Foot In Mouth: Biden on voter ID laws

Vice President Joe Biden said Republican-controlled states like Wisconsin were leading an “assault” on voting rights designed to “repress minority voting” through their passage of laws that require people to present a photo ID to vote.

Too bad Vice President Biden has no idea what he is talking about when he trots out the leftist myth that voter id laws are used to repress minorities. The leftist case against voter IDs is further undermined by the federal 2002 law, the Help America Vote Act, and numerous court cases upholding rather strict identification laws in states like Indiana. In other words, more leftist scare tactics to try to cow and control the Democratic base and stir up potential supporters/voters.

It’s rather insulting when political parties think they need to instill fear in order to get support, but sadly it is too often effective. But that is another discussion entirely.

I, my brother, and several others in my voting district were victims of voter fraud several years ago during off-year elections (i.e. midterm elections) in which others posed and voted in our stead. This of course was only discovered because when we showed up to vote, we were listed as having already voted with some scribbled signatures next to our name. We were allowed to vote on temporary ballots, but everyone knows that those never get counted unless a race is extremely tight, which is a rare event. Additionally, in later years my name showed up on petitions (that were dismissed) I did not sign.

So in effect, I was potentially, If not outright, denied my vote by someone else because no one bothered to confirm who the people voting were. This blatant voter fraud did not happen in later elections at that particular polling place as they simply demanded everyone show their state voter registration card (which everyone at the time got for free and I believe still do) or picture identification. That’s not to say there weren’t any other questionable voting practices, only that such flagrant violations were addressed.

Obviously as a result of my personal experience I am a firm believer in requiring verifiable identification in order to be allowed in elections of any sort in the United States. I believe most Americans agree with this position as well.

Do I think there is rampant voter fraud in the United States. No. Rather I think there is rampant corruption with numerous groups across the political spectrum trying to sway and steal elections in ways both obvious (intimidation, defamation/slander, judicial activism) and subtle (gerrymandering, ethno-centrist pandering, legislative maneuvering, propagandist or politically slanted “news”) to steal the voice of the legitimate voting public.

Civilian Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine

As those reading this post know by now a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border.

My condolences to all those killed in this tragedy,

Who’s Responsible

It is currently unknown who shot the plane down: the Russians, the Russian backed insurgents, or the Ukrainians. All have access to weapons capable of taking down the airliner.

While Ukraine has anti-aircraft weapons as well, but has no reason to be firing them at large planes since the rebels have no such aircraft at their disposal. Hence, I am more dismissive of the idea that the Ukrainian military shot down the plane, as Russia claims

Given recent activities in the area (namely the rebels shooting at and shooting down Ukrainian aircraft) I believe it was in fact the insurgents using Russian supplied equipment like the Buk missile system, which does have the capacity to reach the cruise altitude the Malaysian Airliner was said to be at. I also base this on the rebels own claims on a social networking site of shooting down an aircraft around the same time as MH-17 went down, post which later were deleted once it became clear a civilian airliner had been shot down.

So at this point, I blame the insurgent separatists and, ultimately, Vladimir Putin for instigating the military crisis in Ukraine through the invasion of Crimea and Ukraine, supplying rebels with weapons, and fomenting his pan-Slavic ethnocentric ultra-nationalism in the region.

What Should Be Done

Regardless of who is responsible for the attack, every effort (including military means if need be) should be made in ending the rebels assaults in Ukraine and bring those responsible for killing hundreds of innocent passengers on the plane to justice. I know that isn’t likely, given Putin is already spinning the blame to everyone else but his own disastrous policy in the region. If it turns out the Russian (or even Ukrainian) military is directly involved in attack, there needs to be some serious repercussions. Repercussions along the lines of a ban on all travel to and from the offender nation (or their sponsor), an world wide embargo on products, a rapid deployment of EU and NATO forces to all nations to form a buffer between the conflicting sides, stripping away of all international economic and sporting events, and so forth. In other words, no more weak willed verbal rebukes but tangible punishments that hurt those committing these acts.

What Will Be Done

Sadly, with our current president whose early thought this event was: “It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy”, I suspect nothing. I think Obama was channeling George W. there. “May be”? Seriously? Regardless of how the plane went down it is a tragedy.

Obama has shown himself to be spineless in the past in a whole manner of violence and conflicts erupting across the face of the planet so I expect little to nothing to be done.

Germany Routs Brazil

Despite supporting Germany to win the World Cup, I was still shocked at today’s routing of Brazil. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team collapse, especially a team like Brazil known for it’s quality. I almost think Brazil should have dragged 11 random guys out of the stadium crowd and had them play the Germans instead. This isn’t to say that the German team was excellent, they were, and they made some history today.

Looking forward to see who the Germans play next.

World Cup 2014 Thoughts: US Men’s Team

I have to say that I think the U.S. Men’s National Team did decently this time around in the World Cup. They still had some moments of their past mediocrity but in general they acquitted themselves well in a very competitive group. It was called the Group of Death with good reason after all. At least I didn’t have a moment as I’ve in previous World Cups where I thought the Women’s National Team would make a better showing against the other nation’s men’s teams. (Don’t think the WNT is good? Check their record compared to the MNT.)

So while still scratching my head in puzzlement over the absence of Donovan from the roster and the unfortunate injuring of Altidore I think overall the USMNT is on its way to improving it’s international competiveness. For the team they have much to look forward to in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia (if it remains there, but that furball of a mess is another issue).

For now I shall go on to supporting the remaining teams I favor: Germany and Columbia.

Opinion: Immigration Protests In Murrieta

I support the immigration protesters in Murrieta, CA. Despite what some ideologues and amnesty supporters would have you think, these people are not racists or against immigrants. I think these protesters represent what a majority of Americans want and feel: an end to illegal immigrants, an end to policies that support illegal aliens over U.S. citizens, an end to liberal (by this I mean weak) immigration policy and reform of immigration policy that rightly places the interests of the U.S. citizen over that of foreigners and entities (read: business, politicians, political parties, etc.) that exploit these immigrants. Additionally I believe many Americans want citizenship requirements changed to stop the use of anchor babies and illegal immigrant children as an exploitive justification to allow illegal immigrants to remain.

While the Obama administration has been more active in deporting illegal aliens, it has also been weak in others or outright manipulative in pushing an even more weakened immigration system by advocating amnesty and cynically using children of illegal aliens (whether the child is a citizen or not) to induce an emotional response from the public rather than a well thought out logical response that truly addresses the issues surrounding immigration. This is not aided any the main political parties in the United States (the Democrats and Republicans) holding the country hostage to their equally twisted political agendas that benefit no one but their own power and greed.

While most Americans can empathize with the illegal immigrants (especially the children recklessly endangered by their parents getting here) I think they also understand that, just like we cannot be policeman to the world, we cannot be caretaker of the world either. We, as a nation and as much as we may want to, simply don’t have the resources to do so and maintain our own nation, economy, and people.

Opie’s Final Days

Jay Carney, whom some close associated and I gave him the nickname “Opie”, is leaving as White House press secretary. I give him credit in lasting longer than I thought in such a thankless job. As much as we mocked him for his job as news spinner and propagandist for the administration, he did do better than another press secretary we dubbed Sergeant Schultz for his use of obliviousness as a tool for deflection of difficult questions or issues.

U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Head to Gulf

I get a strange set of irony in hearing the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier is being ordered to the Persian Gulf due to the rise of the ISIS terrorist group and it’s drive to topple the Iraqi government in Baghdad. This is especially so given the virulence of some pro-Obama anti-war towards the members of the Bush clan (admittedly their mindless ravings mostly aimed at the junior George W. rather than the senior George H.W.).

Perhaps more ironic is Iran, whose nation’s government despises everything that is the United States, has indicated that it is willing to work with the U.S. to combat ISIS.

But on a more serious note, it is concerning to see a regional war potentially cropping up in the region. A regional war that will not have clearly defined borders, opponents, or even objectives:

  • The Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) are reportedly solidifying their hold over the Kurdish region of Iraq as the Iraqi’s military and security forces pull out in the face of the ISIS assault and potential grab for Baghdad. I suspect given these events the Kurds are going to be even more emboldened to maintain or even expand their autonomy and military capabilities from external forces such as ISIS, Iran, Syria and Turkey.
  • Iran’s sudden involvement is not that surprising given they’re a Shia country where as ISIS is a Sunni based group. Other than not wanting the rise of a Sunni run government in Iraq I doubt the Iranian government cares much about their neighbors in anything other than in terms of controlling them for Iran’s benefit.
  • Iraq. I can’t say I’m surprised at the sudden rise of Sunni and ISIS over the discrimination Sunni’s have faced since the fall of Hussein. (Note that I am not too sympathetic to the Sunni’s given their own shoddy treatment of Shia’s and other non-Sunni’s during the Baath Party’s reign.) Ultimately this is a culmination of the hatred Iraqi Sunni and Shia have for one another for centuries, a hatred stoked by more recent decades of abuses aimed at one another. ISIS (a Wahhabi based group) feeds off of this with the idea that they will be victorious; beginning the first leg of their plan to create a new (allegedly sunni) caliphate in the region.
  • Syria. There’s not much really to say other than what’s happening there is a result of decades of the Assad’s and the Baath Party’s manipulation of the region and it’s people. ISIS has been successful in much of its campaign in Syria giving them a strong base from which to launch further attacks deeper into Syria and Iraq.