alexa

You thought constant electronic surveillance is limited to overseas regimes like China or Great Britain.  Sure, Facebook, and Amazon, and Google track data, but it’s worth it for the “friends” and free shipping.  Not a big deal. You can just put your laptop away.  (Like that’s going to happen.) Yes, that smart phone in your pocket or purse tells your provider where you are at all the times.  And what you’re viewing.  And who you’re communicating with.  Not a big deal.  You can just leave your device at home.  (Like that’s going to happen.)  True, Alexa is listening all the time.  As are Amazon employees.  Not a big deal.  You can always unplug Alexa and take out her batteries and cover her with a wet towel.

These are all examples of us voluntarily giving up some privacy for convenience and entertainment.  At least we are safe and private in our own homes and cars, right?  No.  Even there, Big Brother is watching and listening.  “Smart” appliances of all kinds track your choices every moment of every day.   Your TV really is watching you. (Mom, you were right after all.)   Your wireless speakers are listening to you.  Your refrigerator knows what you eat (and don’t eat).   Utilities are collecting and using your data through “smart meters” and other tracking tools.  Even your home security system may be spying on you.  You may feel like running out, jumping into your car and driving away to safety.  Too bad.  Your car is tracking you too.

All that data goes straight to Facebook, and Amazon, and Google, and to the government if they want it.  Hackers?  Amateurs.  Big business, aided by big government, gets us to pay for and install the spyware ourselves.  But at least we get free shipping.

1984

 

 

This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense. The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year. Vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will always be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president. Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation. The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only because Democrats will not fund border security. My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopens the government. This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

 – President Donald Trump, 1/8/19, Full speech transcript available here.

 

kava1

 

Brett Kavanaugh is not white privilege.  He is not toxic masculinity.  He is not misogyny.  He is not uncontrolled rage.  He is a human being.  He deserves to be judged on what he has done as a person.  This includes, by all accounts, being a good judge, a good citizen, a good father, and a good husband.

Judge Kavanaugh should not be judged for something he did not do.  All of the accusations he has faced are unsubstantiated and most are ridiculous.  It was right that the Senate (and FBI) considered Professor Ford’s accusations.  But her testimony is uncorroborated (by her own witnesses) and inconsistent (by her own words).  Neither the Senate nor the FBI has found any evidence in support of her claim.

The time for investigation is over.  Now the Senate must do its Constitutional duty and vote.  No more delays.  No more fraudulent claims.  No more dirty tricks.  Vote.  And vote on the man, not the political symbol.

What does embracing communism get “the people”?

U.S.S.R.: 20 million deaths; China: 65 million deaths; Vietnam: 1 million deaths; North Korea: 2 million deaths; Cambodia: 2 million deaths: Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths; Latin America: 150,000 deaths; Africa: 1.7 million deaths; Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths; The international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths… The total approaches 100 million people killed.

  • from The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression by Stephane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louise Panne, Adrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartooek, and Jean-Louis Margolin.   Translated by Jonathan Murphy and Mark Kramer. 1997.

According to the US Census, there are currently 40.6 Americans living in poverty including 16 million children.  The US Department of Agriculture reports that 40.1 million Americans receive food stamps. HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report estimates over 550,000 homeless people in this country.  There are 72 million Americans on Medicaid.  According to the US Department of Education, 50.7 million children attend public schools (K-12) in the US.  The NCAAP reports that there are currently 6.8 million incarcerated adults in this country, with 2.3 million African-Americans included in this population.

The US Department of Homeland Security estimates 12.1 million illegal immigrants in the US (including 800K DACA designees).  This group uses social services including schools, healthcare and other welfare services (as allowed by states).  They also send $120 billion out the country to other countries.  Once you adjust for limited federal and state taxes paid by individuals, the cost of federal and state services provided to illegal immigrants is approximately $116 billion a year (as estimated by FAIR).

Opening borders and eliminating ICE would increase the number of people in this country living in poverty, receiving food stamps, covered by Medicaid, homeless or incarcerated.  This would balloon costs for social services while taking money away from schools, workforce training, roads, and emergency services.  This is exactly what has happened in European countries who have seen a significant decrease in quality of life, an huge increase in tax burden and public debt, along with strained public services and an increase in crime and violence.

While it is admirable to want for others what we have, we should not punish our own citizens including the poor, the young, the homeless, the disadvantaged, the incarcerated and the sick, by opening the floodgates of open immigration.  We should take care of our own first.