Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, October 1, 2012

This Week in Review (10/01/2012)

News of the Week

Obama Drafts Cybersecurity Executive Order

This year has seen several attempts at government regulation of the internet including SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA, all of which have failed. The most recent attempt has been the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (CSA), which would have allowed the government to more easily obtain information from companies concerning possible security threats (much like how CISPA would have allowed it). The bill passed the House, but like CISPA, failed to pass the Senate.

Now Obama has decided to take cybersecurity into his own hands. He plans to issue an executive order that will implement provisions from the bill without approval from Congress.

Details remain hazy, as the draft has received numerous revisions, but as the Huffington Post reports, the executive order “would allow federal agencies to propose new security standards for critical infrastructure and create a council of federal agencies that reports to the president on cyber threats.”

Regardless of what the final draft says, one thing about this executive order is clear: it is unconstitutional. By issuing this executive order, president Obama will be circumventing Congress in order to make his will law.

Sadly, this would not be the first time the president circumvented Congress with an executive order. Earlier this summer, he issued one to implement provisions within the DREAM Act, thus reforming immigration law—a responsibility of Congress, not the President.

And these are only two of the many abuses committed by our current president. Just this month, after a federal judge struck down the unconstitutional indefinite detention provision of the NDAA, his administration demanded that she reverse her ruling, and sadly, she did.

He also granted executive privilege to Attorney General Eric Holder, allowing him to withhold confidential documents concerning the undercover “Fast and Furious” operation, and thus preventing him from being held within contempt.

And then there’s the matter of his “kill list,” which lists suspects—including American citizens—who can be targeted for assassination without due process. The president can simply order someone to be assassinated—be they American Citizen or otherwise—and they will be.

It has been clear from these past four years that our president, despite being a Constitutional scholar, does not care about upholding the very Constitution he had sworn to protect. So what should we, the American people, do about it?

Many would suggest that we revolt, for as our Declaration of Independence claims, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [of ensuring liberty], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” And indeed, it seems unsurprising that the very grievances the colonists had against King George are similar to the grievances many Americans have today against the Obama administration.

However, I do not feel that such a drastic measure should be implemented just yet. For as bad as our current government is, it is far from irredeemable. We the people still have a voice within it, and thus we still have a say in how it is administered. The best course of action to take now is to vote our current president out (along with the other representatives, be they Democrat or Republican, who support his agenda), and replace him with one who truly respects the Constitution and the rights that it guarantees. (Of course, at this point, the other guy running against him does not seem any better!)


RNC fires firm after allegations of voter fraud

To all you Obama-loving Democrats who claim there’s no such thing a voter fraud and that Republicans are only passing voter ID laws to suppress votes, you guys couldn’t be more wrong! Just this week an incident occurred down here in Florida that shows how our elections are susceptible to fraud—though not necessarily from voters. Or Democrats.

Palm Beach County recently started a criminal investigation after 106 suspicious voter registration forms were reported by the elections county supervisor. Most of the forms were filled out with the same handwriting and with wrong or fake information. But perhaps most telling was how other forms had their party registrations changed from Democrat to Republican.

Yes, you read that correctly: a secret inside effort was underway to register fake Republican voters and to switch the party affiliation of other voters to Republican.

This case of fraud was allegedly perpetrated by an election worker affiliated with the voting firm Strategic Allied Consulting, started this summer by voting consultant Nathan Sproul.

Guess which party has been funneling $3.1 million to Spoul and his firm? That’s right. The same exact party that split with the firm shortly following this incident, the same exact party that has been complaining about voter fraud while funding voting firms engaged with fraud.

This is not the first time the Republican Party has been affiliated with crooked voting firms, let alone ones run by the same crook. In 2004, Spoul ran a similar firm called the Lincoln Strategy Group, which not only received $70 thousand from Mitt Romney, but was also accused of destroying voter forms filled out by Democrats.

This is also not the only time this week that Republicans have been associated with attempts to tit the election in their favor. Last Friday, a woman outside a grocery store in El Paso County, Colorado, who claimed to work for the county’s clerk office (but was really working for the Romney campaign), was videotaped admitting to only registering Republican voters.

And this is not the only time this year that Republicans were caught rigging the election in their favor, as all throughout the year they have pulled-off deliberate attempts to do so, from suing to remove third party candidates from the ballot, to changing the rules during their own convention to prevent Ron Paul from even standing a chance of winning. And do I even have to mention the countless voter ID laws?

There was a time when I rolled my eyes at accusations of voter suppression over voter ID laws. Not anymore. After taking a look at incidents like this, it’s clear that these laws are all part of a deliberate attempt by the Republican party to rig the election for Mitt Romney. There’s a word for people like this: cheaters. And there’s an old saying about cheaters: they never prosper. Let’s hope these cheating Republicans don’t prosper.


Texas High School Student Spanked By Vice-Principal

One female high school student was a naughty, naughty girl. After getting caught helping another student cheat off of her homework (though she claimed she didn’t know that the other student had copied her), she was sent to the vice principal’s office to receive a spanking until her bottom was sore red.

No, this isn’t a scene from a low-budget porno. This actually happened in a real public school in Texas, one of 19 states that still allow corporal punishment in school with parental consent. (Of course it’s Texas! What other state would be that ass backwards?)

15-year-old Taylor Santos had been assigned two days of in-school suspension, but rather than serve her second day, she opted to receive a paddling instead, which her mother approved of.

She received the paddling from her male vice principal—which violates school policy dictating that paddlings are to be administered by school officials of the same sex as the student.

The end result was a sore bottom—a really, really sore bottom. In fact, her bottom was so sore that her mother complained about it to the school. (Even though she was the one who approved the punishment in the first place!) She claimed that it looked “blistered and burned” and that the vice-principal probably “used too much force.”

So the vice principal was reprimanded for his actions, right? Wrong! The school’s superintendent instead revoked the same-sex policy, claiming that it would be impossible to uphold with a low gender ratio between teachers and students.

I know you all will have differing opinions about corporal punishment, but regardless of what you believe about it, I believe we can all agree upon one thing: that school officials should have no authority to lay a hand upon a student, regardless of whether or not they have parental permission to do so, and this incident proves why that should not be the case. Not only did the vice principal cause bodily injury to the student, but he also failed to be held accountable for it. (Though I guess it could be worse: as with Lois in Malcolm in the Middle, he could have accidentally snapped her spinal cord.) But then, what else can you expect from the public school system but mismanagement?


Dumbass of the Week

Mitt Romney

As much as I dislike Romney and everything he stands for, the one thing I do admire about him is that he’s well-articulate. Unlike other Republicans (most notably Bush and Palin), he’s capable of speaking a complete sentence without putting his foot in his mouth. That was the one thing I truly respected him for.

That is, until last Monday.

During a California fundraiser, Romney mentioned an incident where his wife’s plane was forced to make an emergency landing. He told the audience how thankful he was that she managed to make it out safely, but then he followed with perhaps his stupidest comment by far:

“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no – and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous.”

No Mitt, what would be dangerous is if airplane windows were able to open. Anyone with an elementary school grasp on science would tell you that.

Because airplanes fly at high altitudes, they’re subject to intense air pressure. If airplane windows were allowed to open, the air pressure from outside would destabilize the air pressure inside and the cabin would decompress. The end result would be the passengers meeting the same fate as Goldfinger!

But I guess Romney’s not a fan of James Bond. Or he’s an idiot. Or both.

This is the man running as president of the United States of America and he doesn’t know why airplane windows don’t open. Be afraid people. Be very afraid.


YouTube Vid of the Week

Adam Kokesh shares the greatest conspiracy among criminal organizations to control and subject the world population. The scariest part is that this conspiracy is no secret: it's happening right out in the open!


Quote of the Week

Libertarians make no exceptions to the golden rule and provide no moral loophole, no double standard, for government. That is, libertarians believe that murder is murder and does not become sanctified by reasons of state if committed by the government. We believe that theft is theft and does not become legitimated because organized robbers call their theft "taxation." We believe that enslavement is enslavement even if the institution committing that act calls it "conscription." In short, the key to libertarian theory is that it makes no exceptions in its universal ethic for government.

Hence, far from being indifferent or hostile to moral principles, libertarians fulfill them by being the only group willing to extend those principles across the board to government itself. - Murray Rothbard