The Obamacare Sucks Act of 2017

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:24:18 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

All this noise over repealing and replacing Obamacare. What Trump promised to do makes for a very short bill. Complete text:

The Obamacare Sucks Act of 2017

Public Laws 111-148, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act", and 111-152, the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010", are hereby repealed in their entirety, effective immediately.

Of course, that should be followed closely by a complete repeal of the Social Security Act of 1935.

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Joint Address Issues Survey

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:59:22 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

At David Codrea's prompting, I submitted answers to President Trump's Joint Address Issues Survey.

I long ago stopped believing that asking government agents for anything has any utility whatsoever. Except my own entertainment. So I had fun with it.

1) WHICH ACCOMPLISHMENT(S) DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST SIGNIFICANT OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SO FAR?

I checked "Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership", "Reviving key job-creating energy products such as the Keystone Pipeline", "Enacting regulatory reform to begin to dismantle Obama-era, job-killing regulations", "Negotiating with companies to bring thousands of jobs back to America", and "Nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court".

2) WHAT ISSUE(S) DO YOU THINK ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR THIS ADMINISTRATION TO FOCUS ON?

I checked "Budget", "Taxes", "Reducing Regulations", and "Government Reform".

3) WHAT ARE YOUR IDEAS TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?

Separation of medicine and state. That means repeal and do NOT replace Obamacare, and eliminate the FDA, Medicare, and Medicaid. Spend enforcement efforts prosecuting fraud. You want to eliminate harmful regulations? That's a bunch of them.

Medicare and Medicaid will have to be ramped down slowly. The market will quickly replace the FDA.

End the war on some drug users. Completely. That means eliminate the DEA and ONDCP. And replace them with nothing.

That may be out of reach, given the typical insane conservative view on attempting to regulate morality, but do NOT enforce federal marijuana prohibition. Stupid. Useless. And contrary to the will of the people in states that have legalized it.

The state should not be in the business of protecting people from themselves. The war on some drug users causes great harm and helps nobody but the drug cartels, for whom it is a golden goose. Take away from organized crime the huge cash cow of prohibition. Take away from police departments the huge cash cow of asset forfeiture, armed robbery under color of law.

Cut income taxes. Preferably to zero, and eliminate the IRS, but the more you can cut, the better it will be. But do NOT think you can borrow or print to make up the difference. Budget cuts must accompany those tax cuts. HUGE budget cuts. Decimate the federal budget (cut it by 90%).

Don't get lazy about guns. "Shall not be infringed" brooks no exceptions. Make it so.

4) ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Note that I do not use illegal drugs. Been there. Done that. Over 30 years ago. Drug abuse is a self-correcting problem. Its consequences are sure, swift, severe, and absolutely fair. Abusers learn or die, exactly as it should be. If you think the government needs to do something, spend one percent of the current drug war budget on fact-based education, and on recovery programs, provided only for people who ASK for help. Until an addict WANTS to quit, nothing you do can help (except to love him, but that's not the government's job).

I resisted the urge to tell them what I really think about the drug war:

I believe that any narc who has ever arrested anyone for possession of a drug should be tried for kidnapping, and, if found guilty by a jury of his peers, hanged by the neck until dead. And every legislator or executive who ever proposed, voted for, or signed a law criminalizing the possession of any drug should be tried for conspiracy to commit mass kidnapping, also a capital offense.

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The "Science" Trap

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 07 Feb 2017 13:53:23 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Francis W. Porretto's screed today is about the extreme danger of state-funded "science":

Allow me to be maximally plain about the matter:

Government science is NOT LEGITIMATE SCIENCE.

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Put Your Malignant Diagnosis Where the Sun Don't Shine

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:06:59 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

A friend of mine informed me that John D. Gartner, "a practicing psychotherapist who taught psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School," has branded Donald J. Trump with "malignant narcissism."

This Google search finds many echoes of this story, but it appears that Susan Milligan's article, Temperament Tantrum, in the January 27 edition of The Report, by US News, is the seminal story. It Is Time to Say It: Trump Is Mentally Ill, by Jeff Jarvis on Medium, is also popular.

It's telling that Gartner himself says that he's violated the "Goldwater Rule," part of the ethics code of his profession, but then excuses himself because this is so important. To me, that admission invalidates everything else he says.

Not that I like Mr. Trump. He's crude. But is he actually dangerous to the country? I don't know. I consider any government to be a danger to the world, so I'm not the one to ask.

I think it's EXTREMELY dangerous to use the opinions of psychologists to control people. I don't consider psychology to be an actual science. Experiments aren't repeatable, and it matters hugely who does them, what they're looking for, and which model of psychology they believe in. There's no way to separate experimenter from experiment. This is also true of particle physics, but less so. Much less.

Psychologists can help people, but only if they want help, and ask for it, and work hard on it, for a long time (cue lightbulb joke). Psychologists should have no input into public policy (not that there should be such a thing as public policy, but that's a deeper issue).

Taxation is extortion, a heinous crime. End it.


Lightbulb joke: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but it takes a long time, and the lightbulb has to really want to change.

[This short essay is also posted on Medium]

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Hillary's New TV Show

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 29 Jan 2017 13:46:34 GMT  <== Humor ==>   <== Politics ==> 

Will Hillary Clinton's new TV show be called "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"?

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Bill of Rights Enforcement!

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:32:46 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

I made a meme image for todays quote:

Bill of Rights Enforcement

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Dakota Access Pipeline: The Rest of the Story

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:59:50 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Shawn McCoy at the Orlando Sentinel - What those Dakota Access Pipeline protesters dont tell you - Apparently, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, spent lots of time and attempted to have lots of meetings with native American tribes concerning the pipeline. The tribes mostly refused comment and didn't show up at the meetings.

But that Orlando Sentinel op-ed has no background information. I noticed that underneath Shawn McCoy's byline it said InsideSources.com. So I went there, and found his original article.

The Orlando Sentinel article is a copy of this one but with the two outgoing links removed. He links "record shows" in the third paragraph to another InsideSources article, which has no outgoing links. In other words, no record at all.

But he also links from "the federal court system" in the second to last paragraph, to a PDF of a court document providing a 58-page denial, by United States District Judge James E. Boasberg, dated September 9, 2016, of a preliminary injunction request by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. It contains a huge amount of background material, and is likely the source of most of Mr. McCoy's article. That background material's references are in a form that would require a lot of work, and likely access to a legal library, to find (no web links).

The PDF is on the web site of the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now, a pro-pipeline organization, so I suppose it could be fake, but Google finds a lot of other copies, including this one at Earth Justice. I saved my own copy here.

I skimmed it, enough to see that it likely supports Mr. McCoy's claims, but not enough to convince all the skeptics in the audience. If you're still skeptical, I urge you to chase the references from Judge Boasberg's ruling.

I don't really care about Standing Rock. It's a protest by a small group in the middle of nowhere concerning a pipeline that crosses rivers a half a mile from their land. Yes, those pipes may break, and polute the waters. More likely, though, they'll just provide lots of oil to fuel the cars of millions of Americans, including the protesters, for many years to come.

I also noticed that the project is already 3/4 done with $3 billion spent. It's no wonder that ETP wants to get on with it. They have thousands of highly-paid workers standing idle, waiting to resume work on a project for which ETP spent years getting all the necessary approvals.

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Alt Right for Dummies

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 24 Nov 2016 14:26:00 GMT  <== Humor ==>   <== Politics ==> 

Somebody posted an "Alt Right for Dummies" image, containing IQ 90 translations of Vox Day's 16-point description of the Alt Right. I put the two side-by-side in a handy-dandy table: at billstclair.com/alt-right-simplified.html

Alt Right Simplified

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Racism Is A Right

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 20 Nov 2016 23:38:43 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

I consider racism to be a right denied. I want two changes to restore it to its proper place:


  1. Recognition that entitlements are not rights.

  2. Repeal of Title II of The Civil Rights Act of 1964

billstclair.com/racism-is-a-right.html

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"Nobody" Won in 2016

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:18:04 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

I've seen a bunch of complaints about Hillary winning the popular vote. This is my take on that.

Votes for Hillary and Donald from: http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president

Eligible voters and number who voted from the top line of the table at: http://www.electproject.org/2016g

Total eligible voters: 231,556,622
Number who voted: 134,760,705
Didn't vote: 96,795,917 (41.8%)
Hillary: 61,324,576 (26.4%)
Donald: 60,526,852 (26.1%)

So if it's the popular vote that you're focused on, "nobody" won, by a large margin.

If I were to add in all the people who were too young or otherwise ineligible to vote, 330 million minus 134.8 million, "nobody" got 59.1% of the vote, and Hillary and Donald 18.6% and 18.3%, respectively.

Hillary won by a small margin of the popular votes counted, but we'll never know the numbers for the absentee ballots. They don't bother to count them unless there are enough to change the outcome.

But popular vote is not the rules of the game. The Electoral College chooses the US president. I consider this a good thing, since it prevents a handful of large liberal cities from governing the entire country.

If popular vote were the name of the game, the candidates would have focused on the big cities, and the results would have been different. Different how? I don't know. Neither do you.

If you don't like this, you can try to get a Constitutional Amendment passed to change it, but you'll have to convince a large majority of states to go along. Good luck with that.

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