10 Things Movies Teach Us About Virus Outbreaks
Hot girls, psychos and heroes: all immune to the impending swine flu viral apocalypse...
And yes, I got it from Den of Geek.
*hangs his geeky head in shame*
11 minutes ago
"Americans are tired of partisan bickering. They are looking for their representatives in Washington to put partisanship aside and get to the work of the American people."
Statements like this have become a mantra over the past few decades. Like Democracy, "Bipartisanship" is now held up as an ideal and an end in and of itself. It would seem that no matter how ludicrous or destructive a policy might be, it must be just and beneficial if both major political parties agree that it should be law.
The seminal moment was, of course, the bloodless coup of 1913. During the first year of the Wilson administration, the federal government established the income tax, the Federal Reserve System, and passed the 17th Amendment. All of these changes were indicative of the change of philosophy in Washington about the role of government. No longer was the government's purpose to secure individual rights, as the Declaration of Independence said it was. Instead, the role of government was now to achieve societal goals of social and economic equality and a world safe for democracy -- all at the expense of individual rights.
"All violent crimes must be vigorously prosecuted," Smith said. "Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system -- 'equal justice for all.'"
"Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim," Smith said. "It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime."
Bank of America Chairman and CEO Kenneth Lewis testified under oath in New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's investigation in February. During the testimony, Mr. Lewis told prosecutors that then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke instructed him to keep silent about deepening financial difficulties at Merrill Lynch.
I suspect Lewis he will be forced out as CEO whether he is indicted or not. Certainly he deserves to go. The more serious issue is the appearance of coercion by Paulson and Bernanke.
Please note that Cuomo's letter states "In an interview with this Office, Secretary Paulson largely corroborated Lewis's account. "
As far as I am concerned, Paulson just pleaded guilty.
The political class has spent the last few months blaming bankers for everything that has gone wrong in the financial system, and no doubt many banks have earned public scorn. But Washington has been complicit every step of the way, from the Fed's easy money to the nurturing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and since last autumn with regulatory and Congressional panic that is making financial repair that much harder. The men who nearly ruined Bank of America have some explaining to do.
On the tape, Mr. Bierfeldt is asked repeatedly where he works, where he obtained the money and why he was in St. Louis.
In each instance, Mr. Bierfeldt asked whether he was required by law to answer the questions.
"You want to play smartass, and I'm not going to play your f--ing game," the TSA official said.
Mr. Bierfeldt continued to refuse to answer, asking whether he was compelled by law to do so. The officers accused him of "doublespeak" and "acting like a child."
"Are you from this planet?" one officer asked.
The officers threatened to handcuff him and turn him over to the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration for questioning.
If you had to work 365 days a year to pay your taxes, that would be a kind of slavery or indentured servitude, because all of your productive labor would be going to the government. You would have no resources of your own to provide for the life you wanted. Instead the government would provide you not with what you want, but what the government decides you need.
That sounds like a kind of tyranny to me.
And, I think if we had to work 364 days a year it would still be a kind of serfdom (after all, serfs were allowed a little plot of their own). Ditto 363 days, 362 days, 361 days etc. Now, at some point the difference of degree becomes a difference in kind; working one day a year to pay for the government doesn't sound oppressive to me. But it seems to me that it's hardly absurd to think that 103 days a year is too much, or to believe that if that number goes even higher, we're losing something important.
I find it sort of amazing that when groups like ANSWER, a Mos Eisley cantina of America-hating nut cases, take to the streets it's a full-flowering of democracy in action. When ACORN pays their ragamuffins to protest, or when Rainbow/PUSH shakes down businesses through racial extortion, it's the sort of direct democratic action Thomas Paine dreamed of. And when labor unions pay people to protest, it's populist. But when a bunch of independent Americans, talk-show hosts, and email campaigners organize hundreds of protests around the country, it's astroturfing.
How do I say this so people will understand? Fascism isn't a libertarian doctrine! It just isn't, never will be, and it can't be cast as one. Anarchism, secessionism, extreme localism, or rampant individualism may be bad, evil, wrong, stupid, selfish, and all sorts of other things (though not by my lights). But they have nothing to do with a totalitarian vision of the state where individuals and institutions alike must march in step and take orders from the government.
THE top suits and some of the on-air talent at CNBC were recently ordered to a top-secret meeting with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker to discuss whether they've turned into the President Obama-bashing network, Page Six has learned.
"It was an intensive, three-hour dinner at 30 Rock which Zucker himself was behind," a source familiar with the powwow told us. "There was a long discussion about whether CNBC has become too conservative and is beating up on Obama too much. There's great concern that CNBC is now the anti-Obama network. The whole meeting was really kind of creepy."