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Behavior Modification

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Behavior Modification: the use of behavior change techniques to increase or decrease the frequency of behaviors.
I believe behavior modification is being used now at schools all across this country to destroy America's "gun culture" in its infancy. When a child is automatically suspended for simply talking about a toy gun or allegedly chewing a breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun what else could it be? It's compliance through punishment. In a generation, our right to keep and bear arms will be gone because the system is making all things gun-related a painful experience at a very young age.
The evidence is there; you just have to look:

Newsflash: Militia ≠ Army

Saturday, October 03, 2009

This just in...
Thomas Jefferson, Father of the Declaration of Independence and Former President of the United States acknowledged there was a difference between the militia and a proper army.
Washington DC, 1801. While giving his Inaugural Address, Thomas Jefferson wiped out all confusion created by gun control advocates surrounding the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment states,
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. 
The language of this one amendment has been the source of countless debates as to what a "well regulated militia" was and whether a militia was made up of common citizens or enlisted persons in a regular army. In his speech, Jefferson referenced the militia and its roll while explaining what the essential principles of government were and where his duty, as the newly elected president, lay. Of the things he listed, he declared,
a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them... 
In one sentence, he cleared the fog of what the Second Amendment meant. A well regulated militia was nothing more than a well disciplined militia, or, if you will, a well practiced militia. And what of the militia? Where do these people come from? The army, or national guard, perhaps? No. Jefferson made the distinction perfectly clear when he remarked that the militia, or citizen soldiers, would hold the ground until the regulars, or members of a regular army, could be brought in to relieve them. How could one ever be confused with the other when stated that way?
Notice, also, how closely worded both the Second Amendment and Jefferson's phrasing are. Pay particular attention to how both are structured the same, further evidencing the intent of the Second Amendment. Either could be interchanged without affecting the original intent of the Second Amendment.
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state", the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
"a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
To say the Second Amendment doesn't protect an individual's right to keep and bear arms or to say that it speaks to a "collective right" is to prove to all your ignorance of the English language.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I heard this on the Dave Champion Show a few days ago and thought it was worth sharing:
What is the qualitative difference between a libertarian and a liberal?
A libertarian trusts the average person to be decent, caring, generous and willing to do the right thing when needed.
A liberal expects the average person to be anything but, unless forced to.

Taking a Long Sip

Thursday, May 28, 2009

After reading about rape and torture, I figured it was time for a post to the ol' blog.
Where's your outrage, America? What? Too busy sucking down the Kool Aid?

Idiocracy, the Documentary?

Monday, April 20, 2009

You decide.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Sunday, April 12, 2009 carried an article by Kristin Schall where she "explains" the results of a recent Rasmussen poll which asked, "which is a better system-capitalism or socialism?" Here's the article:
Rasmussen Poll Indicates American Shift Toward Socialism
by Kristin Schall

In an April 2009 poll conducted by Rasmussen, respondents were asked "which is a better system-capitalism or socialism?" Just 53% of adult Americans prefer capitalism, 20% of respondents favor socialism and 27% responded not sure. These figures suggest that Americans' attitudes toward alternatives to capitalism may be shifting and that we are living in a time that holds the potential to mark a radical change in the landscape of American politics.

The Rasmussen poll was conducted during one of the greatest economic crisises in the history of capitalism. The resulting pressure is forcing Americans to begin to think critically about ideas that they had previously accepted as given. With more and more people facing the prospect of losing their jobs, houses, healthcare, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the inequalities and injustices of capitalism. What this has translated to is people becoming more open to ideas about alternative visions for structuring society. In short, socialism is back.

In addition to the economic crisis, the right wing's accusation of Obama being a socialist appears to be backfiring. Conservatives were attempting to cash in on a well established strategy of 20th century American political life. These attacks have unintentionally served to get socialism into heavy rotation in the mainstream media, thereby increasing the public's interest and curiosity. Fear mongering and the paranoid style seem to be offering declining political returns.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of this poll is the response from people under thirty. The statistics indicate that 66% of this demographic are actively questioning capitalism as a system. This makes clear that the Cold War fear of socialism, created to shape the American mindset, is withering away. It is being replaced by a political openness to new ideas about how to organize society. This means there is a space for socialists where a serious dialogue can begin, which can connect Americans to grassroots organizing.

The limitation of the poll is that it does not define socialism. Socialists themselves need to carry out this task. The Socialist Party-USA is interested in finding out how people conceive of socialism and in meeting them where they are. Our conception of socialism is a democratic society where people have access to what they need in order to live a full life. Human needs are always put before private profits. This includes healthcare, education, access to jobs, and a clean environment. Socialists hope that the moment for polling will soon be past, and we will find ourselves in a moment of action for radical social and political change.

Kristin Schall is the chairperson of the Socialist Party USA, NYC Local.
Ms. Schall FAILS! I went and found the Rasmussen poll she used for her piece [of shit] and discovered she conveniently omitted several key points. I'm sure they weren't relevant to the point she was so obviously trying to make. Here's the rest of what Rasmussen said:
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.

Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer socialism.

There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans - by an 11-to-1 margin - favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.

The question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism

It is interesting to compare the new results to an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefer a free-market economy. The fact that a "free-market economy" attracts substantially more support than "capitalism" may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets.

Other survey data supports that notion. Rather than seeing large corporations as committed to free markets, two-out-of-three Americans believe that big government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.

Fifteen percent (15%) of Americans say they prefer a government-managed economy, similar to the 20% support for socialism. Just 14% believe the federal government would do a better job running auto companies, and even fewer believe government would do a better job running financial firms.

Most Americans today hold views that can generally be defined as populist while only seven percent (7%) share the elitist views of the Political Class.
As it has always been, the young, have-nothings tend to favor a system that redistributes wealth. The older one gets, the more they acquire through hard work, the less likely they are to favor a system that takes from their pile to put in others. No surprise there, really. And when they've worked their entire lives to build nest eggs, guess what? The vast majority tend to guard them very closely.

The only thing that has changed here is the question they asked. The sentiment of the people is still the same. If anything, this poll should be greatly discounted because, "the question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism." I strongly suspect that very few could accurately define what either were.

I suspect that when asked whether people preferred capitalism to socialism, people conjured thoughts of big, faceless corporations trampling little businesses and workers. Some may have even pictured those same evil corporations in collusion with government, as Rassmussen's findings suggest, hurting the marketplace. But that's not really capitalism. It more closely resembles corporatism or perhaps the beginnings of fascism or communism.

I think this goes back to understanding what capitalism, socialism, fascism, corporatism, or any other kind of -ism means. Hell, even Newsweek magazine got it wrong when they declared "We are all Socialists Now." What they described in their article was fascism.

As always, the devil is in the details.

Geithner Wallpapers America

Monday, April 06, 2009

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