Saturday, March 31, 2007
Death Squads of Homeland Security
It was pretty well guaranteed that when the President decided that the way to fight the "War on Terror" was to destroy the Bill of Rights that the Fourth Reich had begun. The fact that relatively few Americans protested has pretty much sealed it.
There are protests all the time. There was one last weekend in several cities. Unfortunately, the protests aren't against the crimes committed right here in the United States by those who are sworn to protect our rights, but against the federal government's bungling attempt to turn Iraq into a democracy.
Meanwhile, as we're distracted by the needless spending of both money and lives over there, innocent Americans are being murdered by homegrown death squads, also known as SWAT squads, right here in the land of the once free.
I've written about SWAT atrocities here, here and here, and Radley Balko, The Agitator, writes about them all the time, Now I've just read about another. Not that there aren't many more: the msm seems to be a mite deficient in their reportage of these things. We hear about them locally, but not nationally. The sheer numbers would cause a riot of outrage.
This one happened almost five months ago. A Wilmington, Delaware death squad murdered a US Marine veteran recently retired after two distinguished tours in Iraq and a medical discharge after a combat-related injury. Sergeant Derek J Hale was in Wilmington to participate in a Toys for Tots event with members of his motorcycle club.
Hale was unaware he was under surveillance by the local police because members of his club were suspected of dealing in drugs (for shame!). There is no evidence that Hale participated in any drug dealing. After accosting Hale, who had been sitting in front of an apartment building talking to a friend and her two children, they almost immediately tasered him not once, but three times. Then, while he was trying to comply with police orders (unable to physically control himself after the taser) he was shot three times in the chest and killed by the evil Lt William Brown of the Wilmington police.
The Wilmington police immediately went into cover-up mode and made up the standard excuse used by police death squads after they commit murder.
There were several witnesses to the murder, and a wrongful death civil lawsuit has been filed against WPD on behalf of Sgt Hale's widow.
While we all still seem to be living relatively free and comfortable lives, and these insane incidents don't really touch many of us, it's easy to remain complacent. Such is the way many of us behave. Such is the way many German citizens behaved too, until it was too late and they were being loaded unto trains.
It's hard to know when the political situation becomes unbearable, and what to do about it. We should all sharpen our wits and pay attention. We should all have passports.
Tip of the battered grey fedora: Pro Libertate Blog via Philosophical Detective.
They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!
Friday, March 30, 2007
A Few Random Thoughts
You get a little time to think while listening to the radio during my 40 to 70 minute drive to the office and back each day.
The funny part of it is that most ads seem to be geared toward the most stupid people. The bad part is, when one realizes it becomes difficult to take the advertisment, the advertiser, and even the product seriously.
In Los Angeles, and probably everywhere else, certain advertisers use saturation advertising--a program in which they buy a spot in just about every commercial break, on just about every radio or tv station. How this can be successful is far beyond my ken. I hear their ads so often that I come to the state in which I change the station when I hear certain ads. There's no chance I'd actually venture into the store in question!
Also, consider the following:
- Advertisers of British cars often employ narrators with English accents. Why don't advertisers of German cars have German accents? Why don't advertisers of Japanese cars have Japanese accents?
- How many people do not know that a ten-digit phone number requires a "1" prefix?
- Don't advertisers know that "Save 20% Off" is redundant?
- Has it occurred to anyone besides me that advertisers who announce their phone number more than twice, do so because they think we're stupid?
- How is it that advertisers know what we deserve?
- What's the difference between a laundry list and a list?
- "Results may vary" is advertiser code for "sometimes it works."
- The purpose of the disclaimer at the end of an ad is to tell you that everything previously said is a lie.
- In an ad, why is it that the smart one is always a woman and the dumb one is always a man?
- What does "Save up to 25% or more" mean?
Perhaps I spend too much time listening to the radio.
Hunting for consistency...
Saturday, March 24, 2007
A Bulldog No More
I'm English by ancestry, but American by birth. While I'm often very critical of the US federal government (rightfully so, say most), I remain a defender of the America that might be and ought to be. I'm a veteran of a short, not overly distinguished career in the US Navy, of which I'm proud. I've felt embarrassed for our Navy and the rest of our military on a very few occasions.
The first in memory was the USS Pueblo incident in 1968. It still seems like dereliction that a nearly unarmed naval vessel (two .50 caliber machine guns) was sent into potentially hostile waters with no backup. The Korea Navy captured Pueblo after some attempts to maneuver away, and some shooting by the Koreans, in which one American sailor was killed. It seems even worse that the government went to Korea hat-in-hand to "begotiate" for the return of the crew. The Pueblo remains in Korea to this day.
Next, (not including our politicians' blundering into and embarrassingly out of Viet Nam) was the Iran hostage event in 1979. President Carter stumbled around for over a year before newly-elected President Reagan finally brokered a deal to get the hostages released.
I know I've omitted an number of other politically-inspired blunders, many of which resulted in many innocent people being killed and maimed. All of them cost taxpayers a lot of money.
My British acquaintances could undoubtedly tell of many similar blunders committed by their government, though in recent decades, I doubt any of theirs reaches the size and scope of ours. I'm sure that many British folks have been killed, maimed, impoverished and embarrassed by the stupidity of their politicians.
I'm thinking that the capture of the fifteen Royal Navy sailors and marines by Iranian Navy "pirates" in the Persian Gulf falls into this category. The sailors and marines were attached to British frigate HMS Cornwall, and were patrolling in small boats when they were captured by the Iranians.
Tales from British history lead us to think that the Royal Navy isn't a force one should take lightly. Not the case any more, apparently.
I'd have thought that Cornwall would've blown the Iranian savages out of the water before they could capture the patrol boats, and then dropped a few bombs 'pon the nearest Iranian Navy base to teach them a lesson. Looks like Tony Blair is more of a yipping terrier than a bulldog.
Fitting everyone in Europe for burqas.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Patriot Act Abuse
I'm not sure how many times we've all been assured that the evil Patriot Act won't be abused by using its provisions against Americans, but I know we've been thusly assured somewhere approaching the number of times the Act has been abused. We'll never, for obvious reasons, be told how many times, against whom and in what ways our sovereign individuality has been assaulted by government thugs by means of the provisions of this destructive and unneeded attack on the US Constitution and those who live under its withering protection, but the assaults are many, deliberate and designed to diminish our control of our individual lives.
I'm not sure how this cat escaped its bag, but according to this and other recent news stories, the unConstitutional FBI has been abusing its alleged power and collected a so-far unspecified amount of data on an unspecified number of Americans and foreigners.
Ironically, the congressfools that are taking the FBI to task for their illegal activities are the same ones that violated their oaths of office to vote to destroy our Constitutional rights. Where were they when the President decided that the way to fight the islamic savages was to attack the US Constitution?
Now, we have to examine the sincerity of these same congressfools: How many of the guilty FBI thugs have been indicted so far? How many fired? How many even suspended!?
One has to wonder at the way our perverted government works when two Border Patrol officers are quickly jailed for trying to do their job and many FBI thugs are merely scolded for betraying the Bill of Rights.
They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Environazi Jihad, or alGorea Fatwa
In light of the oft-stated desire on the part of the alGorean fundamentalists to destroy the lives of Global Warming Deniers (an unofficial club in which I've proudly become a member), we find it advisable that Global Warming Cool Heads go into hiding. Rumor has it that alGorea death squads are forming up to search out heretics and shut their mouths permanently.
The dirty little secret? Funds raised by those Carbon Vouchers about which we often hear are being used to train and equip hit squads in hidden desert camps in strategic areas of the world.
University of Copenhagen Professor Bjarne Andresen has placed himself at risk by declaring that "the currently used method of determining the global temperature -- and any conclusion drawn from it -- is more political than scientific," according to a story here.
This entire new course by the alGorean fundamentalists got its start with derisive comments by Robert F Kennedy, as reported here. It became a bit more serious as a result of threats by various global warming mullahs, including Dr Helen Cullen, of the Weather Channel, who called for all meteorologists who don't toe the Global Warming religion to be decertified.
In the light of the truth, and the emergence of more and more viable commentaries finding fault with the mullahs of Global Warming, desperation is setting in, calling for more drastic measures, such as the silencing of heretics. Professor Andresen ought to exercise caution when travelling into hotbeds of alGoreans. As for myself, I find it illuminating to hide amongst them, right in the belly of the beast, in one of the many centers of the alGorean jihad. Helps me to keep my edge.
It gives us even more reason to patronize the products of Denmark, as Danes emerge as the world's leading heroes in the fight against crazed fanatics of all sorts.
Save a tree. Exhale.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
With the mid-term Congressional elections a mere three-and-a-half months past, the 2008 Presidential election season is already in full bloom--and has been for.....three-and-a-half months. Since several states, including the Stalag, have moved their primaries up to early February (Our governator reportedly will sign the Stalag California version of the move tomorrow). This means that those candidates who will face primaries early next year (including many incumbents) must start raising campaign money now. And they are.
Sadly, some of next year's Presidential candidates have already sullied portions of the Stalag with their presence and their audio pollution.
If there's any good to come of it, I find myself obliged to mention hopefully that the time that sitting incumbents spend campaigning is time they won't be picking our pockets. We can also enjoy the many unbelievable promises and funny verbal missteps we have to look forward to laughing at.
Otherwise, the news is quite bad: we're already inundated with radio and tv talk show speculation and the advocating of various candidates, and all too soon we'll find the airwaves and cable stations saturated with political ads.
Didn't we just get past all this crap?
Even worse: we're virtually guaranteed that each and every one of those to be successfully elected will waste no time figuring out new ways to get into our wallets and bank accounts.
Too bad we don't have a "None of the Above" box on our ballots.
Remember! VOTE FOR NO INCUMBENTS!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
1957 was quite a year. Eisenhower was President, Nixon was VP. The Milwaukee Braves won the World Series, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. The average American's income was $4494, a stamp was three cents and a loaf of bread was nineteen cents.
Fifty years ago, I was in the second semester of my seventh grade of school. I had a newspaper route and a car (a 1950 Chevy, which I couldn't yet drive on the street, but which I enjoyed wrenchin' on and driving it up and down the driveway). I was in love with a very lovely girl who was a lot smarter than I.
In Grand Forks at that time, anyone--boy or girl, man or woman--could walk down any street, any time of day or night, without fear of being accosted by either thug or police. I occasionally went for late-night walks to think and enjoy the peace.
It was a wonderful year, and a wonderful time.
Thinking about 1957 caused me to develop what I call "The Ten Times Rule." Everything costs about ten times today what it cost in 1957. I made up that rule about ten years ago, when I realized that a nickel candy bar then cost fifty cents and a loaded 1957 Chevy Bel Air hardtop that cost about $2500 whereas a 1997 Chevy Impala was priced at over $20,000 and a Camaro Z28 could cost over $30,000. A bottle of Coke cost a nickel; a can of Coke in 1997 cost around fifty cents.
Gasoline sold for 20 to 30 cents a gallon, depending 'pon in what state 'twas purchased, and in recent times tends to hover just below $3.00. A Colt 1911A1 pistol cost around $100 in 1957, in 1997 it could be had for around $500 or so; somewhat an exception to the "Rule."
One has to be pretty careful about applying the "Rule" as products have changed a lot over the intervening decades. In addition, this isn't 1997 any more. I'd have to call it "The Twelve Times Rule now. In fact, perhaps I will. It'll require slightly more difficult mental calculation, but I'll try to measure up to the task.
There are a lot of factors causing these increases. There've been major changes in manufacturing methods and materials and business practices. There has been great technological advancement. These differences, one might argue (convincingly) would tend to keep prices low.
Well, one might ask, then why are prices twelve times higher than they were in 1957? Well, dear friends, here comes the not-too-surprising answer: There are three primary reasons why prices have increased punishingly in the past fifty years. They are 1) government, 2) government and 3) government.
1) Draconian and confiscatory increases in taxes 'pon individuals and business--which, of course, end up being paid by individuals. My dad told me, years ago, that his total taxes, federal, state and local, totalled around ten percent of his income. My current tax load is over fifty percent of my income--not including a lot of hidden taxes that are not known to me.
2) Mindless and unneeded regulations 'pon individuals and business. Government regulation is so much a spaghetti bowl of tangled and undecipherable, not to mention often contradictory hodge-podge of safety, accounting and "moral" rules that the only way any of us can function is to ignore most of them and hope we're not noticed. Even after that, these regulations cost each of us an incalculable amount of time and money.
3) Government manipulation of the money supply. Prior to the formation of the evil and manipulative Federal Reserve, American money was gold and silver. While, even then, government wrongfully pegged the "value" of these commodities in dollars, our money was very stable and could be predicted from year to year. Since that time the Fed, acting 'pon government orders, adjusts the money supply to suit government purposes. In bad times, the value of our money decreases three percent or so annually. In worse times, money value has decreased at rates up to ten or twelve percent per year, and more. In the worst times, money is simply revalued by a factor. Devaluing is always a surprise and instantly robs the money holdings of individuals and corporations instantly and severely.
Intelligent estimates are that, in the absence of the above, each hour of the productive work of each individual would be worth six to eight times what it is, under the handicap of the hobbles forced 'pon us by government.
Why do we put up with them, the parasites that so severely and deliberately place limits 'pon our ability to function? 'Twas a frog-in-the-kettle sort of story. Had government tossed a frog into a kettle of hot water, it would've jumped out quickly to escape the pain. Government has tossed us into a kettle of cool water, and is very gradually turning up the heat, and we're complacently enjoying the warming water--not yet noticing that it's becoming uncomfortably hot on the way to boiling us to death.
How long are we going to put up with it?
They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!