A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ tag

Order of Operations

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What do you do when a bunch of uppity plebs continue to protest even after your great and generous government was benevolent enough to removed the gas tax hike that sparked the protests? You begin laying the groundwork to justify bringing in the military. That’s what Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is attempted to do by rewriting history a little bit:

The “yellow vest” protests have been “a catastrophe” for the French economy, the finance minister says.

He has his order of operations a bit backwards. It was the catastrophic economic policies implemented by the French government that sparked the protests. The gas tax was merely the straw the broke the camel’s back. But even funnier than his attempt to rewrite history is his attempt to redefine democracy:

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the situation “a crisis” for both society and democracy.

Democracy is a method of government where the majority rules. What could be a more pure form of majority rules than the masses rising up and declaring their opposition to a government decree? These riots are direct democracy in action.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 11th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Welcome to the Sidelines

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I haven’t mentioned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez too often on this blog because, frankly, it’s so easy to ridicule her that there’s no sport in it. It’s like hunting sloths. However, I’m going to give her credit for calling out the hypocrites in her party:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected US House representative, called out her future colleagues in Congress, including Democrats, for paying their low-level staffers salaries below the “living wage” and for employing unpaid interns, even as members of Congress are paid multiple times more than the average American.

The incoming New York Democrat, who took service industry jobs to support herself and her family in the years before she ran for office, tweeted on Monday that she’s met congressional staffers who wait tables to supplement their government wages.

Most of the politicians demanding a minimum wage of $15 per hour have a serious case of “Do as I say, not as I do.” If they pay their staffers and interns at all, it’s a pittance. Much like their demands that individuals be disarmed while they walk around with armed escorts, these politicians believe that they better than the common people and are therefore owed additional privileges.

Unfortunately for Ocasio-Cortez, this is exactly the type of behavior that gets an upstart sidelined in Washington DC. She won’t get invited to the fancy parties hosted by lobbyists, she won’t find support for any legislation she wants to pass, and she won’t receive meaningful press coverage. Make no mistake, she’ll still collected her six figure salary and all of the other lavish benefits of being a representative. But that’s the only thing she’ll do and only until the power players decide to dump their resources into defeating her at the next party primary.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 6th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

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Perverse Incentives

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Do you need to mail a letter today? Or buy some stocks? Tough. Almost every federal office, including the United States Postal Service, and the stock market are closed today to celebrate the death of George H. W. Bush:

Wednesday will be an effective federal holiday as the nation mourns the death of former President George H.W. Bush. President Donald Trump declared it a National Day of Mourning, meaning that nearly all federal workers would be excused from work and their agencies would be closed.

The former president will be given a state funeral Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. After the ceremony, his body will be moved to Texas, where he will be buried at his presidential library. Mr. Bush died Friday evening at the age of 94.

I didn’t like the man but I still find taking a day off to celebrate his death to be in bad taste. That’s probably just me though.

The precedence this decision sets could lead to interesting places. If federal employees want a day off, they only need to knock off a president. We could have a Praetorian Guard situation where emperors, err, presidents get bumped off on a regular basis (granted the motivations of the Praetorian Guard were usually more than wanting a day off but I’m certain that the average American is lazier than the average Roman was).

Written by Christopher Burg

December 5th, 2018 at 10:00 am

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More Effective than Voting

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The French government decided it was going to bleed its subjects a bit more by passing a fuel tax hike. This didn’t go over well. By “didn’t go over well” I don’t mean the usual American response where people scream bloody murder and claim they’re going to vote the responsible parties out of office when the next election rolls around, I mean shit was literally on fire. In response the French government has reconsidered the hike:

Fuel tax rises which had led to weeks of violent protests in France have been suspended for six months.

PM Edouard Philippe said that people’s anger must be heard, and the measures would not be applied until there had been proper debate with those affected.

Smart move. Considering France’s history, the next step in the protest would have likely involve guillotines.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 4th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Bumping Off Bump Stocks

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Earlier this year Trump indicated that he would work to ban bump stocks. His supporters claimed that he actually had no intention of doing so and that his announcement was merely part of his extremely clever game of multi-dimensional chess again the liberals. Recent claims by officials indicate that his supporters are delusional, he’s not as good at chess as he thinks, or both:

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to officially ban bump stocks on guns, a move that would put an end to the sale of attachments that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire faster and that would follow through on an order President Trump made this year to the Justice Department to regulate the devices.

An administration official said on Wednesday evening that a formal ban will be rolled out in the coming days to weeks, a timeline first reported by CNN.

The funniest thing about this, at least in my opinion, is that this news will likely change nothing as far as Trump’s supporters and detractors are concerned. His supporters will continue to claim that he doesn’t support gun control but his maneuvering those evil liberals into checkmate. Meanwhile, his detractors will still refuse to support him even though he’s now pushing for the gun control they ceaselessly demand.

This is part of the reason why politicians are unaccountable. Most politicos are unwilling to admit that they were wrong about a politician and will make any excuse to continue holding their opinion. Trump could sign a new ban on ascetically offensive firearms and his supports would still love him and his detractors would still hate him.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 30th, 2018 at 10:30 am

One of These Things Is Just Like the Other

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Since I already wrote one post about the similarities between Obama and Trump today I might as well keep writing on the theme. A lot of people are up in arms because border agents used teargas on immigrants who were trying to cross the imaginary line that separates the United States from Mexico. How horrible is it that Trump authorized the use of such violence against poor, defenseless women and children (as his critics put it)?! Of course the people crying foul now didn’t utter a peep when the same thing happened under Obama:

Under President Donald Trump, CBP’s use of the substance has hit a seven-year record high, with the agency deploying the substance a total of 29 times in fiscal year 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018, according to the agency’s data.

However, the data also showed that the substance was deployed nearly the same number of times in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 under former President Barack Obama, with CBP using the substance 26 times in fiscal year 2012 and 27 times in fiscal year 2013.

Once again we see the hypocrisy that is common amongst the most vocal of politically opinionated individuals. When a politician on the “other” team does something, the politically opinionated scream bloody murder. When a politician on “their” team does the exact same thing, the politically opinionated clap their hands, cheer, and wax poetically about how effective “their” politician is.

I tend to consider most politically opinionated individuals to be unprincipled but that’s not entirely accurate. They do have one principle, which is that “their” party is always right. Even when “their” party does something they disagree with it’s only because it was forced into doing so by the “other” party. I believe that technically qualifies as a principle but it’s a stupid one to have in my opinion.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 28th, 2018 at 10:00 am

And We Will Call It Truth

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Remember when Barack Obama announced the need for a mechanism to filter approved news for unapproved news? His announcement was met with cheers by his supporters and called an attempt to establish an American version of Pravda by his opponents (of which I am included). Fast forward to today and things have changed. Donald Trump has announced the need for a government operated news outlet to combat fake news:

President Donald Trump on Monday suggested the US should form a state-run, global news network to counter what he called “unfair” coverage from CNN.

“While CNN doesn’t do great in the United States based on ratings, outside of the U.S. they have very little competition,” Trump said via Twitter. “Throughout the world, CNN has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way.”

The president added, “Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!”

I’m sure there are some significant differences between what Obama wanted and what Trump wants. For example, I’m sure Obama was considering calling his proposal “Pravda” whereas Trump will likely settle on a completely different name such as “Truth.”

It should surprise nobody that Trump’s supporters are cheering his announcement while his opponents (of which I am included) are claiming it’s an attempt to establish an American version of Pravda. In other words it’s business as usual here in the land of nonexistent principles and opposition to critical thinking.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 28th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Not Enough Slaves

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Senator Tom Cotton has a reputation for saying incredibly stupid shit. However, I think he may have outdone himself:

Sen. Tom Cotton on Thursday slammed his colleagues’ efforts to pass sweeping criminal justice reforms, saying the United States is actually suffering from an “under-incarceration problem.”

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“Take a look at the facts. First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: for the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted, and jailed,” Cotton said during a speech at The Hudson Institute, according to his prepared remarks. “Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.”

The country with the highest incarceration rate in the world has an under-incarceration problem?

Moreover, Cotton’s statements about the inadequacies of law enforcers doesn’t add any weight to his argument. Assuming Cotton’s statistics are correct (which they probably aren’t), why do law enforcers only identify perpetrators in 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes? Could it be that instead of focusing their efforts on crimes where individuals were actually wronged they are focusing their efforts on victimless crimes that are profitable for the department like drug crimes?

Moreover, even if law enforcers were able to identify perpetrators in a majority of property and violent crimes, why should that increase the incarceration rate? The purpose of justice is supposed to be to make a victim as whole again as possible. For example, if somebody steals a $400 television, justice would be for the criminal to repay that $400 value to the victim as well as any expenses incurred (including personal time invested) for finding the thief and bringing them to justice. If that happens, the victim is back to where they were before the theft and thus is as whole again as reasonably possible.

Incarceration doesn’t make victims whole, it merely locks a criminal away so they can become a slave laborer for the state or one of its cronies. So what Cotton is really saying is that there aren’t enough slaves to work the prison plantations and he believes that any form of prison reform will only worsen the situation. If his concern was actually justice, he would still seek a reduction in incarceration rates.

Every Vote Matters

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Another national election has concluded. That can only mean that Florida is steeping in electoral shenanigans again:

The elections board in Florida’s Miami-Dade County has collected a set of mysterious ballots in the Opa-locka mail facility after Democrats raised concern about the uncounted votes.

The uncounted ballots have emerged as one of many battles over the fiercely contested Florida elections that moved this weekend into a recount phase.

Suzy Trutie, a spokesperson for the county’s supervisor of elections, told CNN there were 266 ballots in the shipment and that the votes will not be counted. Florida law requires all ballots sent by mail to arrive at the election facility by 7 p.m. on Election Day, and these ballots did not meet that standard, Trutie said.

There are two possible explanations here. The first is that these votes were somehow lost in the mail. The second is that these votes were conjugated out of thin air when it a race was so close that ballots had to be recounted. Neither explanation supposed the advocate of democracy’s claim that every vote matters.

If the first explanation is true, then the votes of the 266 individuals who voted on those ballots don’t matter because they weren’t received by the legal deadline. If the second explanation is true and the people arguing that those ballots should be counted get their way, the power of the legitimate votes that were cast will be watered down.

It turns out that creating a pseudonymous voting system that is also secure is a task that has so far eluded the people of the United States. So long as that continues to be the case, your vote really can’t be said to matter.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 14th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Dog and Pony Show

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the open socialist who won a New York congressional seat, is bitching that since she doesn’t start receiving money stolen from taxpayers for another three months, she can’t afford housing in Washington DC:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist and youngest woman ever elected to Congress, can’t afford to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C. before her job starts in January.

“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment?” Ocasio-Cortez, 29, told the New York Times. “We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January.”

She’s full of shit by the way. She’s three months away from receiving a guaranteed $174,000 per year salary (plus other benefits), which means she’ll have no problem whatsoever getting a short term loan from pretty much any bank. Moreover, she managed to raise enough money to run for Congress, which isn’t cheap. If she has enough suckers willing to fund her economic illiteracy all the way to Congress, she can almost certainly sucker them into dumping money into a GoFundMe for three months of housing.

But whining about an inability to afford housing will endear her to her fan base. Since they’re gullible enough to support an open socialist, they’ll buy pretty much any fool thing you tell them.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 9th, 2018 at 10:30 am