Instead of a Government-Guaranteed Income, How About a Practical Plan to End the Washington Welfare State?

December 20, 2013

Hmmm… Block-granting the entire welfare state to the states to allocate as they need, then gradually eliminating it — a federalist approach. I like it.

International Liberty

The welfare state is a nightmare.

Programs such as Medicaid are fiscal catastrophes. The food stamp program is riddled with waste. The EITC is easily defrauded, even sending checks to prisoners. And housing subsidies are a recipe for the worst forms of social engineering.

The entire system should be tossed in the trash.

But what’s the alternative? Some libertarians argue that we should eliminate the dozens of Washington programs and replace them with a government-guaranteed minimum income. I address this issue in an essay for Libertarianism.org.

Some libertarians argue that the state should provide a minimum basic income, mainly because this approach would be preferable to the costly and bureaucratic amalgamation of redistribution programs that currently exist. It’s hard to disagree with the notion that the current system is a failure. The Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner has produced a searing indictment of the modern welfare…

View original post 702 more words

Advertisements

Though outraged, @AETV is happy to take “flyover folks'” money

December 20, 2013

My blog-buddy ST has already eloquently written about the intolerant, anti-Christian, anti-Southern bigotry behind A&E’s craven capitulation to liberal fascist pressure groups over “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s comments about sin and sinners, including homosexuality (1). Apparently, paraphrasing St. Paul’s first Epistle to the Corinthians is now enough to get one banned from television (2).

While ST has covered that angle admirably, I noticed something else. Last night I was watching a couple of episodes (coincidentally, I only started watching the day before this brouhaha exploded) of Duck Dynasty and stayed tuned in to catch another show called “Rodeo Girls.” As you can tell from the title, this show is not about a group of post-modern urban hipster liberals sitting around in their jammies, drinking hot chocolate and talking about healthcare. No, it’s about young, attractive women who compete in the rodeo circuit. (3) And the cultural similarities to Duck Dynasty got me wondering about the rest of A&E’s shows. (I don’t usually watch the network.) Let’s take a look at their line-up, shall we?

First, Duck Dynasty. Note that, as of today, Phil is still featured:

A&E Duck Dynasty

Next, American Hoggers. Just screams “Manhattan metrosexual,” doesn’t it?

A&E American Hoggers

Then we have “Crazy Hearts, Nashville.” A little country, a little sex:

A&E Crazy Hearts

But wait! There’s more! “Rodeo Girls!” Bikini-clad cowgirls riding stallions. (4) Yeah, I’m sure they’ll be lunching with Anna Wintour real soon.

A&E Rodeo Girls

Finally, we have “Storage Wars, Texas.” I wonder what they think of gun control and the individual mandate?

A&E Storage Wars

Notice a pattern? All these show involve people from what is disparagingly called “flyover country,” those lands beyond the pale the denizens of which the urban progressive elites like to patronize and treat like sub-normal children. And yet these are more than half the shows A&E has featured on their site. It seems pretty obvious that A&E is happy to promote shows featuring unsophisticated mouth-breathing hicks and earn money from the unsophisticated mouth-breathing hick audiences that watch, just so long as none of them express their unsophisticated mouth-breathing views.

Or maybe A&E’s honchos misread their audience:

Living in the echo chamber of the MSM’s ivory tower may well wind up costing A&E and their owners quite a bit.

Footnotes:
(1) To clarify, while I disagree with my esteemed co-blogger, Phil Robertson, and St. Paul about homosexuality being a sin, I respect their beliefs and wouldn’t want to ban them from the public square. Unlike A&E.
(2) No, I don’t think this is all that comparable to what happened to Martin Bashir. He spewed scatological, unhinged, hate-filled words at Sarah Palin. Phil just expressed his opinion in answer to a question, cited Scripture, and said it was up to God to judge. Huge difference.
(3) Watch out, Jessica! That Anthony is no good for you! (BTW, last night’s episode was set in Red Bluff, California. Not all of us are “L.A.” or “San Francisco” elitists.)
(4) Sigmund Freud, call your office.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


New malware hijacks your computer, encrypts files

December 20, 2013
"Just a glitch"

“Shouldn’t have opened that email”

This one’s insidious and perfectly timed for the holidays: a malware bomb disguised as an innocent-looking package tracking email:

It’s called cryptolocker ransomware.

Kevin Swindon is with the FBI in Boston.

“I would think about this particular type of malware as what would happen if your computer was destroyed,” Swindon said.

In the past 90 days, thousands of people worldwide have opened a seemingly innocuous link to track a holiday package. Suddenly, all the files on their computer are encrypted.

Joan Goodchild is the editor of “CSO,” Chief Security Officer magazine based in Framingham.

“This is a criminal operation. They are holding your folders and files ransom. We call this ransomware because that is exactly what it is. You need to pay in order to have access to them once again.”

And that’s what the Swansea police department did, paying $750 to unlock their computers. One wonders what happened to the poor schlimazl who first opened that email.

This is also a timely reminder to be careful about what emails you open. I’m sure almost anyone reading this has received “phishing” messages, fakes that look like they’re from real companies, but really want you to log into their fake web site so they can steal your ID and password. Some of them are so badly done, they’re funny, others are pretty slick pieces of work. This is more vicious, hijacking your system and extorting ransom to get it back.

Take my advice: if you receive email from a company where you have an account (such as Amazon, eBay, PayPal, &c…) that looks at all suspicious, don’t open it; instead, forward it to their security address. They’ll let you know if it’s real or not, and they’re very interested in tracking down fraudsters.

To borrow a line from Hill Street Blues, “Let’s be careful out there.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)