Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bradley Manning "Not Guilty" Of Aiding The Enemy

Good news and bad news concerning Bradley Manning: the good news is that, after 3 years of imprisonment and torture, Manning has been found not guilty of aiding the enemy; the bad news is that he has been found guilty of espionage and a dozen other charges, all of which could have him facing a jail sentence of 136 years!

One of the government files Manning leaked to the public was video footage of soldiers shooting Iraqi civilians from a helicopter. None of those soldiers have been charged with murder, yet Manning faces life in prison for leaking the footage of said murder.

Words fail to describe how twisted our justice system is. "Liberty and justice for all," my aching flank!

Monday, July 29, 2013

UK Privatizes Postal Service

Not many good things can be said about Great Britain. All the positive qualities about it can be counted on one hand: Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Monty Python, and the Beatles. (I would count the Spice Girls, but that would be stretching it!)

Other than those four, everything else about "Jolly Ol' England" sucks: its long antiquated monarchy and state church, deadly healthcare service, draconian gun laws (and with them, high violent crime rates), insane libel laws, political correctness gone mad, bat-guano insane politicians, far-right racist fringe movements, rampant Islam and atheism, the birthplace of reality television schlock, no-talent pop artists, and just recently, a pornography ban!

But recently, the Brits have made a decision which has since earned them my respect: it's planning on privatizing its postal service:
The U.K.’s coalition government laid out plans recently to privatize the Royal Mail. Analysts have speculated that the company could be worth 3 billion pounds ($4.5 billion).

The government plans to sell a majority stake but it has yet to decide on the exact amount — it’ll leave that to market conditions.

“This is logical,” Business Secretary Vince Cable told the House of Commons. “It is a commercial decision designed to put Royal Mail’s future onto a long-term, sustainable basis.”

Tens of thousands of Royal Mail workers will be able to buy shares in the company and the government plans to retain a stake, opening the possibility it will sell more shares in the future.
Predictably enough, this plan has put many left-wing knickers in a twist, specifically those of union workers. But this move is hardly a "radical" one. Many European countries, including Austria, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, have privatized postal services, and they all provide high-quality services while maintaining bountiful profit margins.

And yet, if the U.S. Postal Service was even hinted at being privatized, the liberal media would be in an uproar crying fascism.

In the wake of the Eurozone crisis, European countries are waking up to the nightmare that is the socialist welfare state and are working tirelessly to roll it back in favor of market liberalization and privatization; meanwhile, in this country, leftist politicians, led by Barack Obama, are seeking to repeat the same mistakes as Europe by increasing the size and scope of our welfare state.

Why can't we be like the rest of Europe and join in the worldwide trend of market liberalization? Why must we treat words like "privatization" and "deregulation" as swear words? Why do we Americans have to be so backwards?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Michelle Obama's Unintentional Comedy

Want to hear a knee-slapper? Obama is making Americans free from government!

That would be so hilarious if Michelle Obama weren't trying to pass it off as serious.
In an e-mail to supporters, First Lady Michelle Obama says she grew up in a family that didn’t need help from the government, and that her husband is working to make Americans free from dependence on government once again.

In her message sent yesterday from, Mrs. Obama says:

“When I was growing up, a family like mine — living on my hard-working father’s salary at the city water plant — could build a solid life without much debt and without relying on any form of public assistance. Today, for too many families, that American promise is no longer within reach.

“Barack is working to fix that and he needs solid Democrats in Congress to help him.”

However, her husband’s administration is spending millions actively promoting dependence on government assistance in the form of things like food stamps and health care.
"Obama is working to make Americans free from government"? LOL!

Is this the same Obama who approved the indefinite detention of American citizens? Who approved the targeting of American citizens for drone strikes? Who facilitates the federal crackdown of marijuana dispensaries? Whose healthcare reform will force American citizens to purchase health insurance? Who has overseen an increase of American citizens on food stamps and disability? Is this the Obama who has made Americans free of government?

Oh yeah! It has to be the same Obama. Everyone knows he's nothing less than a Constitutional limited government libertarian, amirite?

Why Minimum Wage Hasn't Risen With Inflation

Shane Killian of the Bogosity Podcast explains why minimum wage hasn't risen with inflation, and why Sen. Elizabeth Warren is an "Idiot Extraordinaire" for suggesting to raise it:

Bogosity Podcast for April 1, 2012

Saturday, July 27, 2013

This Is Just Pathetic!

Over a month ago, Salon writer Michael Lind posed this "unanswerable question" to libertarians: "If libertarianism is such a good idea, why aren’t there any libertarian countries?" Since then, libertarians by the drove have responded to his "unanswerable question" by--shockingly enough--answering it!

But rather than admit defeat, in his recent post "Grow Up Libertarians" (classy title!), Lind simply wipes the egg from his face and doubles-down on his position, insisting that his "unanswerable question" remains unanswered, despite the myriad of answers that libertarians have provided him.

This pathetic behavior is common among the intellectually dishonest. Rather than admit that their insipid questions do indeed have real answers, they merely brush off these answers by claiming they don't count for some reason or another.

It's like when young earth creationists demand transitional forms, and when evolutionists provide said forms, the creationists dismiss them, claiming the transitional forms only leave more gaps between evolutionary transitions, thus leaving the "missing links" still missing, and thereby making evolution false.

Despite all the answers he has received, Lind insists that his question remains unanswered because no one has been able to point to any real-life libertarian countries, despite libertarians having explained why no such countries exists, or proving how libertarianism is still true regardless of no such libertarian countries existing.

Even more embarrassing, he vainly insists that he and his fellow progressives are not the dogmatists here, but rather those wacky libertarian utopians are:
American progressives in the tradition of the two Roosevelts have never been doctrinaire “statists” or “socialists” and have no objection to promoting markets, where that serves the public interest.  A progressive can favor privatizing the Post Office and expanding Social Security at the same time. Or vice versa (progressive arguments against Social Security privatization are based on its practical problems). I recently co-authored a proposal to use vouchers for eldercare in the U.S., without thereby becoming any less a sinister statist enemy of human freedom, from the perspective of the libertarian cult.

You never find similar pragmatism among libertarians. They are always against any public option and always for a real or imagined private option. Libertarianism is dogmatic, not experimental. Any maverick libertarian who suggested a deviation from orthodoxy — say, expanding Medicaid, on efficiency grounds — would be expelled from the cult as a “statist” heretic.
"No objection to promoting markets?" Since when?!?!

Whenever libertarians suggest even the mildest market reform, they're accused of wanting corporations to run rampant. Want to lower taxes? Well then you clearly want the rich to be richer and poor to starve! Want school vouchers? Well then you clearly want ONLY the rich to have an education while creating a permanent uneducated underclass. Want to strip away a few cumbersome regulations? Well then you clearly want dirtier air and dirtier water, you free market fundamentalist! If anyone is opposed to compromise, it's the statists.

And moreover, what's so special about compromise? You keep hearing leftists calling for compromise--by which they mean the right compromises and the left stands its ground--but why should we consider compromise to begin with? I admit that compromise is sometimes necessary, but clearly not always.

For example, let's pretend your doctor informs you of a tumor developing in your brain. Fortunately, since the tumor has been detected early, this leaves you with two options: either have the tumor removed, or allow it to develop and kill you. Your doctor then suggests that both options are too "extreme" and that a "moderate compromise" would be to remove half of the tumor.

If your doctor ever suggests such a treatment, consider dropping him, because only a quack would recommend such a bollocks treatment. If you remove half the tumor, you're still left with a tumor that will only grow back and eventually kill you. Clearly the sane solution is to remove it entirely. It's an extreme position, but a life-saving one nonetheless.

And that is exactly the position we libertarians take towards the state. The state is a tumor, a cancerous growth that seeks to grow and expand its power for its own sake to the detriment of its host, and the only sane solution is to remove it through the chemotherapy of market liberalization.

This sounds like a "radical" and "extreme" solution, but when one looks worldwide, it is, in fact, a growing trend. All over the world, people are waking up to the evil that is the state and are working to roll it back. Communist regimes such as China and Cuba are rolling back their communist policies. Socialist European countries such as the Nordic countries are rolling back their socialist policies. All are rolling back the state for the sake of more liberalized markets, and we libertarians are only asking for the same in our own countries.

Again, this may sound uncompromising, but when the choice is between tyranny and liberty, there is no compromise. There is no middle ground. There is no moderation. There is only liberty or death. In the words of Barry Goldwater, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

Daily Pony: Twilight Bride

I recently returned from a wedding of my two best friends. To celebrate this momentous occasion, here is my favorite pony character in her wedding dress. I wonder who the luck groom is?

Twilight bride by ~darksteelLycaon on deviantART

Friday, July 26, 2013

Daily Kos Smites Rand Paul & Edward Snowden

Current events have caused many pundits to politically backpedal.

When the federal government was revealed to have the power to target American citizens for drones strikes and to collect metadata on their electronic communications, Fox News neocons like Sean Hannity were quick to run with the stories in order to smear Obama--even though they once supported similar policies under Bush.

And as neocons now oppose policies under Obama that they would have supported under Bush, leftists now support policies under Obama they would have opposed under Bush.

Case in point is a recent smear piece against Rand Paul on the far-left cesspool Daily Kos.

This blog post starts off by alarming readers that the "Republican party has gone so far to the right, that they are now in the throes of being hijacked by the denizens of libertarian wingnutistan." (Of course, the Daily Kos is so far left that anyone slightly right of Che Guevara is a neo-Nazi!)

Of course, the left/right paradigm is completely antiquated, as it only presents a false dichotomy, or "illusion of choice," between the lesser of two evils (which in the end is still evil).

When one sees politics through the Nolan Chart (which is a far more accurate political spectrum), Republicans haven't shifted to the right of the left/right spectrum so much as they have shifted upward in the authoritarian/libertarian spectrum.

Democrats have also shifted upwards towards totalitarianism, since they now support authoritarian policies such as drone strikes and government surveillance.

So it's only good that libertarians like Rand Paul are trying to "hijack" the Republican Party (which, if by hijack, you mean maintain a minority voice drowned out by neocon claptrap), as they are the only ones who can steer it back to its limited government, non-interventionist, and fiscally-conservative roots, which it has all but abdicated.

But apparently, this doesn't please neocons like Chris Christie, who recently spoke out against Rand Paul and other libertarians in his party.

Now one would assume that the leftists on Daily Kos would side with Rand Paul, especially since he filibustered Obama's drone policy. But, nope! Apparently they saw that as a "self-serving filibuster."

They also don't like his support of whistleblower Edward Snowden. Why? Because Snowden is a  "traitor" and "jerk" whose NSA leak doesn't count as "civil disobedience" because "his only motivation are to make Obama look bad." (Which seem to make Kossites no speak English good!)

Daily Kos isn't alone in dismissing Snowden. Another far-left blog site, Addicting Info, has also disavowed him because of his support of Ron Paul and disdain for Obama, even going so far as to pedal a conspiracy theory that his actions were motivated by big money (most likely the Koch Brothers).

So why would leftists attack Paul and Snowden? Both of their actions have helped shift national discourse towards the discussion of drone strikes and government surveillance, both issues that leftists had protested under Bush. But apparently their actions don't count because they're wacky libertarians who don't swoon over fearless leader Obama.

If leftists were consistent in their principles, they would applaud these two for their efforts to shed light on the warfare/surveillance state; but because they make Obama look bad, that makes them the bad guys.

This is yet another example of political tribalism: drone strikes and government surveillance are only bad when a Republican president allows it, but are completely hunky-dory under a Democratic president, and anyone who disagrees needs to be vehemently opposed.

It makes absolutely no sense, but then again, neither does politics.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Daily Pony: Season 4 Premieres Nov 23

Good news, everypony: MLP:FiM season 4 premieres Nov 23! That's Thanksgiving weekend! Looks like we all have something to be thankful for this upcoming Turkey Day!

Roll out the party cannon and let's celebrate! It's Party Time!

Big Think: Capitalism Key To The "End of Poverty"

I've written about the blogsite "Big Think" before and again. For a site called "Big Think," its blog posts tend to promote small ideas, giving me the impression that the site is only "Big Think" in name.

But a recent article managed to increase my respect for it by at least one point.

In his post "The Upward Spiral of Capitalism and the End of Poverty", John Mackey argues that, contrary to popular misconception, capitalism is not a zero-sum game, but rather a "win, win, win, win, win game" where everyone wins.

Mackey dispels the myth that wealth is a "limited fixed pie" that needs to be equally distributed to prevent others from getting "unfair large pieces," and argues that it's really a "growing pie" that allows for bigger and bigger pieces; and of course, the only way to allow the economy to grow is through free markets:
I think the zero-sum worldview is the predominate one.  I think it’s something we’ve evolved with this idea that there is a limited fixed pie and we have to distribute that pie in an equal fair way, that no one should get unfair large pieces of that pie and if someone is getting a bigger piece, necessarily someone else may be getting a smaller piece since there is a finite amount of pie to go around.  I also think it comes from our competitive sports, in that in competitive sports there is a winner and there is a loser. And so we play games, we play sports all our lives, so we’ve come to believe that in the zero-sum worldview that some are winners and some are losers and then we... in a just society then there should be no losers.  There should be... so we need to limit the pieces of the pie anyone gets, so that everyone can have a fair and just piece of the pie.

So I reject that.  I don’t think there is a necessarily a fixed pie.  The beauty of capitalism, the beauty of "conscious capitalism" is the realization that the pie can grow, that through voluntary exchange and through the value creation that happens when the stakeholders voluntarily cooperate and voluntarily exchange with each other is that the pie grows larger. And so there is more to distribute and that distribution takes place through the market processes, through the exchange process as each of the traders of course wants to get a bigger piece for themselves and competition sort of ultimately determines the percentages that each of the different constituencies or stakeholders gets in the exchanges.

But that is a growing pie and it’s a win, win, win, win, win game and that turns me on.  I'm very fired up and excited about that because it means human flourishing isn’t trapped in some type of a limited set of constraints.  It means we can innovate and create our ways out of any of these traps, any of these sort of…  I can’t remember or think of the phrase right now.  I'm trying to recall, but.... this idea that we’re in some type of trap of limited resources and the only limitations we have are the limitations of human creativity, human imagination and intellectual capital that has been accumulated.  As we continue to gain intellectual capital and as human creativity is unleashed and human entrepreneurship is unleashed then the new innovations, the new creativity that expresses itself through the marketplace, through capitalism allows us to solve problems that previously were thought to be unsolvable and humans continue on the upward spiral.

I mean, a great example of this is people are very focused oftentimes on the fact that there is still a billion people on this planet that, say, live on less than a dollar a day. And that is certainly is a terrible tragedy, but if you put that in historical context that is about 15% of the people, 15, 16. 17, less than 20% of the people alive on the planet live on less than a dollar a day whereas 200 years ago 85% of the people alive on the planet earth lived on less than a dollar a day and that is in today’s dollars adjusted for inflation, so poverty has always been the default condition of the human race.  What is unprecedented is not poverty—what is unprecedented is wealth. Wealth for not a few, but prosperity for literally billions of people.  Every year now we see hundreds of millions of people escape from poverty just in two countries, China and India.  It is the greatest revolution in human prosperity in all of human history.  It’s all occurred in the last 20 years and it’s a fact that you almost never see reported in the media.  Instead we tend to focus still on the remaining people that are poor and we’re back on our zero-sum game that somehow or another that is because other people are greedy and selfish and they’re keeping these poor people down. Rather than seeing poverty lessen through capitalism and through free market expansion, we tend to condemn the very thing that is allowing people to escape from poverty as the cause of the poverty. And it’s ridiculous.  Capitalism and free markets are what is going to allow us to escape from poverty.

Mohammad Yunus likes to say that by the end of the 21st century poverty will be something that we only see in museums, that it will be something people look back and say, “Gosh we used to have poor people, how is that even possible?”  And I do think that is the future of humanity if we don’t totally mess it up. That we are going to continue to learn, we’re going to have our intellectual capital spread, we’re going to unleash the human creativity—because I do believe humans have limitless creativity—and we’re going to solve a lot of these problems that are holding us back now and humanity is going to continue its upwards spiral and we are going to eliminate poverty.  I think there are people alive today—I perhaps will not live to see the end of it—but there are young people alive today that will probably see the virtual end of poverty in the human race in the 21st century.

House Defeats NSA Restrictions

If anypony here had any hopeful delusions that our elected officials would work in our best interests by voting in favor of rolling back the surveillance state, then you clearly have been sleeping under a dragon for the past thousand years.

The House defeated the Amash Amendment to H.R. 2397 by a vote of 205-217. The amendment would have defunded and restricted the NSA's surveillance power over American citizens.

And here is the list of Congressional whores who voted against it. If any of these bag o'douches are from your district,  make sure you vote them out come next election:

Rep. Robert B. Aderholt [R, AL-4]
Rep. Rodney Alexander [R, LA-5]
Rep. Michele Bachmann [R, MN-6]
Rep. Ron Barber [D, AZ-2]
Rep. Andy Barr [R, KY-6]
Rep. John Barrow [D, GA-12]
Rep. Dan Benishek [R, MI-1]
Rep. Ami Bera [D, CA-7]
Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis [R, FL-12]
Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. [D, GA-2]
Rep. Timothy H. Bishop [D, NY-1]
Rep. John Boehner [R, OH-8]
Rep. Jo Bonner [R, AL-1]
Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. [R, LA-3]
Rep. Kevin Brady [R, TX-8]
Rep. Mo Brooks [R, AL-5]
Rep. Susan W. Brooks [R, IN-5]
Rep. Corrine Brown [D, FL-5]
Rep. Julia Brownley [D, CA-26]
Rep. Larry Bucshon [R, IN-8]
Rep. G. K. Butterfield [D, NC-1]
Rep. Ken Calvert [R, CA-42]
Rep. Dave Camp [R, MI-4]
Rep. Eric Cantor [R, VA-7]
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito [R, WV-2]
Rep. John C. Carney Jr. [D, DE-0]
Rep. John R. Carter [R, TX-31]
Rep. Kathy Castor [D, FL-14]
Rep. Joaquin Castro [D, TX-20]
Rep. Tom Cole [R, OK-4]
Rep. Doug Collins [R, GA-9]
Rep. Chris Collins [R, NY-27]
Rep. K. Michael Conaway [R, TX-11]
Rep. Paul Cook [R, CA-8]
Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5]
Rep. Jim Costa [D, CA-16]
Rep. Tom Cotton [R, AR-4]
Rep. Eric A. "Rick" Crawford [R, AR-1]
Rep. Ander Crenshaw [R, FL-4]
Rep. Henry Cuellar [D, TX-28]
Rep. John Abney Culberson [R, TX-7]
Rep. Susan A. Davis [D, CA-53]
Rep. John K. Delaney [D, MD-6]
Rep. Jeff Denham [R, CA-10]
Rep. Charles W. Dent [R, PA-15]
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R, FL-25]
Rep. Tammy Duckworth [D, IL-8]
Rep. Renee L. Ellmers [R, NC-2]
Rep. Eliot L. Engel [D, NY-16]
Rep. William L. Enyart [D, IL-12]
Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty [D, CT-5]
Rep. Bill Flores [R, TX-17]
Rep. J. Randy Forbes [R, VA-4]
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry [R, NE-1]
Rep. Bill Foster [D, IL-11]
Rep. Virginia Foxx [R, NC-5]
Rep. Lois Frankel [D, FL-22]
Rep. Trent Franks [R, AZ-8]
Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen [R, NJ-11]
Rep. Pete P. Gallego [D, TX-23]
Rep. Joe Garcia [D, FL-26]
Rep. Jim Gerlach [R, PA-6]
Rep. Bob Gibbs [R, OH-7]
Rep. Phil Gingrey [R, GA-11]
Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R, VA-6]
Rep. Kay Granger [R, TX-12]
Rep. Sam Graves [R, MO-6]
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez [D, IL-4]
Rep. Colleen W. Hanabusa [D, HI-1]
Rep. Richard L. Hanna [R, NY-22]
Rep. Gregg Harper [R, MS-3]
Rep. Vicky Hartzler [R, MO-4]
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings [D, FL-20]
Rep. Denny Heck [D, WA-10]
Rep. Joseph J. Heck [R, NV-3]
Rep. Jeb Hensarling [R, TX-5]
Rep. Brian Higgins [D, NY-26]
Rep. James A. Himes [D, CT-4]
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa [D, TX-15]
Rep. George Holding [R, NC-13]
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer [D, MD-5]
Rep. Richard Hudson [R, NC-8]
Rep. Duncan Hunter [R, CA-50]
Rep. Robert Hurt [R, VA-5]
Rep. Steve Israel [D, NY-3]
Rep. Darrell E. Issa [R, CA-49]
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D, TX-18]
Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries [D, NY-8]
Rep. Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr. [D, GA-4]
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson [D, TX-30]
Rep. Sam Johnson [R, TX-3]
Rep. David P. Joyce [R, OH-14]
Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D, OH-9]
Rep. William R. Keating [D, MA-9]
Rep. Mike Kelly [R, PA-3]
Rep. Robin L. Kelly [D, IL-2]
Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III [D, MA-4]
Rep. Derek Kilmer [D, WA-6]
Rep. Ron Kind [D, WI-3]
Rep. Steve King [R, IA-4]
Rep. Peter T. King [R, NY-2]
Rep. Adam Kinzinger [R, IL-16]
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D, AZ-1]
Rep. John Kline [R, MN-2]
Rep. Ann M. Kuster [D, NH-2]
Rep. Leonard Lance [R, NJ-7]
Rep. James R. Langevin [D, RI-2]
Rep. James Lankford [R, OK-5]
Rep. Rick Larsen [D, WA-2]
Rep. Tom Latham [R, IA-3]
Rep. Robert E. Latta [R, OH-5]
Rep. Sander M. Levin [D, MI-9]
Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3]
Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo [R, NJ-2]
Rep. Billy Long [R, MO-7]
Rep. Nita M. Lowey [D, NY-17]
Rep. Frank D. Lucas [R, OK-3]
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R, MO-3]
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney [D, NY-18]
Rep. Tom Marino [R, PA-10]
Rep. Jim Matheson [D, UT-4]
Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R, CA-23]
Rep. Michael T. McCaul [R, TX-10]
Rep. Mike McIntyre [D, NC-7]
Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon [R, CA-25]
Rep. David B. McKinley [R, WV-1]
Rep. Jerry McNerney [D, CA-9]
Rep. Patrick Meehan [R, PA-7]
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks [D, NY-5]
Rep. Grace Meng [D, NY-6]
Rep. Luke Messer [R, IN-6]
Rep. Jeff Miller [R, FL-1]
Rep. Candice S. Miller [R, MI-10]
Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA-18]
Rep. Patrick Murphy [D, FL-18]
Rep. Randy Neugebauer [R, TX-19]
Rep. Kristi L. Noem [R, SD-0]
Rep. Devin Nunes [R, CA-22]
Rep. Alan Nunnelee [R, MS-1]
Rep. Pete Olson [R, TX-22]
Rep. Steven M. Palazzo [R, MS-4]
Rep. Erik Paulsen [R, MN-3]
Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. [D, NJ-10]
Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-12]
Rep. Scott H. Peters [D, CA-52]
Rep. Gary C. Peters [D, MI-14]
Rep. Collin C. Peterson [D, MN-7]
Rep. Robert Pittenger [R, NC-9]
Rep. Joseph R. Pitts [R, PA-16]
Rep. Mike Pompeo [R, KS-4]
Rep. David E. Price [D, NC-4]
Rep. Mike Quigley [D, IL-5]
Rep. Tom Reed [R, NY-23]
Rep. David G. Reichert [R, WA-8]
Rep. James B. Renacci [R, OH-16]
Rep. E. Scott Rigell [R, VA-2]
Rep. Martha Roby [R, AL-2]
Rep. Harold Rogers [R, KY-5]
Rep. Mike Rogers [R, AL-3]
Rep. Mike Rogers [R, MI-8]
Rep. Thomas J. Rooney [R, FL-17]
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-27]
Rep. Peter Roskam [R-IL6]
Rep. Edward R. Royce [R, CA-39]
Rep. Raul Ruiz [D, CA-36]
Rep. Jon Runyan [R, NJ-3]
Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger [D, MD-2]
Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1]
Rep. Tim Ryan [D, OH-13]
Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky [D, IL-9]
Rep. Bradley S. Schneider [D, IL-10]
Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz [D, PA-13]
Rep. Austin Scott [R, GA-8]
Rep. David Scott [D, GA-13]
Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott [D, VA-3]
Rep. Pete Sessions [R, TX-32]
Rep. Terri A. Sewell [D, AL-7]
Rep. John Shimkus [R, IL-15]
Rep. Bill Shuster [R, PA-9]
Rep. Michael K. Simpson [R, ID-2]
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema [D, AZ-9]
Rep. Albio Sires [D, NJ-8]
Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter [D, NY-25]
Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21]
Rep. Adam Smith [D, WA-9]
Rep. Adrian Smith [R, NE-3]
Rep. Steve Stivers [R, OH-15]
Rep. Marlin A. Stutzman [R, IN-3]
Rep. Lee Terry [R, NE-2]
Rep. Mike Thompson [D, CA-5]
Rep. Mac Thornberry [R, TX-13]
Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi [R, OH-12]
Rep. Dina Titus [D, NV-1]
Rep. Michael R. Turner [R, OH-10]
Rep. Fred Upton [R, MI-6]
Rep. David G. Valadao [R, CA-21]
Rep. Chris Van Hollen [D, MD-8]
Rep. Juan Vargas [D, CA-51]
Rep. Marc A. Veasey [D, TX-33]
Rep. Peter J. Visclosky [D, IN-1]
Rep. Ann Wagner [R, MO-2]
Rep. Tim Walberg [R, MI-7]
Rep. Greg Walden [R, OR-2]
Rep. Jackie Walorski [R, IN-2]
Rep. Timothy J. Walz [D, MN-1]
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-23]
Rep. Daniel Webster [R, FL-10]
Rep. Brad R. Wenstrup [R, OH-2]
Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland [R, GA-3]
Rep. Ed Whitfield [R, KY-1]
Rep. Frederica S. Wilson [D, FL-24]
Rep. Robert J. Wittman [R, VA-1]
Rep. Frank R. Wolf [R, VA-10]
Rep. Steve Womack [R, AR-3]
Rep. Rob Woodall [R, GA-7]
Rep. Todd C. Young [R, IN-9]
Rep. C. W. Bill Young [R, FL-13]

Five Stupid Things About Holocaust Denial

Steve Shives may claim that the hardest part is only picking five stupid things about Holocaust denial, but in my opinion, the hardest part is finding any other reason than "It's heartless!"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ron Paul Channel Coming Soon!

The Good Doctor is set to launch his own on-line media network.

My reaction?

Twitter Feminists Upset Royal Baby Isn't A Girl

I made it clear yesterday that I don't give a flying feather about the royal baby. Well, today I do, but not for the right reasons.

If one were going to care about yet another pampered brat being born into unwarranted privilege, one would at least care that the mother managed to give birth to a healthy baby, regardless of its gender.

Not the social justice warrior feminazis, apparently.

Their panties are all in a twist over how Kate committed the unforgivable sin of giving birth to...gasp...a boy! This act of treason sets teh wymyns back by at least a century! Way to roll back feminism, Kate!

If that weren't bad enough, his parents had the audacity to decide his gender for him. Now the poor prince is yet another gender role-programmed drone for the patriarchy. Way to support the cisgender heterosexist oppressors!

But there seems to be some hope: perhaps the prince will grow up to be gay or trans!

I wish I were kidding about all that:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Thoughts On The Royal Baby

For those wondering if I care:

Daily Pony: Fiery Joker's Double Rainboom Review

Unless you're a dragon who's been sleeping for a thousand years, I'm sure most of you are aware of the pure awesome that is the fan episode "Double Rainboom" and how everyone loves it.

Well, almost everyone.

Recently, the Fiery Joker released his review of the fan episode, and explains why it may not be as 20 percent cooler as we think it is:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ohio Holocaust Memorial Protested By...

If I told you that a group of people were protesting the construction of a Holocaust Memorial in Ohio, you'd probably assume that they were the Ku Klux Klan or Stormfront or any other white supremacist hate group.

But the actual protesters are people who are infamous for being far more militant and hateful: anti-theists!
An atheist group that is known for targeting supposed violations of the separation between church and state recently protested a Holocaust memorial because the monument plans to feature a Star of David.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, or FFRF, has stated its opposition to the proposed Ohio Statehouse Holocaust memorial because its leaders believe that including the religious symbol would create "legal precedent."

The co-presidents of the FFRF, Don Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, wrote a letter to Richard Finan, chair of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board about the proposed memorial, The Blaze reported.

“Permitting one permanent sectarian and exclusionary religious symbol ... would create the legal precedent, for instance, to place an equally large or larger permanent Latin cross on Capitol grounds," they wrote. The group maintains that they have an issue with including the star because it is associated with Judaism but have no problem with a Holocaust museum at the capitol.

“The monument could resemble numerous powerful war memorials across the U.S. which do not use any sectarian images, including the national World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial,” the letter continued. “Each is secular in nature and without religious reference, which offends no one and is respected by all.”

The architect who is involved with the project, Daniel Libeskind, purposefully included the star because he says that “one cannot separate the Holocaust from the star.”
You know, its takes a special type of jerk to halt construction of a Holocaust memorial just because it bears the symbol of the people who lost their lives during that dark moment in human history.

And yes, before anyone lectures me on the Constitution, I do realize that separation of church and state does exist. But let's get real here: the whole point of church/state separation is to prevent an official state religion from being established, and considering that no such state religion exists, church/state separation seems to be doing its job.

There is no reason to believe that religion is being endorsed through this memorial. Most sane people are not going to look at the Star of David on it and assume that Ohio has established Judaism as its state religion; they are going to look at it and realize that Ohio is honoring the Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust.

FFRF and similar anti-theist organizations like American Atheists do not care about church/state separation. They only care about eliminating religion from society, and they seek to do so by purging even the slightest trace of religious imagery from the public square through the guise of protecting church/state separation. These are people who would gladly sue a public school because a teacher dared to tell a sneezing student "God Bless You!"

Sounds farfetched?

FFRF once protested a Mother Teresa commemorative postage stamp because they felt it was a government endorsement of Catholicism--you know, rather than of her humanitarian efforts! Never mind, of course, that the post office has honored other religious figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and Father Flanagan, for their humanitarian efforts, Mother Teresa is clearly different because--well--um--she's a woman!

And American Atheists is the infamous group that filed a lawsuit (and lost) against the 9/11 cross--which was a pair of crossbeams discovered in the form of the cross among the ruins--being displayed in a public WTC memorial, claiming that it would have been an endorsement of Christianity. That is absurd! The cross is clearly an artifact of cultural significance. Arguing that it would be a religious endorsement to display the cross at a public memorial is akin to arguing that displaying The Last Supper in a public art museum is a religious endorsement.

Yes, we need to preserve church/state separation, but it needs to be done with common sense, which is something that these anti-theists clearly lack. And can you blame them? Anyone who believes with militant fervor that, to quote Trey Parker, "there's this big giant universe and it's expanding and it's all gonna collapse on itself and we're all just here just 'cause...just 'cause'" is clearly lacking common sense. And logic. And reason. And evidence.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Krugman and the Libertarian Strawman

I'll be honest here: I'm getting sick and tired of being a libertarian.

Oh no, that's not to say that I'm getting sick and tired of supporting individual liberty. Far from it. No, I'm getting sick and tired of having to defend my philosophy from pseudo-intellectuals.

While libertarians like myself use logic, reason, and evidence in order to refute statist arguments, statists try to refute our arguments by refusing to address them, opting instead to create strawman versions of them and declaring victory after "defeating" them.

Take Paul Krugman--please!

This economist (and by "economist," I mean hack columnist who has been routinely wrong about everything, including the internet, and yet still manages to be a Nobel-winning Princeton economics professor) recently penned a screed again "libertarianism populism" which he dismisses as bunk.

And what is his idea of "libertarianism populism"?
The idea here is that there exists a pool of disaffected working-class white voters who failed to turn out last year but can be mobilized again with the right kind of conservative economic program—and that this remobilization can restore the Republican Party’s electoral fortunes.
And what proof does he have that this "populism" is "bunk"? Paul Ryan.

You know: the Republican VP candidate that no self-respecting libertarian liked because his proposed "budget" included increased military spending and corporate handouts for his cronies? (You know, things libertarians normally oppose?)

Seriously, all Krugman had to do was perform a simple search in Reason Magazine or Lew Rockwell or Mises Institute to realize that most, if not all, libertarians were opposed to Paul Ryan and his budget, thus making Paul Ryan the anathema, rather than the epitome, of a libertarian politician.

If Paul Krugman wanted to criticize a real libertarian politician, he could have criticized Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, whose proposed balanced budget would have slashed military spending and ended corporate welfare.

But then, that would be assuming that Krugman is interested fairly and honestly critiquing libertarianism, which he clearly isn't. He much rather construct a strawman version which he can more easily knock down and declare victory over. Whether this is because of ignorance or intellectual cowardice is debatable, though my guess is that it's both!

Reason Magazine editor Nick Gillespe described Krugman best in his rebuttal to him:
Krugman has attained that rare level of eminence where he doesn’t even have to engage the very opponents he dismisses as beneath contempt. Like Kurtz in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, he just needs to wave his hand, mumble vague abjurations, and rest assured his devoted minions will finish his work for him.
Indeed. And this seems to be true of most critics of libertarianism. They don't bother addressing actual libertarian arguments, but rather, strawman versions of them. I can't count the number of times I've seen Somalia cited as an example of a libertarian country, or seen libertarians accused of worshipping the free market like God, or seen libertarianism dismissed as a Koch Brother conspiracy, or seen the philosophy summarized as "I've got mine! Forget you!"

The problem with addressing arguments against libertarianism is that most of them are strawman. Krugman could easily argue that libertarians believe that bananas have wings and taste like mint chocolate chip, and his acolytes would accept his counter-arguement that bananas don't fly or taste like ice cream as a legit refutation of libertarianism.

When your political opposition clearly doesn't care about honest discourse, is there any use trying to engage them? Trying to argue with a painted fence seems to be more profitable.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Detroit's Tragedy and How to Fix It

With all the demagoguery and muckraking over Detroit's bankruptcy, what the city really needs right now is a solution to its problems, and this video provides it:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Detroit's Downfall

After 50 years of Democratic rule, Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, making it one of the biggest U.S. cities to do so.

Detroit News reports:
The city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history Thursday afternoon, culminating a decades-long slide that transformed the nation’s iconic industrial town into a model of urban decline crippled by population loss, a dwindling tax base and financial problems.


The Chapter 9 filing could take years, experts say, despite hopes by the governor and Orr that the case can be wrapped up in a year. A bankruptcy judge could trump the state constitution by slashing retiree pensions, ripping up contracts and paying creditors roughly a dime on the dollar for unsecured claims worth $11.45 billion.

During a month of negotiations, Orr has reached a settlement with only two creditors: Bank of America Corp. and UBS AG. They have agreed to accept 75 cents on the dollar for approximately $340 million in swaps liabilities, according to a source familiar with the deal.
There's not many good things you can say about Detroit. You could say that at least it's not Chicago, but that would be Chicago!

If you're scratching your head wondering how Detroit devolved from America's Auto Giant to the current desecrated carcass of its former self, Steven Crowder released a mini-documentary over five years ago that is still as relevant to Detroit's situation now more than ever:

No My Immortal Review This Week

While re-reading the chapters of My Immortal for this week's segment, so enraged was I by the bad writing and canon rape that my anger managed to tear open a rift in space and time, through which a shadowy tendril reached forth, wrapped itself around my figure, and ripped me from my seat through the freshly-made orifice.

I found myself floating in an ethereal abyss where neither depth nor width knew no end. Facing me was a foul beast of Lovecraftian imagination. Its cluster of burning red eyes stared down at me with the ferocity of a galaxy of supernovas. I knew not where its head or body began, but from its form sprouted many tendrils, one which had dragged me into this nightmarish realm. It let out an ear-piercing screech, revealing rows upon rows of razor-sharp teeth, ready to devour its prey, being myself.

Both fear and loathing overwhelmed me during this dire predicament. In what appeared to be my final moments, I recalled that horrendous tale I had just re-read, the worst literacy piece scripted from human minds. My soul cried out in righteous indignation. It was then that a bright light appeared before me, from which sprang forth a shining blade whose metal clearly had not been smelted from earthly ore nor smithed by human hands.

It was then that I realized that I had entered the physical manifestation of my mind, where all my thoughts and feelings took physical form. The looming beast was the hatred the burned deep within me, spurned by the reading of that horrible tale, and the sword before me personified critical thinking, which I would need to utilize in order to defeat it.

I reached forward to take hold of that sword, and as the gaping maw of the beast loomed towards me, I sprang forward with a cry of justice, raising my weapon overhead, and then...

Okay, so obviously that's not what happened. The reality is that I've been too preoccupied with work to focus on my review series. So no installment this week. I may have one next week, but I can't make any promises. As much as I want to make this a weekly series, to be honest, I'm not sure when the next installment will come out or when it will end. And can you blame me? This fanfic suck. Outright sucks.

So to preoccupy yourselves, he's Linkara's recent review with one of his infamous mental breakdowns, which personifies what I'm currently feeling right now.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Thoughts On The Zimmerman Verdict

I don't care.

I didn't care about the trial, so why should I care about the verdict?

To me, this trial, like the Casey Anthony trial before it, was nothing more than a media circus to distract us from the real issues.

Bradley Manning is still in jail, Edward Snowden is still on the run, and yet Americans are more fixated on the outcome of a run-of-the-mill murder trial, and when they're not fixated on that, they concerned about Paula Deen's racism or Justin Beiber pissing in a mop bucket.

This is exactly why we as a country are circling the drain. Our priorities are all manners of messed up. It would be funny if it weren't so sad--so very, very sad.

Who's Returning To Super Smash Brothers?

Olimar? Seriously? One of the worst characters in Brawl?!

The moveset he has includes picking Pikmin out of the ground, throwing them, tossing them as a rope, and calling them all back to him. That's it! He's pretty much useless.

And of all the Brawl characters, this is the one making a comeback? Seriously, HAL, what the frig?!?!

I mean next you'll be telling me that Rick Santorum will be running for president again. What's that? He is?! What the--?!?!

Daily Pony: It's So Fluffy!

Yesterday I saw Despicable Me 2--and it was hilarious! Not as hilarious as the first movie, but hilarious nonetheless. Then again, any movie with those minions is hilarious.

For a related post, here's Agnes loving on Rarity:

It's So Fluffy by *KarToon12 on deviantART

"Unicorns I love them!"

I could only imagine how she would react to Fluffle Puff. ("She's so fluffy, I'm going to die!")

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Immortal Review: Chapters 2-5

One of the problems with this story—is everything! Everything is wrong with this story. Nothing about it is right. The very fact that it exists is what’s wrong with it. So why should I even bother saying “one” thing is wrong about it?

With that said, one of the things wrong with the chapters is that they’re extremely short and unsubstantial. Just like a story should have a beginning, middle, and end, a chapter should be its own self-contained story with a beginning, middle, and end. The purpose of a chapter is to divide the main narrative into sizable, readable portions while at the same time providing their own narrative as to thoroughly entertain the reader.

The chapters in this story, on the other hand, don’t do that. They offer no real logical separation of the main narrative, and thus they themselves offer no real narratives themselves. This is partly due to the fact that the entire story itself lacks a real narrative, so expecting anything otherwise from the chapters seems pointless.

Take the second chapter. What exactly happens? Ebony wakes up. Gets dressed. Talks to her friend. Meets Draco. And gets invited to a concert.

That’s it. Nothing else significant happens. The scene offers no exposition or conflict, and thus offers nothing to either the narrative or the reader.

It’s precisely because of this that I’ve decided to divide my reviews into series of chapters rather than by individual chapters. This will not only allow more material for me to commentate on at a time, but also provide some semblance of narrative in this clusterfreak of a story—because Celestia knows the author didn’t bother to do so herself.

We start the second chapter with Ebony waking up in her dorm and getting dressed, and we have to sit through it all and watch her put on every single item of clothing.

This is a recurring theme within the fanfiction. The first chapter went into great detail with Ebony’s fashion and shopping preferences. The next chapter will involve her getting dressed for a concert. In fact, good chunks of the story are dedicated solely to a character’s clothing, either describing their clothes, or narrating them getting dressed. Clearly, this story was written by a teenage girl. Who else is this obsessed with clothing?

When it comes to clothing, most good writers don’t go into extensive detail, if any detail at all, unless the clothing holds significance to the overall story. Usually the author gives a cursory description of a character’s apparel and leaves the rest to the reader’s imagination. This is because, contrary to what society dictates, clothing rarely tells us anything about a person. In order to truly flesh out a character, an author needs to focus on who they are as a person rather than on their fashion sense.

This is exactly how real life works. Rarely do we pay close attention to clothing, whether it be our own or that of others. When you wake up in the morning, you probably don’t spend much time picking out your clothes for the day unless it’s for a special occasion. In fact, if you’re like me, you just throw on a shirt and pair of pants and call yourself dressed. And you rarely pay attention to what your friends or family are wearing unless they’re wearing something out of the ordinary either for them or in general. Clothes are such a mundane and trivial aspect of our society that people rarely pay attention to them, and those who do pay attention are usually shallow, which speaks volumes of this author and her obsession with her character’s apparel.

After getting dressed and talking with her friend (who is a self-insert of the author’s real life friend), Ebony runs into Draco, who invites her to a My Chemical Romance concert in Hogsmeade. Don’t ask me who MCR is. I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do care about is how a “muggle” band is playing at a wizarding village that is supposed to be secret from Muggles. Either the author is implying that MCR are really wizards in the Harry Potter universe, or that muggle bands are routinely invited to perform at wizarding locations--only to have their memories erased afterwards.

In Chapter 3, Ebony gets prepared for the concert in yet another dressing sequence that goes into excruciating detail about her clothing and makeup. After getting dressed (and cutting herself because she felt depressed), she meets Draco outside in his flying car. Last time I read the books, flying cars were not a thing in the wizarding world. Only the Wesley’s had a flying car, and it was contraband because modifying muggle items is against wizarding law.

On their way to the concert, the two “smoke cigarettes and drugs.” What kind of drugs? I don’t know. The author doesn’t specify. We can only assume pot since it’s the only drug you smoke. Everything else is either snorted or injected.

At the concert, we are treated to copy-and-paste lyrics from a MCR song. I don’t remember the name of the song, and quite frankly, I don’t care.

Ebony comments about how “hot” the lead singer is. (I don’t know his name, and again, I don’t care.) This depresses Draco, whom Ebony has to reassure that she obviously doesn’t like the singer more than she likes him. (“Besides, he’s going out with Hilary F**king Duff. I f**king hate that bitch!”)

Pro-tip, fellas: If you’re girlfriend calls a celebrity—which she never met and will probably never meet, let alone hook up with—hot, chances are she does not like him more than she likes you.

After the concert, the two drive off into the Forbidden Forest, where Draco, having just consumed alcohol, making him too impaired to drive, crashes into a tree, killing the two upon impact.

I wish that were the case.

Instead, we’re treated to the first of many unnecessary and poorly-written sex scenes. I already commented in the introduction about how bad they are, but this bears repeating: if you forced a four-year-old to watch two adults have sex and force him to write what he saw with crayon on colored paper, he would write a better sex scene than this author. Seriously, she goes out of her way to make her character say “Oh! Oh! Oh!” rather than do what any other sensible author would write, which would be something like “She moaned passionately as she approached climax.”

But this scene of teenage intimacy is cock-blocked with the most infamous scene from the story:

“What the hell are you doing you motherfuckers?” It was….Dumbledore!

What was Dumbledore doing in the Forbidden Forest? I don’t know. The author never explains. Why did he act out-of-character and swear? I don’t know. The author never explains. Well, okay, she does explain, but not in the story, but rather in one of her insipid author’s notes: “He had a headache!”

In the next chapter, Dumbledore leads them back to Hogwarts naked. I can only assume they’re still naked since the author never indicates that they put their clothes back on. But then again, I can only assume this is a good thing since she probably would have spent another paragraph describing the clothes they put back on.

All the while, Dumbledore swears at them in a way that only a child, who doesn’t know how to swear, would: “Insipid imbeciles.”

He takes them before Snape and McGonagall, who also swear at them awkwardly: “Mediocre Dunces!” They ask them why they were having sex in the Forbidden Forest, and Draco replies that it was because he loves Ebony.

The two are then dismissed back to their dormitories. No points are taken from their house. No punishment is given. They’re simply dismissed. Pretty sure that making whoopee on school property is grounds for expulsion. But that’s assuming this author knows anything about school protocol. Or logic.

What I find extremely ironic is that it’s Dumbledore who gets angry at the two for getting into trouble while it’s Snape who simply dismisses their antics, when in the books, it would probably be the opposite. I can only assume that Snape is more accepting of Draco because he’s his guardian, but since he’s doesn't become his guardian until the sixth book, which was not released until the year after this fanfic was released, two thing would have to be true for this to be the case: 1) The author has pre-knowledge of the events in the next book, and 2) she actually gave a crap about canon.

This story arc ends with Draco singing an MCR song to Ebony. I don’t remember what the song is called or even if it was written by MCR, but again, I don’t care.

I wish that was the end to this horrendous self-insert wet dream, but unfortunately, we have 20 more chapters to go. And oh boy, does it get worse from here. Far worse!

If you don’t want your perception of Harry Potter tainted, please stop reading my reviews now. Otherwise, proceed with caution. You have been warned.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Who's Following Me?

Here are my websites and social media accounts along with the number of people following me:

Blog: 14

DeviantART: 207

YouTube: 206

Twitter: 38

Tumblr: 44

Apparently, I'm quite popular on DA and YouTube (even if I haven't uploaded any vids in about a year), while my main blog has the smallest following.

Anyway, if you like what I do and what I have to say, make sure you're following me everywhere.

Thanks! ;)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dafuq Is Wrong With CultOfDusty?

Imagine the most deplorable human being on the face of the earth. Now imagine that this person has contracted food poisoning after binging on cheap Mexican food, and is now stuck in a gas station bathroom for three hours, spewing from his bowels the most repulsive mess of diarrhea and rectal bleeding. Now imagine that his steaming pile of fecal matter takes life, dons a baseball cap, and speaks in a Southern drawl.

What you would end up with is CultOfDusty.

Dusty is by far the most reprehensible atheist on YouTube. His most infamous video involves him using the correlation/causation fallacy to blame all of society's ills on Christianity. The first time I watched that video, I was filled with so much blind rage that I blacked out. When I returned to my senses, I found myself in a dark alleyway reeking of urine with a dead cat in my lap, a rotten banana in one hand, and a blood-soaked trombone in another. To this day, I have no idea what I had done.

In his latest video, he calls black Christians "Uncle Toms" because the Bible contains verses that defend slavery, and because many white Christians defended enslaving African-Americans. (Bleh! Excuse me, I threw up a little in my mouth!)

Normally, I would post the video I'm discussing, and even link to the YouTube channel in question, but I love you all far too much to subject you to such agonizing torment. If you insist on watching the video, I suggest you hunt it down yourself, and once you watch it, prepare to facepalm your brains out.

As for his argument, here are my counterpoints:

1) Biblical slavery is not the same as modern slavery. Slavery as mentioned in the Bible was not the same as the slavery that existed in pre-Civil War America. If anything, Biblical slavery was more akin to indentured servitude. The English Bible doesn't even use the term "slave", but rather "bondservant", in the passages referring to slavery.

2) Christianity existed in Africa long before the Europeans arrived. Christianity in Ethiopia dates back the 1st century AD, and was fabled to have been brought there by the Ethiopian Eunuch. So not all Africans had Christianity forced upon them by European slave-owners.

3) Most Christians opposed slavery. While many Christians did support slavery, many more were opposed to it. The Catholic Church condemned slavery, which was denounced by Pope Paul III in his papal bull "Sublimus Dei" in 1537. The abolitionist movement was entirely religious in nature. John Newton, the hymnist who wrote "Amazing Grace", was formerly a slave trader before converting to Christianity, after which he left the practice and preached against it. His anti-slavery pamphlet "Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade" inspired  William Wilberforce to enter politics and lead the movement to end slavery in the British Empire.

But of course, all of these facts don't matter to Dusty. All he cares about is logic--and by "logic", he really means whatever rationalization he can use to smear and malign Christians. If this means inadvertently calling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks or any other prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement an "uncle Tom," so be it. After all, logic!

Awesome Quotes From The Lone Ranger

I just got back from watching The Lone Ranger. Considering all the bad reviews it's received, I thought the movie was going to suck, but it turned out to be awesome. It started a little slow, and there were a few unnecessary gross-out moments (like the Ranger being pulled through horse poo), but overall, it had some hilarious comedy and great action scenes, including the epic train scene at the end--complete with the Lone Ranger's theme!

There were two quotes during the movie which, as a libertarian, really struck me as awesome.

The first one was at the beginning of the movie. The character that would become the Lone Ranger is riding a train full of Presbyterians. One of them invites him to pray. "Much obliged," he tells her before lifting up a copy of John Locke's Two Treatises of Government, "But this here's my Bible." I'm not sure if it's cool that a movie referenced John Locke, or sad that this is probably the only chance many are going to hear about Locke.

The second quote comes near the end when the Lone Ranger discovers the intentions of the villain, a railroad tycoon who had the Comanche tribe exterminated by the Calvary in order to build a railway across their land. "If that man represents the law," the Lone Ranger says, "then I much rather be an outlaw." I don't know much about the original Lone Ranger, but if he's anything like the Lone Ranger in the movie, he very well could have been one of the first anarchists. (You know, aside from Robin Hood.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Does NSA Spying Keep Us Safe?

I knew I blew everyone away earlier today with the mind-blowing revelation that MSNBC is biased towards Obama, but what I'm about to share with you next is really going to blow your mind.

So if you're consuming something liquid, I highly suggest you swallow before you continue reading, otherwise, you're going to spit it all over you computer screen. (On second thought, don't. Spittakes are always funny!)

Are you ready for this?

Most top terrorism experts are now admitting that mass surveillance--get this!--doesn't protect us from terrorists!

Shocking, I know!

Washingtons Blog has a list of quotes from top-ranking officials, from counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke to the head of NSA’s digital communications program William Binney, all admitting that NSA spying and other forms of government surveillance do nothing to counter terrorism.

Perhaps the most telling, in my opinion, is this excerpt from a New Republic article:
This kind of dragnet-style data capture simply doesn’t keep us safe.

First, intelligence and law enforcement agencies are increasingly drowning in data; the more that comes in, the harder it is to stay afloat. Most recently, the failure of the intelligence community to intercept the 2009 “underwear bomber” was blamed in large part on a surfeit of information: according to an official White House review, a significant amount of critical information was “embedded in a large volume of other data.” Similarly, the independent investigation of the alleged shootings by U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood concluded that the “crushing volume” of information was one of the factors that hampered the FBI’s analysis before the attack.

Multiple security officials have echoed this assessment. As one veteran CIA agent told The Washington Post in 2010, “The problem is that the system is clogged with information. Most of it isn’t of interest, but people are afraid not to put it in.” A former Department of Homeland Security official told a Senate subcommittee that there was “a lot of data clogging the system with no value.” Even former Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that “we’ve built tremendous capability, but do we have more than we need?” And the NSA itself was brought to a grinding halt before 9/11 by the “torrent of data” pouring into the system, leaving the agency “brain-dead” for half a week and “[unable] to process information,” as its then-director Gen. Michael Hayden publicly acknowledged.

National security hawks say there’s a simple answer to this glut: data mining. The NSA has apparently described its computer systems as having the ability to “manipulate and analyze huge volumes of data at mind-boggling speeds.” Could those systems pore through this information trove to come up with unassailable patterns of terrorist activity? The Department of Defense and security experts have concluded that the answer is no: There is simply no known way to effectively anticipate terrorist threats.


The FBI’s and NSA’s scheme is an affront to democratic values. Let’s also not pretend it’s an effective and efficient way of keeping us safe.
Mass surveillance doesn't prevent terrorism? Shock and awe! Next you'll be telling me that gun control doesn't prevent gun violence, drug prohibition doesn't prevent drug abuse, and welfare programs don't prevent poverty.

What? Those things don't work either?! MY FAITH IN THE STATE IS SHATTERED!!

On a serious note, people's faith in the state is dwindling more and more.  A recent survey by Transparency International reveals that more and more people worldwide are losing faith in their own governments, seeing them as mostly corrupt and controlled by special interests.

Who knows? Perhaps this is an indicator that libertarianism is on the rise and that a worldwide revolution is at hand. We can only hope and pray.

Daily Pony: Elmyra Vs. Ponies

The Hub recently picked up Tiny Toon Adventures. (First Animaniacs, now Tiny Toons? Now they just need to air Freakazoid and the network will officially be the most awesome network on television!)

To celebrate this addition, here's Elmyra squeezing the life out of poor Fluttershy.

Poor Fluttershy by ~Mytokyokitty on deviantART

Let's just hope that the redheaded terror doesn't discover Equestria, or else...

Elmyra invades Ponyville by ~Trey-Vore on deviantART


Quick! Someone board up the Littlest Pet Shop! We must protect the other fluffy animals from her clutches!

MSNBC Is What Now? Really? You Don't Say?!

What I am about to share with you may shock you. If you are standing, please take a seat. Now take a good strong hold of your socks, lest they get knocked off by what I'm about to tell you.

You ready for this?

Former MSNBC president Jeff Cohen admits that his network is...get this!...biased towards Obama and the Democrats!
When it comes to issues of U.S. militarism and spying, the allegedly “progressive” MSNBC often seems closer to the “official network of the Obama White House” than anything resembling an independent channel. With a few exceptions (especially Chris Hayes), MSNBC has usually reacted to expanded militarism and surveillance by downplaying the abuses or defending them.

Had McCain or Romney defeated Obama and implemented the exact same policies, treating whistleblowers like Manning and Snowden as foreign espionage agents, one would expect MSNBC hosts to be loudly denouncing the Republican abuses of authority.

But with Obama in power, a number of MSNBC talking heads have reacted to the Snowden disclosures like Fox News hosts did when they were in hysterical damage control mode for Bush – complete with ridiculously fact-free claims and national chauvinism that we’ve long come to expect from the “fair & balanced” channel.

Who would have thought that MSNBC, the same network which received federal funding from the Obama administration to run political propaganda during its major talk shows, would act as the political mouthpiece for the Obama administration? You would have to be watching the network for the past five years to figure that out.

Shocked, I tell you, shocked!

Gun Control Debate In A Nutshell

Sunday, July 7, 2013

City Council Cronyism Clamping Down on Competition

Hear about this story from the recent Bogosity Podcast.

A Georgia town city council is clamping down on a store for selling "adult" products, namely massage oil and candles made from hemp and soy.

Ironically, these same "adult" products are sold as "health" products by a company owned by one of the city council members--the same city council member who had tightened city regulations "in order to try and force the [adult] store out of business."

Isn't that just an odd co-inky-dink?!
The owner of a chain of adult stores says a local city leader should be supporting his business instead of trying to shut it down.

That's because a company owned by a Brookhaven council member distributes one of the same products sold in the store the city wants closed.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas confronted the city leader about the issue.

The product in question is a massage oil and candle made with hemp and soy.

The Stardust store in Brookhaven sells it and the city calls it an adult product.

It is the same product sold by a company founded and owned by a City Council member but when he sells it, it's a health product.

"It's kind of ironic," Stardust owner Michael Morrison said.

He told Thomas the same candles Brookhaven inspectors call adult products as they ticket his store, council member Joe Gebbia sells through his company Naturally Hemp.

"They are clearly, in my definition, non-adult products but the city is citing us every single day saying we are a 100 percent adult store," Morrison said.

Brookhaven leaders said the Stardust was licensed to sell smoke-related products, but instead sells adult sex items and is illegal.

City inspectors have given them 14 citations a day for about the past week, 140 in all. All of the citation are for illegal operations. The battle is headed to court.

Last month, Gebbia himself made the motion to tighten Brookhaven's laws to try and force the Stardust store out of business.
Government using regulations to hurt the competition of their political cronies? Inconceivable!

Dubya Improved Human Condition?

I could have sworn that I had awoken in an alternate dimension this morning, because while skimming through the headlines, I came across a story about how the University of Denver selected George W. Bush as the 2013 recipient of its “Improving the Human Condition Award.”

So I went to check to see if everything else was topsy-turvy. To my dismay, everything else was normal: the sky was blue, the grass was green, pigs weren't flying, and Family Guy was still not funny.

I then checked to see if it was April Fool's Day. Sadly, being July 7, it was not.

So I'm afraid it's true: George W. Bush, the president responsible for 137 thousand civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, is receiving an award for "improving the human condition."

To be fair, Bush is also responsible for his President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, which is considered the largest health initiative ever initiated by one country; but let's be honest: conferring him this award for that achievement is like conferring the citizen of the year award to a known serial killer and rapist because he donated to the Salvation Army.

I would say this is just as ironic as Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize despite having increased drone strikes overseas, but to be fair, Obama received his award before he began warmongering, whereas Bush is going to receive his award after the fact. So, no, this is far stupider and more ironic.

Daily Pony: Twilight is Best Princess, Anita!

It's bad enough when fellow bronies complain about Twilight becoming an alicorn princess--with some bronies being worse than others about it *cough*ChadRocco*cough*--but guess who else has a problem with this change:

"Few are brave to admit it"? Um, who is this few you speak of? Plenty of bronies think Twilight is best pony!

And why does her becoming a princess make her boring? Why is that a bad thing? Why is it such a leap in logic to assume that Princess Celestia's protégé would inevitably become like her mentor?

I, for one, consider it fitting for Twilight to become a princess. She obtained her rank, not because she was born to royalty, nor because she married into royalty, but because she earned it through her hard work and education. Twilight is talented and intelligent, and therefore, makes for the most capable leader. I think that is something that most little girls should aspire to be.

I know I shared this image in a previous Daily Pony, but it succinctly makes my point for me:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Comments That Make Me Vomit Blood

On Independence Day, I discussed how, contrary to what "freedom-loving" Americans claim, many Americans don't really love freedom. Well, the following Facebook comments about Edward Snowden prove my point exactly:

Take a good hard look at those comments. Take a REALLY good hard look at them, and when you're done, be sure to wipe the vomit from your computer screen.

These comments were most likely made by proud Americans that probably engaged in the mindless jingoism on the Fourth. I suppose many consider themselves freedom-loving patriots, even though their comments clearly reveal their disdain for real patriots fighting to preserve what little remains of our freedom.

If these douchehats lived over 200 years ago, they probably would have sided with the Tories in calling our Founders "traitors." Makes you wonder who the real patriots and traitors are.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Immortal Review: Chapter 1

The first chapter of any story is the most crucial. Not only does it introduce the plot, setting, characters, and tone of the story, but it should also generate interest in the reader and motivate him to continue reading. The average reader doesn’t have the patience to read through a 300-page novel in order to offer his opinion on it. If his interest is not captured within the first chapter or page or even sentence, he will stop reading and move on to something more interesting.

This is why authors always try to make their first chapter the most interesting. They usually accomplish this by starting in the middle of the story rather than at the beginning. This is usually because the middle contains the most action or drama, and thus will more likely capture the reader’s interest. When the reader's attention is finally gained, the beginning of the story is then conveyed to him through flashback. In storytelling, this is called starting the story "in media res," or "in the middle of things." Most famous stories, such as "The Iliad" or "The Odyssey," begin this way.

Other times, an author will begin at the very end of the story. This is especially effective if an action or event, isolated on its own, with no other details given, raises enough questions about it and the events that transpired beforehand. When these questions are raised by the reader, the rest of the story is conveyed to him through flashback, explaining to him the events that inevitably led to this conclusion. Many great movies, such as "Sunset Boulevard" or "Moulin Rouge," employ this type of storytelling.

But sometimes it’s impractical to start a story from either the middle or the end, and it must start right at the beginning. If this is the case, then the author must make the first chapter engaging enough in order to motivate the reader to continue reading.

Take the first Harry Potter book, for example. Right from the start, we are introduced to Harry Potter as a baby being delivered by three wizards on the doorstep of his non-magical (or “muggle”) aunt and uncle. We learn that his parents were killed by a wizard so evil that the other wizards refuse to refer to him by name; however, when this evil wizard tried to kill baby Harry, he ended up killing himself, and left Harry with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead. Now Harry must live with his non-magical relatives in order to keep him and his identity a secret until he becomes older.

These details within the first few chapters raise so many questions for the reader: Will this boy ever learn that he’s a wizard? Will he learn of his past? What will happen to him once he does? How will this boy adapt to living with non-magical relatives? And what evil is he being protected from? All these questions and more are raised by the reader, prompting him to continue reading in order to learn the answers.

In contrast, how does the first chapter of this Harry Potter fanfic play out?

We’re introduced to the main character, who stands outside Hogwarts on a snowy day, flips off some “preps”, and runs into Draco Malfoy.

That’s it!

Imagine this was the first time you ever read this fanfic, and you were unaware it was the infamously worst fanfic ever written. By this chapter alone, would you want to continue reading? Probably not. Why? Because nothing happens! The girl bumps into Draco and that’s it! Nothing else happens. We know nothing about the character except for the few bland details given about her. We know nothing about her motivations. We know nothing about the story’s main conflict. We essentially know nothing because the first chapter offers nothing. The entire chapter is inherently nothing. It offers us nothing in terms of story, and it offers us no motivation to keep reading. If the blatant spelling and grammatical errors were not enough to turn you away from reading this story, the fact that the author doesn’t care enough about it to write a proper first chapter should.

The only thing this chapter does is introduce us to the main character, Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way. That doesn’t even sound like a real name. It sounds like something you would get from a random gothic name generator. The author obviously wanted her character to sound dark and brooding, but this name only makes her sound like the laughable gothic stereotype that she is.

Ebony is introduced to us with the most generic introduction one could possibly write: “Hello. My name is Ebony. I am a vampire. I have dark hair. I wear clothes from Hot Topic. And I go to Hogwarts. I love Draco Malfoy. Yays!”

I would say this is the type of introduction an elementary school student would write for a school assignment, but to be fair, elementary school students are capable of writing better than this.

You see, when most good writers want to describe a character, they do so by “showing” us what they look like rather than “telling” us what they look like. This is a writing technique known as “show, don’t tell”, and it’s the most important. While it is important to describe a character’s appearance through vivid detail, what is more important is exposing what kind of character they are through their actions. Because that’s what they are: a character.

Again, let’s consider the first Harry Potter book. When we’re first introduced to Harry as an older child, we meet him waking up in a cupboard under the staircase talking to a spider. From this scene alone, we learn so much about him as a character. We learn that his relatives neglect him to the point where they force him to sleep under the stairs rather than give him his own room, instead opting to give their spare room to their son, Dudley, as a place to hoard his toys. We also learn that Harry plays with spiders because he has no real friends of his own, as most of the kids at school either avoid him or pick on him, mostly because of his scrawny demeanor and unkempt appearance--again, no thanks in part to his adoptive family’s neglect. Through memories, we learn Harry has experienced events in his life that he could not explain, like being able to leap to the top of the school building. These events have forced him to be ostracized by other children and to be scorned by his adoptive family, who never revealed to him his supernatural  origins. From this, we learn that Harry is an introvert whose solidarity is only intensified though the confusion he feels over his unexplained supernatural phenomena.

Though our introduction to Harry, we know everything we need to know about him as a character. Though our introduction to Ebony, we know next to nothing about her other than she’s a gothic vampire who may or may not like Draco Malfoy. Other than that, we have no reason to care about her because we know nothing about her.

Ebony is nothing more than your stereotypical goth. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with goths. Yes, the tend to be mocked, but they can make for interesting characters as long as there’s more to their character than just being gothic. That can’t be said of Ebony.

What’s even more ironic about her is how she acts like your stereotypical goth by calling other people “preps” or “posers,” yet she herself buys all her clothing from Hot Topic and listens to bands like My Chemical Romance. Hey Ebony: the Goth kids from South Park called. They say you’re a conformist!

In conclusion, this first chapter fails because it offers no real reason to continue reading. But considering there are 43 more chapters of this, I have no choice but to continue reading. So tune in next time when I delve even deeper into this mind freak known only as “My Immortal!”