Politics: October 2008 Archives

Pudge Does Bob Roberts

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I've added a couple of new political songs to my repertoire from the movie Bob Roberts. The first is "Don't Vote," a song about how you shouldn't vote if you love terrorists, and the second is "Complain," a classic anthem about people who don't want to make their own living and then complain about everything being handed out to them.


Of Course People Vote Illegally

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I am being told by many on the left that there is no massive voter fraud out there (well, not from THEIR side ... only Republicans would do such a thing!!!!!zomg).

But let's look at the facts.

FACT: it is very easy to fake a voter registration. Now, this is state- and county-dependent, but generally speaking, in most places, it's simple. One local WA woman registered her dog to vote, simply by calling the phone company and asking for a bill in her "son's" name, and using that as proof of residency.

FACT: it is very easy to vote once you have a successful faked registration. They do not check whether your registration is illegal once it is in the system. There may be an occasional check for dead people, or felons, or underage voters ... but if you are a fake person, they won't catch you, unless you make it very obvious, like using the name "Mickey Mouse."

Indeed, the aforementioned dog owner, Jane Balogh, was only caught because she wanted to be: she returned the illegal ballot voided, with a paw print instead of a signature. And they did catch her that way ... a year later, after she had returned three ballots that way.

FACT: many people in this world, in this country, are corrupt, and willing to break the law to achieve their own ends.

So if it is easy to register illegally, easy to vote with that illegal registration, and there are many people who would be willing to do all this, how is it rational to say that it doesn't happen?

It's not rational, at all.

Just because people rarely get caught means nothing: that stems from the fact that it is hard to catch it when it happens. You have to make it obvious, either by using paw prints on ballots, or popular names on registrations, or registering en masse with obviously fake and duplicate information like ACORN has.

I am not saying Obama is going to steal the election with this type of voter fraud. I am saying it is foolish to think it is not happening, and probably on both sides. It is a huge, mostly unchecked, gaping, security hole, with little chance of getting caught for exploiting it if you're smart. There's no reason why corrupt people wouldn't take advantage of it. slashdot.org

I Am Not Voting for John McCain

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I am not voting for John McCain.

And neither is anyone else.

Nor is anyone voting for Barack Obama.

I am voting for representatives to the electoral college who will vote for John McCain.

You do not get to vote for President. There is no "national popular vote" for President. You do not have a federal right to vote for President; that is up to the states to provide, and it could be revoked.

The President exists to administrate a government that serves the states, not the individual people of those states. It makes sense therefore that the President is not elected by the nation, but by representatives of the states.

Which is why no one is voting for John McCain or Barack Obama.

This has been a public service message. slashdot.org

Fred Walser and Gall

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Fred Walser has been claiming that his court-ordered 240 hours of community service, which he has been fulfilling at the Sky Valley Food Bank, is "volunteer" work. He even had the gall to mention it in his biography under "community involvement."

No, Fred, you are not volunteering, you are fulfilling the obligations of your criminal sentence. Just so we're clear.

I mean, I am sure you enjoy the work, and people are glad to have you there, and it's good work. All of that I accept, and I am glad you're doing it. But framing it as volunteering is dishonest, which is unfortunately what we've come to expect from you and your campaign. slashdot.org

Socialism in America

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Socialism has meant many things to many people over the years and continents. Socialism does not mean the same thing to me as it does to those in Eastern Europe over the last half-century. But I like the definition provided in the mid-1800s by Frederic Bastiat, who wrote in The Law:

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. ... Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole -- with their common aim of legal plunder -- constitute socialism.

I won't explain all of Bastiat's views; you can read the entire work for that. It's not very long. But I note something here for the record: this definition for "socialism" (in Bastiat's original French work, "socialisme") is not new. People who respond "your definition of socialism is incorrect" are uninformed.

I say that socialism in modern America is marked by two features. The first is that the government is seen as unlimited (or at most, subject only to a few exceptions). Now, this feature is not unique to socialists: it can be found in many other groups as well, including certain rare strains of neoconservatism, those that find the government has unlimited power during wartime. With all such people, whether on the right or the left, they see the government's power as unlimited when it is used to accomplish the goals they have.

But this is anathema to the American Way. Our government is not unlimited subject to a few exceptions, it is limited, with only a few areas where it is allowed to act. This was done explicitly in order to preserve liberty, and removing those limits may invite tyranny. When those limits are removed outside of the democratic process that created them, it necessarily invites tyranny, because there's only three ways to remove the limits: through revolution, through legal means, or through tyranny. And no, elections "for change" do not count as revolution.

So that's the first part. The second part is the object the limitation-free government: taking from one person against his will to give it to someone else that it doesn't belong to.

This is what Bastiat called socialism, over 150 years ago. It's what I call socialism now. And you cannot read Bill Whittle's analysis of what Obama said in 2001 and come to any conclusion but that Obama fits this description.

Yes, to some extent, most of our politicians probably fit that description. Bastiat's "legal plunder" has become unfortunately commonplace.

But no top party nominee in our nation's history has so completely tossed out the idea of rule of law as Obama has. He explicitly states that limiting government to what the law says it is allowed to do is a "tragedy" that the legislature should fix. This is necessarily a call for the legislature to violate the rule of law.

And no top party nominee in our nation's history has ever wanted to redistribute wealth to the same extent as Obama.

By my 150-year-old definition, Obama is not only a socialist, but obviously the biggest socialist to ever be in reach of the White House. But ignore the labels: worse than the label you put on it, Obama wants to violate our rights by rewriting our Constitution without actually amending it, and to do so in dramatic ways.

And yes, some of us really are disturbed and a little bit scared of what the end result could be. We cherish our Constitution and our laws, as imperfect as they are, because they are what stand between us and a tyrannical government ... so long as those laws are followed. And Obama won't follow them. slashdot.org

Obama Tells Democrats to Not Work

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The Obama campaign sent out an e-mail saying, "Ask your boss. Ask your professor. Take Election Day off and volunteer to make history."

What a shocker that Obama is telling Democrats to not earn a living, and to live off Republicans' "shared wealth" ... even if only for a day.

:-) slashdot.org

Geoff Simpson and His Sock Puppets

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Democratic state legislator Geoff Simpson is fighting against Republican Mark Hargrove for election in the 47th District.

Democrats recently slimed Hargrove, falsely implying he was not good on combatting sex offenders just because a sex offender contributed to his campaign.

There have been three people online coming out in support of Simpson on these matters, though. A couple of posts from someone named "ReadIt&Weep," and some more from "Just Wonderin'," and even one from someone named "Covington Republican."

"ReadIt&Weep" entered his email address as "molester@markhargrove.org." Charming. "Just Wonderin'" entered his address as "lies@pudgeisaliar.com." Both of them directly supported the claims made by the Democrats against Hargrove.

"Covington Republican" says Hargrove "seems like a real dunderhead. Nothing he said made much sense," and that "I won't vote for Simpson but I damn sure won't vote for Hargrove either."

What do all three of these posters have in common, other than attacking Hargrove?

They happen to share an IP address --, a Comcast address -- that replied on Friday to an email sent to geoff.simpson@comcast.net (the same address listed by the House Democrats for his campaign).


There is no mistaking it: these characters above are all Geoff Simpson, or someone very close to him in his campaign.

(The fourth post by "Just Wonderin'" was sent via an anonymizer ... sorry, Geoff, you're too late to hide your address, you've already been caught. The first was from, which resolves to an MIT student from Vashon, Tyler Williams. I have no idea what connection he has to Simpson.)

I don't really mind too much that Simpson is calling me a liar. I've been called worse.

I also couldn't care much less about people anonymously supporting the candidates of their choice ... even if it is themselves. Although, I would hope that public officials could be more forthcoming, even during campaigns.

But it's pretty low to invent an email address called "molester@markhargrove.org," apparently implying that Hargrove either IS a molester, or has molesters in his campaign. Maybe that wasn't the intent, but it sure seems like it.

However, there's no mistaking the intent, ladies and gentlemen, when your 47th District Representative, Geoff Simpson, is actually pretending to be a disaffected Republican voter who is against both Hargrove AND Simpson (and he has the gall to accuse me of lying!).

The stench of deception and desperation run deeply in that one, my friends. slashdot.org

The Democrats are sending out lies about Republicans, on behalf of Democrat Geoff Simpson -- like Fred Walser and Liz Loomis before him. This piece of slime is accusing Mark Hargrove of accepting a donation from a sex offender.

That's pretty terrible stuff, but at least the basic facts are true, that such a contribution did come in. Implying that the fact that someone donated $100 to him means he is bad on combatting sex offenders is clearly dishonest, but it's what the WA Democrats do these days. slashdot.org

Congratulations Fred Walser!

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According to Whatcom County Court, Fred Walser, you have no balance on your account: you paid the $20,000 restitution owed to the City of Sultan for your crimes. That was a remarkable achievement, and now you likely won't be going to jail for lying to a public servant, as long as you finish your 240 hours of community service before June.

Granted, the fact that you lied, and lied, and lied some more, and that you are still lying about it today, ethically disqualifies you from being a public servant in any capacity, but at least you're well on your way to paying your debt to society, even if it was only a small part of what you actually cost the citizens of Sultan, and of Everett, and of Snohomish and Whatcom Counties, and of Washington State, through your lies and misdeeds. slashdot.org

Amazing, but true: I-1000 requires doctors to write down a false cause of death. In a sane society where we value truth from our government and public documents, this would be enough to kill the initiative.

The attending physician may sign the patient's death certificate which shall list the underlying terminal disease as the cause of death.

Yes, it means what it says: the death certificate shall -- must -- have the underlying disease as the cause of death, even though it wasn't the actual cause of death. The government requires doctors to lie about how people died.

The Yes-on-I-1000 give a completely illogical analogy to defend against this claim, saying, "Just as when physicians discontinue an artificial respiratory or kidney dialysis, or help someone die by continuous sedation, the underlying disease is legally and accurately the cause of death." But in those cases, the cause of death actually is the underlying disease.

Proponents are intentionally blurring the distinction between allowing someone to die by withholding treatment, and causing their death.

I am generally against I-1000 because I don't like the government getting involved in these sorts of decisions, which is what I-1000 represents. And this is a good example of why it's so dangerous. slashdot.org

Mail Voting

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In Washington, most of the state is "all-mail" voting. For many reasons, I dislike mail voting, most particularly because it is far more prone to intentional and unintentional error. I've written a lot about this in the past and won't do it again right now.

Even if you live in a county that has "all-mail" voting, you can vote in person, either on a voting machine, or with your paper ballot. You can drop off your ballot at the county auditor's office (or perhaps other locations, like certain libraries in Snohomish County). Check with your county auditor for more information. slashdot.org

Loomis Better For Women?

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Last week a hit piece from liberal activist groups (including one that the incumbent, Liz Loomis, sits on the board of) attacked Mike Hope, Representative candidate for the 44th District, as "bad for women, bad for women's health."

This week, a piece from Loomis' campaign went out with an endorsement by Seattle Police Officer Peter Pieper, who was suspended for using a police computer to investigate a woman he was dating.

That doesn't sound very good for women. Now, of course, I wouldn't think Liz Loomis would condone such things as Pieper did, and was accused of doing, but the piece attacking Mike accused him of sharing the alleged beliefs of people who supported him, when he clearly does not. And Loomis did repudiate the piece, but as she is on the executive board of one of the groups funding it, her repudiation rings hollow. slashdot.org

A couple of weeks ago I noted that the EFF filed suit against the Washington Secretary of State regarding underage voters. I noticed three of the voters on the list were from my county, so I contacted my county auditor, Carolyn Weikel*, and asked her about them. She was confused too, but did some research and got back to me today.

It turns out that all three were not registered with Snohomish County, despite being listed as registered with the state. The state will accept registration information, and pass it along to the county, which will then verify the information, accept it into the database (or not), and pass the information back up to the state. And Weikel told me that she wants the information, even for an underage voter: the county wants to have the control. And in these three cases, the controls worked. One was set as a "fatal pend" (election-speak for an ineligible registration) and the other two had been deleted.

It seems like what didn't quite work properly, if I understood correctly, is that some of the information didn't get back up to the state properly, or at least not very quickly. There will be temporary disrepancies between the state and county databases. Those three voters shouldn't have been in the state database (and I believe they no longer are, though whether it's because the county sent up information causing their removal, or the state was responding to the EFF's posting of the list of voters, I don't know), but what's important is that they are not registered with the county, and the county keeps the canonical database for its voters, not the state.

So the bottom line is that while there do seem to be some problems, at least in Snohomish County, those voters were not properly registered (despite what the state database said) and were never going to receive ballots.

* For those of you who may not recognize the name, Carolyn Diepenbrock was recently married, and has changed her name. Congratulations, Carolyn! slashdot.org

Liz Loomis, Democrat Representative in the 44th LD, is on the executive board of NARAL Washington, which sponsored a hit piece against Mike Hope, claiming a classic ad hominem: he shares for the alleged positions of some of his donors, including "fighting to deny diabetes screening, mammograms and overnight stays for newborn babies and their mothers." They say Hope is "bad for women, bad for women's health."

The whole piece is a lie in its implication that Hope has any of the beliefs presented in it, but the worst part of the piece was the claim that he is against mammograms, because Hope's wife, Sarai, had a lump removed in college thanks to preventative screening, and they both contribute significant time and money to breast cancer research, prevention, and treatment.

Color me unsurprised that desperate Democrats are using lies to attack their opponents yet again. slashdot.org

The Public Disclosure Commission concluded that Better Future for Washington, a PAC fully funded -- to the tune of $250,000 -- by the Washington State Senate Democrats violated RCW 42.17.565(2), in delaying filing of a report about a lying hit piece against Republican incumbent Val Stevens, on behalf of challenger Fred Walser.

Shatki Hawkins, a consultant for the PAC, and Jason Bennett, the PAC's treasurer (also Fred Walser's treasurer) admitted to the PDC that they mailed the hit piece on September 18, 2008, costing over $40,000. As it is an electioneering communication, it had to be filed in a C-6 form by Friday, September 19. But they put the date of September 20 -- two days after it was mailed, and a day after it was required to be reported -- on the form, and did not file the report until September 22.

The Senate Democrats have dumped over $75,000 into Fred Walser's campaign, despite the fact that he is a convicted criminal currently under a one-year jail sentence for lying to public servants, and Walser and the Democrats have both lied about Stevens in hit pieces: Walser lied about Stevens and police, Better Future for WA lied about Stevens and domestic violence.

And now the PDC makes clear that they also violated the law, probably in order to not tip their hand about the piece being mailed until it was already received by voters.

From a campaign and candidate that have been built on lies, this is completely unsurprising. slashdot.org

Never Find Out

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Let's never find out what an Obama presidency would be like. slashdot.org

Obama and Touch

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How completely out of touch do you have to be, to assume that just because a terrorist is a professor in Chicago, that he has been rehabilitated? slashdot.org

"W" is Pure Fiction

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On Thursday, Stephen Colbert had a clip of Oliver Stone's new movie "W" about George W. Bush, showing Bush being asked his biggest mistake at a White House press conference in April 2004 (see the clip on that page at about 18:50).

In the clip, Bush (played by Josh Brolin) nervously answers, "I wish you would have given me this written question beforehand, so I could prepare for it." Then he composes himself and says, with a degree of anguish, "John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way." He looks around the room, as if pleading for help to save him from the spot he's in.

Many of the words are basically accurate, but in real life (see the clip around 51:00), they were delivered completely differently. The first sentence was given as a confident joke, with no nervousness of any kind (and Stone neatly swapped in the word "prepare" for "plan," implying Bush has to prepare his answers).

And the real-life delivery of the second sentence showed no anguish at all, just some trouble coming up with an answer to the question on the spot.

This is, of course, typical Stone. He doesn't care about truth. He cares about trying to make people believe the inventions that he prefers, rather than any facts that, you know, happened. He has his vision of who Bush "is," and he will do his best to convince you it's true by taking the facts and turning them inside out, hoping you won't notice. His technique, like most propaganda, requires the viewer to be ignorant, and so this tells you how little he thinks of his audience.

This is punctuated by Stone's butchering of Bush's real-life statement, "I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes," into "I don't want to sound like I haven't made no mistakes." A subtle change that serves the purpose of furthering Stone's "truth" of who Bush "is."

Stone isn't worth bothering with most of the time, but especially when he's pretending to portray real people. I suppose the movie might be good if you like fiction, and can treat it as such while watching it. But most people can't do that, and it certainly wasn't made to be treated as such.

The saddest thing to me is that Stone's movie exemplifies the very nature of "truthiness," and Colbert won't call him on it, because he's in the tank for Obama too. slashdot.org

EFF Sues WA Secretary of State

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The Evergreen Freedom Foundation has filed lawsuit against Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed for allowing underage voter registrations. Incredibly, voters are allowed to register even if they are not going to be 18 before the next election, and in some cases have actually voted illegally, and the Reed hasn't actually stopped it.

Oh, and speaking of the EFF, check out their recent podcast about the bailout bill, featuring EFF CEO Lynn Harsh and Tom Henry. As if you haven't heard it already! slashdot.org

If you have not yet registered to vote in Washington, register today! Many other states also have a deadline of Friday or Saturday.

Also, if you're in Washington, sorry the Mariners are so terrible, but how about Tacoma native Jon Lester, huh? In the last year he's battled back from cancer, won the clinching game of the World Series, thrown a no-hitter, and even tossed a one-hit complete game shutout in Yankee Stadium. And last night, he became only the third Red Sox pitcher ever to win a playoff game with no earned runs or extra-base hits allowed (Burce Hurst and Babe Ruth are the others).

Go Sox! slashdot.orguse.perl.org

I talk a lot about the Supreme Court and its cases. While watching Palin late last night, I struggled for several seconds to come up with a Supreme Court case other than Roe I disagreed with. And if I were truly on the spot, maybe I wouldn't have come up with one at all. So why should I, a layman Supreme Court geek, hold it against Palin that she couldn't name one off the cuff?

I think my understanding of the Court -- which is much greater than most Americans -- is sufficient for anyone running for President or Vice President. So who cares?

I eventually came up with the recent "no executions for child rapists" case, only because I'd seen an article about it earlier in the day (the Court had just refused to hear a new case on the same subject). But why is it that I couldn't come up with the Kelo case, which I've read in its entirety, and have strongly disagreed with, and have written about, and have discussed many times?

It's how my brain works. Ask me my opinion on a specific case I disliked, and I can rattle it off, including the reasons why, and maybe even making specific references to the decisions, including who wrote which ones, who voted which way, and so on. But ask me to come up with some arbitrary decision I disagree with, and I'll struggle, because that is not how my brain catalogues things. I don't store them in "agree" and "disagree" folders in my mind. I imagine most people don't, including Palin.

The dumbest thing, though, is that people are attacking her for favoring a right to privacy, but being against Roe v. Wade (which is the same position I have, though I disagree with Palin, and many others, that abortion should be handled in the states). There are many reasons to be against Roe, and "privacy" is only one of them: most opponents of Roe would say that whether or not there is a right to privacy is irrelevant, since the question of the rights of the life in the womb isn't a question of privacy.

Joe Klein on CNN, incredibly and idiotically, said that she would be "drummed out of the Federalist Society" (were she in it) just for saying that. Now, this only shows that I know more than Joe Klein, because I distinctly remember that our current Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito both said during their recent hearings that they believe in a right to privacy, and they were both members of the Federalist Society.

I know this, and yet I couldn't easily, without thinking significantly about it, name a decision I disagreed with.

Biden was able to do so, because it was a case he actively worked on as part of his senatorial duties. Plus, he's a big nerd. But none of this reflects poorly on Palin in any way, it just shows she that she is not actively thinking about what cases she disagrees with.

Joe Klein and most other people complaining about this are being really stupid, and not merely because they don't understand the modern opposition to Roe, but because they do not understand that it means nothing of significance that she couldn't name a case she disagrees with off the top of her head. slashdot.org

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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