In the never ending examples of government inefficiency, NBC's Washington, D.C. affiliate is reporting that it currently takes between 3 and 6 months to get an appointment to take the Driver's License road test.
So, the government has given itself a monopoly on issuing licenses, and still manage to totally botch the system. That's what a lack of competition gets you. Every time.
The solution? Allow people to pay to take the test sooner, and to their credit, that's exactly what they're doing. Soon some private driving schools will be allowed to give the test for a $100 fee. Meaning, I'm sure, that the government will be getting some portion of that for doing absolutely nothing. Brilliant plan, if i do say so myself.
Of course, the best solution would be to allow the schools to administer the test for any fee they wanted, and we'd soon see lots of them providing it for no extra charge to their students. But if they did it that way, who would fund the pensions of the DMV workers?
Remember the Journolist scandal, where a large group of liberal writers conspired to coordinate their messages against conservatives in the media?
Apparently the neoconservatives have one too. Of course, I'm not invited, but what else besides a coordinated attack would explain the quantity and timing of today's pieces on Jack Hunter and by proxy, Rand Paul?
Here's a partial list;
Rachel Weiner, Published: July 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm, Washington Post Rand Paul aide has history of racial comments
Jennifer Rubin, Published: July 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm, Washington Post Rand Paul’s newest problem
Jonathon Chait, Published: July 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM, New York Magazine Racists Love Ron and Rand Paul for Some Reason
Alex Seitz-Wald, Published: Jul 9, 2013 08:30 AM PST, Salon.com Rand Paul’s team has another white supremacist
Seth Mandel, Published: Jul 9, 2013, 12:50 PM, CommentaryMagazine.com Rand Paul, the “Southern Avenger,” and the End of the Benefit of the Doubt
That's only a partial list, but it seems to be an awfully big coincidence that so many 'independent thinkers" decided upon the same theme, and published within 45 minutes of each other.
I hope Rand Paul notice this. So far, he's shown to be a much better politician than his dad, so i haven't lost all faith yet. But we can't win this battle if we're always playing defense, something the GOP in general never seems to acknowledge.
But that isn't what this is. Don't believe me? Look at the related posts featured at the bottom. Just yesterday, Paul was all over the news for attacking the neocons on foreign policy.
Again, I'm not big on coincidences. It sure looks to me like he has them playing defense, which is a good thing. It would be better if we had more media on our side, but nobody ever said the big government would go gently into that good night.
As we saw with the Hagel confirmation, the GOP Trotskyites do not hesitate to team up with the Democrats on their anti-small government messaging, and if all Paul ever did was react, then the battle would be lost. Again.
But again, that's not what this is.
Anybody for starting up Journoliberty? Let us know how we can help.
I think it's kind of cute that people still think the government is there to help them.
On a personal note, I learned this exact lesson. When I was 20, living in my own apartment, I came home from work and found I had been broken into. I too had been taught not to enter the home, in case the burglars were still there.
In my case, my neighbor finally came home from work and did a walk-through for me, but the police never showed up.
As I've grown older, I've come to believe they really aren't interested in solving crimes unless they get to wave their guns around. Instead, they focus on raising revenue via traffic tickets and asset confiscation.
This happened on the 4th of July. The state's way of mocking us to our free little faces, I guess.
A bit of history: The Supreme Court ruled DUI roadblocks to be an allowable intrusion of our constitutional rights in Michigan State Police v Sitz. Note my phrasing - the court decided not that it wasn't a violation of our rights, because it was. But since it was a reasonable intrusion, they were going to allow it in the name of safety.
Oddly enough, as a result of this case, DUI checkpoints are now unconstitutional per Michigan's constitution, which was amended to prohibit them while Sitz was winding its way up the appeals process on the way to the Supreme Court.
Although Michigan proves there's no legitimate reason for DUI checkpoints, it is incredibly unlikely that SCOTUS will ever revisit the issue. And while it is technically possible to ban them on a state level, these days any such effort would likely be hysterically demagogued by both the left and the right.
In short, because there is no power to be gained in the freedom position, it would be political suicide.
Remember, Sitz was decided way back in 1990, meaning there is an entire generation that does not know that once upon a time, we were allowed to drive from point A to point B without being stopped for absolutely no reason. For those people, the authoritian intrusions seem natural and even necessary.
We know better, but these days, I doubt we'll ever find our way back.
The Washington Post has released some new slides showing that the data providers (Yahoo, Google, etc) aren't telling us the whole truth when they claim they've only received a few information requests from the NSA because the NSA has a direct line into their systems. That article is linked here, and one of the new slides released is pictured below:
What caught my "eye for the irrelevant to any important discussion?" The design of the case notation designator system.
Look at the first two characters. P seems to stand for either PRISM or provider, either of which makes sense. The second character designates the specific data provider, and that's what stuck me as silly.
Having designed numbering systems, I have never thought that only 10 identifiers is sufficient for any application because It does not allow for much growth. But that's what their original codes gave us. Just P0 through P9.
It looks like they encountered that startling revelation themselves right about the time they got to P8, which gave them cause to move to the alphabet, adding another 28 possibilities. Which is a little better, but not much.
Given the government's track record at expansion, that will probably last them until about December.
It's just poor planning. Not that we expected much else from our overlords, but it's always fun to see that we are right, even when it comes to the minutiae.
According to the article linked above, the IRS sent $46,378,040 in refunds to 23,994 illegal aliens "living" at a single Atlanta address.
The truly awful part about this is that this isn't an uncommon story. Every year, the news hits us with a few items of this type, and we roll our eyes, shake our heads, mutter our disapproval, then move on with our lives.
Meanwhile, nobody at the IRS gets fired. The systems don't get upgraded, the FBI doesn't investigate. Nothing at all changes.
Am I the only one who thinks that there is no way this is just incompetent, overworked employees? The only person who thinks a crime of that magnitude in the private sector would warrant an FBI investigation? The only person who believes that a scam this big has to be organized from the inside?
Now I'm torn - should I donate to his campaign, or buy tickets to support my local TEA Party? ( This is my fault. If I had been more active in the TEA Party, I'd be able to "volunteer" and slip in for free.)
For you international readers, Scotts is a huge corporation that makes lots and lots of lawn and garden products . I have no special allegience to them, although thanks to their brilliant marketing and saturation, I do seem to have quite a few of their products on my shelves now that I'm counting. And now that I think about it, I recently silently vowed never to stray from brand-name Round-Up when an off-brand I bought on sale failed to kill a single blade of grass when I tried to eradicate some Poison Ivy.
But I digress. The real story begins last fall, when we moved into this house. It was a foreclosure, and there was plenty of work to be done. At one point, I was putting down landscape fabric just to kill the weeds over the winter. I went through the roll I had on hand, and grabbed another roll on one of my many trips to Home Depot.
Being organizationally challenged, I didn't get around to using it until this spring. Short version - it's garbage. I might as well have put tissue paper down. Too late for Home Depot to take it back. Says so right here on the receipt, and they're sticklers about such things. So I wrote to Scotts, calmly explaining my displeasure with their product.
Here's their reply:
Thank you for contacting us concerning Scotts products. As always, it is our goal to make sure that our customers are completely satisfied with our products and services.
Ms. XXXXX, I am sorry that you have had a problem with the product. The Scotts Pro Landscape Fabric is manufactured for us by Greenscapes Home & Garden Products, Inc. Please contact Greenscapes directly for questions or complaints regarding the fabric. You may contact them at:
Greenscapes Home & Garden Products, Inc P. O. Box 2079 Calhoun, GA 30703
Again, thank you for taking the time to let us know of your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any additional help to you.
Clark Herron Consumer Response Representative The Scotts Company and Subsidiaries 14111 Scottslawn Road Marysville, OH 43041 800-543-8873
Ref # 11003732
Seriously? That's what American customer service looks like now, I guess. Thank you for letting us know of your concerns - go tell someone else though.
This really irritates me, and for more than one reason. First of all, most of you know that my husband was out of work / had a stroke for the past couple of years. We're just now just getting things back in order, but we've got lots of catching up to so, and $40 still isn't a disposable sum for us these days.
Secondly, I'm the bleeping customer. These people are supposed to be jumping through hoops to make sure I'm happy. I've been in retail, and I know all too well that there's always a small percentage of customers who will never be happy with any solution that's offered, but I'm not one of "those" people.
And here's the deal. I know those folks are out there scrambling to make money in their trade, but I'm busy too. I already went to the store, tried this product, then had to go to a different store to buy a substitute. Now I'm supposed to spend a few more hours trying to find someone remotely interested in making me a happy consumer again?
Sorry if I'm babbling, but I just think it's outrageous that I am expected to contact a third party vendor to try to get satisfaction on a branded product.
It's like buying a store brand of cereal, then being told by the store to contact some anonymous generic ceral manufacturer when the product is stale off the shelf.
What's the message here, Scotts? That you aren't actually responsible for the quality of the merchandise that other people are selling, even though you licensed the name to them? I have to wonder - what's the point of building a brand if you're not prepared to protect and defend it?