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.

California Considers Outlawing Discrimination Against Unemployed

California Considers Outlawing Discrimination Against Unemployed

A bill introduced Jan. 5 and sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Michael Allen wouldn’t allow unemployed job-seekers to sue for discrimination, but companies that violate the law would face investigation and fines of up to $10,000.

“There’s been an increasing utilization of using this as a crude screening process to keep applicants from even being interviewed,” Allen told The Huffington Post. “It’s better to be proactive rather than to let this become a common practice.”

I rarely like government making regulations on business given the plethora of bureaucracy such laws often create, but this is one of those times were such regulations I feel are necessary. I’ve known several people that were denied jobs simply because they were currently unemployed at the time the interviewed. I was once told that I fit all the criteria for a position but that I was not selected to be hired solely on the grounds that I was not “currently employed” while undergoing the hiring process. I discussed the issue with the HR person, who agreed with me that it was silly not to hire a perfectly qualified candidate based on their current unemployment, but ultimately it was the bosses decision to make. While I felt it unfair I moved on as working for such a company, in my opinion, isn’t worth it as such an attitude often reflects a lack of commitment and respect by the employer towards their employees.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar stories from assorted friends, family, and associates over the years, particularly when the recession really hit hard between 2008-2010. I’ve even seen posts at job board over the last couple years while I was hunting for contract and freelance work with the ridiculous requirement that one must be employed in order to be hired. In other words, it’s slowly becoming a serious problem and a means used by some unscrupulous employers to justify their personal biases. (I still get amusement over an HR person for a foreign company wanting to hire American engineers and designers insisting I was lying about being a U.S. citizen because I had a “strange accent”. I assume they meant my native Arizonan accent, which is rare and really not that noticeably different.)

Yes, employers want their employees to be up to date on their skills, but an employed person is not necessarily one who has kept current for their field. (I’ve certainly met enough to confirm that over the years.) This desire for skilled labor does not justify discrimination in any form, especially against those who need the work the most: the unemployed.

I guess it’s a good thing I simply don’t get the need of others to discriminate. If someone’s qualified and can do the job, who cares about their appearance, gender, beliefs, or any of the rest. If they can do the job and work with their fellow employees to accomplish tasks, that is what should matter.

Arizona newsbits

Still glad that Arizona doesn’t waste time and effort with the weekend Daylight Savings Time garbage most of the country has been suckered into following.

How to ensure you turnt he voters against you. Simple: Sonoran Alliance » Don’t Let $tupid Voter$ Decide Funny how when the citizenry vote the way those in power approve of they are intelligent and well informed. The instant they might vote against what those in power want they are suddenly uninformed and stupid.

Amusing quote of the day: “You are now leaving Arizona. Welcome to the Socialist States of Barackistan.” (A friend commenting on driving from Phoenix, AZ to Los Angeles, CA. He says he got the Barckistan part from somewhere on the ‘net.)

Ongoing corruption in Arizona: Sonoran Alliance » Mainstream Arizona still not following the law? I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not. I have little regard for the Clean Elections Commission and even less AG Goddard ensuring Arizona laws are enforced uniformly. Both have become corrupted neyond help, IMO.

An interesting story: Arizona’s Constitution VS. Illegal Aliens, The Case of Robert Barnett « Justmytruth’s Weblog I hope Mr Barnett wins an appeal and along with it reaffirms Arizona’s laws and landowner’s rights.

High court keeps state ballot rules | Fox10tv.com So this seems to leave everyone in AZ a bit in limbo given Arizona’s recent declaration of sovereignty. Likely the ruling will be ignored or the law rewritten to re-establish electoral protections in the state. That aside, I think it’s inane to say non-residents of a State should be allowed to be involved in the state election process (e.g. collecting signatures for a candidate). That path leads to corruption of the democratic system. I do agree on the part where it is unfair and egregious to demand independent candidates be registered so far ahead of the Democrat and Republican party candidates. To be equitable all candidates should have to be registered by the same date, no preferences given to any political party or affiliate.

Constitution and Change

Those who read this blog know I’m a strong Constitutionalist and dislike those who would change the Constitution for questionable reasons or laden down the document with non-universal personal or socio-political agendas like banning abortion, defining marriage, guaranteeing full employment, environment, abolishing electoral college, abolishing natural born clause for POTUS, and so on.

I’m sure many are now aware of the video going viral about Obama’s statement saying the Constitution of the United States is flawed and reflects the fundamental flaw of the nation. On both counts I completely disagree. No document devoted to establishing the governing precepts of a nation is ever flawless. What is remarkable is that the Constitution was so well written that it has had rare need to be altered, modified, or added to. Such changes, with rare exception, only enhanced and refined the document further. The very fact that the document could be modified in and of itself shows it’s versatility and progressiveness even in this day and age.

If Obama was referring to racial inequality at the time the Constitution was written he is confusing the attitudes and social mores of the times with what was actually written. The Framers were considerably clever in how the document was written choosing words and phrasing that could easily become universal in the future up to and beyond the inclusiveness of blacks (as latter history in the U.S. showed) while not putting off either Southern slave owners or Northerners fearful of Southern dominance in the government. The problem that arises for me is that Obama goes on to discuss redistribution of wealth via the Court and government and lamenting that the Constitution was deliberate in it role to limit the role of government in peoples lives. At least that’s how I interpreted his words. You can decide for yourself. The part that disturbs me is at the end, “redistributive change”.

It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.

The idea though that Senator Obama feels that the government should decide who makes what amount of money and everything else needs to be taken from them is anathema to me and I suspect a number of other Americans. These comments from 2001 only reinforce concerns of many over Sen. Obama’s neo-socialist leaning.

Now Senator Obama may have only said flaw in that the constitution only states what the government can’t do in regards to a person’s rights, and not what it can do. That is actually a good thing since it clearly delineates that the role of the government is to provide defense and moderate trade while leaving the people to pursue their own lives without being intruded upon as they had by the British. The problem though is that this neo-socialist leaning has continued for more than 7 years.

Case in point Sen. Obama’s has recently mentioned potential changes to the Constitution again.

Q: Yes. Exactly. Do you favor changing the Constitution?

A: I rarely favor changing the Constitution. I will say it doesn’t seem real fair that (the fact that) Jennifer was born in a hospital a few miles north as opposed to a few miles south somehow prohibits her from running for president. So it’s something I would be willing to look at. … The original native-born clause came at a time when the country was pretty unstable. … You could argue that some of those original conditions do not apply.

I don’t change constitutions lightly. So I would want to study it before I made a definitive statement on it.

Source: Obama: Aim for fundamental change | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press| 3 Oct 2008

So Obama apparently thinks it’s unfair that only native born Americans should be allowed to run for President and that the reasons for the clause are no longer valid or necessary. The reasoning behind the ensuring on natural born citizens would be allowed to be President (and later applied to Vice President) was and still is very simple: to avoid a conflict of interest with or undue influence by foreign powers. While it is unlikely an individual working for the behest of a foreign power could gain much control of the U.S. even as POTUS better to avoid the problem in the first place.

I can’t help but wonder if we are returning (or have already returned) to the so called Gilded Age when some thought the Constitution defective. I say this because much of the political corruption we see in the country from all parties is somewhat reminiscent of the scandals and fraud of that time period such as government intervention in the economy resulted in favoritism, waste and corruption. Sound familiar? (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac/Wall Street Bailout.) Also parties had large get-out-the vote campaigns of a dubious nature (ACORN anyone?), and sensationalist news took precedence over genuine news (News reporters covering sexual escapades of celebrities versus uncovering corruption in local government, for example, or covering a politician’s marital history instead of their politics). Sounds familiar, yes?

News Commentary

Colleges Want Debate on Drinking Age While I think it is laudable MADD wants to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking I personally think the drinking age should be lowered to 18 given at that age you are allowed to vote, join the military, and can make legally binding agreements and by nearly all other definition considered an adult in the United States. Either 18 year olds are legal adults or they are not. That is what the United States needs to decide and adjust all laws and policies related to age of majority accordingly. They shouldn’t be adjusted just because something is inconvenient. What really needs to be done is to demystify alcohol so the youth in America do not perceive it as anything special or taboo. Educate people instead of regulate them.

Russia starts Georgia pullout but NATO wants more | Reuters
I’ll believe it when all Russian occupation forces are out of Georgia, including the so called “peacekeepers” in Ossetia. The fact that Russia is acting in an obstructionist and occupier manner by detaining Georgian police in port town, supporitng Ossetian separatists destroying ethnic Georgian property and homes, and Russia’s apparently slow response to aid agencies gaining access to S. Ossetia. Some Russian media is still on it’s anti-West rhetoric: Известия.Ру: Грузию могут принять в НАТО исключительно назло России (Trans. Georgia to be accepted into NATO exclusively to spite Russia.) Last I read there was still no definitive decision to fast track Georgia into NATO membership. Russia’s bullying tactics however may push NATO to fast track all former Soviet and Warsaw pact states wishing membership in order to blunt Russia’s recent militarism. If NATO punishes Russia, Russia will punish NATO back – Pravda.Ru I always love Pravda’s hilarious throw back to Cold War journalism. Especially about the last paragraph stating Turkey refused US battleships entrance to the Black Sea. Very amusing since the “battleships” were in fact hospital ships and were not let through because of international treaties regarding the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits not because of the implied support of Turkey. But other Russian media have gone back to a more moderate approach: RIA Novosti – Opinion & analysis – Is Georgia’s NATO dream coming true?

Iran satellite launch a failure: U.S. official | Reuters I tend to think the U.S. official is correct in the launch failed given Iran often likes to brag long and loud over missile successes, showing them on Iranian TV. If it didn’t fail then it also further strengthens the notion for a needed missile defense shield in Europe over concerns of Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

Obama rips McCain for $5 million rich definition | Politics | Reuters
Better McCain’s definition of rich than Obama’s version. Playing class warfare doesn’t work anymore, especially when that class warfare would end up taking people’s income simply because they make what someone deems as “too much” money. Besides Obama’s grasping at straws, or simply lost his sense of humor, since McCain was joking when he made the comment. I suggest Obama start making definitive stances instead of hedging when it comes to direct questions and specific answers. Vagaries will not get you the presidency.

Wind power brings prosperity, anger – CNN.com An example of why alternate energy sources, be it wind, solar, nuclear, et. al., must be looked at with careful consideration and understanding of their impact before being implemented in various locations. I’m all for alternate energy sources but what good is cheaper energy sources if it negatively impacts quality of life in such a drastic manner.

I Spy…

…a slippery slope…

Bush Signs Spy Bill and Draws Lawsuit – AOL News While I completely abhor the notion that the government needs to spy on it’s own citizens and residents I understand the need to do so on occasions. There are two key points that truly bother me about the bill: 1. the elimination of warrants from the process and 2. protecting telecomm companies from lawsuits. In both of these concerns it’s about stripping away the checks and balances on a law that very easily be abused by both the government and the corporations. Past history has shown neither wields unbridled power responsibly nor employs it justly especially when it relates to “protecting” a nation or corporation.

While I often disagree with the ACLU for their selectively defending only the parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights they agree with and having a deplorable tendency ignoring the rest, I do support their lawsuit in this case. If nothing else, it may prompt Congress to reinstate checks to curb the potential abuses for which this law may be used.

2nd Amendment Ruling

Supreme Court Throws Out Handgun Ban – AOL News I know there will be some upset by the Supreme Court throwing out Distric of Columbia’s handgun ban, but I for one welcome it. I have no problem with reasonable gun control measure like background checks but I have always felt D.C.’s law went beyond the as an intrusive and egregious violation of the 2nd Amendment.

Of course the extreme liberals claim it’s going to make the country less safe, ignoring the obvious fact that the ban did little to assuage D.C.’s crime problems. But then it also ignores the fact that people, not inanimate objects need to be held responsible for their activities. It reminds me of a phrase I heard once: Laws take away personal responsibility. I wish I could remember where I heard it before, but I tend to think it’s true. People hide behind the law so they don’t have to take responsibility for their choices and actions by blaming other things: other people, their environment, their job, their lifestyle, etc., etc.

It was interesting to note that the decision was pretty much along conservative vs. liberal lines. In this case I’m glad the conservatives were on the court as the more extreme liberal members have apparently forgot the meaning of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in this case. It’s not like the Supreme Court Justices have not forgotten the Constitution before. I recall recently their approval for State’s to use eminent domain to seize private property and then give it to private developers. Surprisingly, in a rare correct decision, President Bush then issued an executive order limiting such use of eminent domain by federal agencies. Several states have also restricted eminent domain practices to prevent private developers and companies from essentially stealing people’s property for the “public benefit”.

Anyway, back on topic. I’m quite pleased with the decision and hope it prompts more reasonable and responsible gun regulations instead of the laws often passed as knee jerk reactions to events or political expediency and/or agendas.