Monday, May 30, 2011

Arizona Law about immigration

Recently the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) ruled that it is legal for states to revoke the business licenses of companies hiring illegal immigrants.

In general, I am against anti-immigration laws.  But this ruling is just.   SCOTUS  noted that it only penalizes after the second infringement, preventing punishment for infringing by mistake.  More importantly it was not an attempt to punish latinos, as it punished the employers, rather than the immigrants.

In fact, I personally would revoke the federal laws that give amnesty to the employers.  Everyone always complains about giving amnesty to the immigrants, but they allow the government to give amnesty to the employers.  The Federal Law in question prevents "any state of local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ illegal immigrants."

In my mind, we should do it the other way around.  Stop granting amnesty to the American criminals, and start granting amnesty to the immigrants.   The immigrants just want to earn a living wage, doing jobs that americans simply will not do (you try picking vegetables and fruit - their union has a standing offer to let any american citizen that wants to try it out do so).  The American employers are trying to avoid the free markets wage to for citizens.  Yes, they have a tough business, but the way to fix their problem is to change the immigration laws, NOT to quietly let them break the laws and do nothing.

More importantly, it doesn't matter how many immigrants we arrest, as long as we offer jobs, more will come.   The only way to stop the illegal immigration is to stop the employers, not the immigrants.  Of course, I would also legalize a lot more of the work, as we clearly NEED some cheap labor.

My ideal solution to the illegal immigration problem is to do the following:

  1. Establish a "guest worker Visa" program.  There estimates for numbers vary between 12 and 20 million.  So offer a set amount of 10 million 3 month visas at any time, up for AUCTION.   Highest bidder wins the right to work in the US for 3 months, expendable for another 3 months if they then pay triple what they paid the first time.  US agriculture (and gardens and working parents) needs these people, pretending we don't is like shooting yourself in the foot and asking why it hurts.
  2. Establish a "Desired Citizen" program to offer permanent green cards to any person that has a Graduate Degree (Masters, PHD, MD, MBA, etc.) from an approved list of 'superior' universities.  Let's cut the red tape for the smart people - we want them here MORE than we want someone that just happens to be related to a US citizen. 
  3. Offer a 1 year visa to anyone that worked illegally and turned their employer in.  Payable only if the employer is convicted. 
  4. Allow the states to add an "Immigrant Employee Tax" to any non-citizen working in their state of however much they want.   But require this tax be to be a set percentage and applied to ALL non-citizens - whether they be doctors or farm workers.
Note this would:

  1. Allow businesses to hire the people we need to keep prices down
  2. Allow states to discourage this to whatever extent they want - at the cost of losing businesses to states that are more lenient.
  3. Make arresting employers a lot easier.   This should stop tax cheats substantially.
  4. Kill the "coyote" business of illegally transporting people acress the boarder
  5. Make it easier for the smart, hard working people we WANT to get into America.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Politics and stupidity

    Stupidity is not partisan.  I have met about as many moronic Democrats as I have met moronic Republicans.  The Democrat candidate that said something along the lines of "What,you expect me to kiss babies..." is a prime example of a moronic Democrat.  In addition, there are all those idiots that thought Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks and did nothing ("Truthers").

    That said, there is a major difference between how the DNC treats their morons and how the GOP does.  Note I had to explain what a Truther is - but I don't have to explain what a Birther is.   The DNC recognizes that the democratic morons are a part of our base, but we don't encourage them.  In fact we reign them in.   Even if you ignore Roger Ailes (FOX), the GOP has a lot to answer for.   (While Ailes put Beck and his ilk on TV,  hires the major GOP non-elected persons, and pushes the GOP agenda how he wants it to go, is not an official of the GOP.)  The problem is the RNC allows/encourages its members to push radical, ridiculous ideas that everyone that is NOT a conservative zealot knows are partisan lies.

    The prime examples are:

    1. Birtherism.   No, it is not enough to say you don't believe it. 
    2. The claims of socialism by candidates/elected officials.   
    3. The healthcare lies (in particular the infamous imaginary "Death Panels")
    4. The ridiculous cost estimates for Obama's India trip.
    No, it is not enough to not make these claims yourself. You must attack and criticize members of your party that do it.  The Democrats do it when psycho Democrats make ridiculous claims ("Truthers" for example.)

    The reason for this issue is quite simple. The GOP has built it self on multiple beliefs that are slowing being proven false.  As time progresses, they strive to maintain their beliefs in the face of more and more contradictions.  This requires them to slowly move from honest disagreement to outright lies.  For example, the culture beliefs against the fairly well proven scientific facts of evolution, homosexuality being natural, Climate Change.  Not to mention the  "we can cut the defecit while lowering taxes".  The worst part is that none of these beliefs can ever truly be totally proven false.  But as time goes by, more and more people will realize the evidence against them is overwhelming - and growing. 

    Eventually, new GOP candidates will be elected that won't spout these lies - but they will spout new lies.  The GOP has encouraged a culture of denial and falsehood to grow, so the new GOP candidates, while accepting the truth about say Climate Change, will deny something else.  

    The GOP say "The Democrats Think you are Stupid to belief in x".  The truth is we don't think Conservatives are stupid.  But we do recognize that there ARE stupid conservatives, just as there ARE stupid liberals.   The difference is the Democrats don't cater to our own stupidity, we try to educate it out of ourselves, or at least to push the stupid democrats out of the spot light.  The GOP on the other hand likes to embrace their stupidity.  They know it will pick up some support from their base - but fail to realize that it will lose support of the independents.  The GOP will never again win a national campaign until they kill their focus on their base and look to the independents. 

    Newt Gingrich was punished for trying to kill the lies in the GOP.  He talked honestly, and tried to appeal to the independents.  This pissed of the moron-philes (people that court the votes of the stupid) in the GOP and since they were in charge, they kicked Newt under the Bus.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Good Science in Politics

    I just read a great article over by Ben Goldacre, at the Guardian (British newspaper, SOURCE )

    Ben's Column, called Bad Science, is about how people misuse science, usually the media, but also the British government.  The US is no better.

    This particular article complains about the lack of randomized trials for government policies.  Instead of finding out if something works scientificially, we let the program administrators tell us whatever they want to, and usually don't find out how they failed (or worse, 'succeeded' at the same rate as no policy), unless there is an investigation.

    So I hereby propose a simple rule - every pilot project include a randomized trial to see if it works.  By 'pilot project', I would include any project that is not funded well enough to cover all possible participants.  That is, if you are not giving enough money to house all the homeless, but only enough to house 1/10 (or even 1/2), that counts as a pilot project. 

    At heart, this would be putting the science back into politics.  We could finally learn if a syringe exchange program really cut down on blood borne disease, of as some would claim, increased drug use.  We could actually find out if the athletic teams (or music programs) helped students or took up valuable time for more academic pursuits. 

    The funding for such trials could come from the National Science Foundation, and should be relatively minor, as compared to the cost of the programs themselves.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Healthcare Will be Ruled legal

    First let me state that the Healthcare law is clearly and obviously legal.

    There are only about four things any government can do (give or take a few esoteric things like declare you insane, which is kind of imprisoning you):
    1. Kill you
    2. Cancel citizenship (and deport you )
    3. Imprison you
    4. Tax you of money
    As per several court rulings, the Government has the right to tax you, and it has the right to selectively Tax you, despite what the lunatics that try to claim Income Tax is illegal.  The right to tax (and the right to tax selectively) comes from the Article I, Section 8, of the constitution of the United States, as further modified by the 16th  Amendment to the US constitution (which removed restrictions on how they could tax). 

    The constitution does however have make it clear that the other 3 powers are different and the government can not do any of them without just cause.

    The Healthcare bill very clearly only taxes people, and is set up to encourage a desired activity.  There is no imprisonment (they even made it explicit), citizenship cancellation or death.

    The Healthcare bill is NOT the first tax on an undesirable activity.  We have federal taxes on the following undesireable activities: importing goods from undesirable countries (Custom duties vary by country), Alcohol, Tobacco, and Guns. The federal taxes on Tobacco are clearly punitive - we tax it a lot to discourage it's use.

    In addition, the Health care taxes are not so onerous as to be defacto imprisonment.  They are less than the cost of buying health care, and as compared to the Tax on Tobacco, it is relatively cheap.

    The idea that it is somehow unconstitional to tax NOT doing something, but it is constitional to tax someone for doing something is patently ridiculous.  Why, because we do it all the time as part of Income Tax, we call them exemptions.   For example, the US currently has a Tax on not owning your own home.  If you buy your own home, you get a tax break for the mortgage as well as the real estate taxes you pay.  If you don't, you pay more taxes.

    The idea that "idleness" is not commerce is just an attempt to create a loophole.  When some idiot says "I did not poison my victim, I just failed to tell him I switched the labels on my sugar jar with my strichine jar 5 years ago", sane people laugh at the idiot.  We do not support him in his ridiculous belief that failing to act is not the same as acting.  There is zero difference in the eyes of the law.


    Now for the important stuff.  The US Supreme Court has rejected fast tracking the Healthcare challenges.  This is a clear indication that they don't have enough votes to immediately rule it invalid.   They simply are not seriously offended by it.  That does not mean they won't invalidate it, but they are not jumping at the chance to deal with it.  They want an appeals court to deal with the issue, so that they won't have to.

    That leaves it in the hand of the Appeals Court.   Right now, the Appeals Court consists of 2 Obama appointees and one Clinton appointee.   The panel was chosen randomly by a computer.  Note the panel has already dismissed a state challenge, based on the fact that the state has no standing (i.e. it was not subject to the law, so it could not sue, only the tax payers could sue).  Next it is hearing a separate case (from a tax payer).  They court is agreeing with my statement about idleness being the same as activity.   They are recognizing that the Government has not only the right to tax people, but also the right to offer tax breaks, and that those actions are identical.  It does not matter if you call it a tax of Y on not doing something, or a tax break of Y for doing something (combined with a general raise in taxes of Y), they are exactly the same thing in the eyes of the law.

    So it looks like the Appeals court will rule it legal and the Supreme Court will be unwilling to over-rule them.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Bin Laden's Pictures

    Some people are demanding the USA release Bin Laden's death pictures.

    President Obama has wisely refused.

    The simple truth is that we did not kill Bin Laden to make a point.  We didn't do it to tell the world.  We did it because it had to be done.

    And we don't care if no one believes us.   We do however care if the zealots use his death as a cause for future actions.  Those pictures could be used to support their zealotry, and we don't want that.  So we won't publish them.

    As for the idea that we might have simply faked it, I have three responses to that.

    1. If we are faking, then he can simply film a new speech and release it.  Today, before our fakery starts to be accepted (and before someone has enough time to create a fake video)
    2. If we were going to fake it, we would have done it a long time ago.  Ten years later is almost pathetic, not a moral booster (P.S.  To those idiots that think Bush should get the credit - vengeance ten years later is not worthy of credit but of blame for taking too long.  Vengeance 3 years later is worth bragging about.)
    3. Finally, I assure you that any president that had to deal with moronic birther lies would fire anyone stupid enough to suggest that we fake Bin Laden's death. The one thing President Obama does not want is more conspiracy theories.

     We killed Bin Laden.   We did it partly for vengeance. partly to stop that idiot from conspiring against us again, and partly to scare others from attacking us again.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Tears of Joy

    Liberals are soft.  We don't understand war.  We can't take actions against terrorists.  And we don't have it in us to kill.  When we do kill, we don't enjoy it.

    Yes, my friend, that is why a liberal president could not find or kill Osama Bin Laden over 8 years.  And why it took a conservative president less than 3 to find and Kill Osama Bin Laden.  The weak previous president can't even claim he did the work because it took 3 whole years for the current president to do it.

    Whoops, I got that all backwards, didn't I?    It was the conservative President Bush that failed over 8 years and the liberal Obama that killed Bin Laden.

    Conservatives like to lie about liberals.    They exaggerate minor differences because they know the differences between liberals and conservatives are actually very small (with the exception of abortion and discrimination).  We both want an EPA (the Dems threatened to cut the EPA budget entirely when the GOP wanted to cut just the Climate Change stuff - and the GOP caved.), we just argue about how much to spend.  We both want to fund the military, etc. etc.  The real differences are much smaller.

    And yes, I am crying today about the death of Osama Bin Laden - Tears of Joy,   As I celebrate this day of vengeance, I just wish we had a Democrat in charge in 10 years ago, this day might have come in the Oughts instead of the Teens.

    There is an entire SEAL team out there that will never have to buy themselves a drink again.  All they have to do is tell the tale and Americans everywhere will fall over themselves to pay for there alcohol, there me