Friday, July 31, 2009

Why government schools are banning spanking

I recently became embroiled in a (futile) online discussion about spanking.

Couple it with this recent post from Brutus @ "Who's Your Nanny" entitled "Why Public Schools Must Die", and the result is the following essay.

I would propose that spanking is not being banned in government schools because it is ineffective at achieving behavioral improvements, but rather because it is successful at achieving behavioral improvements for the short term duration of the students’ academic tenure. Consequently, when the student finally leaves the high school, he also leaves behind his fear of the authoritative retributions against him. That is the real problem for the government. Governments need their populations to remain under their subjugation for their entire lifespan, and that is difficult if the human leaves his fear behind with his bad behavior when he comes of age.

However, it is entirely possible to condition that life long fear if you use the appropriate techniques. If spanking is removed from the equation, proactive controls such as random searches of personal property, metal detectors and drug tests can be justified. If spanking is removed completely from the equation, then bad behavior can be dealt with with tasers, pepper spray and padded cells, force commonly used throughout adulthood. Handcuffing a juvenile in front of his peers sends a message about lifelong compliance to “authority” to those peers that is far clearer than a spanking from a single designated authority figure.

The mom that says “wait til your dad gets home” never gets the same behavioral compliance as the dad. Pets, children, humans easily discriminate in their responses to individuals, and a parent is representative of no greater force (except God in homes that teach religion) than himself. Likewise a school principal is a “greatest force”, while a teacher is a representative of the force of the principal.

The police, on the other hand, are a universal omnipresent ‘greatest force’, and contrary to popular belief, government officials are merely representatives of the force of the police. (This is why we had checks and balances in our government system, and serious injunctions against maintaining standing armies).

Replacing spanking with police assault turns the school principal into another government representative of the force of the police.

The discrimination in responses to authorities blurs, and the police state grows.

To those who object to anyone but themselves disciplining their children, I offer you my solution, and the solution of many others, get rid of government schools.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Purple Passion Prose

Take a gander through this listing of quotes from the venerable Cass Sunstein.

As usual, you don't taste the alcohol until it's too late.

from page 9, under the heading "Taxes" . . .

"In what sense in the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live?... Without taxes there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without placing any burden whatsoever on the public fisc. … There is no liberty without dependency."
-- Cass R. Sunstein, “Why We Should Celebrate Paying Taxes,” The Chicago Tribune, April 14, 1999

There is an antidote. Campaign for Liberty.

"It don't matter if you're black or white"

Michael Jackson may be dead, but that quote is not.

Did you hear me Henry Louis Gates?

Stop crying "racism" just because you were arrested by a white officer. STOP STOP STOP!

(You even dragged the President into it. How little of you. He can get into embarrassing situations JUST FINE by himself, thank you. He does not need your or anyone elses' help.)

How dare you! You can make a public spectacle out of this, drag the POTUS into it and you weren't even tased! You weren't forced to the ground, you weren't pepper sprayed, or beaten or otherwise brutalized, and yet, all you can focus on is your skin color!

Open your eyes, for heavens sake. Of all the problems american citizens have with the cops, racism is such a small bit that it is beyond insulting to people like this Baptist Preacher that you blame your unjust arrest (yes, it was a wrong arrest) on your light brown, half white skin.

A cop arrested you because you mouthed off at him, and you think its all because you're half black?

You're alive. You weren't sieved by a barrage of bullets when you reached for your id. You didn't suffer any lasting injuries and wind up in a hospital or worse, you weren't mentally impaired by the ordeal.

So where do you get off blaming it all on racism? Don't you see how far you are missing this boat?

A beer with the President might cure a racist cop, but it's going to make a jackboot statist thug WORSE. And since you're problem was not a racist cop, your little diversity promotion stunt is just going to make life much, much worse for every other American, red, brown, yellow, black or white.

Now, since you and POTUS will use beer to forever solve the problem of cop-brutality-motivated-by-racism, you and POTUS will assure us that cops in the future are only brutalizing people that truly deserve it. So the brutality will get worse, and the complaints will be quieter.

Sadly Henry Louis Gates, the most likely explanation is your own years of racism, taught at your mothers' knee, searching for diversity in every interaction, have left you incapable of seeing that the police state has always brutalized whomever it could get away with, and these days that includes you.

But then again, maybe you just don't care.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I told you so.

I feel a little bit bad titling a post "I told you so", but sometimes, you just gotta say it.

What did I tell you?

Mr. Purple Passion Man was very dangerous. Mr. Burns (of Terrierman) said Cass Sunstein was a "bean counter". Nothing more.

Some of us, well, specifically yours truly, looked up Mr. Sunstein on the ol' internets, and concluded that he was a very crafty ideologically driven extremist, being launched into a very powerful position in government.

In the exchange with Mr. Burns, Ms. X labeled Cass a "purple passion" for his techniques of talking rationally while using government to "Nudge" people to adopt actions and attitudes.

This very attitude is so fundamentally dangerous. Government exists for one reason, to protect the rights of the individual to DO WHATEVER THE H*LL THEY WANT (as long as it isn't interfering with someone else's rights). Nudging, by government, well, it is evil.

So what's the proof, on which I say "I told you so"?

A recent article from the New York Times. "GAG THE INTERNET!

Columnist Kyle Smith writes:
"When it comes to the First Amendment, Team Obama believes in Global Chilling."

"Advance copies of Sunstein's new book, "On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done," have gone out to reviewers ahead of its September publication date, but considering the prominence with which Sunstein is about to be endowed, his worrying views are fair game now. Sunstein is President Obama's choice to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs."

Mr. Smith doesn't say anything about Cass being an animal rights (Peta-tic) extremist. Indeed, that attribute of Cass is far less worrisome than his concepts for quietly talking and nudging people through the paternal powers of government into approved behavior.

And what better way to harness the government power to nudge, than to be the head of a very powerful office.

Here is what Mr. Burns said about the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs:

"What does that office do?

Not nearly as much as you think.

First this is an office that was established in the 1980 Paperwork Reduction Act.

In short, it's an office about bureacracy. It's not an office that initiates anything. Congress and Federal agencies still do that.


Now, here is what Mr. Smith said:

"Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law professor who has been appointed to a shadowy post that will grant him powers that are merely mind-boggling...

"Although obscure," reported the Wall Street Journal, "the post wields outsize power. It oversees regulations throughout the government, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration." . . .

"Czar is too mild a world for what Sunstein is about to become. How about "regulator in chief"? How about "lawgiver"? He is Obama's Obama."

Here is what Ms. X found:

"the Clinton administration's executive order made explicit what had been left implicit in the Reagan and Bush executive orders -- that centralized presidential regulatory review is aimed at making agency regulations "consistent with . . . the President's priorities."

Now here is how Mr. Burns (Terrierman) interprets the job:

"Sunstein's job is simply to be a skeptical bureaucrat and point out where unintentional losses and gains might be occuring due to government action."

And this is how Mr. Sunstein himself interprets the job:

"My suggestion here is that it is always appropriate to identify costs and benefits so as to inform analysis, and even to require that benefits justify costs, but that regulators should not claim that benefits and costs must be grounded in traditional economic criteria involving private willingness to pay"

"Traditional economic criteria", who needs that anymore? This is the 21st century, man! Peace, Love and Free Speech, man! "Private" is a dirty word.

Oh, wait.

Um, what was that bit about curbing free speech online? Cass, it seems, has released (yet another) new book, this one titled On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done.

Mr. Smith:

"In "On Rumors," Sunstein reviews how views get cemented in one camp even when people are presented with persuasive evidence to the contrary. He worries that we are headed for a future in which "people's beliefs are a product of social networks working as echo chambers in which false rumors spread like wildfire." That future, though, is already here, according to Sunstein. "We hardly need to imagine a world, however, in which people and institutions are being harmed by the rapid spread of damaging falsehoods via the Internet," he writes. "We live in that world. What might be done to reduce the harm?""

Mr. Smith writes

"Sunstein calls for a "notice and take down" law that would require bloggers and service providers to "take down falsehoods upon notice," even those made by commenters - but without apparent penalty. ...

Sunstein, trying to fair, argues that libel awards should be capped at $15,000, or at least limited for anyone demonstrating financial hardship. But $15K is the limit you'd pay to your opponent. The legal bill is the scary part, and the reason bloggers already have plenty of reason to be careful about what they say, even if they don't much fear a libel conviction."

"If this happened," says Mr. Smith, "the blogosphere would turn into Pluto overnight. Comments sections would slam shut. Every writer would work on a leash shorter than a shoelace."

Hmmm. If this happened, Mr. Burns just might have to take down his puff piece on Cass Sunstein. Why? Well, there is the little part in the comments section where he repeatedly refers to Ms. X as a "puppymiller".

Hmm. Perhaps I'm the one that should rethink my position on Cass. After all, I could stand to net a cool $15K.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What Madness Rules in Brainsick Men

There is an absolutely mind boggling idiotic taxation scheme coming out of the hallowed halls of Jefferson City Missouri.

The Kansas City Star reports

Some Missouri residents and businesses soon could see a new charge on their electric bills — a fee for using less energy.

Here is how the scheme works:

The assumption is that charging consumers for those initiatives ultimately will cost less than charging them to build the new power plants that will be needed if electricity use isn’t curtailed.


Uhhh..... Okay, how much more are you going to charge exactly to deter power usage to such a degree that a new power plant will not have to be built?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that energy-saving programs offered by utilities will add about 3 percent to the average electricity rates. But it says customers who participate in the programs could save 10 percent to 20 percent on their energy bills, and even those who don’t participate might save if utilities don’t have to buy more energy or build new power plants.

3 percent? 3 PERCENT? That's going to deter significant amounts of electrical usage?

How's this really going to work?

“To save power is the equivalent of making power,” Nixon [that's Governor Jay Nixon] said, “and it’s a pretty seismic shift” in Missouri’s energy strategy.

Oh I get it. They're going to use the rate increase to build giant batteries, probably underground re the "seismic" reference. Then, when usage increases (you know, what with global cooling coming and all) they will just plug us into these giant batteries.


“It’s one of those rare utility bills that actually works out to everyone’s benefit,” said Missouri Public Counsel Lewis Mills, the state’s official consumer advocate.

Jimminy Christmas. Who, exactly, is "everyone"? Lets see.

The power companies win. They get to raise rates for no immediately obvious reason. (Don't they usually call that Price Gouging?) It's money in the bank, today, for them. And boy howdy, are they going to need it.

Public Service Commission Chairman Robert M. Clayton III said he feared that Missouri’s heavily coal-dependent electric customers will see a sharp spike in rates if federal climate legislation limiting carbon emissions becomes law.

Yeah, I think the power companies are watching the sun too. I'm betting they're NOT betting on global warming.

Oh yeah. The power companies also win because, let's face it, they will be building new coal plants in the future or face massive power shortages. And it will be expensive, and they will raise rates, and the ePetatics (e for environmental) (the god king included) will make it hell to build a new coal plant. It will be very expensive.

So who gets screwed? We do. We pay now, and we will most assuredly pay later. In fact, you could say us Middle Americans are getting doubly, triply screwed because we don't have nuclear plants, or hydro power. All we have is coal. And cap-and-trade.

There is no "me" in "Everyone".

Mike Williams wrote a pretty good summary over at Master of None.

As a final dig, the legislation will require the savings fee to be a separate line item on your bill.

'But I don’t want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
'Oh, you can’t help that,' said the Cat. 'We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.'
'How do you know I’m mad?' said Alice.
'You must be,” said the Cat. 'or you wouldn’t have come here.' - Lewis Carroll

As someone said, 'Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Who loves ya, bunny?

I was driving down the street of my rabbit infested neighborhood last night when a hypothesis jumped into my head. It occurred to me, in twelve years of driving large, foreign four wheel drive SUVs, that no one in the household had ever ran over wildlife. (Or suburban life, in our case).

No rabbit squishy. No possum stew. No raccoon ragu. Nothin. Nada. Just several incidents that surely looked like "near misses". And yet, one morning just last summer I counted 15 rabbits in the quarter mile between my house and the exit of the neighborhood.

It's not that the neighborhood has any shortage of rabbit squishy. I see something dead just about every day, and our town has a pretty impressive roadkill removal crew.

So who are the roving roadkillers?

Hence my hypothesis. I think it's cars. Those small, lightweight, fuel efficient, low to the ground nemesis of bunnys' around the world. I suspect that when a car runs over a bunny, it tumbles the bunny, possible throwing it under the tires. When an SUV passes over a bunny, unless it happens to be in the direct tire path, it escapes unscathed.

So now, hypothesis in hand, I will begin the search for supporting data. Anecdotal data is also accepted. What say you, fellow SUV drivers? How many bunnys are notched on your fenders?

Fenders. Not Mudflaps.