atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2065: Obama's nominee doesn't understand 1st Amendment

She says that some speech can be "disappeared". The idea is that the validity of speech should be weighed against its "societal cost", and if it's found wanting, prohibited.

Except that ain't constitutional. The Founders made freedom of speech the first of the bill of rights precisely because it is so easy for government to deny people that right. The first amendment is there specifically to protect unpopular speech, speech which runs counter to accepted doctrine or conventional wisdom.

It's why the US Nazi Party is allowed to trumpet its nonsense. Yeah, they're a bunch of jerks, but their right to speak is guaranteed by the first amendment.

Any limitation of that right has to be approached with great care, because once you start down that road, where does it end? The law that says, "You can't say anything anti-gay" opens the door for other laws: "You can't say anything anti-government" and "You can't say anything anti-Democrat" and eventually "You can't say anything without permission."

If you think I'm invoking "slippery slope" just ask yourself: where can you light up a cigarette these days? Can you smoke in a restaurant? Can you smoke by the restaurant's door? Or do you--as is the case in Chicago--have to move a certain number of feet away from the restaurant's door before you are allowed to light your cigarette? It wasn't that long ago that you could smoke wherever the hell you wanted to; now (in some areas) there are laws which prevent you from smoking in your own home.

And lest you think the situations are not parallel, just ask yourself: what politician would not love being able to outlaw speech which is critical of him? The politician could argue that anti-pol speech is "dangerous".

Hell, the sitting administration is trying to paint peaceful anti-tax protests as "violent". You think Obama wouldn't love it if he could send in the stormtroopers to disperse and arrest TEA partiers?

* * *

Two years to Iran with ICBMs. I think two years is optimistic.

I also think a one-ton payload is excessive. How heavy is a nuclear bomb? 1,000 kg? Really? Maybe for the simplest configuration (see also "Little Boy") but Iran has the data for some sophisticated weapons and probably will be able to improve on that considerably. The lighter the bomb, the farther the missile can carry it; being able to hit southern Europe with a 1,500 lb payload means beign able to hit northern Europe with a 500 lb payload. No?

* * *

How the hell is this guy still alive? Seventy years without food or water? It's physically impossible.

I'll tell you what: if this is actually true, then he's one in a trillion. Don't try this at home, because you'll die.

* * *

The "rescue fund" staved off disaster for the euro...for now. The stock market here was up significantly on the news that the EU had finally started acting to do something about the failing socialisms there; but Europe is suffering from stagnant economies. Portugal, Greece, Spain, etc--they're only the canaries in the coal mine; this bailout fund does not address the structural issues which led to Greece's imminent collapse.

They're not giving up socialism. I presume that Greece has a democratically-elected government. The sitting government is going to lose its seat regardless; at the next election, the other side can win handily by promising an end to the austerity measures; and then Greece is right back in there, spending more money than it has.

This way lies ruin.

* * *

Have a gander at Al Gore's new house. And read:
Don't you love these hypocritical Climatards? (That's the term they prefer, I hear).

They want to control your lives: how big your car can be, how much water your toilet can hold, the kind of light bulbs you can use. They even think there are limits on how much money you should be able to make.

But they put no limits on what they can have. Kind of like the old Soviet Politburo. Which is the kind of society they intend for us.
Oh, but Al Gore buys carbon offsets to mitigate the damage his lifestyle does to the environment!


* * *

...lately I'm finding myself getting 'way too angry at all this stuff, so I back away from it to avoid raising my blood pressure too much.

* * *

WoW is down until 1 for maintenance, of course (it being Tuesday).

All my characters got the Core Hound Pup pet because I bought the authenticator. Cool; another vanity pet. Ormus now has 15, which gave me the "Plenty of Pets" achievement.

* * *

With the economy sucking, my hometown has re-instituted the requirement that all vehicles display a city sticker. And they're $50 each.

...the last time I needed one--admittedly, 1997--they were $20. But there's no inflation.

Anyway, the Jeep and the Escort got theirs yesterday. The Escort had a City of Chicago one (2006) and the residue from another sticker where I wished to affix the new one. The residue sure didn't mind a razor blade, which is probably why it was still there. Anyway, I hosed the area down with glass cleaner and that cut the sticky, and was able to scrape all that stuff off.

The City of Chicago sticker was also a royal bastard to remove. What the hell? You can make a sticker come apart when you try to remove it without using nuclear Space Shuttle glue. But fortunately, the glass cleaner helped with that one, too.

* * *

So Mom is saying that she's heard tell that the feds aren't going to apply COLA to Social Security again this year. Well, "there's no inflation", particularly if you exclude food and energy from the cost of living...which they're doing. That's right: the government apparently believes that food and fuel have nothing to do with staying alive and functional in the United States.

Energy is costing more (thanks, Democrats) and food prices are rising too. The dollar is worth 15% less than it was last year at this time; but if you're careful about what you pick as indicators for the cost of living, you can pretend there's no inflation taking place.

Mansions haven't increased in price lately. Luxury cars are about the same price they've been. Boats, caviar, champagne, aircraft charters--all the things the elites buy haven't increased in price, so there's no inflation.

* * *

...I was engaging in a bit of hyperbole there.

* * *

The interchangeable heads for the weed whacker run about $100 each. Of course.

Does that mean we paid $100 for the weed whacker attachment and $20 for the engine? That's whacked. (Pun intended.) Arguably, a chain saw attachment is a little more complex than the attachment which spins nylon string at 5,000 RPM, but still....

The snowblower, cultivator, and pole saw attachments seem to be the most useful to me. Besides the weed trimmer one, I mean.

* * *

I'm going to be 43 in 8 days. Whee.

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