Oh, give me a break!

So now there’s an article in The New York Times about Facebook.com being the new haven for “sexual predators” (there’s a weasel word if ever there was one!). From the article:

Facebook, the online social network, has stolen some of MySpace’s
momentum with users and the news media. Now, it is being subjected to
the same accusations that it does not do enough to keep sexual
predators off its site.

Richard Blumenthal,
Connecticut’s attorney general, said that investigators in his state
were looking into “three or more” cases of convicted sex offenders who
had registered on Facebook and had “also found inappropriate images and
content” on the service. The inquiry continues, he said, and state
officials have contacted Facebook and asked it to remove the profiles.

is no question that Facebook is encountering some of the same problems
that MySpace has posed,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “They should be held
accountable, and we intend to do so.”

Folks, these dangerous criminals hang around churches, schools, parks, lots of places. We don’t hold those places accountable for the actions of others; why is cyberspace any different? No, this is just more excuse-mongering to fan the flames of fear in order to regulate the internet. Facebook does everything possible to make sure adults just can’t automatically talk to youngsters. But what is the source of this fear? Read it for yourself (emphases mine):

But in some cases, Facebook’s younger users are vulnerable to sexual
solicitations from older users, as was demonstrated last week to The New York Times
by an anonymous person who described himself or herself in an e-mail
message as “a concerned parent.” The evidence of this person’s
activities on Facebook may give state investigators further cause for

In early July, this person opened a fake account on the
site, posing as a 15-year-old girl
named Jerri Gelson from North
Carolina. The photograph on the fake profile page is of an under-age
girl whose hair conceals her face. On the profile page, Ms. Gelson —
whom the “concerned parent” said was not a real person — is described
as looking for “random play” and “whatever I can get.”

person then signed up for three dozen sexually themed groups–forums
of users organized around a particular topic.

Yes, that’s right. This person didn’t make the fake account and then passively start getting sexual advances–he went looking for it! It’s the same thing that TheRegister.com and others have found whenever they’ve tried the same thing. They get nothing, until they go to sexually-explicit groups or chat rooms. And then they get sexual advances! Gee, who’da thought?

No one’s blaming the victims here, but geez, is it really that hard for parents to monitor their childrens’ internet activities and teach them to avoid the dangerous places, just like they have to do in the real world?

Nooooo, that would mean they would actually have to be responsible. Far better to let the government run a scare of everyone, be lazy enough to want the government to do their jobs for them, and have them coming in on a white horse to save us from these evil internet predators. Bye-bye, the one and only bastion of free speech left to us by the power-hungry fear mongers. Hey, after all, it’s for the good of the children.

Well, everything but their (and everyone else’s) liberty, that is.

Prayer: the double-edged sword

It’s no secret that I’m for the separation of church and state, but to be honest it’s never really bothered me that Congress prays before each session. I’m so much more worried about the bills they pass during the session that they could begin by sacrificing a chicken for all I care.

But see, here’s the thing: if you’re going to allow prayer in a government setting, you have to allow all kinds of prayer, from all faiths and religions. But when a Hindu delivered a prayer before Congress in his own faith. Christians protested.

You can see the CNN video here. One of them yelled that it was an "abomination." If you ask me, it’s their behavior that’s an abomination. Jesus had a word for these kinds of people: hypocrites.

So I would hope that most Christians will chastise these people for their despicable behavior. And then, just maybe, consider that people might have a point when they talk about separating church and state.

Just one more thought: how much do you want to bet that these three people will call their arrest "persecution against Christians"?

Congratulations: You’re Free! (For Now)

Every year, Americans for Tax Reform calculates the Cost of Government Day. The idea is that taxes take a certain percentage of your income; apply that percentage to the year, and if you consider the first part of your pay in the year as going solely to taxes, then the Cost of Government Day (some call it “Tax Freedom Day”) is the day where you’ve worked off all your taxes and the rest of the year the money goes to you.

This year, that day is July 11. So congratulations–you’re free of taxes! Until Jan. 1 of next year, that is.

That means that, 192 days out of the year, you’re working to make money for the government, not for you and your family. That’s two days more than 2006, and 11 days more than 2000–you know, the year that “fiscally conservative” “small-government” Republicans took control of all three branches of government.

Basically, what all this amounts to is that government takes about 52% of your income in taxes. Think about it: without all of these repressive taxes, one parent could stay home with the children (I’ve talked to couples who basically say that one couple works to pay the taxes while the other works to bring money home). People would have more money for their retirement funds, and not have to be dependent on Social Security. Charities would see their donations doubled. And all of that money in the economy would buy a job for everyone who can work and charity for everyone who can’t. We only need government to give us crutches because they’re the ones who broke our legs in the first place.

Other figures: People now work 45.7 days to pay for state and local government, and 61.8 days to pay for the cost of government regulations.

And people wonder why I’m a Libertarian.

I’m getting sick of all these “Impeach Bush/Cheney” pleas from Democrats

Lately I’ve been inundated with emails, MySpace bulletins, etc., from Democrats calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, because of their wholesale infringement of even our most basic liberties.

Here’s what gets me: where were these people back when all this was started? What were they doing?

They were going along with it. The Democrats voted for the USA PATRIOT ACT without even reading it;
now they’re all horrified about it. The Democrats voted for the
authorization for the Iraq war when there was plenty of evidence it was
all a fraud; now they’re all horrified that they were “lied to.” The
Democrats voted for the military tribunals, and now they’re all
horrified about the treatment of prisoners. The Democrats voted for the
Military Commissions Act and the suspension of habeas corpus, and now
they’re all horrified at the loss of our rights.

They voted for it. They supported it. Now, years later, they’re against it and calling for impeachment.

Why now? Why
did they wait all this time to turn against it all and call for the
impeachment of Bush and Cheney? Why didn’t they do it back then, when it actually could have done some good?

Because now, the impeachment of Bush and Cheney and their removal from office would mean that a Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, would
become President. That’s the only reason. They don’t care about your rights; they only care about power.

Stop being conned. Support Ron Paul and your local Libertarian candidates. That’s the only way out of this mess.

Happy Indepence Day!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Why do people just call it the Fourth of July? Do we say at Christmas, "Have a great December 25th"? Why don’t we say the actual name of what is perhaps our country’s most important holiday?

Well, whatever the reason, by way of celebration I’d like to share this video of a very patriotic routine by Penn & Teller:

You need to watch this.

You need to watch this.

If you support Bush, you need to watch this. If you hate Bush, you need to watch this.

If you support any Presidential candidate other than Ron Paul, you need to watch this. If you support Ron Paul, you need to watch this.

If you’re a Republican, you need to watch this. If you’re a Democrat, you need to watch this. If you’re a Libertarian, you need to watch this. If you’re a Green, you need to watch this. If you’re an Independent, you need to watch this.

If you’re an American with a heart beating in your chest, you need to watch this.

You just need to watch this.