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25Oct/14Off

Sex, Spice, and Small-Town Texas Justice: The Purple Zone Raid

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This past week, Reason TV released an investigative report about
a smoke shop in tiny Alpine, Texas that was repeatedly raided by
law enforcement, culminating in a disastrous DEA raid in May
2014.

The story hits a number of libertarian outrage buttons:
militarized police raids, an abusive prosecutor, disturbingly
subjective drug laws, First Amendment violations and intimidation
of journalists.

"Sex, Spice, and Small-Town Texas Justice: The Purple
Zone Raid." About 10 minutes. Written
and Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Camera by Todd Kranin.
Additional camera by Fisher. Additional graphics by Meredith
Bragg. 

Click the link below to view original
text. 

View this article.

25Oct/14Off

Pakistan to make cannibalism illegal after two brothers caught making curry from corpses

Unbelievably, it is not illegal in Pakistan to eat human bodies. This should finally be changing after repeated acts of cannibalism by two brothers there, who made the meat into

25Oct/14Off

Q&A: Couple Look to Paul’s Example in Resisting Order to Perform Gay Marriages

Perform same-sex wedding ceremonies or pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines and spend months behind bars. That’s the choice their Idaho town gave one Christian couple who have made marriage ministry their life’s work.

Donald and Eyelyn Knapp, ordained ministers, are married to each other. Together, they have run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, since Ronald Reagan’s last year as president.

“The Apostle Paul spent quite a bit of time in jail for his faith, so who am I to feel like I have any right to avoid the same thing?” Don Knapp says during the couple’s exclusive interview with The Daily Signal.

“We can’t go against the teachings of the Bible and break our ordination vows,”  Evelyn “Lynn” Knapp adds.

The test of faith began for Don, 68, and Lynn, 66, after the courts overrode Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Citing a “non-discrimination” ordinance, officials of Coeur d’Alene told the Knapps that they would be required to hold same-sex weddings at their chapel.

Earlier this month, the Knapps respectfully declined to hold a same-sex wedding in their small, lakeside chapel in the city of about 46,000. They face up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to celebrate that wedding.

>>> Commentary: Government to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Weddings or Go to Jail

On Oct. 17, the couple’s attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from forcing the Knapps to violate their religious beliefs.

Now, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal via email, Don and Lynn Knapp speak out for the first time about why they decided to stand up to the law. The following Q&A was edited for length and clarity.

The Daily Signal: How did you meet and come to run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel?

Don: We both went to Bible college in our early 20s and both became ordained ministers. We have been married for 47 years and have been Christians for even longer. We have been serving couples at the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel for 25 years, and served at several churches for 13 years before that.

Lynn: We always felt called into full-time ministry; we thought we might be missionaries. The Lord specifically called us into wedding ministry. We love meeting the couples that walk through our doors. Our strengths and weaknesses complement each other. It’s been an adventure, to say the least.

closeupHitchingPost

‘We try to create a service that conveys God’s intention for marriage,’ Lynn Knapp says.

The Daily Signal: Why are you opposed to holding same-sex wedding ceremonies?

Don: As Christians and ordained ministers we follow the teachings of the Bible, which makes clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. Our wedding ceremonies follow the traditional Christian format.

Each ceremony we perform includes an exchange of vows, a short sermon based on the Bible and teachings of Jesus, and prayer over the couple. We also give each couple a CD with two sermons about marriage and recommend biblically based marriage literature.

Lynn: We view what we do as a ministry, and hope and pray that each couple we serve will come to believe in Jesus Christ and base their marriage on biblical principles.

We try to create a service that honors God and that conveys God’s intention for marriage. We try to communicate that God loves marriage and people should follow God’s guidance about marriage

>>> Farmers to Lesbian Couple: ‘We’re Not Hateful People’

The Daily Signal: Is this the first time you declined to host a wedding — for any reason?

Don: In trying to remember back through 25 years of service, we were able to recall at least two specific instances where we declined to perform a one-man, one-woman wedding ceremony: a nudist wedding and a wedding at a cemetery during Halloween.

But one-man, one-woman ceremonies rarely conflict with our religious convictions because we are in control of the content of the ceremonies and ensure that they are consistent with our religious beliefs. There is no way a same-sex wedding ceremony can be consistent … because our sincerely held religious belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The Daily Signal: Do you agree with Coeur d’Alene officials and your critics that by declining to host same-sex wedding ceremonies you are “discriminating” against these couples?

Don: Of course we don’t agree with that.  As ministers of the Gospel, we love all people. It is the core of who we are and what we are about. That’s not what’s at issue here, though. We run a marriage ministry and have felt called by God to do so for many years. The Bible is clear that marriage is a one-man, one-woman union. We pledged to uphold marriage in our ordination vows.

For the government to force us to reject that teaching and celebrate a ceremony that is forbidden by the teachings of our faith not only undermines the very ministry we have built our lives upon, but also violates our duty to God as his ministers and what He has entrusted us to do.

>>> Commentary: Protecting Religious Liberty in the State Marriage Debate

The Daily Signal: Is that why you decided to fight city officials and file a federal lawsuit?

Don: The city of Coeur d’Alene made it clear at least three times this past year — both publicly and twice privately to me — that we would be breaking the law if we declined to conduct a same-sex ceremony. I was told we could face criminal prosecution, with a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000 each time and each day we declined to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony.

On Friday, Oct. 17, around noon, a same-sex couple contacted us and inquired about us doing a ceremony. We respectfully declined because of our religious beliefs. Our attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit against the city Friday afternoon. On Friday evening, we received another request about a same-sex ceremony.

If someone was told by the government that he or she would be prosecuted and face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for exercising their First Amendment rights, they would not wait around to see if the government made good on that threat. They would file a lawsuit to protect their freedom and avoid jail and fines. And that’s what we did here.

HitchingPost2

‘It’s heartbreaking,’ Lynn Knapp says. ‘We love the Hitching Post and the people that walk through our doors on a daily basis.’

The Daily Signal: Some critics allege that you edited your website so that Alliance Defending Freedom can turn you into “the latest victims of the marriage equality push.” Is this true?

Don:  Our website change is irrelevant to the case. We have always only performed one-man, one-woman ceremonies. When Idaho redefined marriage to be something other than that last week, we updated our website to merely state what we have always done in light of the state’s change in position.

Our wedding ceremonies continue to be one-man, one-woman ceremonies like they always have been, and will continue to reflect our Christian faith and biblical principles.

The Daily Signal: What does the prospect of months in jail and paying thousands of dollars in fines mean to your family and business?

Don: Well, I don’t think anyone looks forward to the possibility of going to jail. That being said, though, people of faith throughout the centuries have faced jail or punishment for following the teachings of their faith. The Apostle Paul spent quite a bit of time in jail for his faith, so who am I to feel like I have any right to avoid the same thing?

Lynn: It’s heartbreaking. We love the Hitching Post and the people that walk through our doors on a daily basis. It’s our life, our ministry, our calling. From a financial perspective, even though it’s a small income, it’s what we live on. I really like to be able to do little things for my grandchildren, and I’m dreading the thought of not being able to do that anymore. But we can’t go against the teachings of the Bible and break our ordination vows.

The Daily Signal: How have people responded to your story?

Lynn: We have received an outpouring of support both around this country and internationally. I think people realize that if the government can force pastors to perform religious ceremonies that violate their faith’s teachings — or throw them in jail if they don’t — no American’s freedoms are safe.

The Daily Signal: Why is this issue so important to you?

Don: Our faith drives everything we do, both professionally and personally. And, as ordained ministers, we certainly don’t check the teachings of our faith at the door when we open the Hitching Post on Monday mornings and begin marrying people.

No one, minister or not, should be forced by the government to abandon their religious beliefs, simply because they go to work.

Lynn: We follow the Bible, which is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. For the government to demand we go against that would be a total violation of our relationship with God and a violation of our ordination vows.

The Hitching Post’s bylaws state that it is a religious organization owned by two ordained ministers who operate it as an extension of their religious beliefs and ministerial vows.  If ministers cannot operate a business according to their religious beliefs, then no one can.

The post Q&A: Couple Look to Paul’s Example in Resisting Order to Perform Gay Marriages appeared first on Daily Signal.

25Oct/14Off

VIDEO: Homeschooled 4-Year-Old Overcome with Emotion When She Learns George Washington Is No Longer Alive

This adorable little 4-year-old girl, who is homeschooled along with her 6-year-old brother, has a touching reaction when she discovers George Washington is not alive. She had been learning about

25Oct/14Off

Caught on video: ISIS flag blown to bits in Syria in humongous explosion

Yesterday morning, an American airstrike ripped an Islamic State black jihadist banner to shreds where it had been raised over Tilsehir hill in Syria, outside of Kobane, a strategically important area near

25Oct/14Off

Aereo, the Supreme Court, and the Future of TV

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Last summer, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was in
violation of copyright law, forcing the company to cancel its
subscription service, a crippling but not fatal outcome for the
internet television provider. 

Aereo continues to live to fight another day, as one of
their senior officers recently filed
to become a D.C. lobbyist
in the hopes of educating legislators
on "issues pertaining to antennas, broadcast television and
television access online." And despite the lack of income from
subscriptions, Aereo's investors are sticking with the company and
continue to believe in its business model. 

Reason TV spoke with Aereo's Founder and CEO Chet Kanojia,
shortly before the Supreme Court ruling came down. 

 "Aereo, the Supreme Court, and the
Future of TV" Produced by Meredith Bragg. Camera by
Bragg and Jim Epstein. 
About 6
minutes.

Original release date was June 1, 2014 and the original
writeup is below.

The Supreme Court will soon reach its decision on the
much-publicized 
American
Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo
, a case many
believe will have a profound effect on the way we watch
television.

Aereo rents small
antennas and cloud storage to subscribers, allowing them to record
and playback over-the-air broadcasts through digitally enabled
devices. Broadcasters
feel
 Aereo is retransmitting copyrighted work to paying
customers and, based on current copyright law, should be subject to
the same retransmission fees cable and satellite companies
currently pay. Aereo
argues
 that it is simply a technology company that
empowers individuals and therefore isn't engaged in the "public
performance" of copyrighted works subject to these fees.

April's oral arguments gave little indication of which
way the Supreme Court will rule
. The decision is expected any
day now.

But no matter the outcome, this case underlines just how
antiquated and unresponsive our regulatory and copyright framework
has become in an increasingly digital age.

"[This is] just an indication of how complex copyright law has
become," says University of Maryland Professor of Law James Grimmelmann.
"[Novelist] Douglas
Coupland
 wonderfully called the computer the 'every
animal' machine because it is capable of acting like anything. That
is how the Internet works. It can act like a cable system. It can
act like a storage device. It's TV. It's radio. It's telephone.
It's telegraph.  It's everything. That means that a
regulatory system that treats these different media differently is
going to throw up its hands in confusion when it hits the
Internet."

"Whatever happens to Aereo the industry from now on is going to
be forced to move forward and innovate," says Aereo
CEO Chet Kanojia
. "[We] didn't cause this change. The change
has been brewing since the Internet started moving bits
around."

View this article.

25Oct/14Off

Un-Scientific American

ebola treatmentA misleading assertion regarding the Ebola virus was published recently in an online essay at Scientific American.

“[T]he [Ebola] virus would have to develop attachments that would allow it to easily attach receptors in the upper respiratory pathway—something that neither it (nor any of its viral cousins) has been known to do in the wild… The delicate lock-and-key protein–virus fit required for the virus to successfully latch onto and replicate in the airway has not developed because there is no evolutionary pressure for it to do so…

This is simply not true. It is readily apparent from actual scientific literature that the Ebola virus quickly attaches to and replicates in the respiratory tract of non-human primates. No doubt the cellular biology of the Ebola virus – respiratory receptor interaction needs further investigation, but Ebola must be able to easily attach to receptors in the upper and lower respiratory system – a lock-and-key protein-virus fit has already developed – otherwise the Ebola virus would not have such an affinity for the nose, oropharynx, airway epithelium and lung parenchyma of non-human primates, and presumably also for human primates.

“The potential of aerogenic infection by Ebola virus was established by using a head-only exposure aerosol system. Virus-containing droplets of 0.8-1.2 microns were generated and administered into the respiratory tract of rhesus monkeys via inhalation. Inhalation of viral doses as low as 400 plaque-forming units of virus caused a rapidly fatal disease in 4-5 days… Immunocytochemistry revealed cell-associated Ebola virus antigens present in airway epithelium, alveolar pneumocytes, and macrophages in the lung and pulmonary lymph nodes; extracellular antigen was present on mucosal surfaces of the nose, oropharynx and airways. Aggregates of characteristic filamentous virus were present within type I pneumocytes, macrophages, and air spaces of the lung by electron microscopy. Demonstration of fatal aerosol transmission of this virus in monkeys reinforces the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans.”

Int J Exp Pathol. 1995 Aug;76(4):227-36

Viral-receptor interaction is a fixed biological mechanism whether it occurs “in the wild” or in the experimental lab. Since Ebola viral affinity for the nose and lungs of non-human primates has been demonstrated in the lab, we must make allowance for it occurring in the wilds of human society. Since Ebola quickly kills non-human primates via the respiratory tract, it behooves us to take precautions in preventing the same from happening to humans – via immunization, ZMapp or similar therapy, and through a higher level of respiratory protection than is currently recommended by the CDC.

“Being at first skeptical that Ebola virus could be an aerosol-transmissible disease, we are now persuaded by a review of experimental and epidemiologic data that this might be an important feature of disease transmission, particularly in healthcare settings… We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks… Facemasks…do not offer protection against inhalation of small infectious aerosols, because they lack adequate filters and do not fit tightly against the face. Therefore, a higher level of protection is necessary.” Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

In their rush to quell legitimate questions regarding the Airborne Transmission of Ebola, Scientific American joins with the Public Health Agency of Canada in the propagation of politically correct pseudo-science.

25Oct/14Off

Billionaire Peter Thiel: “We Don’t Live In A Normal World; We Live Under A Power Law.”

Peter ThielWhen George Gilder, arguably the smartest man in the world, says, as he said to me over dinner recently in Washington, DC, that Peter Thiel is the smartest man in the world… pay attention.

Fortune calls Thiel “perhaps America’s leading public intellectual today.”  (Not all agree with this assessment.  Yet there is some evidence it is true.)  Thiel is not merely smart.  Thiel has been, and is likely to become on a much larger scale, transformational.

Peter Thiel, billionaire founder of PayPal, first investor in Facebook, early investor in Palantir  (whose service is rumored to have been instrumental in the finding and the termination-with-extreme-prejudice of Osama Bin Laden, and just might in time eclipse Facebook in value), has, with Blake Masters, written a transformational book: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, Or How To Build The Future. It’s an Amazon #1 Best Seller in economic policy.

Perhaps once in a generation comes a book that really has the power to transform the world.  Zero to One could just be this generation’s book.

In 1967, Peter Drucker published The Effective Executive, a book that proved fundamental in revolutionizing the practice of management.

In 1978, Jude Wanniski published The Way The World Works, the fundamental popular text of supply side economics.  This book shared with the policy world the Secret Formula for ending stagflation — lower tax rates and high integrity monetary policy — thereby propelling the Dow from 1,000 to 17,000 and raising the world’s GDP from $11 trillion a year to >$60 trillion a year (neither figure adjusted for inflation, but take the point).  Big stuff.

With Zero to One, Thiel joins the ranks of those shaping our political, commercial, technological and economic thinking and future. Zero to One, part personal reflections, part conversational magnum opus, is a perfect joy to read.

It is filled with shrewd, plainspoken, insights.  It overflows with revelations of secrets awaiting discovery (and how to discover them), not least including the key distinction between things obvious, things secret, and unsolvable mysteries: the easy, the hard, and the impossible.  What Thiel does, and does here, is not impossible.  It, merely, is hard.

Bonus: Thiel explains, without hype, the fundamental principles of how one might become a billionaire. Want the formula? Thiel:

Indeed, the single most powerful patterns I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas.

Of many secrets, great and small, revealed by Thiel the chapter entitled Follow The Money may be the most compelling.  Thiel:

In 1906, economist Vilfredo Pareto discovered that became the “Pareto Principle,” or the 80-20 rule, when he noticed that 20% of the people owned 80% of the land in Italy—a phenomenon that he found just as natural as the fact that 20% of the peapods in his garden produced 80% of the peas. This extraordinarily stark pattern, in which a small few radically outstrip all rivals, surrounds us everywhere in the natural and social world. The most destructive earthquakes are many times more powerful than all smaller earthquakes, combined.  The biggest cities dwarf all mere towns put together.  And monopoly [by which he means extraordinary, and therefore market dominant] businesses capture more value than millions of undifferentiated competitors.  Whatever Einstein did or didn’t say, the power law—so named because exponential equations describe severely unequal distributions—is the law of the universe.  It defines our surroundings so completely that we usually don’t even see it.

This chapter shows how the power law becomes visible when you follow the money: in venture capital, where investors try to profit from exponential growth in early-stage companies, a few companies attain exponentially greater value than all others. … [W]e don’t live in a normal world, we live under a power law.

This is a neat pun by Thiel.  In statistics a “normal” distribution is represented by the bell curve.  The power law demonstrates an exponential arc.  The Pareto Principle (and its slightly more esoteric companion, Zipf’s Law) is well-known.  The implications Thiel teases out are startling:

The biggest secret in venture capital is that the best investment in a successful fund equals or outperforms the entire rest of the fund combined.

This implies two very strange rules for VCs.  First, only invest in companies that have the potential to return the value of the entire fund.  This is a scary rule, because it eliminates the vast majority of possible investments. (Even quite successful companies usually succeed on a more humble scale.)  This leads to rule number two: because rule number one is so restrictive, there can’t be any other rules.

Let it be noted that this is not Thiel rationalizing his immense riches or special-pleading for oligarchy.  Thiel simply ponders the laws of nature, aware we can no more repeal the Pareto Principle than we can repeal the law of gravity.

Yet by working with the laws of nature we build trans-world passenger jets that fly us around the globe … notwithstanding the law of gravity.  By respecting, rather than ignoring, the laws of nature we can improve the human condition.   Thiel:

[L]ife is not a portfolio: not for a startup founder, and not for any individual. An entrepreneur cannot “diversify” herself; you cannot run dozens of companies at the same time and then hope that one of them works out well.  Less obvious but just as important, an individual cannot diversify his own life by keeping dozens of equally possible careers in ready reserve.

Our schools teach the opposite: institutionalized education traffics in a kind of homogenized, generic knowledge.  Everybody who passes through the American school systems learns not to think in power law terms.

Thiel is contrarian (to the point of taking a contrarian position on contrarianism) yet never perverse.  In full context Thiel presents as Kennedyesque.  President Kennedy famously observed, during a press conference on March 21, 1962, when challenged about the resentment of some Army Reservists being called to serve as advisors in Vietnam, “Life is unfair.”

“…there is always inequity in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the country, and some men are stationed in the Antarctic and some are stationed in San Francisco. It’s very hard in the military or personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair.”

Kennedy’s observation fully is consistent with his August 17, 1962 Remarks in Pueblo, Colorado following Approval of the Frying Pan-Arkansas Project: “Rising tide lifts all boats.”

So too are Thiel’s observations both shrewd and humanitarian.  And Thiel, sweetly disposed, leaves room for disagreement without rancor.

Thiel is one of those rarest of breeds, a radical, as in “from the root,” axiomatic thinker.  This columnist described another such thinker, in reflecting on Who Is Rand Paul, this way:

Paul, unlike politicians-as-usual, is working from fundamental axioms – axioms as in Jefferson’s “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Most politicians work from postulates, “the notion that we are going to do it this way.”

During the 2012 primary season, I made this point about Sen. Paul’s father, the great Rand Paul:

Who stands in opposition to “the [central] bank of the United States, public debt, a navy, a standing army, American manufacturing, federally funded improvement of the interior, the role of a world power, military glory, an extensive foreign ministry, loose construction of the Constitution, and subordination of the states to the federal government”?  Hint, these words were not written about Rep. Ron Paul.

This is Garry Wills’s description of Thomas Jefferson.  The elite political class looked with disdain, and now looks with a certain measure of bemusement, upon Dr. Paul. Paul represents the re-emergence of a great American tradition.  That tradition reawakens in the person of Ron Paul, who has a fair claim to be our era’s Thomas Jefferson.

It therefore is not at all odd that Thiel would have put $2.6 million behind the Endorse Liberty PAC supporting Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.  Thiel was reported by Slate to have said “The campaign really is for 2016…. I think we’re just trying to build a libertarian base for the next cycle.”

One axiomatic thinker recognizes another.  And, in the context of Dr. Paul, let this sentiment by Thiel, from an interview rather than his book, not pass unnoticed:

If you really wanted to create an alternate currency, it would have to be gold-based,” he says. “There are enough people who already believe in gold that you could probably get it to the tipping point. Starting completely from scratch is a lot harder to do. I have a lot more thoughts, but I’d say—you probably want to go with gold.”

Peter Thiel is a young man now entering his prime.  He is taking the national stage by storm.  In addition to his libertarian affinities he presents to many as multifaceted, even paradoxical.  For just one, striking, example, Thiel belongs to two usually-considered-mutually-exclusive marginalized communities: comfortably gay and comfortably Christian.

Paradoxical? As Nobel Prize-winning quantum physicist Niels Bohr once said, “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.”

Read Zero to One.  It is a book that might transform both the world … and your life.

25Oct/14Off

I’m Pro-Life and I’m Against the Personhood Amendment

prsnhdProposition #67 on Coloradans ballot this November asks to define “unborn children” as “persons.” This bill was popularized because of Brady, an unborn child killed when a drunk driver struck his mom.

But proposition #67 has much further reaching effects than punishing drunk drivers. Under proposition #67, a woman who uses birth control like the IUD, which some people think could sometimes stop implantation, is a murderer. Infertile couples who pursue in-vitro fertilization, a process that often discards some fertilized eggs, would also become murderers.

I’m pro-life and I do believe unborn babies are people. But protecting unborn babies isn’t always simple.

Two years ago my son was born and went straight to NICU for a brain infection that should have killed him. If I had avoided swimming pools, would my baby have been born healthy instead of infected? I don’t know.

If little “Joe-Joe” had died, should I have been charged with murder for using the swimming pool?

Today in Colorado, if you don’t feed your infant, you will be charged with murder when she dies. That’s fair. But what if a pregnant woman runs a 5k and then miscarries? A human being died, but should the mom be charged with murder?

When a woman breastfeeds, her uterus’s lining often becomes too thin to support a pregnancy. Thus, if a woman has unprotected sex while she is breastfeeding, her egg will likely get fertilized, but not implant. Each month, a fertilized egg will die. Should we prosecute the breastfeeding mom for murder?

I’ve heard proposition #67 proponents argue that a baby who dies in a miscarriage or because of breastfeeding is different because those pregnancies ended naturally.

Why is natural death better? If you purposefully expose your newborn boy to whooping cough, he’ll die naturally. But he’ll still die.

Three thousand years ago, King David said of God, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13). I believe life begins at conception and I don’t want a baby girl killed at 19 weeks in-utero because she’s inconvenient or not the “right” gender. But I can’t possibly save every fertilized egg. Modern medicine is simply not that good.

Recently the Denver Post endorsed Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate. They said even though they agreed with many of the views of Gardner’s opponent, they weren’t going to endorse someone who ran such a ridiculous campaign he got nicknamed “Mark Uterus.”

Similarly, I share many pro-life views with the authors of amendment #67. But I’m not going to vote for such a badly written bill that it will create more ludicrously sticky court cases than Obamacare. Bring Coloradans a pro-life bill that does something real. (Perhaps a bill banning abortions after 16 weeks, so one can’t find out gender first, and then choose to abort because one wanted a boy.) I’d be happy to vote for that.

Until then, I’m voting no on proposition #67.

25Oct/14Off

Holly Bell on High Frequency Trading and Fat Targets

For the last five years, the
press has been sounding alarms about high-frequency trading (HFT),
a practice in which investors use fast computers driven by secret
algorithms to rapidly trade securities.Time wondered in a 2012
headline whether the practice is "Wall Street's Doomsday
Machine." Mother Jones in 2013 worried it could "set off
a financial meltdown." In March of this year, 60
Minutes aired an infomercial-toned segment promoting the new
Investor's Exchange (IEX) trading venue, which, according to IEX's
website, is "dedicated to institutionalizing fairness in the
markets" by slowing down trades. Now, writes Holly Bell, we
have Flash Boys, Michael Lewis' highly lauded attempt to
explain the dark ways of Wall Street to the masses.

View this article.

25Oct/14Off

HIV-Postitive Sex Offender ‘Raped a Teen and Two year old, Infecting Them Both’

There is a special place in hell for rapists, but there is an even narrower circle for those who rape children, knowing that they’re infected with incurable STDs. David R.

25Oct/14Off

Crony Socialists Looking to Ban Online Gambling Don’t Seem to Realize It’s a WORLD WIDE Web

crnysclsm3I used to bet football games, and play occasional hands of cards (Im mostly retired).  I did so mostly online – via a company based in Costa Rica.      

Did I know the owner of the Costa Rican company?  No.  Did I know anyone in Costa Rica?  No.  Did I have any particular affinity for that nation?  No.  To quote Joe Walsh (the James Gang, solo and Eagles musician, not the former Congressman):

Aint never been there – they tell me its nice.  

The Costa Rican company got my money because the World Wide Web allowed me to shop large swaths of the planet for the business I liked best.  

Free trade is a fabulous thing.  The Internet is a fabulous thing.  The latter makes the former even easier – which is a fabulous thing. 

Unless you have an old school brick-and-mortar business model – and insist on not changing as the world does.  

For most stubborn businesses – that spells doom.  If you’re an industry titan and can afford to pony up to politicians – you look to get the government to protect you from Reality.  

It’s called Crony Socialism (it’s not Crony Capitalism – because it has nothing to do with capitalism).  

And with this particular federal government – with a $4 trillion-a-year budget, countless huge regulatory hammers poised over every nook and cranny of the economy and politicians looking to deal – very bad things can happen.

It’s usually Democrats – the Huge Government Party – who use the Leviathan as a government-money-and-regulation fundraising weapon.  For instance – remember the “green” “energy” (which isn’t green and provides nearly no energy) portion of the abysmally failed 2009 “Stimulus?”  

80% of DOE Green Energy Loans Went to Barack Obama Donors

It did nothing for energy or the economy.  But it did a lot for Obama Backers.

Sadly, Republicans – allegedly Less Government’s representatives – are not immune to the pernicious infection that is Crony Socialism.  

Meet casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.  Who has generated a personal net worth of $37 billion in large part with his brick-and-mortar gambling houses.  Who sees U.S. online gambling as a threat to his empire – but doesn’t seem to see that the Internet extends WAY beyond our borders.

Who has been a huge Republican donor – he gave $49.8 million to center-right Super PACs just in 2012.  And who is now looking for Crony Socialist legislative payback – someone to save him and his older-school businesses from the Reality that is the WORLD WIDE Web.

Sadly, some Elephants are willing to oblige.

The bill to ban most online gambling for money was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) earlier this year.

How exactly will said bill ban online gambling?  By reworking a half-century-plus old law – to apply it to the 21st Century Internet economy.  Behold the 1961 Federal Wire Act.

Here’s Senator Graham on video:

“Uhhh, yeah.  We’re going back to the wiring act.  The Wire Act prevented transfer of money for online gambling.”

Stop right there.  How did a 1961 law prevent online…anything?  There was no online.  

The Senator continues:

“Even if you wanted to do online gambling you would have to have regulations, right?”

Stop right there.  The Senator’s bill doesn’t regulate online gambling – it bans it.  

And my personal online Costa Rican experience was just outstanding – without regulations.  It was most likely much more outstanding precisely because there were no regulations.

Senator Graham seems a bit confused.  What could be contributing to his un-clarity?

After Casino Mogul Throws Him Big Money Fundraiser, Graham Seeks Internet Gambling Ban

Big-time contributions.  

The solution to Crony Socialism is Less Government.  If the Leviathan wasn’t quite so enormous, the cronyism from which we constantly suffer wouldn’t be quite so prevalent.  

The less power and money government has to throw around – the less money will be campaign-contributed to swing government the contributors’ way.

It’s sad – and angering-ly pathetic – when allegedly Less Government Republicans look to expand the Leviathan further still to get some of that Crony Socialism money for themselves.

25Oct/14Off

Luke, Look at the Figs… There Ain’t no Climate Change!

fgtrWell Obama has switched to climate change. One day global warming, the next climate change. And Leonardo DiCaprio may be just a guy, but he is right, he is not an expert in climate change. And he may not be an expert in anything except kissing up to the Clintons.

Why is the fig so important. To start with figs have been around since the beginning of time. Well about 30 years ago I tried to grow a fig tree. And in the Northeast it is a bit tricky. Even the NY Times had an article that stated: It was so cold last winter that all the fig trees died (paraphrased). What that means is that all the top parts of the unprotected brown turkey fig trees died, but in my area the roots did not die.

So how can the NY Times have all these useless articles about global warming and climate change and it is getting colder at least for last winter and this winter is predicted as being just as cold.. And in the last year I have written several articles about the weather being so much colder then it was 20 years ago. You would think the commie liberals would be celebrating that they alone solved global warming and climate change… But they still want to tax the citizens of industrialized nations like the United States.

Now just maybe DiCaprio’s brain went down with the Titanic. The problem with all this is that the loons said it was the CO2 causing the globe to get warmer. They made up this story about greenhouse gases causing the earth to warm. The only problem is that the world is not warming and the alleged amount of CO2 is increasing! Many experts have come out and said the earth has not warmed. The loser’s lets call them the deniers of real science, hope otherwise. You make up a theory and you scientifically prove it. If you can’t then the theory or poppycock is not true.

And it becomes obvious that the UN and all the other losers in the world think that if they tax the industrialized countries, that money can be sent to developing countries like China and others who will use that money to rid the world of their poor.. You can be the dumbest person on the planet or Dicaprio and you can’t possibly believe that.

So now we have commie Obama making up his own rules putting the coal industry out of business. He plans to tax all the power companies and guess who is going to pay that tax? And once the politicians and commies get their hands in your pocket and wallet and purses like FDR, they won’t let go. It is not the companies that pay the tax, it is the taxpayer that will pay the tax by paying much more for energy. 

A great example of that was Billy Bob Clinton. He taxed the folks so much that there was a surplus and he balanced the budget. But he never paid down the national debt that he caused to be increased. Clinton spent the surplus. So in the end, Clinton was a tax and spend Democrat just like commie Obama. And he added to the national debt.

The fig is a wonderful fruit. If you live in the right climate zone you can get 2 crops of figs each growing season. But in the North East with the growing season being so short consider yourself lucky if you get one crop of figs. And this year you probably struck out like the Nationals. So the question is if the world is getting warmer how come I didn’t successfully grow any figs this year? 

Funny thing, in July this year the temperature dipped into the 50’s. Let me be specific not like the global climatologists like DiCaprio. On July 30th at 7:22 AM the temperature was 58 degrees Fahrenheit! The low for the day was 51. The record high was 97 in 1940 and the low was 50 in 1968. So is the world really getting warmer according to Obama and the other losers?

I enjoyed a week in August in Biden’s state at the shore and I don’t think we saw 80 degrees. So where did the commie climatologists go wrong? In Delaware in August hitting eighty should be a breeze. By the way the average high for Lewes Delaware in August is 85. The average low is 77. Record high is 101 in 1997 and the record low of 47 in 1986. And remember we did not see 80 or above in August 2014 the week we stayed in Biden country. If the world was warming, wouldn’t the temperature be in the 90’s. Only in the mind of liberal Obama. 

Always look at the money trail… Follow the money and you will find the crooks! Billions if not trillions have been wasted on proving that there is global warming. And the UN swears by it. I can tell Obama instead of spending billions on global warming and phony climate change, if he spent a million or two on disproving global warming, he would have saved the taxpayers billions of dollars. Money that could have been spent on education and the poor in the United States and not in India.

If we really cared about the global poor, wouldn’t the money be better used shipping the greenbacks to the poor country instead. I am sure all of it would be used wisely by the poor and there would be no corruption and no world leaders gobbling up the money. Yeah right!

Money, money, money it is all about the money. These commies don’t give a damn about the poor or the climate. They think they can convince the suckers to turn over their money to save the planet that does not need saving.

Again I was at the beach this summer. A beach or ocean that I have seen since I was born. And I haven’t noticed any increase in the sea level. By now, wasn’t Miami supposed to be underwater. Physically not counting the Obama mortgage industry.

Let’s ask you the most important question. Assuming our elected officials were community leaders… Who would you want leading you? Someone that believes in Made-up crap like global warming and climate change or someone who will protect the nation from illnesses like Ebola, Enterovirus 68, and Polio.

Do you want someone to protect you from terrorists that move freely across the liberal Obama open borders?

Do you want someone that lies about the economy and ObamaCare? And are supported by liberal pundits that make up stories about how great the economy is and ObamaCare is so wonderful.

Do you want a leader who has expanded the welfare roles with legal and illegal immigrants while your American Job is sent to other countries?

Maybe next time you should think about who you vote for. Do you want a commie like Obama and the other liberals or do you want someone who will protect the American Dream?   We have a right to a fair job. We have a right to a healthy living, and we have a right to be protected from terrorists. Seems the liberal Democrat politicians are only concerned about their paychecks and benefits! Under the liberals, it will never be your turn. Isn’t it time to vote against the liberal, commie propaganda! If not for you, what about your family?

25Oct/14Off

Will Voter Frustration Lead to Republican Victory or Defeat?

rpblcnvctryAll recent polling data confirms that over 70% of the people believe that Obama and Democrats are leading the nation in the wrong direction, many of them believing that they are leading the country right off a cliff.

So, defeating Obama’s Democrats should be a walk in the park with over 70% looking to make a change in the mid-terms. However, it may not be quite that simple.

The Money in 2014

Democrats are raising and spending six-times as much as their political opponents for 2014. Take a good look at just the Top 20 super-PACs, which shouldn’t even exist according to McCain-Feingold.

This is just the Top 20 super-PACs…. And there are hundreds of PACs today. The ratio weighted heavily on the side of Obama Democrats remains however.

United they will WIN

Actions will determine the outcome of the 2014 elections, not words, or wishes, or opinions or even money. The outcome of this election will impact the direction of our country after, in numerous critical ways.

Politics is a TEAM sport. The best trained and most unified TEAM will win.

In the past and even today, 30% of the people have been running roughshod over the other 70%… Not because they have a better plan for America, or because they are better funded, although they are much better funded.

They have been successful because they are 100% united in their efforts and they are 100% committed to forever “changing America.” Unfortunately, they are committed to making America something it never has been and never should be.

Divided, the pro-American “right” will continue to lose to the anti-American “left.”

Despite knowing that “divided we will fall,” some still fall for a plethora of initiative aimed at further dividing the political “right.”

Yet, the outcome of such advice is already well known… If every pro-American voter stays home or breaks ranks to a 3rd party candidate not actually in the running, the future of the entire nation is once again left in the hands of the anti-American “left” by default.

We simply cannot allow that to happen again in 2014.

To WIN, we MUST Unite!

American conservatives need to choose their bedfellows much more carefully. Yes, every American conservative has a right and plenty of reasons to be angry with today’s spineless Republicans and their Republican National Committee, which seems to have at least a dozen ways to lose an election and even a country.

Yes, they are right to be fed up with current Republican leadership. No point in listing all of the valid reasons for that anger. However, what to do about it is very important…

EXAMPLE:

The house is on fire and you have three options available. What do you do?

  1. Cast a vote to throw gasoline on the fire (vote Democrat)
  2. Cast a vote to get a fire hose (vote Republican)
  3. Cast a vote for an ice cream cone (sit it out, or vote 3rd party)

Most “conservatives” know that the only viable option is to vote for a fire hose and hope for the best. All who never pass up an opportunity to vote themselves gifts from your wallet will cast a vote to throw gasoline on the fire, by voting Democrat.

But those who hate both political parties equally, because they hate our two-party Constitutional Republican system of self-governance, are telling all “conservatives” to vote for an ice cream cone, either because “your vote doesn’t matter,” or because “there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans,” or because “we need a multi-party parliamentary system,” or because “Ron Paul was not allowed to win in 2012.”

These folks do not divide the “left” vote, they only divide the “right” vote and by so doing, their opposition to their so-called “lesser evil” guarantees a victory for the greatest evil of all.

Damned if We Do, and if We Don’t?

To say that pro-American voters are between a rock and a hard place here is an understatement. But to say that it doesn’t matter what we do (or don’t do) is a lie. It’s not true…

“Evil prevails whenever good people do nothing” – which means that doing nothing, or staying home on Election Day is not an option. All good people must vote on November 4th, are they are “doing nothing” to confront evil in America.

We know from experience that we are indeed “damned if we don’t.”

But until we DO, we do not yet know if we are also “damned if we do.”

Democrats controlled both chambers of congress when Obama seized the White House in 2009. It wasn’t until the 2010 elections and the 112th Congress beginning in 2011, that Republicans had control of the House. From 2011 to today, Democrats have continued to retain control of the Senate. So, we do not yet know what might be accomplished if Republicans had control of both chambers during the remainder of the Obama administration.

What we do know is this…

Until Republicans control both chambers of congress, the Senate will continue to be a blind rubber stamp for Obama and the two chambers will remain mostly in gridlock legislatively.

Only after “we the people” place both congressional chambers in the hands of Republicans can we hold all Republicans 100% accountable for what happens next.

The 2014 elections present an opportunity for all pro-American voters to strip Obama of all congressional support. This could mean a lot of things after the election, everything from Impeachment of the most impeachable administration in U.S. history to the reversal of ObamaCare and an end to defacto or any other form of amnesty for millions of illegal invaders.

Further, there are a number of critical governor races up for grabs, and if we want the 10th Amendment to mean anything looking forward, we cannot allow any more states to fall into the hands of Democrats.

In the end, righteous voter frustration with Republicans cannot cause a national suicide in the 2014 elections. We must use every tool in the box to move this country in the right direction.

It took global leftists a hundred year sustained effort to hijack and destroy America. We will not end that threat in any one election cycle. But we can begin the process in this election, by uniting and fighting the most dangerous evil to ever grip our nation’s government.

And we MUST!

25Oct/14Off

Video: What’s On The Back Of This Giant Wolf Spider Will Haunt Your Nightmares

If a quarter-sized spider makes you run for the hills, this is not the story for you. Put down the shoe and pick up a brick because this this large

25Oct/14Off

The Downfall of Obama

obmObama has been lying to the folks for a long time. And his supporters were not too keen on Obamanomics. You would have to be real dumb to believe that Obama could turn the economy around in 6 years with his liberal policies. Obama’s friends keep getting rich but not so for the rest of the country. But today instead of beating a dead horse … The economy has fallen and can’t get up, let’s discuss ISIS and immigration and how does this affect the average voter.

Immigration is easy. Obama has opened up the borders by executive order and it is a free for all. And keep in mind the Democrats in the Senate agree with Obama’s open borders. If they didn’t they would have passed laws to stop it. But they think they will get the Latino vote if they sit there like a bunch of goofs claiming they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil but please send them money so they can get re-elected. You have to be the dumbest person on the planet if you send these liars money.

Even Schumer came out from under his rock in support of some limited restrictions on the 150 folks that come into the country every day from West Africa. If that number is true that is 54,750 folks per year. Meanwhile the vast majority of the country polled do not want any of the West Africans to enter the country until they have passed the 21 day quarantine period. And that period should not take place in the United States. Now they are going to let the people in and self-monitor them for 21 days. What are they going to do with the infected people and the people exposed to these darlings over the 21 day period when they are allowed to roam the streets of the United States?

So where was Schumer when the folks did not want open borders? Maybe the next time a Democrat is up for re-election no one should vote for them. If they don’t represent the people who do they represent? They represent the Democrat party and the party hasn’t represented the majority of the people for a long time. But they keep putting liberal Democrats in office! They are no longer in touch with the people.

So there are two main issues that have brought down Obama and his liberal Democrats. In reality it is the whole ball of wax. No one is jumping up and down and screaming how great Obama is. No one is faking fainting at his taxpayer paid fund raisers.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back is ISIS and immigration. 

Immigration is easy. Obama and his acolytes were so excited that they had the power to grant secret passage to this country for thousands of immigrants. They even called most of the trespassers refugees. And all the women had to do was say their husbands beat them in a foreign country and the liberal American judges granted asylum. Why not, they don’t have to pay for the new welfare recipients, you the taxpayer does.

But the flip side of the problem is that all these new invaders are bringing in all neat new viruses with them. In Pakistan they are battling Polio and the CDC sits quietly instead of bringing out the polio vaccine. When polio finally hits the United States they will claim there is not enough vaccine for everyone. FDR came down with polio at the age of 39.

The new immigrants are bringing in Enterovirus 68. They may be immune or carriers but our children are not immune. There   will be no quarantines. The invaders are already here. Obama and the liberal Democrats invited them to live here in the same schools as your children. So do you want to vote for the folks that stood by and did nothing while Obama invited all these carriers into this country. He called them refugees. You can call them system suckers.

The Ebola Czar slipped the other day and complained about over-population. This is not a new concept. It started way back in the 60’s and it was probably considered a form of racism. Then they tried earth day. And today they are trying climate change and global warming. Common sense is not buying it!

Common sense something Obama lacks, would dictate that if an area can not support 10,000 people, then how is it going to support 100,000 people. Even in this country folks that collect the monthly disability check because they can’t work seem to have no problem procreating.

So whose fault is it when cities in poor areas are over-populated. It must be President Bush’s fault. It must be the Republican’s fault. And the funny part is that a fool like Obama thinks he can fix the problem by bringing the people here. Doesn’t he know they will over-procreate here as well.

Just what we need. Most people have been prudent by limiting the size of their families because they could not afford to have 12 kids like the Kennedys. So Obama and liberals assume it makes sense to bring in millions of immigrants to a melting pot that lacks an economy to support so many people. 

ISIS is easy. When a group like Al Qaeda threaten us… We annihilate them. It doesn’t seem like the ISIS thugs are any different then the Russians and German atrocities during World War II. If you stick your head in the ground like Obama and the liberal Democrats, there will be a day of reckoning. When you see a ruthless enemy, just like a bedbug, you eradicate them and ask questions later.

These terrorists now have access to lots of money and weapons thanks to Obama and the liberals. They can easily buy nuclear capability from Pakistan, India, North Korea, China or Russia. And thanks to the open border policy of Obama, Pelosi and Reid as well as others, these terrorists are free to enter the United States any time they want. Common sense says you annihilate these pirates. Obama only has time for Democrat fund raisers and golf.

This is what the Republicans should be talking about days before an election. Not about a budget and economic proposals. Do not give to any liberal… Ammunition to cloudy the water. Let the mess be on the liberal Democrats and Obama alone!

It is time for the citizens to speak up. And vote all these liberals like Obama out of office.

Look to your right and left and bring your neighbors to the polls. No matter how many times the liberals stuff the ballot boxes and vote several times the shear number of common sense voters can take down the liberals.

It is time to bring common sense back to our commie government.