Another double standard ; Espionage

Front page news!

I am happy to see that some newspapers consider espionage an important topic, so long as it is not Israeli spying.


For Butch (Logipundit)

Butch and I have argued back and forth several times about the utility of a national referendum.

Winston Churchill once said that the best argument against a national referendum is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter.

I’m sure if Winston could see this clip, he would amend his timetable.

After viewing this video clip, I might have to scrap my argument.

It’s funny, one needs a driver’s license to drive a car legally, but any person (of age) can pull the lever. I think that the right to vote ought to be conditioned on knowing something, anything really.

Amanda Baggs’ story

All the news stories recently about this new epidemic warrant two comments on my part. One, the DSM IV-TR was released in 2000 and the bar for diagnosing autism has been lowered. A small percentage of the cases of kids diagnosed with autism, or aspergers, or “autism + ADHD” do not fit the standard criteria for these disorders, in a sense autism can become a miscellaneous bin for anyone showing slight social or communication impairment. This doesn’t apply to Amanda below; she is a true positive.

Second, there is a still controversial theory that says that maternal perinatal (around birth) stress can affect certain genetically predisposed babies adversely, resulting in higher incidence of these disorders. We can learn a lot from people like Amanda, and next time you see someone like Amanda in the grocery store or walking down the street, remember they are just as much a person as you are and have had a much tougher life.

Insurgency TV

Forget Democrats mentioning “phased redeployment”. Insurgent Iraqis already have plenty of motivation coming across their airwaves. Sick, disgusting motivation in the form of graphic videos displaying American soldiers being attacked and killed.

Posted in Iraq. 1 Comment »

School Vouchers in Utah

Utah Politics has a great post about State Rep. Urquhart’s recent legislation on School Vouchers in Utah. He stated that vouchers do not hurt the core finances of public schools, and actually posted a web forum urging citizens to post their opinions on the pros and cons of school vouchers. Noone was able to effectively rebut his assertions, and therefore not only did the voucher legislation move forward, but it did so with a level of transparency and philosophical soundness simply unheard of in modern politics.

When our good friend Scottie begins to talk about a National Referendum I always start to cringe, but I do agree that modern technology allows citizens to have much more of an input than they did years ago. Now I know absolutely nothing more about Rep. Urquhart than this story, but judging from this it would be a great idea for others in the political realm to follow his example. If you have more openness like this, then a representative republican democracy is much more effective.

It Has Begun

All over the news in the last few weeks, the coverage has been dominated by the next presidential election, disregarding the media frenzy on Anna Nicole Smith’s death and Britney Spear’s bald head, and her brief stint at the rehab hospital.

The Presidential election is a year and a half away, and we are already seeing the power-hungry lining up and becoming organized. Why is this so disconcerting?

Obama, Clinton, et al are still serving their constituents supposedly. So when elected officials hungry for more power ignore their current duty, what happens to the state of governance in the present?
Is the USA in such good shape that it can be neglected for 18 months so that we can provide a track for the mad dash to the White House?

There are bigger questions out there than Hillary or Obama on the democratic side, or Guiliani or McCain on the republican side. Better questions which impact the Big Picture are :

1. Why are Americans herded into one of two political parties, when other Western democracies have multiple parties represented in the election process?

2. Given the state and nature of corruption that has always existed but has shown its ugly head in the last few years, at what point do Americans become fed up with charlatans presumably speaking on their behalf? If the middle man of the corporate-controlled electoral process is corrupt to the core, or glaringly incompetent, why don’t Americans insist on a fundamental change in their governance, namely the National Referendum?

3. Who, of all the candidates, will refuse the special interest dollars and stand up for the interests of the US, and not the interests of other groups?

It’s amazing to observe the machinations of the people desperate for power. I believe that many enter politics with noble thoughts of improving the system of governance. Maybe it is the case that the corruptive elements are too strong for humans to withstand. Or maybe the system itself has design flaws that should be changed, for the greater good.

Deterrence works

Absolutely vital story from the NY Times as the new Amnesty bill comes up. Don’t let George Bush, or John McCain, or Ted Kennedy, fool you, this bill will hurt poor and middle class Americans the most. Business owners, small and large alike, will love it, because they can pay lower wages to immigrants at the expense of hiring American citizens and paying them a decent wage.