Category: Etcetera

Game of Thrones Season Five

Season Five just finished. Overall, it was good. It didn’t quite reach the heights of Season Four, but that was to be expected. Overall, it wandered a lot and didn’t really get very far. I’m told that this is also true of the books (although we are now well past the books). Hopefully, Season 6 will start pushing us toward a conclusion.

It just ended as I write this so if you haven’t watched it yet, spoilers ahoy!:

Read more… »

Baltimore Into the Abyss

Wow:

May was the most lethal month in [Baltimore] in more than 40 years; in per capita terms, it may have been the bloodiest month since recordkeeping began.

There were 43 victims of homicide in the city last month, the most since August 1972, when Baltimore ’s population, now 600,000, was about 900,000. In addition, there were 108 nonfatal shootings in May, nearly triple the number recorded the same month last year. Over the three-day Memorial Day weekend alone, the city recorded 32 shootings and nine homicides.

As Baltimore’s streets succumb to the wave of carnage, the police have simply withdrawn, by many accounts. Harassed, hooted at and openly hated in the wake of the arrest of Freddie Gray, whose death in custody triggered the rioting in April, uniformed officers seem to have decided not to do their jobs.

Arrests, already down from 2014 levels before the rioting, have plummeted by more than 50 percent since then. Community leaders in Sandtown — the area where Mr. Gray was arrested — say there is a deliberate effort on the police department’s part to vacate the streets and see how the community likes it.

On Fox News, one officer, his face and voice obscured, explained the cops’ “reasoning.” “After the protests, it seems like the citizens would appreciate a lack of police presence, and that’s exactly what they’re getting,” he said. He went on to blame the city’s leadership for not having officers’ backs and prosecutors for indicting the six police officers in whose custody Mr. Gray was fatally injured.

This is not unprecedented. Cops in New York engaged in a slowdown after the Eric Garner non-indictment and some subsequent comments by the Mayor.

First thing first: the blame for this surge of violence obviously belongs with the communities. When two cops were assassinated in December, I wrote the following:

I am not an anarchist. We can see around the world how thin the veneer of civilization is and how easily it is destroyed. Law and order are a huge improvement over the lack thereof, no matter how poorly they are enforced. It’s one thing to criticize police and demand reform and changes. It’s one thing to defend yourself if, for example, cops smash down your door in the middle of the night and you have no idea what’s going on. People can and should oppose aggressive policing and the intrusion of government into their lives. But the deliberate and cold-blooded murder of two policemen is an attack on civilization, on the idea of law and order.

The primary problem we have with policing in the United States is not a bunch of evil cops running around. It is a political leadership that has given them a million laws to enforce, authorized an aggressive war on voluntary behavior, shoved assault weapons and tanks into their hands and chipped away at accountability. The system is failing the police as thoroughly as it is failing the rest of us.

I was mocked a bit for my line on attacking civilization, but look at what’s going on in Baltimore right now. Most people are good. Most people — even in the worst part of Baltimore — won’t run around killing and stealing. But you only need a small fraction to be bad for the system to collapse. And now that it has … I’m not sure the genie can be put back in the bottle. This may be the final nail in Baltimore’s coffin.

All that having been said, the idea that the police slowdown was justified by the actions of Baltimore’s Mayor and the prosecution of the six cops is ridiculous. It’s another sign of a police leadership and union leadership that are increasingly isolated from reality. The cops and their union reps have come to expect unwavering and absolute loyalty from political leadership and get extremely agitated when they don’t get it (the link includes an interview with FOP head Jim Pasco. Among other things, he says that people who videotape cops should get 15 years in prison).

After the Freddie Gray incident, the Baltimore cops have been saying that the prosecution is making them “hesitant” and shows that they are being “thrown under the bus” by the mayor and the prosecutor. Balko:

So because a prosecutor has charged the six cops who illegally arrested a man and gave him a “rough ride” in the back of a police van that resulted in his death, all Baltimore cops are now afraid to use force. How does this follow? It would be logical if they were now hesitant to give rough rides — and that of a course would be a good thing. But what happen to Gray shouldn’t impact conscientious Baltimore cops in the slightest. There’s no connection between employing extra-judicial punishment by roughing a suspect up after he’s been arrested and cuffed, and using force to stop a violent person from harming innocent people. To argue that accountability in the former will lead to hesitation in the latter is to argue that we can’t have any accountability for any killing by a police officer, because it may cause other officers to hesitate before shooting people.

We rely on police to keep us from the abyss. But it does not follow that they are unaccountable or that if they truss up a man, throw him in the back of the van and rough ride him around the city until his neck shatters, we should ignore that. To pull back from a city that so desperately needs law and order because of the Freddie Gray indictment or a few nasty words from a mayor is ridiculous. And it illustrates just how badly policing has gone wrong.

Not that there isn’t enough blame to throw the mayor’s way. A competent mayor would be able to condemn the cops who killed Freddie Gray, go forward with the prosecution and still keep the cops on the streets. Balancing the anger of the citizens, the need for reform and temper of the union is the mayor’s job. It’s tough but it’s what they’re elected to do. Even de Blasio’s comments only resulted in cops slowing down “broken windows” arrests. And while murders are up a bit in New York in 2015 (123 through May 28, compared to 107 last year), overall crime is actually down slightly. There has not been nearly the surge in violence we’ve seen in Baltimore. Think about that: Rawlings-Blake is making Bill Fricking de Blasio look competent.

FIFA Under Fire

About damned time:

Hours after Swiss authorities arrived unannounced at a Zurich hotel and arrested top FIFA officials early Wednesday morning, the Justice Department and prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York forcefully declared that their investigation had only just begun and pledged to rid the international soccer organization of systemic corruption.

“These individuals and organizations engaged in bribery to decide who would televise games, where the games would be held, and who would run the organization overseeing organized soccer worldwide,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, who supervised the investigation from its earliest stages, when she was the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament.”

Soccer officials treated FIFA business decisions as chits to be traded for personal wealth, United States officials said. Whether through convoluted financial deals or old-fashioned briefcases full of cash, people were expected to pay for access to FIFA’s river of money and publicity. The federal indictment lists 47 counts, including bribery, fraud and money laundering.

FIFA is one of the most corrupt organizations in the world. It’s not just the bribery, which has amounted to tens of millions of dollars. It’s the way they persuaded Brazil to burn billions of dollars building stadiums that are now useless (FIFA made an estimated $4 billion off the 2014 World Cup. Brazil invested over $15 billion in hosting it). It’s the way they look the other way as Qatar builds a World Cup on bribery, slavery and thousands of dead workers. If you missed it, here is John Oliver on the subject:

I’m going to make a confession: I really like international soccer. Last year’s World Cup was thrilling for the United States and I’m looking forward to 2018. But the organization that controls this sport is horrifying. They make American sports leagues — who extract billions in free stadiums from bankrupt cities based on economic nonsense — look like angels.

This is just beginning. This organization is thoroughly corrupt. I’m glad to see some justice may finally be done to them.

Double Standard

Following along the same vein as my previous post about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom law, and Hal’s followup, I found this interesting.

Jack, of Castle Rock, Colo., is making national headlines over an experiment he conducted in the wake of attacks on Christian business owners who refuse to provide services for same-sex marriages.

Last year, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple who wanted a wedding cake. Jack Phillips, the owner of the cake shop, is a devout Christian, and his attorneys argued that to force him to participate in the gay wedding would violate his religious beliefs.  The Civil Rights Commission saw it differently.

So if Christian bakers who oppose gay marriage are compelled under law to violate their beliefs – what about bakers who support gay marriage? Would they be compelled to make an anti-gay marriage cake?

 Jack, who is a devout Christian, asked three bakeries to produce two cakes – each shaped like an open Bible. On one side of one cake he requested the words, “God hates sin – Psalm 45:7.” On the other side he wanted the words, “Homosexuality is a detestable sin – Leviticus 18:22.”

On the second cake he asked them to write another Bible verse: “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us – Romans 5:8” along with the words “God loves sinners.”  And finally, Jack wanted the bakers to create an image – two grooms holding hands, with a red “X” over them – the universal symbol for “not allowed.”

Now if you read the national news accounts of Jack’s experiment – you would’ve read that he wanted gay slurs written on the cakes. But that wasn’t true.

According to the commission’s own report, there’s no mention of Jack using any gay slurs – unless you consider Bible verses to be gay slurs.

Mark Silverstein, the legal director for Colorado’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, accused Jack of wanting obscenities written on the cakes.  “There’s no law that says that a cake-maker has to write obscenities in the cake just because the customer wants it,” he told the Associated Press.

Does the ACLU consider the Bible to be obscene?

As you probably guessed, the bakeries rejected Jack’s request for what some would call “anti-gay” cakes.  “If he wants to hate people, he can hate them not here in my bakery,” Azucar Bakery owner Marjorie Silva told 7NEWS. She called the writing and imagery “hateful and offensive.”

So Jack filed a discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission – just as the gay couple did in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.  Using the commission’s logic – if a Christian baker is forced to violate his beliefs, shouldn’t all bakers be forced to violate theirs, too?

Absolutely not, says the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  It ruled that Azucar did not discriminate against Jack based on his creed. It argued that the bakery refused to make the cakes because of the “derogatory language and imagery,” The Denver Channel reported.

Seems like a pretty clear double-standard to me.  One cake maker was forced by the government to defy their beliefs.  The other cake baker was not forced by the government to defy their beliefs.  Because one was for religious reasons, and the other wasn’t, that makes it OK somehow?  The freedom of religion is guaranteed in the US Constitution.  Shouldn’t that make it even more sacrosanct in this regard?

 

Religious Freedom in Indiana

Perhaps you’ve heard about all of the hullabaloo going on in Indiana over a new law that the Governor there signed this past week.  Now Celebrities and National Politicians are getting involved.  Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer’s Twitter Page has been quite active in retweeting condemnations of the new law.  Presumptive Democratic Front Runner Hillary Clinton had this to say:

Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love.

 Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, and many other celebrities are being quite vocal in their condemnation of this new law.  Even the Indiana Pacers felt it necessary to have a press release on the new law.  And now companies are getting involved.  Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been very adamant over his condemnation, and has started calls for boycotting Indiana over this new law.  Leadership in other companies including Apple, and Yelp are also putting in their two cents. condemning the law as discriminatory.

So what’s the  problem with all of these people coming out against this new law?  Well, hypocrisy of course.

First off, I would be willing to bet quite a bit of money that none of the people I mentioned above have actually read the new law.  You can read the entire law here.  The part that people appear to be having a problem with is this text:

Government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person —

(1) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

Oops.  I’m sorry.  That is part of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law back in 1993.  Here’s the text from the Indiana law:

A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

Seems almost identical.  In fact, the Indiana law is largely based on the Federal law.  Yet many people are being vocal about the Indiana law, but mum about the Federal Law.  I ask – why?

Do you remember the aforementioned esteemed Senator Schumer from New York who does not like the Indiana law?  It turns out that he was actually the main sponsor of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act back in 1993, which passed both houses with almost unanimous majorities.  And Hillary Clinton?  Her husband, President Bill Clinton at the time, signed the bill into law and was very supportive of it (you can see a lovely picture of him signing it, with Senator Schumer looking over his shoulder at the link).

What this law basically says is that the Government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion. This judgment is shared by the people of the United States as well as by the Congress. We believe strongly that we can never, we can never be too vigilant in this work.

It was signed specifically to protect Religious Freedom from Government intervention.  Which is exactly why the Indiana law was passed.  But Hillary didn’t just support her Husband and this 1993 law (which she does in her book, “It Takes a Village”).  In 2005 as Senator Clinton, she supported the “Workplace Religious Freedom Act.” which was co-sponsored by amazingly unlikely allies John Kerry, and Rick Santorum.  It was designed to protect the religious freedoms of employees from employers, but has yet to be passed into law.  So why is she against the Indiana Law again?

Legally there is virtually no difference between the Federal Law and Indiana’s law except that it applies specifically to that State and its government instead of the /Federal Government.  And Indiana isn’t alone in this type of law.  19 other states already have RFRA laws on the books, all based on the Federal law.  Why is nobody calling for boycotts on those other states?

So why shouldn’t CEO’s of companies like Salesforce, and Apple condemn the Indiana law, and call for boycotts?  They do billions of dollars of business in China.  China, which is not only a religious freedom nightmare, but it is also a place where there are no laws protecting against homosexual discrimination, that does not recognize gay marriage, civil unions or anything close to it, and where it is illegal for homosexual couples to adopt.

Whether or not you support the law, I guess all I’m saying is that these people and organizations need to think before they open their mouths.

Technical stuff

Hi. I’m sorry I let the blog technically malfunction so often and for so long. Working on fixing it. I just wanted to explain where I am stuck right now.

  • I think I have restored the author writing tools to working order.
  • Something I did broke the registration form completely. At one point I was able to register a new account for myself, but now it;s broken again. Still working on that.
  • Comment form now has a 90% working editor. The link button does not pop up and become useful yet. Something in the customization from the redesign ages go is interfering between the preview and the link buttons.

I don’t have a ton of time to devote to this, so if I can’t get it working soon, the odds are that I will scrap the entire design and all customization and install a new wordpress theme and enough plugins to get it working, then turn it over to Hal and Alex or whoever we all decide is a good technical admin. Fingers crossed that I can find the frigging cuplrit. It’s something in the AJAX vs JQuery stuff. I hate blog software.

*EDITED TO ADD*

I do not know what the fuck is going on here and to be honest I can’t devote the time or money to fix it. Everything I tried broke something else and when I tried to put it back the way it was I broke the entire site. Hence this new blank template. I’m ready to turn this over to someone else and see if they can fix it and get things running in a useful way.

In the last ten minutes I have had 5 6 emails telling me new users registered. ALL SPAMMERS. Registration has been turned off for now.

I’m not going to deal with this for very long, so y’all need to decide fairly quickly what is going to happen to this blog. I’m pretty much done. I’ll work with someone to hand it over. I can still host. I just cannot work on it.

The Insurance, er, The Tax Man Cometh

One of the consequences of having the Obamacare penalty tax penalty tax: the IRS is going to be asking some questions:

As many as 3.4 million people who received Obamacare subsidies may owe refunds to the federal government, according to an estimate by a tax preparation firm.

H&R Block is estimating that as many as half of the 6.8 million people who received insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act benefited from subsidies that were too large, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“The ACA is going to result in more confusion for existing clients, and many taxpayers may well be very disappointed by getting less money and possibly even owing money,” the president of a tax preparation and education school told the Journal.

Obamacare subsidies are paid out based on your income. But it is difficult to predict income in advance, especially for those in the low-income brackets where jobs and income tend to be a bit more variable. As a result, several million people are going to find themselves with an unexpected tax bill because they made more money than they predicted. This was entirely foreseeable, of course, which meant the Administration did nothing to account for it.

In other tax-related news, the “Cadillac Tax” of Obamacare is kicking in. This means that many businesses are looking to cut insurance costs to avoid paying the tax. The best way to do this is to increase deductibles and co-pays so that your employees use less healthcare and your rates come down.

Guess who’s not happy about that:

“Deplorable, deeply regressive, a sign of the corporatization of the university.” That’s what Harvard Classics professor Richard F. Thomas calls the changes in Harvard’s health plan, which have a large number of the faculty up in arms.

Are Harvard professors being forced onto Medicaid? Has their employer denied coverage for cancer treatment? Do they need to sign a corporate loyalty oath in order to access health insurance? Not exactly. But copayments are being raised and deductibles altered, making their plan … well, actually, their plan is still extraordinarily generous by any standard:

The Harvard profs are having kittens because they will have to make $20 copays, meet a $250/$750 deductible and pay 10% of costs up to a maximum of $1500/$4500. I hate to tell them but that’s still a very generous plan.

The irony, of course, is that Obamacare was cooked up by Harvard, pushed by Harvard experts and implemented by a Harvard Law grad. Harvard faculty have overwhelming supported the President and Obamacare. So what this amounts to is our educational elites having a temper tantrum because they’re going to have to eat at the commoner’s table, if you can imagine such a thing. But instead of dealing with the reality, they’re insisting that we should be able to cut costs without cutting care.

McArdle again:

Instead, they persist in our mass delusion: that there is some magic pot of money in the health-care system, which can be painlessly tapped to provide universal coverage without dislocating any of the generous arrangements that insured people currently enjoy. Just as there are no leprechauns, there is no free money at the end of the rainbow; there are patients demanding services, and health-care workers making comfortable livings, who have built their financial lives around the expectation that those incomes will continue. Until we shed this delusion, you can expect a lot of ranting and raving about the hard truths of the real world.

Especially when those hard truths get applied to the ruling class.

Sony Caves In

Unbelievable:

Sony Pictures Entertainment has dropped its plans for a Dec. 25 release of “The Interview,” a crude comedy that prompted a threat of terror against theaters.

The cancellation Wednesday afternoon came as the largest United States and Canadian film exhibitors said they would not show the movie.

In a statement, Sony said: “We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”

On Wednesday afternoon, AMC Theaters, citing “the overall confusion and uncertainty” around the film, joined Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark and Regal Entertainment in dropping the film. Together, those exhibitors control more than 19,200 screens across the United States. Smaller American chains and Canada’s Cineplex Entertainment also canceled the film.

The film, a comedy, depicts a couple of journalists recruited to kill Kim Jong Un. North Korea made threats this summer about the film. And a week ago, Sony’s computers were hacked, doing massive damage and releasing all kinds of private information1.

This week, there have been threats of further attacks including 9/11-style attacks, although Homeland Security doesn’t think those threats have any substance behind them. There is also more evidence that North Korea was indeed behind the attacks. Theaters have pulled the movie, terrified of the potential liability. And Sony has now cancelled the premiere.

Several things to pick apart here. Assuming that the attacks and threats did indeed come from North Korea, this is the sign of a regime losing its mind. Of all the things to get worked up over, a stupid Rogen-Franco comedy has to rank pretty low. Had the Norks ignored the movie, no one would have watched it. It would likely have sunk without trace. Now, everyone knows about it.

Second, while the actions of the movie chains and studios is somewhat understandable (one chain is already dealing with lawsuits over the Aurora shooting), it’s still cowardly. Yes, no one wants to get killed over a stupid Seth Rogen movie. But once you start giving terrorists veto power over our culture, you might as well just pass Sharia law and get it over with. In fact, one studio has already cancelled a film over this.

Third, I think the stage for this was set with The Innocence of Muslims debacle. That movie was stupid and offensive and deliberately provocative. But when the Obama Administration blamed it for terror attacks and pleaded with YouTube to yank it; when nitwit Professors wrote op-eds supporting censorship, they sent a message: threats work. Here’s Ken White, responding to efforts to censor the anti-Islam video:

We can’t cave on this in the face of demands that we censor. We can’t. Today it’s bigoted videos. Tomorrow it’s any representation whatsoever of Mohammed. What is it after that? Women depicted out of hijabs? Allowing female anchors to question men on the news? Why, if cultural censors are given the power to demand censorship of that which they find offensive, would they grow a thicker skin rather than a thinner one? Why, if barbarians are told that we will censor our societies and betray our fundamental principals if they kill innocents, would they stop killing innocents? (Yes, I said barbarians. I don’t mean Muslims. I mean people who believe that violence is justified by speech the don’t like. That includes not just extremist Muslims, but their Western apologists.)

To be fair, there are no indications — yet — that the Obama Administration is playing a role here. But they should be playing a role in zealously defending the right to free speech and promising a response to anyone who tries to silence bad speech with threats, destruction and violence.

The more I turn this over, the more I think we are headed for some kind of conflict with North Korea. It may not be a conventional war, but it just might be. Assuming the Nork connection is accurate, this is the sign of a disturbed regime and a disturbed leader. A confrontation with him is coming. Caving in to his petty egotistical needs is only going to make it more likely. This is a sign that we need to beef up our anti-missile defense and increase our surveillance and intelligence assets within and around North Korea. And we need to do it now.

Meanwhile, here’s a clip from some braver film-makers:


1. Most of the stuff released is fairly trivial gossip about movies and movie makers. The most controversial, supposedly, was an e-mail exchange between Sony execs about meeting President Obama, where one suggested to ask him if he liked Django Unchained, Twelve Years a Slave or other movies with predominantly black casts. This was branded as racist. I’m reluctant to call anyone out on private e-mails to begin with. But that aside, I’m still having a hard time working up a mad over it. It seems fairly trivial on the racism scale.

I am CRomnibus, Hear Me Roar!

While we weren’t watching, Congress quietly passed a continuing resolution/omnibus bill to avoid a government shutdown and fund the government through FY 2015. The bill basically keeps spending flat and funds everything except the Department of Homeland Security, which will be the stage for a fight over Obama’s immigration orders.

I don’t have a problem with the budget, per se. Flat spending is OK, especially with revenues growing. Addressing the long-term problem is going to require entitlement reform, which is unlikely to happen while Obama is in the White House. But, as I said a month ago, I’d prefer the Republicans put together a reform package to balance the budget long term and force Obama to veto it.

What’s really gotten attention, however, are the riders on the bill, which are laws unrelated to the budget itself. I’ll go through them quickly.

  • The most controversial is the effort to block marijuana legalization in DC. It forbids the DC government from funding marijuana regulation. I think you can probably guess that I hate this provision. The DC voters decided to legalize pot. It’s ridiculous for Congress to override them like this and a worrisome sign that Republicans are going to fall on the wrong side of history. Again.
  • The bill increases the limits on what people can donate to political parties. I don’t really have a problem with this since organizations can give tens of millions if they want.
  • They have given some schools flexibility in how they meet the new nutrition requirements for school lunches. Considering that I think these new requirements are based on junk science and are going to leave active kids starving, I’ll take this baby step on the way to repealing the regulations completely.
  • They blocked the EPA from adding the sage grouse to the endangered species list. I don’t know much about this issue, but my impression is that the grouse is declining but not in danger of extinction.
  • They forbad the government from spending money painting portraits of government officials and committee chairs. Good. Let them pay for their own damn portraits. We pay them enough.
  • They extended the time that incandescent bulbs can be manufactured. Considering that I’m typing this by the dim light of a worthless CFC bulb, I’m fine with this.
  • They required the WIC program to include more fresh veggies. Sure.
  • They forestalled requiring truckers to get more sleep. I’m supportive of this law because I know someone who was nearly killed by a sleepy long-haul truck driver. This is one of those rare times I think the incentives are lined up badly and we need a regulation. Not that I expect truckers to obey it anyway; a trucker friend once showed me how to fake the logs to make it look like you’re getting the required sleep.
  • Some clean water rules are delayed in farming areas. Sure.
  • Gitmo prisoners can’t come to the United States. I’ve indicated that I would prefer these guys be tried, but that idea isn’t going anywhere.
  • They rolled back a provision of Dodd-Frank that forbids banks from using FDIC-backed money to trade in derivatives. This was one of the few Dodd-Frank provisions I liked. If banks want to play financial games, that’s fine. But I don’t want to have to bail them out when it inevitably blows up in their faces.
  • The bill blocks the IRS from targeting certain groups. This is fine, but I don’t see any reason why the IRS would obey a second law forbidding them from doing what they’re already doing.
  • The bill mandates sexual harassment training for Hill staffers. Sure. Everyone else in the country has to get sexual harassment training. Why should Congress be exempt?
  • So, a mixed bag overall. But what’s hilarious is that the liberals are screaming bloody murder over this, as if attaching unrelated riders to a budget bill is something that was invented this week. Our government has constantly done this. There’s even a phrase for it: land-mine legislation. Huge encroachments on our liberty are passed this way all the time.

    And to complain about the DC marijuana initiative being shut down this way is blazing hypocrisy. Yes, I think it was a bad thing to do. But when Barack Obama used the “stimulus” bill to shut down the DC Voucher program, we didn’t hear a peep out out of the liberals. So should the government of DC only have sovereignty when they’re doing something you like?

    I think we know the answer to that.

    Abolish the IRS – PUH-LEASE!

    There is no more feared an organization in this country, nay the world, than the IRS. I have had to deal with them and was all but told that you were guilty until you could prove beyond the shadow of a doubt otherwise. I won, but I paid an arm and a leg to get there, and never got the money back. Stories of people browbeaten by IRS tyrants abound. No mistake or omission is permitted when you are in their gun sights. So you can understand how it galls me to find out that an organization with this kind of tyrannical overreach now claims that they are bereft by problems that prevent them from proving their innocence.

    The IRS must go already. It’s a political weapon of the left and the political class, and nothing else. Americans are getting fucked over by these crooks and criminals. Abolish it and make the people working for the IRS live off government assistance. I doubt they can hold a real job anywhere outside government, anyway. And don’t forget to throw the Obama administration in jail. If I am guilty till I prove to the IRS that they are fucking idiots, then the same should apply to Black Jesus and his disciples. Implement a flat tax. No more loopholes. It will fix a lot of the political graft machine as well. And that’s why it won’t happen. The crooks are firmly in charge of things.