Squashed

A blog of politics, law, religion, and the tricky spots where they collide.

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President Obama on Tuesday will unveil a $100 million initiative to research the human brain, in hopes of unlocking further understanding of brain disorders.

CNN

This is just another Obama administration give away to his special interests. People with brains voted for him in 2012 and this is their payoff. For shame.

Dispatches from Post-Liberty America: Day One

Hello? Is anybody still out there?

It’s been a rough 24 hours since the Murder of Liberty—and I’m sending this message out into the void in the desparate hope that somewhere some of the other Sons of Liberty have managed to avoid the storm troopers. If you get this message—you are not alone. Some of us are still surviving in the hellscape. We have enough clean water for weeks—though they’ve taken away all our guns.

One of my companions was sick, probably dying from an infected cut. Eventually the broadcasts got to him. He went to get Obamacare. The penicillin had microchips in it. That’s how they found us. That’s how they got the guns.

If you get this—reblog immediately. We’ve uncovered evidence of how they got to the Chief. We’re pretty sure one of The Plumbers went by his house and put Koolaid in his tap water. Don’t fall victim yourself. Drink only rain water and pure grain alcohol.

Stay safe—and stay free.

All you need to know about voter fraud in an anecdote

Americas-Liberty has quoted an account of a dog owner fraudulently registering his dog to vote:

Purebred Breeders found this unique story today, Thomas Tolbert in New Mexico is now facing charges after registering this dog to vote!  His intention was to expose flaws in the electoral system and it seems as if he achieved his purpose but not without a penalty.  Buddy, a black Labrador Retriever received his voter’s registration card after his owner applied for one with a made-up birthday and social security number.

He registered the dog at a voter registration booth at the University of New Mexico and says that **he was just curious as to how easy the process is**, apparently, very.  Tolbert says, “Somebody should have verified this information and somebody should have come out and took a look at exactly who it was. But I made up a birth date, and I made up a social security number and I had a voter registration card in my hand for Buddy two weeks later.”

It’s worth noticing three things.

  1. No dogs actually voted.
  2. The guy who actually committed the fraud may be in serious legal trouble.
  3. The concern seems to be that it’s too easy to register to vote.

In other words, it’s very easy to register to vote. Of course, if you show up at the polls and the person in charge of distributing ballots notices that, say, you’re a dog, you’re not going to be able to cast a ballot. Even if you want to see if you can maybe slip past the poll watchers with a hat and Groucho Marx glasses the penalties of getting caught are high enough that virtually nobody is going to try. Even if somebody does it, it’s extremely rare that we have an election that is so close that one vote is going to swing it. To actually influence an election, you need to do your voter fraud on massive level—and your chances of getting caught as you increase the scale of the operation approach 100%.

The real reason the Republicans are concerned about voter fraud is that it gives them cover to put hurdles between people and voting. See the line I emphasized above? This guy is concerned it might be too easy to register to vote.

So who needs to register to vote?

  1. Young people who recently turned eighteen.
  2. College students or college graduates who recently moved.
  3. People who recently received citizenship.
  4. Populations such lower-income people of color whose voter participation has historically been low.
  5. People with a high level of housing insecurity.

If we believe in one person one vote, we should want as many eligible voters to vote as possible. We make voting as easy as we can. You don’t need to be able to read, write, walk, or speak English to have a voice in society. It’s a beautiful thing.

At least, it’s a beautiful thing if you consider Democracy beautiful. If you’d rather that the people who historically had power maintained it, I can see how this could get a bit scary. I can see how you might be worried about “voter fraud.” But … sometimes “I’m worried about voter fraud” really means “I think we went a bit too far with the universal suffrage thing.”

Every resident of the U.S. must, by law, be enrolled in an adequate health care plan to cover major health care costs. This requirement would imply a compact between the U.S. government and its citizens: in return for the goverment’s accepting an obligation to devise a market-based system guaranteeing access to care and protecting all families from financial distress due to the cost of an illness, each individual must agree to obtain a minimum level of protection.

The Heritage Foundation: A National Health System for America (PDF)

Now, of course, the Heritage Foundation writes of the mandate:

It Is an Unconstitutional Violation of Personal Liberty and Strikes at the Heart of American Federalism

Heritage is clearly envisioning a national system—so it doesn’t seem concerned about implications for either personal liberty or federalism. How do we reconcile Heritage’s vehement opposition to its own idea?

It’s not so hard. The 1989 piece was written for the purpose of offering an “alternative” to rumblings about a proper single-payer system. It wasn’t an an idea that was actually supposed to happen. And it definitely wasn’t an idea that democrats were supposed to get credit for.

Now that their idea has become a reality, Heritage wants a new alternative.

In case you didn’t learn the first time: Beware of Conservatives Bearing Alternatives.

I may be the world’s worst leftist

Deep down, I believe the conservative talking points about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.

Only … I notice a lot of people don’t have bootstraps to pull on. Then I start asking questions about what happened to that guy’s bootstraps and why, for the love of everything American, can’t somebody just loan the man some bootstraps already.

And when some other guy starts talking about his awesome bootstrap collection, I get a bit suspicious and wonder if maybe he knows where all those bootstraps went.