Category Archives: Politics

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Hi!

I found a particularly egregious error in the social studies textbook used in Hillsborough County’s sixth grade classes. You know how much fun I have picking on educators and their horrible textbooks, so click to share the mirth.

I found a spam email in my inbox that used Obamacare in its sales pitch.  You know how much fun I have picking on leftists and their horrible policies, so click to share the mirth.

I found a humorous phrase that feminists use to sound academic, and you know how much I enjoy offending feminists, so click here to share the fun.

I found another layer of Orwellian doublespeak that may go into usage now that the shine is wearing off the old Common Core lingo.   You know how much I enjoy picking on the academic sounding, but ridiculously empty Common Core Standards, so click here to share the joy.

Okay, I’ll see you when I see you.  Hopefully soon, I really need to post about my garden.

A Smarter Form Of Marxism: Less Work Sets Us Free!

I remember when we moved back stateside back in early 2009, and I learned about TARP.  I realized that my country had passed a very important milestone, without me even knowing. (Yes, yes, I didn’t follow politics during our overseas duty station. I was a very bad citizen.  In my defense, I still voted in federal elections.  Our military absentee ballots didn’t show up until three weeks before the 2008 election, and who knows whether my “R” vote arrived in time.)

Back in the USSA (post-Obama-ascendency), I realized that most people still hadn’t noticed this important milestone: an American foray into the nationalization of industry and finance.

Nationalization!  Even if partial, it was still an important step toward socialism.  Socialism!  My public school education may have been substandard, but it was not yet completely propagandized.  So I knew how closely related Socialism is to Communism.

We hit another big milestone, didn’t we, when the Wealth-Spreader-in-Chief got re-elected in 2012?

Yep.

Well it’s been over a year since that time, and we’ve hit another major milestone.

Do you know what it is?

There’s a lot of news to choose from.

Most of it bad.

But this one is particularly important.  Yes, it’s also bad:

Obama has once again unilaterally and unlawfully delayed Obamacare’s mandate, regarding the requirement that businesses employing 50 to 100 employees offer “affordable healthcare coverage” or face a tax.

What’s that you say?  These unlawful delays have been going on for a while now?  This latest one can’t be more important than the rest?

Wrong.

The latest delay comes with some wicked regulatory finesse.  The IRS says that if your business wants to decrease its size and then apply for this unlawful waiver, then it has to swear allegiance to the regime:

“Company officials will be trapped in a catch-22. They can lay off as many people as they want because of Obamacare. But because they’ll have to swear to the IRS that their decisions had nothing to do with Obamacare, they can’t speak publicly about what’s happening. What a great way to silence the people who are on the front lines of dealing with Obamacare’s horrific effects.”

Let Soopermexican explain further:

“what the Republicans said would happen under the simplest, most easily understandable laws of free market economics is so likely to happen that the administration has to threaten businesses to shut up about it, or face the wrath of the highly partisan IRS.”

Yes, the Republicans said businesses would lay off employees in order to avoid the punitive taxation of Obamacare.  And yes, the Democrats were dishonest enough to disagree.

I have paid close attention to politics ever since 2009.  Yet, somehow, I didn’t see this latest milestone coming.  I didn’t imagine the point at which Federal Government feels comfortable dictating to Small Business which business decisions Are Not Appropriate.

Notice, it’s not a question of which business decisions Are Not Legal.

Illegality would not be a milestone.  Telling business, and even individuals, what actions are and are not legal is a long-standing and perfectly appropriate role of government–even in the opinion of “crazy” large “L” Libertarians.  It’s something we Tea Party Extremists like to call The Rule of Law.

The Obama Administration is dictating to private business what “should not be done” even though it is perfectly legal

Let Judge Learned Hand explain:

 “a transaction, otherwise within an exception of the tax law, does not lose its immunity, because it is actuated by a desire to avoid, or if one chose, to evade, taxation. Anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose the pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

Oh, but Learned Hand’s reasoning means little to our Constitutional-Scholar-in-Chief, I reckon.  Other than an obstacle to work around.

Guys, this is a gigantic milestone.  It is also a milestone which is likely to go largely unnoticed.  Sure, business-minded citizens are quick to notice the insanity.  This National Review commenter puts it better than I ever could:

“So, you need an additional line worker. You intend to pay that person $15/hr ($30k per year). You expect that person to generate incremental production worth $60k per year. So, under a rational analysis, you hire that person and increase your profit.

But under this law, hiring that person would result in a sharp loss. Instead of adding $30k to the bottom line, you would lose $180,000 ($30k in added profits minus $210k in new fines). So hiring that person goes from being a smart business decision to being completely ridiculous. No sane person would do it.

So you don’t make the hire. And the act of not hiring that person becomes criminal unless you swear to the IRS that the draconian fine you avoided had nothing to do with your decision….which is to say you have to swear to the IRS that O’Brien is holding up five fingers when plainly the correct answer is four.”

Sure, the usual suspects will squawk.  But will that mean any more than the squawking after Fast and Furious?  Benghazi?  After IRS corruption was revealed?

I noticed in my research:  the prominent MSM article about this latest Obamacare tweak didn’t even mention the IRS certification requirementA professional article about this latest Obamacare tweak did mention it, but in as milk toast a manner as possible:

“Those that claim the exemption for 2015 will need to certify under penalty of perjury that they did not reduce their workforce to fewer than 100 employees in order to qualify.”

No mention about how this strong-arming is illegal.  Unlawful.  Dictatorial.  Totalitarian.

No.  It’s all normal.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

Okay.  The truth is, that is exactly what I will do:  move along.  Isn’t that what most of us do, every time a new constitutional violation is introduced into our lifestyle?

As I move along, however, I remember something I learned from Sitting On The Edge Of The Sandbox.  I cannot find the specific post (maybe you can help me with that, Missy).  But I remember how, in her parents’ experience in the USSR, work was not just a right but an obligation.  The right to a job meant that you were legally required to work.

And I wonder.  If under Obamacare, a business does not have the right to fire you unless approved by the IRS, does an employee have the right to quit?  Logically, there is no difference between the employer who wants to decrease the number of employees for tax reasons, and the employee that wants to quit working for tax reasons.

I wonder further, how did the USSR treat this problem when businesses wanted to lay off employees in order to maximize profit?

Derp.  A quick Google search reminds me that businesses were not in charge in the USSR.  Decreased profit was not a concern, because all businesses had been completely nationalized.

How diabolically clever our modern statists have become.

In the earlier stages of the Communist Revolution, Communists thought that the workers would simply fall in line with their view of Utopia, once the Capitalist Pigs were dethroned.  It turned out, of course, that reality did not fall in line with their view of Utopia.  It turned out, the right to a job turned into the creation of the “letun,” “rvach,” “bezdel’nik,” “lentyaj,” “lodyr,” and “progul’shchik.”  Those are all terms for folks who could work but chose to be lazy instead.

By 1940, Stalin imposed criminal penalties for workers quitting their job.

Wouldn’t be a winning platform for the Democrats in this day and age, would it?

That’s why they are now so clever.  The Left has learned that nothing is to be gained by taking over the means of production, and then cracking the whip on the workers who don’t comply with the latest production plan.

How much better, to let those Dirty Capitalists retain ownership in name only, while forcing them to do the dirty work of The State.

How much better, to let those workers be as lazy as they wish, and proclaim such behavior to be a virtue.

We are well and truly doomed.

World’s Tallest Midget, Reporting

Here’s my Da Tech Guy post from three weeks ago:  Is the Duck Pond the High Water Mark?  (Answer:  Yes.  Yes it is.)

Here’s my Da Tech Guy post from two weeks ago:  A Conservative New Year’s Resolution

Here’s my Da Tech Guy post from last week:  History Matters

I am terrible about posting and making the rounds nowadays, but nevermind.  At least my kids should be able to pass tests like these by the time they are in high school.

That’s kind of like being the World’s Tallest Midget, perhaps, but I’ll take it.

See you soon, raccoons.

The Raven, adapted for President Obama

I’ve adapted Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem for the current Obamacare debacle.  I didn’t have to change much.

Have a happy Halloween!  Give out lots of candy, and maybe eat some too.  That’s my plan, anyway.

Raven
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over a quaint and curious bill from the Congress floor,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

‘Tis some voter,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door—

Only this, and nothing more.’

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,

And each separate lying member wrought his fate upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; —vainly I had sought to borrow

From our kids an end of sorrow—sorrow for the uninsured—

For the rare and radiant victim whom the angels name ‘uninsured’—

Named Julia now for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each typing person

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic power never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

‘Tis some voter beginning the process to enroll—

Some late voter beginning the process to enroll—

This it is, and nothing more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

‘Sir,’ said I, ‘or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was golfing, and so gently you came protesting,

And so faintly you came congregating, here at my DC mall,

That I scarce was sure I heard you’—here I opened wide the door—

Disapproval there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, ‘enroll!’

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, ‘enroll!’

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

‘Surely,’ said I, ‘surely that is someone at the enrollment process;

Let me see then, what they have done, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this glitchy site endure—

‘Tis a bump in the road and nothing more!’

And now I brung the teleprompter, with many a pomp and flutter,

In stepped a supporter of the saintly days of yore.

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my teleprompter—

Perched near a bust of Churchill just below my teleprompter—

Perched and sat, and nothing more.

Then this racist bloke beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance he wore,

‘Though thy crest be shorn and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth this taxpayer, ‘Nevermore.’

Much I marveled this ungainly fool to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing a conservative who was not a fool—

Man or beast above the sculptured bust above his teleprompter,

With such name as, ‘Nevermore.’

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

`Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,

Caught from some unhappy Koch brother whom unmerciful disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -

Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘never-nevermore.’

But the voter still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of him and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous fool of yore -

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous patriot of yore

Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fool whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

Liberty shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

`Wretch,’ I cried, `thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee

Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of voters!

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget the lost voters!’

Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if fool or devil! -

Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest-tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -

On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore -

Is there – is there universal care? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’

Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if fool or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore -

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Utopia,

It shall clasp a sainted class whom the angels name supporter -

Clasp a rare and radiant class, whom the angels name supporter?’

Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’

`Be that word our sign of parting, fool or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting -

`Get thee back into the tailgate and the Texas rough neck shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my arrogance unbroken! – quit your perch near my teleprompter!

Take thy dagger from out my heart, and take thy form away from my teleprompter!’

Quoth the taxpayer, `Nevermore.’

And the taxpayer, never working, still is sitting, still is sitting

Near the pallid bust of Churchill just above my teleprompter;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted – nevermore!

Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013

My homeschool peeps alerted me to a New Bill in the Senate.  It is purported to be a Big Bad Bill that creates a new (and bad, but I repeat myself) National School Board.

It appears that federal meddling into the local issue of education came to fruition with an “Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.”  I have no idea what that law entailed.

The next big thing to hit the federal landscape was Dubya’s No Child Left Behind.  Which.  Can I just say?  That is every bit as Orwellian doublespeak of a title as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

So then Obama topped Dubya’s concern for the children with his own “Race to the Top” law embedded in the Stimulus Package of 2009.  This law incentivized the adoption of Common Core.

Now, we have step four (or maybe step four thousand nine hundred eighty-four, if considering the Gramscian March approach to politics) in the transformation of education from a local issue to a federally overseen “right.”

All I’ve done in this post is digest and regurgitate the table of contents of this proposed law.  Pretty thick stuff, even so.  Further translation of this bill will follow in later posts.

Without further ado, I introduce to you the table of contents for this education bill, as annotated by yours truly:

A BILL

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes.

Sections:

  1. Short title
  2. Table of contents
  3. References
  4. Transition
  5. Effective dates
  6. Table of contents of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
  7. Authorization of appropriations

Section 1.  Short Title.

This act may be cited as the “Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013.”  (Because the title “Finishing Off That Pesky American Exceptionalism” would be too obvious.)

Section 2.  Table of Contents.

Title I–College and Career Readiness For All Students (you do want your children to be ready for college and career . . . don’t you?)

  • Part A of Title I–Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged (Sect 1111-1126–you do want the disadvantaged to achieve academics . . . don’t you?)
  • Part B of Title I–Pathways to College
  • Part C of Title I–Education of Migratory Children
  • Part D of Title I–Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children . . . Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk
  • Part E–Educational Stability of Children in Foster Care
  • Part F–General Provisions

Title II–Supporting Teacher and Principal Excellence (you do support excellent teachers and principals . . . .don’t you?)

Title III–Language and Academic Content Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students

Title IV–Supporting Successful, Well-Rounded Students (you do want well-rounded students, don’t you?)   Sect 4101 thru 4111–(increasing access is good, and you are feeling very sleepy)

Title V–Promoting Innovation (you do promote innovation, don’t you?)

  • Part A–Race to the Top
  • Part B–Investing in Innovation
  • Part C–Magnet School Assistance
  • Part D–Public Charter Schools
  • Part E–Voluntary Public School Choice

Title VI–Promoting Flexibility; Rural Education

Title VII–Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education

  • Part A–Indian Education
  1. subpart 1–formula grants to local educational agencies
  2. subpart 2–special programs and projects
  3. subpart 3–national activities
  4. subpart 4–federal administration
  5. subpart 5–definitions & authorization of appropriations
  • Part B–Native Hawaiian Education; Alaska Native education
  1. subparts 1 & 2–mindnumbingly boring details

Title VIII–Impact Aid

Title IX–General Provisions

Sec 9101. Definitions

Sec 9102. Unsafe school choice option.

Sec 9103.  Evaluation Authority.

Sec. 9104.  Conforming amendments.

Title X–Commission on Effective Regulation and Assessment Systems for Public Schools

Sec. 10011.  Short title

     A bunch more tedious sections . . .

Title XI–Amendments to Other Laws; Miscellaneous Provisions

  • Part A–Amendments to other Laws
  • Part B–Misc. Provisions

Section 3. References.

Unless otherwise stated, references of repeal are assumed to apply to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 USC 6301).

Section 4. Transition.

a) Multi-Year Awards.  If you are a recipient of a multi-year award under the old 1965 law, you shall continue to receive those funds until Sept. 30, 2014, then it’s tough luck, unless you get a “flexibility waiver,” but only if it was granted before enactment of this here new school-strengthening bill, and only for as long as the original waiver period.

b) Planning and Transition.  If you get funds under the 1965 law prior to this new bill’s enactment, you can use it towards implementation of this here new school-strengthening bill if you like.  We are magnanimous that way.

c) Orderly Transition.  The Secretary of Education will make sure things are orderly.

Section 5. Effective Dates.

 a) In General.  This bill is effective law upon date of enactment, unless otherwise stated.

b) Noncompetitive Programs.  For these programs, this new bill will take effect July 1, 2013. Because retro-active is all the rage.

c) Competitive Programs.  For these programs, this new bill will take effect fiscal-year 2014.

d) Impact Aid.  For stuff done under Title VIII, this new bill will take effect fiscal-year 2014.

Section 6. Table of Contents of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Section 2 of the 1965 Act is amended by sticking Title I thru Title IX of this new bill into it.

Section 7. Authorization of Appropriations.

The old 1965 Act is amended by inserting the following after sec. 2:  “sec 3. Authorizations of Appropriations:  The money needed to carry out Title I, part A (except for sec. 1116(g), 1125A, 1132, & subpart 4 of part A) for fiscal year (fy) 2014 and the next 4 fy can be appropriated.

Also, the Secretary of Education can reserve 2% of appropriations for national activities described in sec. 1116(f)(6).

Also, funds can be appropriated for the administration of State assessments under the National Assessment of Educational Progress, for fy 2014 and the next 4 fy.

Also, funds can be appropriated for part B, C, and D of Title I, for fy 2014 and the next 4 fy.

Also, there are about 7 more pages about how appropriations are authorized, and I cannot continue to slog thru them.

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