Author Archives: R.D. Walker

Planning to barbecue this 4th?

The the governmental personnel at ChooseMyPlate.gov, a bureau of the United States Department of Agriculture, would like to be involved in your grilling decisions. Brisket and short ribs are not among the Leviathan’s approved fare.

govgrill

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Hipster Rail

It is like a hipster bicycle. No gears. No brakes. Pedal backwards, go backwards. It is incredibly inefficient by modern standards but the inefficiency is its appeal. The goal isn’t to efficiently travel from point-to-point. The goal is move about with maximum inefficiency so as to display your disdain for modernity and, well, efficiency.

Yeah, urban light rail is just like that. A combination of Hayak’s “fatal conceit” that bureaucrats foolishly believe know what the market wants more than the market and a ridiculous urban/hipster/gay desire to promote a gentrified and retro image conspire to create this stupid monstrosity. Watch with disgust….

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Another uncomfortable history lesson…

We want the truth, right? Of course we do. We want the truth even if it tears apart our cherished myths.

Here, therefore, is a quote from a document called “A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union” dated February 2, 1861. That would be about a month before Lincoln took office.

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.

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#LoveWins

In Germany…

Sexual relations between siblings or between parents and their children are forbidden under section 173 of the German criminal code and offenders can face years in prison.

But on Wednesday, the German Ethics Council recommended the section be repealed, arguing that the risk of disability in children is not enough to warrant the law and de-criminalising incest would not remove the huge social taboo around it.

“The majority of the German Ethics Council is of the opinion that it is not appropriate for a criminal law to preserve a social taboo,” it added.

“In the case of consensual incest among adult siblings, neither the fear of negative consequences for the family , nor the possibility of the birth of children from such incestuous relationships can justify a criminal prohibition.

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Ending tax exemptions for churches that don’t do SSM?

This writer says it needs to be done.

It’s going to be an issue because it should be an issue. America’s highest court has now ruled that marriage is a “fundamental right”. We have decided, correctly, as a nation, that when we say that “all men are created equal,” included in that is the right to marriage, no matter what your sexual orientation.

If your organization does not support the right of gay men and women to marry, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.

Hmmmm… Let’s try that logic elsewhere.

It’s going to be an issue because it should be an issue. America’s highest court has has ruled in Citizens United that corporate spending on political issues cannot be limited. We have decided, correctly, as a nation, that when we say that “corporations are people,” included in that is the right of people to free speech, including political speech.

If your organization does not support the right of corporations to spend on political issues, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.

That works. Let’s try another.

It’s going to be an issue because it should be an issue. America’s highest court has has ruled the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to federal enclaves and protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes. We have decided, correctly, as a nation, that when we say that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” included in that is the right of people to possess handguns anywhere in the United States.

If your organization does not support the right of the people to keep and bear arms, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.

Yeah, this works well.

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Edited to reflect the correction made in the comments. Hat tip Chad.

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Spending money, money to burn, money you did not necessarily earn…

Socialism is, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, a fine system until you run out of other people’s money. Greece has run out of other people’s money.

In Greece, leftists oppose EU imposed planned austerity. The thing is, planned austerity will look flat out luxurious compared to organic, Venezuela style austerity.

“The Greek economy is not production based, it’s highly reliant on imports of goods and raw materials,” he told The Telegraph. “In other countries where capital controls of this sort of have been put in place, businesses are usually exempted, but not this time. If we can’t make electronic remittances, then soon even the most basic goods will not be available.”

Indeed, over the weekend, there were isolated reports of customers stocking up on staples like rice, spaghetti and tinned milk in some supermarkets, and of motorists queuing for petrol at garages on some of the Greek islands.

On Monday, supermarkets remained well-stocked in Athens, although there were fears that shortages could begin later in the week. Yet even if the banks do reopen as scheduled next Monday, it may take at least another week to clear the massive backlog of transactions.

Socialism fails. Again.

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Can love exist without a licence from the state?

dear-diary

Last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning state law prohibiting same-sex marriage annoys me but the reason why might not be what you think.

Iowa was the third state to legalize SSM. It has been the law here since 2009. That early adoption made Iowa a SSM tourist destination. Same sex couples would come from all over the region to be married in Iowa. This SSM tourism has tapered off as other states have legalized SSM and will now end completely. At its peak in 2013, however, so many were coming to Iowa that a quarter of the marriage licences in the state were SSM.

It never bothered me. I never saw an SSM happen. I never heard of one happening. In all my personal and business dealings I have only encountered one SSM couple: two matronly 50-something women. Same sex marriage in Iowa has had zero impact on my life and I refuse to oppose the actions of others that impact me not all.

Therefore, I support civil marriage for same-sex couples. If I were in the legislature, I would vote for it. Civil marriage, after all, boils down to a set of tax and legal benefits. That is pretty much it.

Not that you would know that from reading the court’s majority opinion. I am pretty sure that when Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority and droned on and on about love, most of it was plagiarized from a lovesick 14-year-old girl’s diary. “Marriage,” Kennedy wrote, “responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there. Cripes, Tony, give Betty and Veronica their diaries back.

Civil marriage isn’t about love. You don’t need a licence from the state to form a loving bond with another person. In fact, a government issued licence with attendant benefits and requirements has nothing whatsoever to do with love, companionship or commitment. Love exists unfettered and, indeed, unaffected with or without a licence from the state. Love existed before there was a US Constitution has flourished perfectly well without government sanction. Government plays no role in love.

Nevertheless, Kennedy absurdly flatters himself that the government has a role in promoting love. He goes so far to imply that the court just legalized love. The reality, of course, is that love exists with or without the musings of the Supreme Court. The court mandated that the states allow same-sex couples to benefit from marriage’s various monetary benefits including reduced inheritance taxes upon the death of a spouse, compensation if a spouse dies as a result of a work-related injury, or loss of consortium damages in tort suits. That’s it. Love remains unchanged by the court’s ruling.

For the record, I don’t oppose extending that suite of benefits to same-sex couples. If I was a legislator in a statehouse I would vote in favor of allowing SSM in order allow same-sex couples to get the same benefits as married couples. Hell, I would vote to extend those benefits to anyone including siblings, cousins, roommates, business partners and whomever wants them and forms a contractual relationship. In fact, screw the contract. I would vote for reduced inheritance taxes for everyone. Actually, let’s just end inheritance taxes completely!

The thing is, I am not a state legislator and neither are the SCOTUS justices. The court granted civil tax and legal benefits and nothing else. They have no power to do anything else. The reality is that anyone has always had the right to love anyone. Anyone may vow romantic and sexual fidelity to anyone. Anyone may form a lifelong partnership with anyone. Government has no power to grant or deny these fundamental rights. These unalienable rights existed before the Constitution and will survive the death of the republic.

As many have said here, it is frustrating that the court has the ability to unilaterally override the legislatures of the states when what is at stake is basically tax and tort law. That the court used the “logic” of a Tiger Beat reader and the doggerel of a Hallmark card to stomp the hell out of state laws defining little more than the conveyance of monetary benefits is especially annoying.

Coming up next, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a five to four decision, rules that “wishes can come true, if you believe in them with all your heart. They’re shining deep down inside of you. ‘Cause that my friends is where the magic lives!”

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Cognitive Dissonance

cogdis

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C’mon Bristol, WTF?


Double Quadruple WTF?

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James Madison and the Writers of the Constitution Speak

From the grave the Federalists explain that, yes, we intended men to be guaranteed the right to marry other men and that no legislature or state could rule otherwise.

The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.

Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court’s previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.



More here.

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A States’ Rights Historical Document

South Carolina was the first state to secede prior to the Civil War. It formally declared its intention on December 24, 1860. The state’s reason for separating itself from the union was that the Federal Government and other states were unjustly denying it rights as a sovereign state.

It is important to understand that there was only one right that the state thought worthy of mentioning in its declaration. Here is the last third of that declaration as adopted in December 1860. This document is an important part of history worth reading.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.

We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.

You can read the whole thing here.

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The RD Walker Trade Bill

Everyone may trade freely with anyone else in the world and governments will not take part in that process except to enforce contracts.

Done.

Why Should Washington Control Our Buying and Selling?

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Democrats put that flag up…

It looks like Republicans will take it down.

In a break from her own position, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday called for the removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.

“The time has come,” she said to applause.

Haley joined other state leaders, including Republican state Sen. Tim Scott and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, in calling for the removal of the flag.

“Today we are here at a moment of unity in our state, with no ill will, to say it is time to move the flag from the capitol grounds,” Haley said.

My thoughts…

It won’t bring back the victims of the terrorist attack in Charleston nor will it do anything to prevent future victims of racist cretins.

The timing smacks of caving in to the cultural Marxist, politically correct agenda of the left. That is a shame.

That said, 150 years after Appomattox, the battle flag of the entity that fought for the “state’s right” to maintain a crime against humanity and to suppress natural human rights should be retired from official governmental display. Call it the last act of Reconstruction.

If I’d have been a common man in the South in 1861, I would have fought the Northern Aggression. I would have fought them because they came “from up there” to “down here”. We can honor these soldiers for their willingness to serve and fight an invader.

We should not, however, pretend that the Confederacy was an honorable defense of States’ Rights. That is pure revisionism. The only states’ right that really was at stake for the Confederacy was their “right” to enslave their fellow men, women and children along racial lines. That is indefensible. Period.

They should maintain the memorials to the honorable soldiers that served the South in that terrible war, but it is time to retire the flag.

For everyone who wants a replacement flag that says “fuck you” to feds, I suggest this one. It isn’t the flag of a losing entity and it calls for the support of natural human rights, not their suppression.

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An important message from the Islamic State

Govern yourselves accordingly.

Senior clerics fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have issued a diktat banning pigeon breeding as they claim the sight of the birds’ genitals as they fly overhead is offensive to Islam.

Jihadis operating in the group’s ‘Euphrates province’, which stretches from Anbar in Iraq to Dier ez Zour in Syria, told pigeon breeders they had one week to stop the practice or face public flogging.

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Federal Priorities

First World problems…

Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the nation’s two largest movie theater chains, have received formal inquiries from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, signaling growing government scrutiny of a tactic large theater operators commonly use to keep movies out of competing locations.

AMC, which has faced the most backlash in the exhibition industry over the practices, told investors the Justice Department wants information “in connection with an investigation,” according to an AMC notice filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, into “potentially anticompetitive conduct” at the company.

Regal made a similar disclosure on Monday.

Let’s see… I can watch movies in theaters. I can watch them on broadcast TV. I can watch them on cable. I can watch them on satellite. I can watch them on DVD and BluRay. I can watch them on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. I can watch them on my handheld device on Google Play. I have more ways to watch movies than the most forward thinking futurist in the 1970s could have dreamed during a three day absinthe bender. Yet this is what the Justice Department is focusing on. Soccer and movie monopolies.

How much federal involvement do we need to ensure that the next warmed over, third rate, Marvel comic retread show up in our local theater 12 hours before it is on DVD and every streaming service? Should the government be working on more important things? You know, like federal rule-making to enforce a standardized national bed time?

So many terrible afflictions to be addressed in America…

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Brutal Winter Weather Causes Recessionary First Quarter

Why? Because Global Warming.

This may put the kibosh on Obama’s Recovery Summer VII. Damned Bush anyway!

The U.S. economy shrank at a 0.7 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, depressed by a severe winter and a widening trade deficit.

The government’s revised estimate for last quarter was weaker than its initial estimate of a 0.2 percent growth rate. The U.S. trade gap — the difference between the value of exports and the larger value of imports — was found to be wider than first estimated. And consumer spending was slower than previously thought.

Maybe Obama should pivot to the economy.

More.

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SCOTUS Prediction

In King v. Burwell, SCOTUS will rule 5-4 that the law means what it says: Subsidies can only be paid in states that set up state exchanges. As a result, Obamacare subsidies in 36 states will be at risk.

Democrats will join with enough Republicans in Congress to quickly and efficiently fix this aspect of Obamacare and return subsidies to Obamacare users in those 36 states.

Let’s hope I am wrong about that second thing.

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Tweet of the Week

I am calling it early.


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Everybody gets a medal for participating…

part
Even if it kills us.

If you’re ever trapped in a burning building, just pray the firefighter climbing up to rescue you isn’t Rebecca Wax. Or someone like her, who’s been given an EZ-Pass through firefighting training for the sake of gender equity.

This week Wax, who repeatedly flunked the rigorous physical test required by the New York City Fire Department, will graduate anyway, The Post reported.
….
Wax tried six times to pass New York’s Functional Skills Test within the 17-minute, 50-second deadline. Five times she couldn’t finish at all; on the sixth try, she needed 22 minutes. Women’s groups claim the test is needlessly difficult and unfairly bars women.

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Thought for the day

Proposition: Being a conservative/libertarian does not make you a rational individualist. Being a rational individualist makes you a conservative/libertarian.

Corollary: There are many conservative/libertarians who are neither rational nor individualists.

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Tribalism

Why would anyone support rifle bearing men sighting weapons at law enforcement officers over a dispute regarding the amount Cliven Bundy is or isn’t willing to pay to graze federal land but find no sympathy for citizens rising against a crapulent municipal regime with a long history of police violence and brutality? Ayn Rand knew the answer: Tribalism.

What are the nature and the causes of modern tribalism? Philosophically, tribalism is the product of irrationalism and collectivism. It is a logical consequence of modern philosophy. If men accept the notion that reason is not valid, what is to guide them and how are they to live?

Obviously, they will seek to join some group—any group—which claims the ability to lead them and to provide some sort of knowledge acquired by some sort of unspecified means. If men accept the notion that the individual is helpless, intellectually and morally, that he has no mind and no rights, that he is nothing, but the group is all, and his only moral significance lies in selfless service to the group—they will be pulled obediently to join a group. But which group? Well, if you believe that you have no mind and no moral value, you cannot have the confidence to make choices—so the only thing for you to do is to join an unchosen group, the group into which you were born, the group to which you were predestined to belong by the sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient power of your body chemistry.

The only remedy for the problem of tribalism (irrationalism and collectivism), she argued, is rationalism and individualism.

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

*I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.* Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Paris, January 30, 1787

More below the fold…

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It’s the real thing!

“If you stop and think just a moment, you’ll find that we have more of the good things in this country than anywhere else in the world.”

I really believed it.

Do you remember when it was still politically correct to be proud of your country and businesses appealed to that pride in their advertising? If you do and you are close to my age, you will enjoy this walk down memory lane.

Maybe it was just naivety but I miss it.

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Team Hillary preps for spontaneous, everyday American activity

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Hill’s Dueling Headlines

hill1

hill2

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