Monday, January 31, 2011

Obamacare Unconstitutional

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was just ruled unconstitutional.

The centerpiece of Obamacare is the individual mandate. For those who've been ignoring the news for a while, basically you are compelled by government to purchase health care, and if you opt out, you face fines. Unpaid fines to the government don't result in the government going "shucks, we didn't really mean it", they result in jail time. Try it this year with the IRS.
They give you free health care in there, too.

J.B.H. wrote about the unconstitutionality of Obamacare a while back.

Jake Tapper from ABC asked Obama about the fine system and the president admitted he agreed fines for noncompliance were necessary.

And there are jail time penalties in the bill:

“H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.” [page 1]

“If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…”

• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.”

But for now, a judge has ruled against Obamacare and the "buy it or go to jail" mandate - and invalidating the entire bill. Next step is the government going to the supreme court to push for it again.

Ultimately, the question is one of the scope of federal power and the ability for the government to stretch the commerce clause to encompass any absurd suppression of citizens' rights.

This started in no small part under one of the last giant progressive presidents, FDR. Wickard v. Filburn. Filburn was a farmer who was growing extra wheat for himself to feed his livestock. The government had mandated the amount of wheat that could be grown in order to drive up the price of wheat and "help" farmers.

To begin with, it's Keynesian economics, which are predicated on meddling by a bureaucrat who believes they know more than the person on the ground - and the bureaucrat ultimately using the government's gun against the American person who rejects them. The price was low and that "hurt" farmers. But rather than support farmers growing as much wheat as possible by offering tax cuts for farmers or something - leading to more wheat and fewer hungry people, the government decided to limit the amount of wheat. Supply goes down, demand goes up. Of course, limiting the amount of food results in famines... but the bureaucrat in DC doesn't feel it.

The fedgov is hurting people in California's Central Valley right now. This time, rather than favor the price of wheat over farmers, they favor a fish over farmers.
The EPA hates Americans of Mexican descent. Obama hates brown people!

Anyhow, Filburn was growing wheat for himself, and the government (FDR's supreme court), ruled that the government could regulate crops grown for private use, as they "influence the market". The idea was that since Filburn wasn't buying wheat at government-inflated prices, he could also not use his own land to grow wheat to feed his own livestock, as his act of not buying wheat influenced the price somewhere, no matter how miniscule.

Since he used his own land to grow his own wheat and not buy government wheat he was influencing the price of wheat by taking out his buying power. It's like the government looking at the hooligan in the Broken Window Fallacy and going "we should smash some more windows!"

Filburn's right to his own property and his own enterprise on his own land were violated. The government ruled that through the Commerce Clause that it could tell you what to do with your own assets. This is what Obamacare was doing until it was ruled invalid - except now rather than just growing your own wheat, Obamacare took it one step further. If you didn't spend your money, you were subject to penalties.

The Commerce Clause is thus:
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes

What does this mean? According to SCOTUS in Gonzales V Raich, which illegalized home-grown marijuana:
The Commerce Clause emerged as the Framers' response to the central problem giving rise to the Constitution itself: the absence of any federal commerce power under the Articles of Confederation. For the first century of our history, the primary use of the Clause was to preclude the kind of discriminatory state legislation that had once been permissible. Then, in response to rapid industrial development and an increasingly interdependent national economy, Congress “ushered in a new era of federal regulation under the commerce power,” beginning with the enactment of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887 and the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.

What's it really mean?
It was set up so that trading between states would be regular. So that if someone in Vermont wanted to sell something in Maine, they didn't have to pay tariffs to cross New Hampshire. That's about it. It was to keep Kansas from telling flights across the state they have to stop selling drinks at the state line. That was the purpose.

The purpose was not to tell a farmer that if he grew wheat for himself he'd go to jail, or to tell you that when you work for your money, you have to buy a healthcare plan or go to jail.

For those who would contend that not being a lawyer means that you, Joe, Jane, Pedro, Shaniqua or Vinh don't have a voice, that's nonsense. The Constitution was not written in some esoteric language. It's pretty plain even now.

You don't get from this:
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes

To this:
“H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.” [page 1]

“If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…”

• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.”

Without a hefty load of BS between them. If you don't spend you money the way the govt says, you got to jail. Nonsense.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

George Washington Hidden By NAACP At Event

Via Weasel Zippers, Jawa Report, and American Thinker.

This was done... "to keep from offending anyone".

Methinks there were no members of the 332nd Fighter Group in attendance, or they would've torn the damn thing down and yelled the ears off whoever the organizer for this insult was.

This guy would've been mad, too - or any of the sailors on the nuke sub named after him. And probably this guy - who chose his name.

Update/Edit: It would be remiss if I ignored other times statues have been covered up/removed within the last few years for fear they would be "offensive".

In 2002, someone in the Bush Administration (not Ashcroft, according to the story) covered up the Spirit Of Justice. Whether it was because of "aesthetic" reasons or because somebody didn't like Justice raising the roof and showing off what her sculptor gave her... who knows. It was widely assumed that socially conservative Ashcroft had disliked the Tits of Justice, and for the Department of Justice to cover up a symbol of... JUSTICE seemed to be a rather ominous choice to make when adding "aesthetic" to a room that had never needed it before.
Offensive to people who don't like pecs or boobs.

Then there's also the return of the bust of Churchill, done by a president who holds grudges that have been dead for a couple generations.
Rallied England to defeat Hitler, and he liked Bambi.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Damn The Torpedoes and The Uptight Puritans

I'm a little behind the curve on the story of Captain Honors, mostly because I thought of it as a Tailhook-type nothing to say beyond what's been said story. Some dumb Navy officer does something stupid, vile and juvenile and gets fried for it. I figured it was cut-and-dried, and oh well there are more important things to discuss. I thought wrong - I didn't bother to surf and find out what was going on until today. Tailhook involved assault. Captain Honors did video skits with less offensive material than guys like Conan and Leno have done for decades.

From the AOL story:
The videos were broadcast on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in 2006 and 2007. The videos, made while Honors was second-in-command, included gay slurs, mimicked masturbation and racy shower scenes. They came to light in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper over the weekend.
Like I said, no worse than Conan.

Short version of the story - a few weeks ago, Navy Captain Owen Honors, skipper of the USS Enterprise - got fired for some so-called "raunchy" videos made four to five years ago back in 2006 and 2007. The videos were distributed on-ship as part of some kind of series of humorous skits introducing movies.

For those who've been in the military, you know how much downtime you have. For those who weren't in the military... well, imagine going to work every day two hours early and standing around waiting for your boss to tell you what to do for the day. Then you do it for ten hours, then you don't go home - you just go to a room where you live with two other co-workers and you go to sleep. If you're in the Navy, you probably have closer to five co-workers sleeping a couple feet from you.
This is where you sleep. If you want to roll over, you probably have to get out and get back in. Get the top bunk and you won't get peed on.

Being in the military, and especially being on ship, is something that gets you close to people, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

The videos in question are compiled right here:

RedEye has a large portion of the video here, sans edits, along with their commentary.

The dudes and chicks sharing a shower is a joke about navy showers. Since water rationing is often in effect, you only get three minutes to shower. The joke is that with two people in the shower, you could have six minutes. Since facilities aren't integrated, it's two dudes and two chicks in the shower, with accompanying jokes. It's funny, unless you're a member of the Film Actor's Guild and really want to hurt morale by trying to crush what little joy servicemembers get.

Some youtube commenters make good points:

As a sailor, these videos crack me up.

Its a rough sense of humor that comes from being crammed in tight living spaces with ridiculous working hours and a job that can be life and death at times. All due respect to those civilians living stateside who get to go home every night to their family and spacious houses, but you don't understand the military if you are questioning this. Navy is investigating to appease you. We kill people for a living, we can tolerate offensive humor. Come on people.
lentillover1 22 hours ago
This is exactly what is wrong with our society.
No sense of ha-ha.
This is hilarious. It's what happens when you spend half of your LIFE at sea.
I feel sorry for people that don't get it.
Guess they wouldn't understand much about:
Spend some time in front of the wire in places like Afghanistan or Iraq.
PTSD2010 1 day ago

Let that sink in.

If you're talking about most sailors who joined at age 18-20, the four years they spend at sea represents the first several years of their independent adult lives. In the petty officer 1 and 2 ranks, you're looking at an individual who may have been in the Navy from age 18-26 - spending all of their independent adult life in a cramped, dank, haze-gray tin box miles from land, away from their family and friends beyond shipmates. 8 years before now that PO1 was a squid. 8 years before he was a squid he was in 4th grade. And chiefs and officers really have been at sea longer than they've been on land sometimes - they are a different breed.

The job of the US military is ultimately to make living people into dead people. The hurricane/disaster relief that the Navy does and all the rest are just very positive side effects of power projection.
Power Projection: _________________<-put your gay joke there.

Another youtube quote:
I love how all the service members support the XO and only civilians have a problem with the videos. I think these uptight puritans have spent so much time in their ivory towers they've completely forgotten there are things in this world that are actually worth complaining about.
Ellgrekko1980 5 hours ago

The money quote from the AOL story is this:
A group that has advocated for gay service members praised the military for condemning the videos.

Yup. People who aren't in the military, whose primary function in life is to turn the military into their private social experiment, are the ones who helped push this along. Why? Because they have no sense of humor. Why? Because they hate. Why? Because they are uptight leftist ideological puritans who can tolerate no dissent and no humor.

"Don't offend me" groups - here the gays and leftists offended on their behalf - specifically the uptight leftist ideological puritan gays who can tolerate no jokes and no words they find offensive - are exercising their influence to push the military into what they want it to be, not what it must be. Whether repeal of DADT, relieving on-duty commanders for humor - neither helps the military's mission. The puritans don't care - they are safe in their ivory towers of media and academia.

The military is not a playground for social engineers. It is a tool to defend a free society that allows people to be as gay as they want or as straight as they want or as bi as they want.

To the uptight gay, they don't care. They don't understand that there are second and third-order effects. You get rid of DADT, you lose old soldiers, sailors, and Marines who don't want to be part of the sensitive touchy-feely military run by hairdressers and Barney Frank. To the uptight gay, that's a good thing - it purges the military of elements they loathe.

To the military and the nation, vast quantities of experience and knowledge are lost when those men and women exit the military. It leaves those who are ideologically pure for the uptight gay activists, and those few who can force their sense of duty to be greater than the offense they have been done. But it does damage to the military and its ability to fight.

You fire a commander because he's not politically correct, and you end up short one commander who knows the job well, and you are forced to replace him with someone else. The replacement isn't going to know the job as well, and the replacement is going to have to form a new bond with the unit he commands. Not to mention the crew of the ship don't want a new commander.

GAY SAILORS who served under Captain Honors weren't offended, and are angry that Captain Honors was relieved of command. Go ahead, click the link - it's a news site.
It's unknown what this guy's opinion was, but he looks like he's got a sense of humor.

To uptight ideological puritan gay, or leftist who is offended on their behalf, the concept of military readiness is alien. They think the world is at peace because it always has been - in their limited experience and understanding of culture. They know they can get the military and other US institutions to do what they want by waving paper at them and telling them they're mean. The rest of the world agrees with them externally - because it's a means to tear down the US.

Except for Japan, which is just in it for more gay and lesbian sailors... Or gays and lesbians in sailor suits, anyway.

Obviously not all people who are gay have no sense of humor and want to get officers fired because they can't take a joke. And some gay people recognize that a Navy-gay-shower joke, or calling someone "fag", unless they're a Harley Davidson rider, is really pretty meaningless and harmless. The military is full of people from the ages of 18-22 who say "fag" or "gay" as a general negative, but who have no real dislike of gays or lesbians (or Harley Riders). It doesn't make them Fred Phelps.

Gay people with a sense of proportion often understand they should be concerned about places where being gay means you'll be executed. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but "fag" - especially when not directed at you, nor meant with mean intent - can never hurt you. And the dude saying "fag" in a manner that isn't aimed at gays is the same guy who stands against those oppressive regimes, and for gays being safe - and who's sworn to uphold gays' Constitutional right to defend themselves.

And again, there are those who see the big picture, and who understand that - gay sailors know this is bullshit and address it:
In all honesty, do Americans really want a military full of men and women who's first reaction to a harsh word or off-colored joke to go running to mama crying? Do we really want those people as our defense against the ever growing terrorism threat and foreign nationals with a vendetta against America? It seems thats what the media and the higher ups that be wish... Before you know it they'll be administering sensitivity training on the polite and politically correct way of killing the enemy.
- Eric Prenger

Thank you for your service, Mr. Prenger. Thank you for speaking out against people whose interest in you is as their pawn and who can't understand that you're the sailor who has their back covering them while they go from ship to shore. I'm sure Captain Honors would be proud to serve with you again.

I don't know the man beyond his letter to an Atlantic writer and his letter to the leftist gay group that got Captain Honors relieved, but Mr. Prenger knows more about comraderie and what it means to put on a uniform than any of those who claim to be offended on his behalf.

Mr. Prenger does more for gays than any uptight leftist ideological puritan gay political action group and the leftists who are "offended on their behalf" who actively makesthe US less safe by targeting the military as their ideological enemy. Mr. Prenger's example, through time, would've eroded DADT - the other favorite recent subject of the uptight puritan gay. And if Mr. Prenger and his crew were offended by Captain Honors, with the good working relationship between commanders and troops evident by an XO who does movie night skits, they would've been able to address it. Had he or any other gay sailor been offended, he could've requested mast over it. The procedure is already there to say "Sir, that was kinda uncalled for." But it wasn't necessary.

Morale was improved (aside from a few lame jokes), no one was hurt, and no one cared.

Colonel Kurtz makes it simple to understand:

We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let's Hear it for Civility, Leftists

While the left is up in arms about this graphic:
Looks kinda like the Democrat one from yesterday, huh?

I'm sure they're also doing things to foster the civility they're talking about. Like with this "Kill Sarah Palin" Facebook Group:
Lets hear it for civility, leftists!
A bit bigger, showing members and creator.

This is the creator's FB page link at the bottom:
Elliot Parker

And his base FB page from the link:

Since I'm one of those cavemen still without facebook, I can't pull up any more of these pages, but they're screencapped for posterity.

Here's some members* (see update), with screenshots:
Kenstasia Falcon
Bart AlfvoetPatrick LearyRon HughesChristina-Jackson-Lewis

Update: *After JBH took a look at the FB side of the house, a couple of the members of the page seem to joining it just to report the page. Seems like a dumb thing to do, attaching your name to a call for assassination of a public figure (or private figure, for that matter), even if it is just to report it.

Update 2: As of 0310 CST, the page is erased - gone, down the memory hole. It's still acknowledged by Google Cache as existing:

Update 3: Anon @ 2:54 mentions that 9 out of 10 times you need to join a Facebook group to see it. This one not so. As I mentioned up above, I'm not on Facebook (yes, I know, I'm a dinosaur) - this was pretty much public for all to see - except for the friends/members list. Also, the group was at about 70 to just below 90 members the whole time I was screencapping it - there were many members who were there to stay.

Wayne @ 5:33 asks if there are any more screencaps of members. JBH said he went in (he's not a dinosaur, and has a FB login) and took some screenshots of the full group itself - hopefully he'll be able to post a few at some point soon. There are also still apparently a few that can be viewed in the Google Cache - screencaps below in case they disappear, too:
Jarrad Winter
KGem-Hologram - funny, you'd think she'd be apolitical
David Leonard
Sam Spennell

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Leftist Lies and The Arizona Shooting

With luck, Arizona Democrat Representative Gabrielle Giffords will pull through and make as best a recovery as possible; as will the rest of the wounded. With time, the wounds left by the loss of the dead will heal.

But the wounds that are now opened and the lies that are now being spread are getting pretty bad in the realm of the living - the left is taking full advantage of Rahm Emmanuel's "Never let a good crisis go to waste" mentality, while violently erasing their own history.

Hillbuzz has a roundup here.

Michelle Malkin's roundup here.

On January 6th, the leftist blog DailyKos had a post entitled "My CongressWOMAN voted Against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!"
This has since been erased by the DailyKos.

While the left is condemning a map with "targeted districts" made up by Palin's camp that included Giffords' district - indicating it was vulnerable, as Giffords is a Blue Dog Democrat; the left is hiding its own history of such imagery:
Done by democrats.

Note that many of these items are being deleted and scrubbed from leftist websites, and in some instances even the google caches have been deleted and scrubbed. This is nothing new to the left.
Uncle Joe was editing history long before DailyKos.

It's something indicative of a group that can't stand up to criticism. The left is rabidly violent, and indeed the demented killer in AZ shares many points with the left - and was identified by those who knew him as being a rabid leftist.

The killer was a left wing pothead, according to those who knew him. But much like the leftist who flew his plane into the Austin, TX, IRS building, or the Jihadist who shot up Fort Hood - the left will simply write a counternarrative of lies and blame their usual targets and violently ignore reality. What doesn't fit with what they want, simply does not exist. Any information to the contrary must be destroyed. Stalin would be proud.

Let's hear it for democrats preaching civility!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Richard Cohen Lies

Richard Cohen wrote a column for the Washington Post today lamenting the lack of blue-blood New Englanders in the military, and how sad it is that the Ruling Class can have the Country Class fight for it, because if there were more blue-blood New Englanders in the military, we wouldn't have gone to war. The blue-blood New Englanders would've protested and stop the war. And isn't that sad.

That's my summary.

Here's the article, decide for yourself:
How Little The US Knows of War

Perhaps most importantly, here's the second sentence of the article:

The U.S. Army that fought the Vietnam War was reviled, not spit upon (that's a myth) but not much admired, either.

It is not a myth. Richard Cohen, you are a liar.

Here's some documentation for you - there are dozens upon dozens of incidents:

Here's one:

Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize winner and former assistant managing editor at The Washington Post, writes in his book, The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966 of Captain Tom Carhart's return from Vietnam, pp. 324-5:

"Still in uniform, he was strolling through the O'Hare terminal in search of a telephone when a group of hippie girls darted up and spat on him. The shock and pain could have been no more intense if they had slashed him with knives. Reeling with surprise and uncertain what to do, he did nothing. His assailants scampered off through the airport crush as Tom wiped the saliva from his face, now aflame with humiliation. That night he got into an argument about the war with his friends' daughter, who was home from college. This is great, he told himself sardonically. I'm back less than twenty-four hours, I get spat on, then I get hassled by my countrymen over a cause for which I got myself shot twice. Welcome home, Johnny."

As to the "substance" of your column after the lie - Mr. Cohen, just because you live in a bubble isolated from the military doesn't mean everyone else does. I'd bet you don't know any truck drivers, machinists, or farmers, either; and likely no beat cops or firefighters. What you are writing about is the break between the Ruling Class - of which you are a part - and the Country Class - of which I, JBH, and 95% of the nation are. The culture you represent rejects the military and refuses to join - perhaps if you weren't busy celebrating the denouement and "no great songs", you'd get a clue. Also, there have been some great songs. They just belong to genres you don't listen to. On this you are simply ignorant.

These are for people who've earned them.

This one's for all you guys who aren't short yet, but want to be (you'll miss it when you're out and forget about police call and being drunk in morning formation - til then suck it up - time is on your side):

And for those who are staying in, but who aren't super-motivated:

And for genuine motivators like SSgt Hyatt, who had more legitimate motivation in his little finger than most Marines ever have, the kind of sergeant that made Hollywood sergeants:

Yes, it's a bit motarded. But at least it's not Taliban Bodies...

Okay, sure, here's Taliban Bodies, for all you motards*!

Is it a war song? Was Surfin' Bird?

I could do a year's worth of posts on music influenced by OIF & OEF, from Dixie Chicks' release of Travelin' Soldier in 2002 to Bad Religion's Let Them Eat War in 2004 to Toby Keith's Angry American/Courtesy of the Red White & Blue to John Michael Montgomery's Letters From Home in 2004 to... screw it, we got some room for more motivation by 3 Doors Down - Citizen Soldier (Nat Guard extended version):

*Motard: Combination of motivation and retard. Implies an individual who's motivated to a stupid level. Mindless, obnoxious motivation.