Friday, March 29, 2013
Since then, countless examples of such dysfunction have been documented—to the point that every part of the mind can now be seen to fail when some part of the brain fails. The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio has studied many such cases.5 He records a stroke victim, for example, who had lost any capacity for emotion; patients who lost all creativity following brain surgery; and others who lost the ability to make decisions. One man with a brain tumor lost what we might call his moral character, becoming irresponsible and disregarding of social norms. I saw something similar in my own father, who also had a brain tumor: it caused profound changes in his personality and capacities before it eventually killed him.
The crux of the challenge then is this: those who believe they have a soul that survives bodily death typically believe that this soul will enable them, like Nathalie in the story above, to see, think, feel, love, reason and do many other things fitting for a happy afterlife. But if we each have a soul that enables us to see, think and feel after the total destruction of the body, why, in the cases of dysfunction documented by neuroscientists, do these souls not enable us to see, think and feel when only a small portion of the brain is destroyed?-http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/13-03-20/#feature
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Last Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul filibustered the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director. This was not unusual as I recall Democratic Senators filibustered (or threatened to) judicial appointments under President George Bush (because democracy needs to be overridden by the court system populated by Leftist Statists). What was different about this filibuster was that it was a real filibuster, in that Senator Rand Paul stood and talked for 13 hours.
He didn’t do this because he hated John Brennan. He did this because John Brennan was the grandfather of the use of military drones and he wanted to highlight the current presidential regime’s use of them. Recall that a couple of years ago, President Obama approved drone strikes that killed Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. The father was accused of colluding with terrorists in order to attack the United States. Really all they could possibly pin on him was the Fort Hood shootings as he was the cleric allegedly in contact with the deranged shooter. His son was another problem entirely.
His son, you see, was taken out because the CIA feared that he might join up with terrorists following his father’s death. In other words, not only did the Obama administration act as judge, jury, and executioner in killing Anwar al-Awlaki, who they charged with riding in the wrong SUV in Yemen, but they also charged his son with pre-crime and summarily executed him as well. The United States Federal government murdered two American citizens on foreign soil because of either what they might have done or what they might have done.
What does this have to do with the filibuster? Well, Senator Rand Paul asked Attorney General Eric Holder if he believed the President had the power to
murder assassinate Americans on US soil with drone attacks if they are deemed to be terrorists (or, as Homeland Security Secretary Miss Hardcastle Janet Napolitano would label them: war veterans and libertarians).
The response he got was vague, wordy, and ambiguous at best. You know, the kind of bullshit lawyer-speak we all get from time to time from people. And so, without a real answer from the Whitehouse, Senator Paul took to the Senate floor and stood for the most basic right of every person: the right to life.
You see, the President wants full authority to murder people like you and me. It doesn’t matter what ideology you possess or how much in the inner circle you are, if a man has the authority to kill other people without any check in place, he is effectively the dictator of the realm he oversees. There is nothing more coercive than having your life threatened.
Of course, the Democrats (mostly), the Republicans (mostly), and just about everyone in this country don’t see it that way. Like Federal tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood (which never, ever, ever go to abortions**wink, wink**), everyone assumes that such power will be used on the “right” people and never themselves.
Because it can’t happen here.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
The Justice Department is urging a court to affirm individuals’ rights to record police under the First Amendment, filing a statement of interest in support of a journalist suing over his arrest while photographing Maryland officers.
In the statement filed this week in a federal court in Maryland, the Justice Department argues that not only do individuals have a First Amendment right to record officers publicly doing their duties, they also have Fourth and 14th Amendment rights protecting them from having those recordings seized without a warrant or due process. The DOJ urges the court to uphold these rights and to reject a motion to dismiss from Montgomery Co. in Garcia v. Montgomery Co., a case that has implications for an increasing crop of litigation on the subject in the era of ubiquitous smartphones.
“The United States is concerned that discretionary charges, such as disorderly conduct, loitering, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, are all too easily used to curtail expressive conduct or retaliate against individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights. … Core First Amendment conduct, such as recording a police officer performing duties on a public street, cannot be the sole basis for such charges,” wrote the DOJ Civil Rights Division.
“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: `Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
Like all statements from people who presume to rule others, this brief message from Holder – – who is Nickolai Krylenko to Obama’s Josef Stalin – should be read in terms of the supposed authority claimed thereby. This means removing useless qualifiers in the interest of clarity.
What Holder is saying, in substantive terms, is that the President does have the supposed authority to use a drone to kill an American who is engaged in “combat,” whether here or abroad. "Combat" can consist of expressing support for Muslims mounting armed resistance against U.S. military aggression, which was the supposed crime committed by Anwar al-Awlaki, or sharing the surname and DNA of a known enemy of the state, which was the offense committed by Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdel. Under the rules of engagement used by the Obama Regime in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan, any “military-age” male found within a targeted “kill zone” is likewise designated a “combatant,” albeit usually after the fact. This is a murderous application of the "Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy," and it will be used when -- not if -- Obama or a successor starts conducting domestic drone-killing operations.
Holder selected a carefully qualified question in order to justify a narrowly tailored answer that reserves an expansive claim of executive power to authorize summary executions by the president. That’s how totalitarians operate.-http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/133455.html
Thursday, March 7, 2013
As a matter of both national security and immigration policy, though, it is absolutely essential that we both secure our border and modernize our visa system so we know who comes and who goes on travel, student and other temporary visas. It is vital all other reforms be conditioned on this goal being met.
Border security, including drones, satellite and physical barriers, vigilant deportation of criminals and increased patrols would begin immediately and would be assessed at the end of one year by an investigator general from the Government Accountability Office.
You can read the rest of Rand Paul's drivel here.