

If there is one thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads, it's this: Christianity is not the source of all that is good and righteous in our society. Other cultures and other faiths have contributed heavily. It's amazing that I even have to mention this where one house of the national legislature is called the Senate and the other has a ceremonial fasces. Even The Magnificent Seven was a remake.
     — NeoWayland
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“Stossel: Stop! You Need a License To Do that Job!”

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Changing

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Age is just a number

“8-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Girl To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro”

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Sharing the extra

This Mom Has Donated 5,000 Pints Of Breast Milk To Help Feed Premature Babies

Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra has donated 5,000 pints of breast milk to help premature babies.

The 29-year-old mom from Beaverton, Oregon, spends an incredible 10 hours a day pumping around 1.75 gallons of milk - ten times the average woman.

Elizabeth has hyperlactation syndrome, which means she produces masses more milk than what is considered average. But she still manages to squeeze in feeding time for her own six-month-old daughter before generously giving the rest to those more needy than herself.

The milk goes to a milk bank for micro preemies, so 1oz can feed three or four babies. Elizabeth's milk has fed thousands of babies.
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Reaction

Government is reactive. What individuals choose is much more important than the credit that politicos claim. Lasting change only happens when enough people got angry enough to demand change.
     — NeoWayland
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Morality & character

Our problem is that we excuse people from the consequences.

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“The War On Cars”

“There is a war against cars in America. Regulators want Americans out of cars and onto trains, buses, and bicycles. Why? Because of what cars represent -- freedom. Automotive expert Lauren Fix ("The Car Coach") explains.”

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from crux № 18 — choice and consequence

Our problem is that we excuse people from the consequences.

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Treehouse

“35 Fellow Cops Finish the Treehouse a Slain Officer Was Building For Daughter”

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NeoNotes — ban it

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Monday roundup

Shock Poll Shows Kid Rock WIth A Huge Lead In The Michigan GOP Senate Primary

He's the leading GOP candidate without doing anything and he's within striking distance of the incumbent. Just like Trump, this isn't because of anything he has done. It's because People. Are. Pissed. Off.


A Demagogic Bully

The Southern Poverty Law Center has long since lost any connection to reality.


Amazon is thinking about using its delivery drones to scan your house to sell you more stuff

I'm pretty sure that this is in the active planning stage.


Markets Relax Merrily on a Powerful Time Bomb

The bill always comes due.


Judge Slams ‘Incompetent’ Cops After SWAT Raids Innocent Family for Growing Tomato Plants

Police powers need to be put in check.


California Lawmakers Passes 400% Gas Tax Increase then Give Themselves FREE Gasoline and Cars!

Beware the exceptions!


It’s time for single-payer … the consumer to provider

Eliminate the middlemen, government and the insurance companies. Then watch the prices drop.


Federal Gun Prosecutions Up 23 Percent Under Trump, DOJ Says

This is not a good thing. Notice how there is no context. The main use of the 2nd Amendment is so citizens can protect themselves against government.

British Climate Minister Boasts About Bypassing the US Federal Government

Remember it's not about saving the planet. It's about shifting massive amounts of cash and power.

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“Thomas Sowell - Misconceptions About Slavery”

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“Penn Jillette on Libertarianism, Taxes, Trump, Clinton and Weed”

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Government

“America's Media Meltdown”

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NeoNotes — enabling racism

My mom's family is Louisiana farming stock. My natural father was not around long enough for me to know his family. I was born in Ganado, one of the few bilagáana born on the Navajo reservation. I've lived my entire life in the four state region, and I've lived with casual racism from the very first.

Without exception, the worst racism I've seen has been enabled by government. It could be keeping inner city mothers pregnant and unmarried. It could be hiring "tokens" when they weren't qualified. It could be stealing mineral rights while keeping tribal governments from hiring capable attorneys. But mostly it's keeping certain groups of people dependent on government daily. Always, they're told how they are victims. Always, they are told that only government can give them a fair shake. Always, they are told that Nasty People want to keep them down. And as long as they stay dependent, things never get better for them.

That's the tyranny that is rooted in progressivism and other forms of statism.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“13 Reasons Jeff Sessions is a @$#/!” by ReasonTV

“Jeff Sessions is on the ropes with Donald Trump. Good.

The president is pissed because Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. But here are a baker's dozen of reasons to hate the attorney general, including his obsession with restarting the war on pot, his call to jack up mandatory minimums, and his support for civil asset forfeiture. Then there's his lack of interest in due process, willingness to subvert state's rights when they conflict with his desiblurb outcome, and desire to lengthen prison terms for non-violent criminals. Also, he might be some kind of statist elf.”

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NeoNotes — public accommodation law is wrong - updated

I wonder too.

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Ain't I a Woman?”

Ain't I a Woman?

by Sojourner Truth
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.
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Offering a hand

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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That's what buddies are for

“8-Year-old Helps Buy New Wheelchair For His Best Buddy When Insurance Fails”

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Who said I don't believe in gods?”

Who said I don't believe in gods?

If anything, I don't believe in your beliefs. But that's okay, you don't believe in mine either. I could qualify it and say more specifically I don't believe in your understanding of your beliefs (and I'm pretty sure you don't either), but that is complicating things far beyond what is needed for the conversation here. Not to mention being incredibly self-referential.
     — NeoWayland

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NeoNotes — Parity is the keystone

If I don't share your faith, I shouldn't be bound by it. If you don't share my faith, you shouldn't be bound by it.

This is parity. It can be derived from what Christians call the Golden Rule. It's also called the Ethic of Reciprocity and is arguably the keystone of Western Civilization besides being found in nearly every culture on Earth. Behavioral studies show that a rudimentary form exists in higher mammals. Fair is fair.

One of my "party tricks" is showing that you can build an entire moral, ethical, and legal system based on nothing but the Ethic of Reciprocity. No "Higher Law." No use of force except in defense. No one faith and no one group raised above all others never to be questioned.

Just treating each other as we would want to be treated. Nothing more, nothing less. Live and let live.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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“Why Social Justice is CANCER ” by Roaming Millennial

“Yes, social justice is cancer, and here's why. This video explains what social justice is & breaks down the problem with identity politics & the concept of justice vs. equality. Also SJWs are commies. Yeah.”

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Tuesday roundup

I wonder too.

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Association

People look for better value if it's their own money at stake.

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Won't knife you in the back

In my experience, conservatives won't knife you in the back. They'll scream in your face, they'll tell you that you're wrong, but they're usually facing you.

Certain progressives will trot you out for the dog-&-pony show, drape an arm over your shoulder, smile for the cameras, and then slide the knife in so smoothly you never feel it until after you start bleeding and they've moved away.
     — NeoWayland
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Thou shalt not dissent

One rule of thumb is that all things being equal (which they usually aren't), the side working to control who gets to speak is the one you should worry about.

"Thou shalt not dissent" should a be red flag with a siren.
     — NeoWayland

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Before I've eaten breakfast

I've read enough of your stuff to understand why you misuse Science as a Higher Authority, One That Must Not Be Questioned. I can advocate science without being "scientific." I don't need test tubes, a microscope, or a Geiger counter to lend credibility.

I can defend human rights without being gay, a woman, Navajo, disabled, or a money-grubbing politico.

I can promote religious freedom without being Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, Buddhist, or atheist.

I can even type a few replies before I've eaten breakfast. Not before my tea though, I'm good but not that good.
     — NeoWayland

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The label tells me almost nothing

I've met bad Pagans and good Christians, rotten agnostics and good atheists, decent Satanists and iffy heathens. The label tells me almost nothing, but the individual behavior tells me almost everything.
     — NeoWayland

There's no virtue or vice in the label. It's our words and deeds that define us.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Marriage revisted

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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A trillion dollar industry

“Commentary: Can the NOAA, NASA, EPA, Met Office, and British academia all be wrong about climate change?”

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Competion keeps companies honest

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Religion enshrined in law

Simple questions.

Why should any religion be enshrined in law? Raised above all others as THE Moral Standard?

Perhaps more importantly, would you accept it if it were not your religion?

Or at least something calling itself your religion.



Pardon, but that isn't the question.

Why should any religion be enshrined in law?

Shouldn't faith be between you and the Divine?

Shouldn't religion be your choice and not imposed on you by some government functionary?

Coke may be less disagreeable than Pepsi, but I don't want armed special agents making sure I drink it.



Only if you think government must be predicated on or derived from religion.

Which, thankfully, the Founders did not.



But it's not about if religions are "equal" or not.

It's about if a single religion should be enshrined in law. And what happens if you are not a member of the religion that is made part of law.

Should you be bound by a religion you are not a part of?



Yep, I did. And for very good reason.

I also said this:

Perhaps more importantly, would you accept it if it were not your religion?



I've really tried to be polite on this board, but believe when I say I've seen more than enough Christian intolerance to last me several lifetimes. It's not every Christian, but it is there. Nor are Christians alone in their intolerance.

What I am trying to say is that by making religion a part of government you're setting the grounds for much more intolerance.

Even if you stuck to Christians, you'd be asking for trouble. Should Catholics have precedence over Baptists? What about the Mormons and the Methodists?



Yep, that happens too.

But when someone defines intolerance as everyone else not putting that someone's religion over every thing else, well, the someone crossed the line and they are fair game.



No, that isn't what I said.

Look at what Moore said in the article. He's talking about defending Christianity in the law. And creating more law that incorporates "Christian principles."

"Do not murder." That's a good idea. It also predates Christianity by quite a bit and is shared by many cultures and faiths.

"Do not murder because of the Ten Commandments and what Jesus said." That's not the same thing and it adds baggage to something that should be simple.



Pardon, but that is an opinion.

My gods prefer that people work it out for themselves.

That's an opinion too.



You mean other than Roy Moore up there in the original post?

You’re talking about overturning God’s natural order ….

That's certainly a religious point of view.



Nondenominational? Ah, I see.

It's only the Christians that need apply? You don't need the Jews.

I live next to the Navajo reservation. Will you exclude the Sky People?

One of my neighbors three doors down is a Buddhist. Doesn't she get a say?

One of my companions is an atheist. She's also one of the wisest women I know. Should she get a say?

Why or why not?



And I've answered it several times, twice directly.

When you assume that government is based on a religion you are imposing and enshrining that religion.

When it comes to religion becoming the law of the land, the devout don't need it, the non-believers don't want it, and the politicos will corrupt it.



Then why is Roy Moore making so much noise?



I'm not demanding that you give up your faith.

I'm asking why religion should be enshrined in law.

Faith is between you and the Divine, no other person can change that. It's up to you and your choices.

I'm asking for no sacrifice unless you believe that your religion should govern the faith and religion of others.

And if that's the case, I'm asking why.



No, actually we weren't.

The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention the Christian God except in the date.

It's wholly remarkable in that it may well be the first document in history that didn't claim government power derived from the Divine.

Men of faith and men of reason deliberately chose not to make a public declaration of religion even as they acknowledged it's role in individual action.

They knew that faith must be chosen, not compelled.



Talk about timing…

I always find it amazing when I have to point out the U.S. was not founded as a "Christian nation" when one house of the national legislature is called the Senate.

I've written about this many times before. But please don't take my word for it.

http://www.usconstitution.net

That's a site created to explore and explain the Constitution. Look for yourself. Try to find any mention of the Bible or the Divine.



Considering the custom of the times, omitting "those words" was even more revolutionary than the Declaration of Independence and the battles that followed.

Again, that doesn't mean that the Founders weren't devout. It does mean that they knew about the English Civil War and the problems caused by some colonies and their religious restrictions.

I'd like to think that each of the Founders decided that if his church wasn't going to be "top dog," no one else's would be either.

And that is why Roy Moore is wrong.



Can you show where I'm wrong?



The question you should be asking yourself is not if the Founders were religious or if the U.S. was founded as a "Christian nation."

No, the question is why the Founders, among the best educated men of their time, chose not to make the Constitution dependent on any faith.

I'll give you a hint. Too many people are in religion for the politics.



I am, and it relates to the question in the title of the post.

If anyone thinks their religion needs the force of law to back it up, then they are doing it wrong.

The law should neither help nor hinder religion. But no religion should rely on force either.



If it's a straw man, then why did Roy Moore say what he did?

There's a difference between personal faith and public policy.



Pardon, but I think that's wrong.

It's not that the American people hate the Divine. And I don't think they may object because it is a Christian policy.

I think they object because it is a religious rule made policy.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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What Obama did

America's Media Meltdown

In the 2008 campaign, reporters ignored the close and disturbing relationships between the mostly unknown Obama and a cast of unsavory characters: his racist and anti-Semitic pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the neighborhood confidant and former terrorist Bill Ayers, and the wheeler-dealer and soon-to-be felon Tony Rezko.

Instead, journalists quickly started worshipping candidate Obama in a manner never quite seen before, not even in the days of the iconic liberal presidents like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas declared Obama to be a deity (“Obama's standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of God.”) His very words were able to make the leg of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews “tingle.” His pants’ crease proved for David Brooks a talisman of his future greatness, along with the fact that the mellifluent Obama “talks like us.”

While a few journalists were aware of their cult-like worship, most were hooked and competed to outdo one another with embarrassing hagiographic praise. Upon election, Obama was summarily declared by one presidential historian and television pundit to the smartest man with the highest IQ ever to have been president.

Obama himself channeled the veneration, variously promising in god-like fashion to cool the planet and lower the seas, remarking that his own multifaceted expertise was greater than that of all of the various specialists who ran his campaign. For the next eight years, the media largely ignored what might charitably be called an historic overextension of presidential power and scandal not seen since the days of Richard Nixon’s presidency. A clique of journalists set up a private chat group, JournoList, through which they could channel ideas to promote the Obama progressive agenda.
     — Victor Davis Hanson

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from crux № 19 — Free market

Our heroes are defined by what they have done and how they inspire us.

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Cash means freedom

“The End of Cash; The End of Freedom”

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Last $40

Teen Who Lost Everything In Fire Spends His Last $40 On Firefighters

An Alabama mom can't help but brag about her 15-year-old son Kenneth.

"In general, teenagers get a bad rap," Casie Bennett told AL.com. "My son is a good kid. He really is."

Earlier this month the Bennett family's house burned down and they lost everything. On the night of the fire, Kenneth returned from a friend's house to find volunteer firefighters battling to put out the blaze that had consumed his home.

Shockingly, the high school sophomore thought not of himself or his possessions, but of the firefighters. Their cooler, he noticed, was near empty.

Around 1am, after the fire was out, Kenneth went to a nearby gas station to buy a root beer. There he noticed some cases of water, so he handed the clerk $40, and took the water straight to the fire department.

That $40 was all Kenneth had left.

"He had been saving that money for his anniversary, the day after the fire," Casie explained to AL.com. "He wanted to take his girlfriend, Bailey, to Ruth's Chris."
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Magical adoption

Watch Mickey Mouse share magical news of adoption with these foster kids

Tom and Courtney Gilmour had long planned for two big events: the adoption of their two foster children, and a trip to Disney World. By coincidence, just three days before leaving for Orlando, Florida, this past spring, a Pennsylvania court confirmed the Gilmours' adoption date.

Suddenly, their Disney vacation took on an extra-magical quality.

Janielle, 12, and Elijah, 10, had bounced around different foster homes their whole lives. Three years ago, they landed in the Gilmours' Portland home in eastern Pennsylvania.

Courtney Gilmour, 36, knew she wanted to adopt the brother and sister as soon as she met them. “We instantly connected," she told TODAY. "We blended as a family. It didn’t feel weird for a second. It felt natural."

But, as Gilmour explained, “the adoption system doesn’t work as fast as your heart does.” So the couple waited.

Finally, on April 7, the Pennsylvania court offered the Gilmours an official adoption date: May 24, 2017. Three days later, the family set off for Disney World.

The couple could barely contain their excitement, but they decided to wait until they arrived at the Magic Kingdom to share the wonderful news with the kids.
     — Julia Curley
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Annie mode

Congress is permanently in “Annie” mode. It will deal with its war responsibilities, like its myriad other forfeited powers, tomorrow, which is always a day away.
     — George Will, Congress is fleeing its warmaking responsibilities

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Promise

“…against the law…”

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Olympic committee

The Olympic Games lose money for the host city. I think the International Olympics Committee may have started the stadium scam, where the local government is on the hook for the bills and the sports team gets most of the revenue with no risk.
     — NeoWayland

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Exits

Remember where the exits are. Be willing to walk away.
     — NeoWayland

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❝The Sinister Reason Weed is Illegal❞ by Adam Ruins Everything

“The End of Cash; The End of Freedom”

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Ehrlichman on drugs

You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities, We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
     — John Ehrlichman

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Clash of ideas

clashOFideas

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Private property

Private property is the the foundation of prosperity, as explained in Hernando de Soto's The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. Without private property, there can be no free market. Without a free market, the economy is screwed. The climate alarmist movement exists to redistribute wealth "for the greater good."
     — NeoWayland

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Friday roundup 21Jul2017

Seismic Shift In Syria: Trump Ends Covert Obama-era CIA Program Which Sent Arms To Jihadists

Of course the media covered this, right?


Trump threatens to gut Obamacare markets

If you can't repeal, then just let it collapse. Smart move. The Washington elite keep underestimating Trump.


Fmr. U.N. Amb. Power Emerges As Central Figure In Obama Unmasking Investigation

Does anyone doubt that the Obama administration tried to fix the 2016 election anymore?


Warren's consumer 'protection' agency sets dangerous precedent

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should be abolished as quickly as possible. It does not answer to anyone, and yet has tremendous power over business and consumers.


Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions

From the first, the really interesting stuff has been excluded. The entire 2016 election, including the efforts of the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign, should be investigated.


Mueller’s Investigation Must Be Limited and Accountable

Notice how Robert Mueller is staying away from investigating the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign. This investigation is not about possible crimes or justice. It's not even about the 2016 election. It's an open ended, unlimited, and unaccountable taxpayer funded effort to bring down the legally elected President. I don't like Trump, I don't trust Trump, BUT he was legally elected. Why isn't this called what it is, a coup d'état?


Trump Eliminates More Than 800 Obama Regulations

For a man who is incompetent and unfit to be President, he seems to be doing quite a bit.


Clarence Thomas vs. Jeff Sessions on Civil Asset Forfeiture

I would love to see a civil asset forfeiture case hit the Supreme Court. Right now I think there's an excellent chance it could be overthrown.

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Itemized deductions

Itemized deductions are extortion. Government takes your money. You beg for it back. Government might give it to you.

If you are especially nice and if you do as you are told.
     — NeoWayland

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Supervillian territory

George Soros wants to disrupt society so government steps in and he can profit. The man is a secret lair away from supervillian territory.
     — NeoWayland

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❝One True Islam? | The Moderate Imam & Westernization❞ by Roaming Millennia

“In light of my interview with Imam Tawhidi, this video looks at whether Islam a religion of peace & compatible with the West, why the left always defends it, & whether moderate Muslims exist.”

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Martial arts for Middle Eastern women

“The First Self-Defense Studio in the Middle East that Teaches Women to Fight Back”

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Man builds stairs in park

“Man Hires Homeless Man And Builds Park Stairs For $550 After City Estimates $65,000-$150,000 For The Project”

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Long haired boy

Boy grows his hair out to help kids with cancer — despite bullies who teased him

An 11-year-old boy from Wales is on a mission to help people with cancer after meeting a young girl who had lost her hair due to chemotherapy.

Joshua Scott-Hill of Llanelli, a town on the country's southern coast, grew his hair for a year and a half so that it could be donated to make wigs for children with cancer. He was inspired after running into a girl with cancer, a daughter of one of his mother's friends, at a grocery store early last year, he and his mother told TODAY.

"He asked where her eyebrows were, and I was like, 'Oh no!'" his mom, Samantha Scott, 35, said.

"I was curious, so I asked her, and she said she was going through chemotherapy and that's why she lost her hair," Josh told TODAY.

Later, after talking to his mother, he decided to grow his hair long to help other children who have cancer.

Eighteen months later, Josh's hair had grown 10 inches. And on Saturday, he buzzed it all off, and donated the locks to an organization called Little Princess Trust, which makes real-hair wigs for boys and girls in the U.K. who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.
     — Rheana Murray

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Another exception

Are there any type of calls that are exempt from the robocall rules issued by the FCC or the FTC?

There are several exemptions. Calls made for debt collection, charitable solicitation, political causes or campaigns and surveys are all exempt from these rules.
     — Marguerite Reardon, Why am I getting so many robocalls?

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🚀 ❝The Eagle has landed.❞

“The video of the very first moon landing of the apollo 11 mission in 1969! Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon with his now legenday words "One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind." This is a truly amazing video and it was in 1969!!! If you think about it, you have orders of magnitude more processing power in your mobile phone than they did in the whole space craft!! Incblurbible!”

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❝On the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence❞

“Silent Cal” is one of the underestimated presidents and is probably in the top ten. Or he would have been if Hoover didn't undo most of his work. This is one of Calvin Coolidge's better speeches and is a great American work.

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☆ Sins of the skin

I'm behind this week. I had issues with my blogging program..

Why is it that everyone is allowed to be proud of their ethnic heritage unless you're "white?"

And then there's "white privilege."

"If you can't see it, you've got it."

Guess what. That's racist.

Yes, you read that right. It's racist. People are being blamed because of their skin color. No matter what they say, no matter what they do, They Are Guilty and Can Not Be Redeemed. You can't get more racist than that.

They are not only guilty, but they are responsible for the actions and attitudes of people long dead.

Well, isn't that a kick in the pants. I can only speak for me.

I won't humble myself and acknowledge the sins of my skin color.

I won't abase myself.

I won't sacrifice my pride and power before their “need.”


Why not? Because I didn't do anything. You want to be a victim? Fine. Go do it somewhere else.

You want some help so you can stop being a victim? Then let's talk. Let's see what we can do.

Yes, the United States was not perfect when it was founded. There were a bunch of rich, "white" men running around controlling everything. Things got better. The US helped destroy the international slave trade. Women got the vote. Some of our greatest today aren't rich, "white", or male. Things got better. It's not perfect now. But we're getting better. That's the promise.

If you are not responsible for the sins of your ancestors, then neither is anyone else. Neither am I.

If you take pride in your ancestry, then so can anyone else. So can I.

Why?

Because I am not guilty for my ancestors.

My skin color doesn't make me racist.

Can you say the same?

We're human. Let's build on that. Let's start with today. Let's limit our judgement to what the individual has said and done.

Let's not blame the skin color. Or privilege. Or what we think they think.

Just what is said. Just what is done.

Can you live with that?

I can. Do we have a deal?

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NeoNotes — internet tactics

I pointed out before that dismissing arguments unheard and without even a cursory search to see if there is any validity just makes you look foolish and uninformed.

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Standard deduction

If there is a “standard deduction,” then by definition taxes are too high.
     — NeoWayland

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☥ ▽ ❝Obey the principles without being bound by them.❞

Bruce Lee • Before passing day

Lived 27Nov1940 to 20July1973 (32). Cultural icon. filmmaker, martial arts instructor, philosopher, and founder of Jeet Kune Do. Notable Chinese American when there were hardly any positive Asians in Western popular culture. The most influential martial artist of modern times.

Obey the principles without being bound by them.
     — Bruce Lee

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Know

Know yourself. Know what you can do. Know what you're willing to do. Know the price you're willing to pay.
     — NeoWayland

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Biggest and hardest lesson

The biggest and hardest lesson that I've had to learn is that no one group has THE answer, and no group that says it has THE answer can be fully trusted.
     — NeoWayland
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❝Government Can't Fix Healthcare❞ by Prager University

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Thursday roundup 20Jul2017

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Token doctor? - revised

Our heroes are defined by what they have done and how they inspire us.

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Sometimes you need a hero

“Ex-Con Skips Job Interview, Jumps Off Bus And Saves The Life Of Car Crash Victim”

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“Solving” net neutrality

“Net Neutrality Supporters Should Actually Hate the Regulations They're Endorsing”

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Seen as equal

We may not all be equal in terms of ability or potential, but in the eyes of the law, we must absolutely be seen as equal, and nobody gets special favors because of the color of their skin.
     — David Cole, Beneath the Fold

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NeoNotes — scapegoating "whites"

And yet scapegoating is alive and well.



Pardon, but for all the talk about what Trump and his supporters did against "minorities," there was much more done against Trump's supporters.



I am not conservative. I am also not a liberal.

I am a writer.

I'm the guy who wrote “We need solutions that don't exile people politically.”

And “When it comes to religion becoming the law of the land, the devout don't need it, the non-believers don't want it, and the politicos will corrupt it.”

And I wrote this:

You are not entitled



I didn't say anyone here now shamed me, I said I wrote that.

I don't know what you did or did not do as an editor, I have only your say so for that. Until I have reason to disbelieve, I'll take your word for it. What I do know is that you were lecturing about the failures of "Whites" above. I am not defending anyone. No one group and certainly no "race" is without scoundrels, and no group is composed of saints.

As it happens, I believe in many American ideals and I think on the whole we get more right than we get wrong. I don't need to defend those ideas, they speak for themselves. I will say that not all ideas labeled "American" have much to do with liberty.

I started on this thread by writing about scapegoating. From what I see, this article does that.



"Control of the system" IS the problem. Fighting for "control of the system" is also the problem. The only known practical solution is to make government smaller than absolutely necessary.

Zinn's book is seriously flawed and way overhyped.



I'm not complaining about skin color. I'm complaining about being blamed for things that happened to people long dead long before I was born because of skin color. And I am complaining about the "sins" of one skin color used to explain All That Is Truly Wrong In The World.

I've said it before and I will stand by it. There's only one "race" and it's human.

I've got something I call the Practical Grudge Limit. It’s not practical to hold someone responsible unless they were there, of age, and participating. I'm responsible for what I've done and what I've said. No more, no less.



“…we have to create a system that is not about trying to control things and keep the controlling the hands of the wealthy and powerful.”

You can't have a system that is about not controlling and controlling. You want to make the distinction between the rich and the poor, but in the past it's been skin color, gender, religion, and ancestry.

Any system that sets up an inequality will always be exploited. And I am not talking about the inequality between rich and poor. You spoke of payback before. Any exploitive system will be about control and payback.

Unless it's inherited, one acquires wealth by exploiting people OR providing value to one's neighbors. There are other ways, but they are minute examples. If someone earned wealth by providing value to neighbors, that means they are doing something right. Especially if happens over time. You don't want to use a plumber who cheats you, or a grocer who sells spoiled food, or a bank that charges negative interest on your accounts.

That's when wealth can reflect character and commitment and honor.

If someone is in business, if they provide what was promised at a fair price, if they pay for their purchases as expected, if they treat people well, all of that makes a pretty decent measure of character.

That's what the Founders were interested in. Not a government of the rich for the rich, but a society of people with proven character.

Let's take a modern example. Before the law was changed, you could only finance a house by coming up with a down payment, usually ten percent of the price. This wasn't done to keep the poor unhoused. It was because you wanted people buying houses if they could afford it and were willing to work for it. The down payment also represented character and commitment.

When the law was changed for "compassionate" reasons, people could buy a house without "skin in the game." If someone couldn't pay their mortgage, the bank would take it back without any risk to the buyer. Since the mortgage payments were usually less than rent, there was no incentive to keep the house if that someone couldn't pay.

Meanwhile, banks and loan companies couldn't profit. People didn't put in down payments and walked away. Housing prices skyrocketed even as there was a glut of housing. So their solution (made with government encouragement) was to split the loans into what was paid and what was owed. Whoever got stuck with what was owed without any income lost big time. But banks got "too big to fail."

So a change in law to benefit the poor actually made things worse for nearly everyone. All because the rule of law was no longer uniform. It could be exploited. And it was.

It wasn't because of the divide between rich and poor. It was because politicos sa