Thursday, May 23, 2013

I.t R.eally S.tinks

...the problem (of the IRS) is a perversely complex regulatory framework that gives the IRS — which should simply collect taxes based on an easily knowable formula — enormous discretionary power to discriminate and intimidate. That makes the IRS an un-American weapon, particularly when it is controlled by an Alinskyite will-to-power administration.

Sure, we can worry about prosecuting the weapon-wielders at some point. The urgent problem here, though, is the weapon itself. Our energy should be devoted to exposing the scandal in the light of day and shaming Washington into dismantling the IRS — which is actually planned to swell markedly, and grow even more intrusively offensive, under Obamacare...

...The moment a prosecutor — special or otherwise — takes over, the public flow of information stops. All witnesses will claim that the pendency of a criminal investigation means they cannot discuss the matter “on advice of counsel.” They will cease cooperating with congressional investigators. The prosecutor will claim that grand-jury secrecy rules bar comment about the expansive investigation (a claim the government routinely makes, even though the rules actually bar comment only by the prosecutor, investigative agents, and grand jurors — not the witnesses).

Public disclosure should be the goal here. It is the one thing that has driven the IRS story to this point. Public disclosure of the shockingly intrusive harassment of the president’s political opponents, the prohibitive legal and regulatory expenses imposed on ordinary people for merely exercising their right to participate in the political process, is what has broken through the administration’s Obamedia fortress. Yet public disclosure is precisely what would be lost if Congress were to punt its oversight responsibilities to a special counsel.

It's no Watergate

update 1: read related

update 2: The Virginian - and his commentors - go farther (read it all):

(on the plus side,)
Richard Nixon:
  • ended the Vietnam war,
  • ended the draft,
  • started arms talks with the USSR,
  • pried the Communist USSR-China alliance apart,
  • opened China,
  • began the USA's support for the dissidents inside the USSR,
  • (aided) Israel during the Yom Kippur war,
  • got Egypt to break from the USSR and expel the Soviet military,
  • ensured NASA could land a man on the moon,
  • integrated the officers' clubs in the military,
  • signed the first clean air/clean water act,
  • did not plot the Watergate break-in,
  • appointed William Rehnquist,
  • (and) The Nixon IRS never actually went after Nixon's enemies.
A lot of pundits on both sides are telling people that (x) incident under the Obama administration should not be compared to Watergate - where x could equal anything below:

During the IRS incident, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress directed the IRS to deliberately and illegally delay the applications of conservative (and not liberal) non-profit groups.
    During the Benghazi incident, the Obama administration:
    During the AP spying incident, the Obama administration directed the Justice Department to deliberately spy (in an illegal, i.e. warrantless, manner) on the contacts of a press organization.

    The Obama administration has knowingly appointed numerous tax cheats to high office, while directing the IRS to harass his opponent's contributors.

    During the Solyndra incident, the Obama administration:
    The Obama administration's Eric Holder has perverted justice by:
    Under ObamaCare, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress have:
    And on countless occasions, the Obama administration has lied to Congress while under oath.

    Now to be fair, let's include the facts about the Watergate scandal: Nixon operatives drew up an 'enemies list', then carried out two burglaries. Then Nixon and several members of his administration engaged in illegal wiretapping, destroyed a few documents, and perjured themselves before Congress.

    Conclusion: The pundits are correct that it is wrong to compare Nixon to Obama - but only because it's so insulting to Nixon.

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    double vision

    two takes on google glass:


    Friday, May 10, 2013

    as a sorbet

    i've known a lot of people who were into sci-fi. some were almost to the trekkie stereotype, but never as momomaniacal in their tastes - star trek, star wars, blade runner, red dwarf, etc., were cool with them, as were monty python, (the first) highlander, princess bride, or whatever. about half of those friends were also into the early doctor who episodes. apparently the old series had been broadcast on kera in dfw for a while, but i never saw more than 3 or 4 episodes 'back in the day'.

    much later, when bbc america revived the series with rose and the 9th doctor, i finally got to see enough episodes to understand the premise, liked it, and kept watching until just after the 10th left. then last month, bbc reran some of the oldest episodes, so i tried to watch a couple...


    other episodes might have been better, but the parts i watched were so stiff and staged that they made 'star trek original series' look like cinema verite.