Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, May 7, 2012

This Week In Review (05/07/2012)

This Week In Review (05/07/2012)

Ron Paul wins Maine and Nevada. The good doctor won the majority of delegates in both states. In Nevada alone, he won 22 over Romney’s three or four. Add his victories in Iowa and Minnesota, and Paul could very well stand a fair chance against Romney. But don’t let that get your hopes up. Romney will most likely be the Republican candidate. But don’t worry folks. There always the third option:

Gary Johnson wins Libertarian Party nomination. The former New Mexico governor won 70 percent of the votes at the party’s convention in Las Vegas, beating R. Lee Wrights. He had originally started as a Republican nominee, but switched parties after receiving little attention and being shut out of the debates. Speaking of which, if Johnson reaches 15 percent in the polls, he will qualify to appear in the national debates alongside Obama and Romney. As of now, he ranks 6 percent, but he has boasted that Mickey Mouse would poll 15 percent ahead of the two. Of course, Mickey Mouse would also make for a much better president than those two also!

Five Occupiers charged with bridge bomb plot. FBI arrested five men and charged them for attempting to blow up an Ohio bridge. They had also planned on targeting five other locations for terrorist plots such as the Cleveland Justice Center. All five men had connections with the local Occupy Cleveland movement. Remember when Tea Party protesters were arrested for attempting to blow crap up? Neither do I. Yet it’s the Tea Party that are called terrorists?

NYPD raids activists’ homes before May Day protests. The National Lawyer's Guild reports five instances where New York police raided the homes of Occupy protesters and interrogated them about their May Day plans. In most instances, the police used arrest warrants for minor charges in order to enter the homes, in some cases using brute force. In one case, police broke down the door of one activists’ apartment; in another case, to enter the apartment of several organizers, the police used an arrest warrant on two men who no longer lived there. This wasn’t the first time the NYPD had harassed and spied on Occupy protesters. The Occupy movement has long been the target of police surveillance. Clearly the police are targeting them for political reasons and not for any actual crimes. This type of attack on political dissent is what one would expect from third-world dictatorships, not here in America. Unless the police have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, as was the case with the attempted bomb plot in Cleveland, the police have no business monitoring political activists.

Rand Paul campaigns to abolish the TSA. In a Campaign for Liberty e-mail announcement, Paul asked readers to sign his petition in favor of abolishing the Transportation Security Administration. Earlier this year, the senator was detained at a Nashville airport after refusing to submit to an invasive pat down procedure. “The American people shouldn’t be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane. As you may have heard, I have some personal experience with this, and I’ve vowed to lead the charge to fight back,” Paul wrote in the e-mail. Here’s hoping that Paul will be able to start a movement to end this draconian federal agency, the same way his father was able to start a movement to “End the Fed.” Since 2001, the TSA has pushed for draconian security measures that are as invasive as they are ridiculous—from forcing us to remove our shoes and hand over our nail clippers, to forcing us to undergo virtual strip searches and invasive pat-downs— and yet since then there have been over 250 thousand airport security breaches. The TSA does not make us safer, it only makes us less free.

Deputy found guilty of lying about videotaped gas station takedown. After arresting a suspect at a 7-Eleven in Florida, two sheriff’s deputies described him in their police reports as acting unruly and violent. However, the gas station security camera told a different story. Videotape showed that the two deputies confronted the man while he was standing next to the coffee machine drinking coffee and later had him slammed onto the floor, arrested. When prosecutors saw the video, they immediately dropped the case against the suspect and onto the two deputies. Both were charged with falsifying records, and one has been suspended without pay from the sheriff’s office with the possibility of termination. This incident proves why it is important for citizens to be legally allowed to videotape cops. Police and other authority figures have been known to abuse their power and have lied in order to cover it up. As our public servants, they should be held accountable to us for their actions, and part of that accountability should involve allowing themselves to be videotaped by citizens if need be.

Vermont bans fracking for oil and gas. With a 103-36 vote, Vermont’s House of Representatives passed a bill banning hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas. This would make Vermont the first in the nation to ban fracking. Obviously the environmentalists are performing summersaults over this decision. They have long argued against the environmental risks of fracking—often with bogus arguments. They claim it causes earthquakes. It doesn’t! They claim it harms drinking water. It doesn’t! Despite scientific studies proving that fracking is a safe procedure with little environmental impact, environmentalists insist that it should be banned. Then again, environmentalists have a nasty habit of ignoring scientific data that when it contradicts their pet issues: global warming, nuclear energy, genetically-modified food, vaccinations. What do you call it when you ignore empirical evidence for your own ideology? Oh yes: religious faith!

Dumbasses Of The Week

Runner-Up: Stephen King: I’m embarrassed to say that I have never read anything by Stephen King. But if his fiction is anything like his Daily Beast column, then perhaps I’m not missing anything. King repeats the same-old left-wing talking points about how the rich like himself should pay more in taxes: “What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-fucking-American is what it is….in America, we all should have to pay our fair share.” Do I even have to debunk this? A simple Google search would pull up tax statistics that prove how the rich already pay higher tax rates than everyone else. If rich people like King want to pay more in taxes, they’re perfectly free to do so without having tax rates raised. Of course, King argues that that it wouldn’t be enough even if rich people chose to pay more in taxes: " Charity from the rich can’t fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny….That annoying responsibility stuff comes from three words that are anathema to the Tea Partiers: United American citizenry." Good grief. Is King really this naïve? Does he honestly believe that our taxes actually go to serving our best interests? Is he that unaware of government waste? Does he not realize that even if we confiscated everything from the billionaires in this country, it would hardly make a dent in our national deficit? If he can’t get simple things like logic or facts straight, I highly doubt he can do the same for his writing, which if anything is probably grossly overrated.

Third Place: Heartland Institute: The right-wing think tank released several billboards in downtown Chicago arguing how notorious psychopaths such as Charles Manson and Fidel Castro believed in global warming. The most infamous billboard featured Unabomber Ted Kaczynski with the caption “I still believe in global warming. Do you?” There are plenty of good arguments against the theory of man-made global warming. This isn’t one of them. Yes, the Unabomber believes in global warming. He probably also believes in gravity. Does that make the theory of gravity less credible? Of course not. Scientific theories should be judged on the evidence that supports them rather than the people who believe in them. Global warming is no less true because psychopaths believe in it anymore than it is true because climate scientists believe in it. Science is not a democracy based on popular opinion; it is a method based upon empirical evidence—of which there is little for man-made global warming.

Second Place: Paul Krugman: I don’t know which is worse: that “economist” Paul Krugman is constantly wrong about economics, or that he’s constantly wrong about economics while teaching future generations at Princeton and through textbooks across the country. During a Bloomberg interview, Krugman was read a Twitter comment about how inflation hurts consumers by raising prices for food and gas, to which he replied that “food and gas is not something that is driven by Fed policy.” The anchor tried to retort by arguing how food and gas prices increase when the value of the dollar decreases. You wouldn’t guess how Krugman responded to that. Go on, guess! (To anyone who knows Krugman, his stupid answer will surprise no one.) He argued (and get this!) that the dollar hasn’t gone down! Really? Because the US Inflation Calculator tells a different story! According to the calculator, which uses the Consumer Price Index to calculate the dollar’s purchasing power, it takes $23.17 today to match what one dollar bought in 1913! If that’s not a devaluation of the dollar, I don’t know what is.

First Place: Jodie Brunstetter: Most arguments against gay marriage are bigoted towards homosexuals; but remarks from the wife of a North Carolina senator were bigoted not only towards homosexuals but also non-whites. A freelance reporter recorded a conversation with Jodie Brunstetter, wife of North Carolina senator Peter Brunstetter, sponsor of Amendment One which would ban gay marriage. She claimed that the amendment was not only necessary to preserve “traditional marriage,” but also the Caucasian race. As the reporter paraphrased: “During the conversation, Ms. Brunstetter said her husband was the architect of Amendment 1, and one of the reasons he wrote it was to protect the Caucasian race. She said Caucasians or whites created this country. We wrote the Constitution. This is about protecting the Constitution. There already is a law on the books against same-sex marriage, but this protects the Constitution from activist judges.” When Brunstetter was asked about her remarks on camera, she admitted that she used the term “Caucasian,” but apparently, it wasn’t supposed to be racial and she didn’t even know why she used it. I don’t know whether to consider her racist or stupid or both. How exactly does banning gay marriage save the white race? I don’t know. It’s probably no less retarded than arguing how gay marriage will cause fire and brimstone to rain upon America like Sodom and Gommorah. If anything, that argument is actually less mentally-deficient.