Monday, October 31, 2016

HWX: Bubble Boys

HWX returns with Brian Ward of Fraters Libertas and Paul Happe, the Nihilst in Golf Pants discussing the critical issues of the week:
* The new “Schoolyard” PSA about the importance of voting and some underappreciated aspects of this searing indictment on voter apathy. Also a broader discussion of the alleged sanctity of the franchise.
* The new feature “In the Bubble” featuring Ira Glass of This American Life and Jake Tapper of CNN. They put on the mantle of fact checkers and truth tellers regarding the ignorance of Donald Trump and his birther related speech earlier this month. We fact check the fact checkers and speak truth to the truth tellers and end up covered in soapy residue.
* What were they drinking this episode? A Deschutes Inversion IPA and a Summit Great Northern Porter.
There are many ways to hear the podcast, including over on the mother ship at Ricochet.  You can be sure to never miss an episode by subscribing via iTunes.  Or you can just use the player embedded in the upper right hand corner of this website.  Hope you enjoy.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

State Election Law Resembles The Jerk

The Center of the American Experiment reports on a lawsuit in Minnesota by state election judges alleging that Secretary of State guidelines for the treatment of nominally ineligible voters are illegal.

State law establishes a detailed procedure to match felons, people under guardianship and noncitizens against the list of people who have registered to vote in the statewide voter registration system. In the case of a match, county auditors are required to change the voter status of any registered voters who are determined to be felons, under guardianship or noncitizens. 
But according to instructions from the Secretary of State, election officials must allow felons, people under guardianship and noncitizens who are identified as such on the poll roster to vote anyway, so long as they take an oath claiming they are eligible to vote. 
Joe Mansky, a highly influential election official from Ramsey County, has affirmed the legal obligations and penalties for failing to provide ballots to felons, people under guardianship and noncitizens who take an oath. 
“Election judges in Minnesota are legally required to allow a challenged voter to vote if they answer questions under oath that indicate they are eligible to vote,” Mansky said in recent court documents.

I suppose the trust being showed by our government for the citizens' opinion is admirable.  But is there any other area of the law where this standard applies?

How about taxes?

MN Dept. of Revenue:  It says here you owe $20,000 in state income tax.
John Q. Public:   No I don’t.
State Official:  OK, you got me there, enjoy the rest of your day.

How about the search for fugitive criminals?

Storm Trooper:   Let me see your identification.
Obi Wan Kenobi:   These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
Storm Trooper:   These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.

Actually in Minnesota you don’t need to be skilled in the Jedi Mind Trick to get your way, they’ll take anybody’s word for it.   So the law appears to be based more on another 70’s movie classic, The Jerk.

In all seriousness, although this law is misguided, the potential for it to be a cause of a significant level of voter fraud is small.  The process would have to play out as follows.  Someone registers to vote legally.  At some point, they become ineligible (felony conviction, become subject to a guardianship due to some level of disability, voter found to be non-citizen via other means), and the state knows about it and changes the roster to reflect it.   That person shows up at the same precinct in which they were originally registered to vote.  They are informed that they are ineligible. They dispute it and insist they be allowed to vote anyway.  At that point an election judge would administer an oath (in front of election judges from both parties) that the voter would swear to, and be informed that knowingly violating this oath is a felony.

Is it possible for ineligible voters to vote in these circumstances?  Yes, certainly.

Is it likely to occur?  The likelihood of a pre-identified illegible voter pushing the issue in such a public way is small.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this failed to happen a single time in the course of an election in the entire state.   And, barring some absurdly close race, it certainly wouldn’t occur to the extent that it could affect the outcome of an election.

Is it likely to be abused in a systematic, coordinated fashion?   Assuming the conscientious performance of election judges, including the presence of bi-partisan judges at all precincts, absolutely not.  It would be too public and leave too much of a witness trail to be sustained.  

So this particular lax standard and loophole probably isn’t something that needs a lot of attention.   Another lax standard and loophole is a far greater risk for the participation of ineligible voters.  That would be them moving from the precinct where the state has them originally registered to vote, and voting at the new location.  They wouldn’t be on the roster at this other location and no pre-existing challenge would exist.  As long as they met the registration requirements at their new location, they could vote without any questions asked.  The loophole of same day registration, and no same day crosschecking of ineligible voters in a database beyond the precinct register, would allow it.

If you’re getting the sense that the entire system is set up to err on the side of letting ineligible voters vote, rather than erring on the side of mistakenly preventing a legal voter from voting, you are correct.   I believe that to be a clear reflection of the state’s liberal political culture.  Social science has established that liberals prize notions of fairness and compassion over the more conservative preferences of reciprocity and respect for authority/tradition.   Until that culture gets changed, short of clear evidence of coordinated fraud, I do not expect the voting laws to change.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

HWX, Halloween Spooktacular

It's a special Halloween episode of HWX with Brian Ward and Paul Happe.  Featured in this episode are discussions of the horrors of the election season:

* The email leaks of Hillary and John Podesta.  Which is your favorite ignored scandal?

*  World premiere of the new spin on the holiday classic, the Monster Mash, with The Clinton Cash.

*  Analysis of and lessons learned from James O'Keefe's new video releases.

*  HWX House of Horrors, a tour of the haunted mansion that is the 2016 Presidential election.

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There are many ways to hear the podcast, including over on the mother ship at Ricochet.  You can be sure to never miss an episode by subscribing via iTunes.  Or you can just use the player embedded in the upper right hand corner of this website.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Free Dennis Prager

Apparently YouTube is trying to spare tender minds from the trauma of encountering "adult content" that would not be appropriate for them to view. And for some reason this includes videos produced by Dennis Prager as part of "Prager University."

YouTube currently lists 21 PragerU videos--over 10% of our entire collection--under "restricted mode." Many families enable restricted mode in order to keep inappropriate and objectionable adult and sexual content away from their children--not to prevent them from watching animated, age-appropriate, educational videos.

Lest you think that the folks at Prager University are overreacting to having a number of their videos restricted by YouTube consider the titles that have been deemed to be unsafe for youngins to watch.

Are The Police Racist?

Why Don't Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?

Why Did America Fight the Korean War?

Who's More Pro-Choice: Europe or America?

What ISIS Wants

Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees?

Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?

Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do

Did Bush Lie About Iraq?

Who NOT to Vote For

Men and the Power of the Visual

Is America Racist?

Israel: The World's Most Moral Army

Radical Islam: The Most Dangerous Ideology

The Most Important Question About Abortion

Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists?

Don't Judge Blacks Differently

What is the University Diversity Scam?

He Wants You

Israel's Legal Founding

Pakistan: Can Sharia and Freedom Coexist?

With the possible exception of "He Wants You" these are not exactly titles that one would associate with adult content. Anyone who has spent anytime on YouTube can also tell you that you can easily find plenty of videos with far more objectionable, not safe for children (or even work) content that are not restricted in any way. They just don't happen to be espousing conservative views. Funny how it works that way.

Please visit this site to sign a petition to Stop YouTube From Blocking PragerU Videos. There are lots of things in this fallen world that parents need to protect their children from. Dennis Prager is not one of them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

HWX: Cat Scratch Fever

HWX returns with a special, breaking news episode to analyze the history changing nature of Donald Trump’s 11-year-old interview with Access Hollywood.
Also addressed are the gales of hot air emanating from Hurricane Matthew and Shepard Smith.
The latest in attack political ads, digging up Sen. Ron Johnson shadowy past as as a mall stereo salesman and pizza parlor lothario. 
 And the presidential candidate rock continues with Campaign Gold 3.

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There are many ways to hear the podcast, including over on the mother ship at Ricochet.  You can be sure to never miss an episode by subscribing via iTunes.  Or you can just use the player embedded in the upper right hand corner of this website.  Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

HWX, with Sen. Rand Paul

It’s a very special episode of HWX featuring an interview with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The Senator looks back on his Presidential campaign and analyzes why the libertarian message may not have resonated as well as it could have this cycle and why Donald Trump prevailed. He also looks ahead and discusses why there is still substantial life in the libertarian movement, which will be aided by winning campaigns such as his own for US Senate, and that of Jason Lewis, running for Congress in Minnesota. Sen. Paul also discusses his continuing efforts to audit the Federal Reserve, what that would mean and why it’s important.
See the following links to support Rand Paul and Jason Lewis.
Also discussed the episode – dumb political ads of the season, including classic out of context clips and grossly misleading smear tactics. Are Americans smart and sophisticated enough to not be fooled by these tactics this time? We shall see.
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There are many ways to hear the podcast, including over on the mother ship at Ricochet.  You can be sure to never miss an episode by subscribing via iTunes.  Or you can just use the player embedded in the upper right hand corner of this website.