Thursday, December 30, 2010

Swedish Man Loses His (other) Head


In the socialized medicine health care reform debate the president has taken a bit of flack from socialists progressives for not expending more political capital in order to achieve "single payer" health care here in the US. In point of fact, "single payer" as it refers to the progressives' concept of health care is a gross misstatement. A true single payer system would consist of the health care consumer paying for it out of pocket whereas the progressives would have the taxpayers (that's multiple payers) pick up the tab. The following is an interesting but not surprising outcome of socialized single payer lack of health care.  
A Swedish man was forced to have his penis amputated after waiting more than a year to learn he had cancer.
The man, who is in his sixties, first visited a local clinic in Blekinge in southern Sweden in September 2009 for treatment of a urinary tract infection, the local Blekinge Läns Tidning (BLT) reported.

When he returned in March 2010 complaining of foreskin irritation, the doctor on duty at the time diagnosed the problem as a simple case of inflammation.

After three weeks passed without the prescribed treatment alleviating the man’s condition, he was instructed to seek further treatment at Blekinge Hospital.

But it took five months before he was able to schedule an appointment at the hospital.

When he finally met with doctors at the hospital, the man was informed he had cancer and his penis would have to be removed.

It remains unclear if the man would have been able to keep his penis had the cancer been detected sooner.

"If it's any consolation, he's probably better off without it. Given what we've learned about Swedish law from the Julian Assange case, those things just get you into trouble over there."

h/t: James Taranto 

Government Agencies at Work

Warning: R rated narration!



H/T William L. Anderson

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Something to Ponder on Boxing Day

Even an intensive study of history can result in no more than an absorption of limited data. The known "facts" available to us do not constitute even a miniscule quantity of the fund of human history. We are therefore forced to develop a philosophy of history as even the data which have survived the ravages of time were recorded by fallible human beings who viewed events through the prism of their own prejudices and cultural biases. This has been the case in the view of this writer for even such meticulous historians as Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius, Josephus, Plutarch, Tacitus and Sozomen to name but a few of the more scrupulous historians of the ancient Mediterranean world.

Enough of the works of the above scholars as well as others have however survived to supply us with at least an imperfect view of the great historical powers including their ascendancy and decline.  Perhaps one of the most important literary works on the subject is Edward Gibbon's classic "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", the first Volume of which was published beginning in 1776, eerily concomitant with the US Declaration of Independence. The following is an excerpt from Vol. I chapter 3:
The [western] Roman government [seated in Ravenna after 402 AD] appeared every day less formidable to its enemies, more odious and oppressive to its subjects. The severe inquisition, which confiscated their goods and tortured their persons, compelled the subjects of Valentinian [III] (425-455 AD) to prefer the simple tyranny of the barbarians, to fly to the woods or the mountains, or to embrace the vile and abject condition of mercenary servants. They abjured and abhorred the name of Roman citizens, which had formerly excited the ambition of all mankind. If all the barbarian conquerors had been annihilated in the same hour, their total destruction would not have restored the empire of the West: and if Rome still survived, she survived the loss of freedom, of virtue, and of honour. [Gibbon uses the term "severe inquisition" in referring to the Roman equivalent to our Internal Revenue Service.]
Do you, gentle reader note any similarities to the conditions now obtaining here in "the freest nation on earth"; a nation that requires a submission to illegal searches as a precondition for air travel, criminal penalties for ingesting or even possession of proscribed substances which cause no injury to third parties? The US and its provincial "states" today exhibit many of the characteristics which evinced the decline of the Roman Empire. These conditions to mention but few, include the debasement of the currency by the creation and exponential augmentation of fiat, unbacked paper/electronic money in the US as compared to the coin-clipping and precious metal debasement by Roman emperors as well as the proliferation of obscure and arcane laws. As in the declining era of the Roman Empire, our citizens are precluded from engaging in any enterprise except by the leave of the federal and/or local government and the payment of a myriad of arbitrary fees as well as submission to countless stifling regulations put in place at the behest of the new priesthood of environmentalists by our nanny state rulers. Real property is for all practical purposes owned by the state and deeded (leased) out to private entities in exchange for payment of unilaterally determined rents (taxes). The lower orders of the populace are purchased and kept quiescent by the means of seizing wealth from the industrious and transferring it to the indolent or failing that, borrowing the largess from foreign potential foes. Infiltration of the borders by foreigners who decline to assimilate into the host culture is also a condition existing in both the later Roman Empire and the United States of recent decades. Continuing proposals here such as the (for now) defeated "DREAM" act mirror the gradual displacement of Roman citizens in its legions by foreign tribesmen.

Fitzroy McLean sums up succinctly in this quote what he observes as the collapse of western civilization as we now know it:
In the very near future the only truly admirable and moral profession will be a smuggler. There will be genuine heroes that ply that trade moving goods and people in service of humanity, although it will be illegal. This goes to the death rattle of the nation state, which will almost certainly be violent and oppressive. The US and Europe will have an underground railway and covert information highway.
The insidious metamorphosis of our nation into a collectivist state seems to go unnoticed and unremarked by the bulk of our younger population which appears to have been indoctrinated into its acceptance of and by a government "education" system controlled by a ruling elite primarily concerned with enjoying the perquisites of power.

The question arises: can the inexorably approaching collapse be averted? It is the view of this writer that the tipping point has already been passed and is apparent in the disregard by both ourselves and our rulers of the restraints placed upon government by the founders of the Republic. The interregnum following the collapse is likely to be bloody and tumultuous with a restoration of the status quo ante as regards liberty, unlikely. Western culture previously endured  nearly a millennium before an awakening and given the most optimistic outcome, those living today are unlikely to experience the next one. These are the views held by one who approaches threescore and fifteen years of observing the descent and he would be overjoyed to be proven overly pessimistic.

Merry Christmas

This is the original 1943 (WW II) version of the song written for the musical Meet Me in St Louis and it brought tears to the eyes of grown men who were often far from home and dying for their country.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

STEAL THIS POSTING!!!

It has been some time since Leonidas was a grunt (formerly dogface) in the Army of the United States (hint: the term refers to the conscripted Army). It appears however, that some things haven't changed substantially. The following essay describes the practice of "over classification" of documents. It has been going on for at least decades but has taken an ugly turn since the emergence of highly politicized and undeclared wars:

American Soldiers Should Be First in Line To Defend Bradley Manning

by Andrew Mason and Mark R. Crovelli
 
 
One of the most curious facets of the ongoing Wikileaks saga is the conspicuous silence of the American military about the Bradley Manning case. The military’s silence is absolutely deafening, for example, on the pages of Stars and Stripes, where only two articles in the turbulent month of December have even deigned to mention Mr. Manning. One would expect that, in a case involving the largest leak of classified documents in the history of the world, the armed forces would be staking out a concrete position on this case for the entire world, and especially the armed forces, to see. After all, it was one of the armed forces’ own who allegedly released the documents to Wikileaks, and other active-duty servicemen with access to classified documents may be considering doing the very same thing as Manning.
This silence emanating from the armed forces regarding Manning raises a fascinating and important question: What position should the armed forces take with regard to the Manning case? We all know what stance the Pentagon is likely to take, given that many of the embarrassing documents actually refer to people in the Pentagon, but the question that truly needs to be answered concerns the position the armed forces should take – especially the position that average soldiers should take on Bradley Manning.
The answer, it turns out, cannot be discovered by facilely pointing out that it is illegal under military law for soldiers to release classified information to the public. This is true, because the document classification system has been manipulated by political and military elites in a way that is extremely prejudicial to average soldiers. Ironically, this fact has itself been revealed by the Wikileaks releases, because it is clear that political and military elites are over-classifying documents in order to protect their own asses. They have been classifying documents "secret" even when they involve nothing more than gossip about foreign diplomats and royalty, for example. Peruse the Wikileaks files for two minutes and you will get a good sense of just how absurd the document classification system in the United States has become.
Insofar as the document classification system in the U.S. has been absurdly extended and abused, this has created a serious moral problem for conscientious soldiers in the armed forces. For, by over-classifying documents, political and military elites are able to hamstring their subordinates and make the exposure of what they are doing virtually impossible, unless it is leaked. Any unsavory, illegal, untruthful or even just plain embarrassing information can be hidden from public view simply by stamping the offensive document "secret." It is also a way for political and military elites to avoid prosecution for crimes in the United States by claiming that their defense involves "sensitive" or "secret" documents that cannot be revealed in open court. This strategy is so common in our corrupted day and age that it even has a name: "greymail."
In essence, then, the document classification system in the United States has warped into an instrument of intimidation against average, conscientious soldiers who might be appalled by their superiors’ words or deeds. Superior officers and civilian bureaucrats can preempt dissent by simply stamping incriminating documents "secret," and use that tiny word as a threat against conscientious soldiers that they had better keep their mouths shut – or else. This threat is all the more unconscionable while two wars are going on that are killing average American soldiers, not political and military elites, in droves. When lies are used to get American soldiers killed, and soldiers are intimidated to preempt the exposure of those lies, you have a recipe for tragedy on a massive scale.
It is important to bear in mind, moreover, that we are not talking about documents upon which the safety of the United States rests. No high-ranking officers would be stupid or reckless enough to share such sensitive documents with low-level officers and enlistees. If they were that mind bogglingly idiotic, then the entire Pentagon and officer corps ought to be forced to resign for incompetence immediately. In addition, the fact that people in Washington routinely leak documents to the press that are far more sensitive to national security than those Manning released, like the National Intelligence Estimate, testifies to the existence of a revolting double standard being applied to political and military elites as compared to the standard being applied to average soldiers like Mr. Manning.
Bearing these observations in mind, it ought to be obvious that average soldiers should celebrate Bradley Manning as a hero who stood up to this unconscionable intimidation from above. He didn’t just reveal to the world that the upper echelons of the political and military establishment are engaged in outright crimes and deception; he revealed and took a stand against conscientious soldiers being silenced by asinine document over-classification. He is, in other words, a defender of the honor and integrity of the average soldier and the Army’s own core values, which stands in stark contrast to the depravity of the political and military elites that we meet in the Wikileaks documents, and who are now trampling on the constitution even in their detention of Mr. Manning.
Thus, average soldiers ought to be the first in line to defend Bradley Manning. They ought to insist that he only be punished if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the documents he released were indeed of vital importance to the security of the United States. If this cannot be proven, then Mr. Manning ought to be immediately and unconditionally released. (Proving this in Mr. Manning’s case will be extremely difficult, however, given that Defense Secretary Gates has already asserted that the documents have harmed no one, and the fact that the Pentagon didn’t even think it necessary to redact names from the documents). The assumption going forward, now that we know for a fact that documents are being over-classified in abundance by political and military elites, is that any released document is not vital to national security until conclusively proven otherwise. If average soldiers were to operate under this assumption, moreover, political and military elites would be forced to take the time to actually hide any truly sensitive documents from the view of hundreds of thousands of people, as they should have been doing from day one.
It was long overdue for someone to stand up against the practice of over-classifying documents in order to intimidate average soldiers. Bradley Manning has courageously done so, and all members of the armed forces should rejoice for it.
December 22, 2010
Andrew Mason is a former corporal in the U.S.M.C. Mark R. Crovelli [send him mail] writes from Denver, Colorado.
Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Adiós Madams Liberty and Justice

As is the case these days with most of us connected to the internet, this blogster receives a fair number of forwarded emails in addition to the usual spam. This morning's harvest of such missives included a message forwarded by the widow of one of Leonidas' army buddies with whom casual contact has spanned many years. The following is excerpted from that forwarded message:
11.  It's the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Veteran, not the community organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.
It's  the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
It is reasonable and appropriate to harbor feelings of gratitude toward those who participate in the defense of our nation and communities, but I am driven to disagree with the assertion that persons who have participated in defending the national interests have "given" us such liberties that the government deigns to refrain from denying us. Indeed, the liberties that we yet retain are inexorably diminishing as I type this essay and one need only consider the many thousands of pages in the Federal Register to understand the magnitude of the loss.

Military conscription in the US ended most recently in 1973 and for that reason one must more or less volunteer (hopefully based on informed choice) to subject ones self to the body of laws consisting of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) governing members of the military. These laws, in the interest of discipline, differ in some procedural respects from civilian legal usages.

Having noted the distinctions between the two justice systems, one is forced to be curious as to precisely what rights are forfeited by members of the military. Let us consider the provision in the VI th Amendment to the Constitution requiring a "speedy...trial": An army private first class, one Bradley Manning "was arrested on July 29 ... for allegedly downloading... classified material while serving on an Army base outside Baghdad." It is duly noted that UCMJ does not provide for bail pending court martial proceedings, however the conditions under which Manning has been detained would seem to argue against a prolonged delay based on humanitarian considerations.
"At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards...PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day...The guards are required to check on PFC Manning every five minutes [day and night] by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay...He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. However, he is given access to two blankets and has recently been given a new mattress that has a built-in pillow...He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell...He is prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop...He does receive one hour of “exercise” outside of his cell daily. He is taken to an empty room and only allowed to walk. PFC Manning normally just walks figure eights in the room for the entire hour. If he indicates that he no long[er] feels like walking, he is immediately returned to his cell...When PFC Manning goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and surrender his clothing to the guards. His clothing is returned to him the next morning."
According to a computer researcher who has bi monthly contact with Manning:..."he is starting to deteriorate. Over the last few weeks I have noticed a steady decline in his mental and physical wellbeing," he said. His prolonged confinement in a solitary holding cell is unquestionably taking its toll on his intellect; his inability to exercise due to [prison] regulations has affected his physical appearance in a manner that suggests physical weakness."

May I remind you dear reader that this individual, a citizen of these United States has not been convicted as yet of any crime. The reasons offered by our government for confining PFC Manning under these conditions are due to his being held on "Prevention of Injury (POI) watch". Is it any coincidence that we learn: " Justice Department officials are said to be looking for evidence of collusion between him and Assange to build a case against the 39-year-old WikiLeaks founder...and that the U.S. had offered Manning a plea bargain in exchange for his naming Assange as his co-conspirator"? But then we all know that our "federal rulers" would never suborn perjury; especially in order to obtain a conviction against one who has seriously embarrassed them (wink wink nudge nudge).

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Lynch Mob Gathers

Greetings gentle readers. For some time there has, in the opinion of this humble blogster, been a pernicious myth permeating our society. The myth involves the idea that our nation is the beacon of "freedom" on the global stage. Indeed, when compared to many nation states as well as super-national conglomerations such as the European Union and the Russian Federation the US citizen enjoys a measure of (but vanishing quantity of) liberty.

Prior to the days of "diversity", the national security state, zero tolerance, progressivism and environmentalism our society was a much freer one. Indeed, in order to institute national alcohol prohibition in 1920 our rulers, finding no such authorization in the constitution, proposed and the several states ratified the XVIIIth amendment. How times have changed! It is not fantasy to conceive that recent Congresses (Congri?) would legislate such a prohibition without recourse to the amendment process and when questioned would reply: "Are you serious"?

Until the advent of the United Nations in 1945 it was inconceivable that our nation would engage in warfare lacking legitimately declared hostilities under Article I sec 8 of the Constitution. The last time the US legally declared a state of war was 5 June 1942. In June of 1950 our military forces were committed to hostilities on the Korean peninsula under the auspices of a United Nations "police action" resolution. Since that time all armed conflicts involving the US military have proceeded sans the legal niceties described in our constitution but with the occasional sanction of a congressional resolution or a perfunctory genuflection toward the "War Powers Act".

This is all understandable as historically the public has countenanced violations of constitutionally "protected" liberties during declared hostilities e.g. the Palmer raids  subsequent to WW I enforcing the Espionage Act of 1917 and the ordered internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry in 1942. We have now descended progressed to a public outcry amounting to blood lust demanding the trial/execution/assassination of a foreign national for "treason".

Strangely enough, the previous outcry against the WikiLeaks dump last summer involving the Iraq and Afghan files failed to generate the level of outrage accompanying the recently published State department unredacted cables. Can it be that the previous releases were less embarrassing to the ruling class but now their subterfuge, arrogance and incompetence are revealed for all to view?  Just askin'.

In any event is it not ironic that Mr Assange was finally taken down for sex "crimes" committed in the Feminazi Republic of Sweden and we now await Eric Holder's efforts to discover an appropriate crime to utilize for the show trial? Perhaps Mr Assange can plead honorary membership in the New Black Panthers in order to quash the  investigation. It is all reminiscent of Leventry Beria's statement to Stalin: "Show me the man and I will find the crime".

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Friday, December 03, 2010

Enemy of the State Updated

If any of you gentle readers were entertained and or amused by the cinematic 1998 production "Enemy of the State" starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman this humble blogster would hasten to call your attention to the present and ongoing saga of Julian Assange, an Australian citizen and founder of the notorious web site Wikileaks. Last year Wikileaks released many thousands of electronic documents dealing with the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents had been "classified" by agencies of the US government and were at variance with many official information releases. It was asserted that the publication of these sensitive documents could/would result in retributive actions on "innocent" assets of intelligence agencies of the US and its allies.

When recently questioned, Admiral Mike Mullen chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff was unable to cite one instance of an intelligence asset being harmed as a result of wikileaks' document dumps. Conversely:

"The major government players such as the CIA and the Pentagon do not stop at just Julian but also target many WikiLeaks volunteers or associates. Two volunteers and an American WikiLeaks spokesperson have been detained and questioned in the United States along with other individuals alleged to be participant to his publishing activities ... The result is a constant need for legal and political support and managing this from afar and throughout many continents is no small task. Furthermore Julian Assange does not take these matters lightly having been privy to bad experiences in the past - while working on the extra judicial assassinations taking place in Kenya, two WikiLeaks' affiliates [were] assassinated."

The most recent instance of political harassment of Mr Assange is the issuance of an interpol warrant for his arrest, by the government of Sweden; not for espionage or theft of documents but for "Sex by Surprise"(???) which involves a fine equivalent to US $715.00. The warrant arises from incidents occurring in August 2010 involving:

"The strange tale of Assange's brief flings with two Swedish women during a three-day period...and decisions by three different prosecutors to first dismiss rape allegations made by the women and then re-open the case...

[O]ne of Assange's accusers sounds tailor-made for those who think Assange is being set up in Sweden by dark CIA-backed operatives who want him smeared or silenced for his document dumping. She's a 31-year-old blond academic and member of the Social Democratic Party who's known for her radical feminist views, once wrote a treatise on how to take revenge against men and was once thrown out of Cuba for subversive activities."  Assange arrived in Sweden on Aug. 11 to speak at a weekend seminar sponsored by the Social Democratic Party and arranged to stay at a Stockholm apartment belonging to the event organizer, a member of the branch of the party who would become one of Assange's two accusers.

According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail in August, she and Assange had sex, and at some point the condom broke. While she was apparently not happy about the condom breaking, the two were seen the next day at the seminar, and nothing appeared amiss.

Another woman at the seminar, a 27-year-old art photographer, said in her police statement that she'd come to hear Assange's lecture because of her fascination with him and his work. She can be seen in video footage on the Internet sitting in the front row during Assange's lecture, wearing a pink sweater and snapping pictures of him.

According to the police report, the woman managed to get an invitation to go out for lunch with Assange and his entourage after the seminar. They spent time together before he went back to stay at the event organizer's apartment.

Two days later, on Aug. 16, they reconnected by phone and the woman invited him to her apartment, more than 40 miles outside Stockholm. She paid for the ticket since Assange apparently had no cash and doesn't like to use credit cards because they could be traced.

She complained in her police statement that during the train ride to her hometown, "he paid more attention to his computer rather than me." She also said that by the time they arrived at her apartment, "the passion and excitement seemed to have disappeared."
 You can't make this stuff up.

It should be pointed out that none of the released wikileak documents have been challenged as unauthentic but are extremely embarrassing to many high powered players on the global political scene including US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

For this writer, the most disturbing issue of this entire sordid situation is the blood lust by many supposed conservative defenders of the rule of law.  There have been calls for Assange and his associates to be declared "terrorists" and enemy combatants indicating they should be dealt with outside the law. Jonah Goldberg, a conservative syndicated columnist asked "why wasn't Julian Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?"

Enemy of the State indeed. It would appear that sunshine and truth are serious crimes in our Brave New World.

UPDATE 4 Dec 2010 12:13 hrs EST

As an update for anyone interested in evidence that the Swedish charges are a frameup please visit here and here. The "authorities" wish to have Assange returned to Sweden and enact Ex Post Facto legislation in order to criminalize acts which were at the time not  illegal. Sweden has no constitutional prohibition against bills of attainder or ex post facto laws.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Evil But Not Stupid

Faced with the likelihood of massive resistance to the outrageous and demeaning process of obtaining government permission to board a commercial airline flight, what is a tyrannical bureaucracy to do? Answer: simply remove (temporarily) the triggering source(s) of the resistance i.e. the porno scanners and sexual groping. Voila! It worked, and nary a single aircraft was brought down or hijacked by a terrorist.

On one of the busiest traveling days of the year there were no reports of disruptions at any of the airports caused by travelers "opting out" of being irradiated and thus "requiring" to be groped and fondled by the TSA gestapo perverts.

Gee. Do any of you gentle readers now understand that the major reasons for implementing the recent procedures were not really to improve "security" but only to create the illusion of increased safety while enriching special interests and encouraging us to surrender more of our liberties to the all powerful government?

As for this aging Spartan, he will resume domestic commercial flights when he is not denied his right of self defense against criminals and terrorists while hurtling through the troposphere in an aluminum tube.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

From Pete Blome on the TSA

As this is not cited as an official Libertarian Party of Florida communication, I will take this as a personal transmission, albeit with a request for wide distribution. 
Consider it distributed.
All 22 quotes are attributed.
Are we going to sit for this?  If we are, then we're no longer citizens.  We're cattle, and the stun gun is right around the corner.  Mark my words.
(ed: In response to the question in the subject line below, our President has never seen a piece of the Constitution he's not willing to wipe his ass with... oh, and speaking of which, you will be happy to know that he's "making a list" of all who "resist" this new Neo-Nazi crap.  Assuming that report is accurate (and I have no reason to believe it is not) I stand proudly on it along with Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh, Neal Boortz and millions of other red-blooded Americans who believe in the Constitution, The Rule of Law and our unalienable rights - rights given by our Creator.  Government may not grant that which it never possessed; rights and privileges are often confused as I noted yesterday on Blogtalk.   I, for one, will not go willingly into the gas-filled showers of the American version of Auschwitz.)


Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 16:48
Subject: Violations of the 4th Amendment

Or doesn't that matter anymore?
The following are 22 quotes about enhanced pat downs and TSA groping.  They are presented without commentary because they speak for themselves.  Please share these quotes as widely as possible.  If Americans do not wake up now, when will they ever wake up?….
#1 Blogger Erin Chase:
I stood there, an American citizen, a mom traveling with a baby with special needs formula, sexually assaulted by a government official. I began shaking and felt completely violated, abused and assaulted by the TSA agent. I shook for several hours, and woke up the next day shaking.
#2 ABC News producer Carolyn Durand:
“The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around.”
#3 Wendy James Gigliotti:
“She said ’spread your legs.’ And then she took her full palms and started at my neck and ran all the way down my body, full palms, constant contact. And when she got down to my feet, she was in constant contact from my ankles all the way up to my groin, across my groin, and down the other leg. And she did that twice.”
#4 Female air traveler Ella Swift:
“The female officer ran her hand up the inside of my leg to my groin and she did it so hard and so rough she lifted me off my heels.”
#5 Flight attendant Cathy Bossi:
“She put her full hand on my breast and said, ‘What is this?’.  And I said, ‘It’s my prosthesis because I’ve had breast cancer.’ And she said, ‘Well, you’ll need to show me that’.”
#6 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:
“I think we all understand the concerns Americans have. It’s something new. Most Americans are not used to a real law enforcement pat-down like that.”
#7 A 61-year-old bladder cancer survivor:
“One agent watched as the other used his flat hand to go slowly down my chest. I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”
#8 An anonymous TSA worker:
“Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me. …These comments are painful and demoralizing.”
#9 Robert Colella:
If some total stranger walked up to you in the street and said “I am either going to see you naked or touch your genitals”, What would be the likelihood of that person walking away from that encounter?
#10 CNN employee Rosemary Fitzpatrick:
“As an experienced traveler for work who was in tears for most of the search process, I have never experienced a more traumatic and invasive travel event!”
#11 Meagan Quinn:
I will not board an airplane in America until the TSA body scanners are gone. No one is seeing my naked body unless I let them. I will also not settle for being GROPED in public as an alternative.
#12 A lawsuit filed on behalf of a female college student from Amarillo Texas:
“As the TSA agent was frisking plaintiff, the agent pulled the plaintiff’s blouse completely down, exposing plaintiffs’ breasts to everyone in the area.”
#13 Bruce Sargent:
The sexual humiliation of detainees at Abu Ghraib is not so very different then the sexual humiliation being heaped on American air travelers at airports. Why is TSA torturing us to protect us?
#14 A 37-year-old Texas woman who had her nipple ring removed with a pair of pliers before she was allowed to pass through security:
“My experience with TSA was a nightmare I had to endure. No one deserves to be treated this way.”
#15 A soldier returning from Afghanistan:
“So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.”
#16 A flight attendant named Megan:
The agent went up my right leg first and then met my vagina with full force….the same on the other leg with the same result. She then used both of her hands to feel my breasts and squeezing them. At this point I was in shock.
#17 Jay Glover:
I spend on average $30K per year on business travel. The airlines get the bulk of this but hotels, car rentals, meals and miscellaneous expenses add up as well. Where I can cut travel, I will. When those associated with airport travel feel the financial pinch just watch how fast this all will change.
#18 Paul Craig Roberts:
It is difficult to imagine New Yorkers being porno-screened and sexually groped on crowded subway platforms or showing up an hour or two in advance for clearance for a 15 minute subway ride, but once bureaucrats get the bit in their teeth they take absurdity to its logical conclusion.
#19 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when asked if she would like to go through the new pat-downs:
“Not if I could avoid it. No. I mean, who would?”
#20 TSA Administrator John Pistole during a Congressional hearing:
“If you are asking me, am I going to change my policies? No.”
#21 U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller to TSA chief John Pistole:
“I Think You’re Doing A Terrific Job.”
#22 Congressman Ron Paul:
I introduced legislation last week that is based on a very simple principle: federal agents should be subject to the same laws as ordinary citizens. If you would face criminal prosecution or a lawsuit for groping someone, exposing them to unwelcome radiation, causing them emotional distress, or violating indecency laws, then TSA agents should similarly face sanctions for their actions.

Via Karl Denninger

Monday, November 22, 2010

They Still Do not Get It

All members of Congress and Administration officials with a security detail are EXEMPT from the jail booking procedures forced on ordinary law abiding citizens who must fly commercial air lines.

In other words: the crooks are exempt from scrutiny while the rest of us must prove our innocence. Such irony!



ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Boycott Commercial Air Travel!

It has been nearly a decade since Leonidas has refused to travel by commercial air. It happened one day in 2000 when an airline declined to allow him to board a flight from Eureka, California to Los Angeles while in possession of his legally permitted Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver.

He relented one time in 2007 at the entreaty of Mrs. Leonidas for a flight to Antigua in the Caribbean and was only prevented from decking a surly and arrogant Walmart reject TSA "officer" in San Juan, Puerto Rico by his better judgement.

Since that time "alternate" modes of travel have been chosen and it now appears the idea is gaining traction.

THIS IS A NATIONAL BOYCOTT CALL.  

Specifically:
  • We will not consent to be sexually assaulted as a condition of getting on an airplane.  A virtual strip-search is no different than a physical strip-search, and a "grope" is a sexual assault.  Period.  Such a "Custody Search" is only permissible under US law when one has been arrested with probable cause to believe one has committed a crime and is being taken into custody.  We refuse to accept being treated as literal Federal Prisoners as a condition of boarding an aircraft.
  • We assert that virtual strip-search machines do not in fact, and cannot in fact, detect things such as an explosive device inserted into the anus, which has already been done by a terrorist in an attempt to kill a Saudi Prince.  The so-called "purpose" claimed for such searches is thus in fact a lie.
  • We understand that flying carries risk - including the risk of a terrorist attack.  But a terrorist can do just as much damage exploding a device in the security screening line, which of course, a scanner and intrusive grope will not prevent as they haven't been encountered yet.  Again, the claimed purpose of said procedures is a lie as any terrorist intending such an action can simply explode himself while standing in line.
  • You are more than 100 times as likely to die in a car crash then from a terrorist attack on US soil.  About 42,000 people die annually in a car crash.  3,000 people died on 9/11, and a few in other terrorist attacks since (e.g. Ft. Hood.)  The odds are clear - under 4,000 people have been killed in terrorism attacks on US soil since 2000, while over 400,000 people have died in car accidents.  While terrorism is horrifying it does not rise to a risk that justifies abrogation of our Constitutional rights - especially when the proffered claims of "safety" against said attacks made by the government are in fact intentionally false and misleading.
  • We assert that metal detectors are sufficient to detect weapons such as guns and knives. Armed pilots, marshals and even armed citizens with concealed weapons permits would and will stop armed assaults.  In point of fact, United Flight 93 was stopped on 9/11 without any weapons at all by the passengers once they determined the terrorists intended to use it as a bomb.  In short, other than by means of explosive, arming pilots, marshals and/or citizens is more than sufficient to prevent terrorism on board.  Further, claims that gunfire on board would cause "explosive decompression" are intentional lies - the average aircraft intentionally bleeds off massive amounts of air from the cabin to balance cabin air inducted from the turbine bleed as a routine part of pressurization for high-altitude flight.
  • We further assert in defense of our position that no prohibited item was brought through security on 9/11.  In point of fact boxcutters were permitted items on board aircraft at that point.  There was no breach of airport security on that day.  No guns, no bombs, nothing but permitted items and determined individuals who were willing to both kill and die.  The reason 9/11 succeeded was not due to "lax security" by the airlines but rather because the government refused to act on reports of suspicious activities at flight schools in Florida and also refused to run down and remove persons in this country on expired Visas!  That is, 9/11 happened due to government incompetence, not due to airline security breaches - and that's a fact.
  • We do not, and will not, consent to being under effective arrest just for setting foot inside an airport.  The position that the TSA takes that one cannot refuse screening and decide not to board - that is, you cannot determine what you are to be subjected to in advance and elect to give or not to give consent.  That is, once apprised of the nature of the screen to be performed you cannot then refuse and not fly.  This is an arrest when one has committed no crime.  It is our position that this procedure constitutes unlawful detainment and felony kidnapping.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!
 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hold the Champagne!

Well sports fans, on successive days just past both shoes have fallen: Yesterday the election of the 112th Congress and today the Federal Reserve meeting to "officially" announce the fresh creation from thin air, of at least $600 billion in brand new banknotes.

Make no mistake, the $600 billion is merely the down payment on what the cultural Marxists characterize as "quantitative easing 2". Since the federal leviathan and its agents produce no product and few services that we serfs are willing to purchase, the injection into the economy of these crisp new banknotes only serves to diminish the value of the so called cash we may already have or expect to accrue to our possession.

 The official word on inflation as announced by the government published Consumer Price Index is touted as <1% and anyone foolish enough to accept this garbage as fact is cordially invited to invest in a bridge over the Hudson river which Leonidas is willing to sell at a bargain price. "Since last July, margarine prices have risen 6 percent. Women's dresses are up 6 percent. Beer is up 6 percent. Milk prices have risen 6.5 percent. Candy is 13 percent more expensive. Butter is up 19 percent. Shoes are up a whopping 45 percent. All in just over four months!" For those of you with the time to spare (74min) Leonidas would invite you to view the video here for a somewhat depressing exposition of the present situation obtaining in these formerly "free" United States. Hat tip to my colleague Ol' Remus.

While the government (and most privately administered retirement plans) use the CPI to determine cost of living adjustments to geezers living on defined benefit pension plans, it must be noted that the items EXCLUDED from consideration are food and energy costs. These are precisely the items constituting the bulk of the geezers living expenses. For this reason, and for those willing to connect the dots leading to the Great Government Default, the second consecutive year that SSI recipients will receive no COLA adjustment can come as no surprise. The politicians and bureaucrats in charge realize that the otherwise criminal ponzi scheme is a major contributor to the current financial/economic death spiral. In other words, the dollar train wreck is already baked into the cake. No 65 seat turnover in the House of Representatives can apply the brakes sufficiently without committing political suicide.

In the words of Pat Buchanan the US is looking more and more like the Fourth Republic of France where each election cycle produced radical 180 degree shifts in policy. This situation does however have a few interesting bright spots: What is to become of Speaker Pelosi? Will she retain her current perks including the military commuter jet to shuttle her entourage between her California wine country estate and Sodom on the Potomac or will she "take her marbles and go home"? On the other hand, there are many of us who would assert that her marbles were lost some time ago.  

 

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Anecdotal Evidence!

This humble blogster and his wife, accompanied by the family canine (a Belgian Malinois named Osita) recently returned from a near transcontinental road trip. I use the term "near transcontinental" due to not having included the People's Republics of Kalifornia, Oregon or Washington in the itinerary. Over the years we have taken to avoiding the interstate highways and their tedium, opting instead to utilize the surface roadways when practicable.

The downside of selecting this option is the necessity of adhering to the lower speed limits assigned at the caprice and avarice of local politicians and suffering the tortoise like traffic flow in the myriad of smallish jurisdictions.

On the next to last day of our most recent trek we had occasion to be following an overly mature female motorist proceeding east bound on a rural two lane highway in eastern Arkansas at a speed of 42 miles per hour in a zone marked with an eye toward revenue enhancement by a 55 mph limit. After some interval we arrived at a zone with a broken yellow center line admitting of legal overtaking and passing. Observing the nearest oncoming vehicle to be at a distance of 1.25 miles your brave blogster accelerated to a speed of 66 mph and passed the geriatric motorist and observed the oncoming vehicle to be none other than a white sedan sporting a red and blue light bar and the markings of the friendly revenuers of the Arkansas State "Police". I noted the troopers car to execute a "U" turn as I passed and we resumed a safe speed of 63 mph after overtaking the little old lady. Suffice it to say that the trooper was very soon on our rear bumper an lit up with "cherries and blueberries" not to mention alternately flashing high beam headlights.   

We executed a safe stop at the nearest shaded right shoulder and awaited the approach of the minion of Arkansas' finest. The trooper appeared extremely agitated and proceeded to describe my 8 mph "speed" violation of the 55 mph posted limit as the "crime of the century" after which he demanded my drivers license and insurance card. I produced the necessary documents along with my Los Angeles County retired Sheriff's ID card in order to preclude any subsequent difficulty caused by the Glock .40 cal auto pistol which is always present in the drivers door pocket when traveling.  He handed back the ID card with the terse exclamation: "all this tells me is that you should know better" and returned to his patrol unit to fill out the paper work. At this time Mrs. Leonidas remarked: "you're going to get it THIS time".

Five minutes later the trooper returned and ordered me to sign the document which I did, noting that it was an Arkansas State Police "Courtesy Warning Notice" of a "speed violation".

It was a relief to learn that the supposed "crime of the century" was really only a minor revenue issue which the trooper was willing to "overlook" when perpetrated by a retired so called "brother LEO". I am gradually becoming ashamed of how my former career has evolved into a revenue generation scheme for politicians and bureaucrats.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Time Has Come (The Walrus Said)...

I’ve been thinking about the horrid situation at airports for weeks, and before that for even more months.

Flyers now have the option enforced against them of either being scanned or groped. What a choice!
I haven’t flown in an airplane for years now. [...} I have been lucky. I didn’t need to fly or want to fly, but I still may feel I have to, and I am still deeply troubled by the scanning and groping. Both are despicable.

What I wish is that all flyers would organize and boycott all flying, or organize sit-down strikes at all the airports on a given day and hour, or organize some sort of widespread protest action or actions at specific times so as to make known their true inner feelings.

This hope banks on the notion that people now put up with the scanning and groping because they feel they have no alternative as individuals. I may be wrong. They may support it or feel it’s in their safety interest. I don’t know, but I can only express my own personal distaste for what air travel has come to and hope that someone better equipped to organize protests than I will do so. Such protests should be accompanied by publicized demands to end this travesty.

Stop it! Stop it now! Stop searching every traveler! Stop searching innocent people.

Stop searches that have no reasonable basis. Stop searches that are based only on one criterion: that the person is a traveler. What kind of reasonable basis for a search is that? None whatsoever! It is totally unreasonable to suspect everyone! It is totally unreasonable to suspect everyone who is a traveler. It’s unreasonable for the obvious reason that we all know that not one person in sixty million is a terrorist, and not one in six hundred million is at the point of trying to board a plane with an explosive device hidden on his person.

Groping and scanning are both searches. Both are equally vile. Both are unreasonable searches. Both need to be rejected.

Why should I submit to a search? What have I done to merit that? What criminal record have I accumulated in my 70 years? When have I uttered a threat against an airline? When have I encouraged anyone to blow up an airplane?
Where’s the probable cause? Where’s the reasonable basis to grope me, frisk me, x-ray me, or otherwise invade my person or property? There is none.

Where’s the warrant obtained from a judge? There is none.

It’s totally ridiculous to be searching me. I won’t stand for it. I am being assumed to be a criminal suspect for no good reason whatsoever. The people engaging in the criminal behavior are the searchers in this case, not the searchees.
I speak personally, but of course the same is true of millions upon millions of other people. What have they done to merit a search? Absolutely nothing. Nada.

There is such a thing as a U.S. Constitution, although adherence to it is zilch. It once meant something, and the government still claims it means something. What a bunch of liars and hypocrites they are. They deserve no respect. They deserve nothing but scorn. How can they conduct such searches of millions of innocent people in the face of the constitutional language?

The Fourth Amendment reads:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
There is no ambiguity here. The right to be secure in my person shall not be violated. Period. It doesn’t say that airports are an exception. Or that public roads are an exception. Or that public spaces are an exception. There are no exceptions listed.

If exceptions are allowed, such as supposedly to create safe air travel, then similar exceptions can be allowed for rail, bus, auto, and pedestrian traffic anywhere, anytime, and at virtually any place. Police state, folks. That’s what we’re talking about. Police state. We’ve got it. Now. Here and now. Don’t look now, it’s here already.

Am I an expert on the case law of searches? Have I read all the pertinent Supreme Court cases that develop exceptions and procedures and interpret the Constitution? No. I won’t waste any more time on such a fruitless endeavor. I did that for the case of America’s money. I did that in excruciating detail over the course of two solid months. I found, as have others before me, that the Supreme Court is perfectly capable of making things up as they go along. They have twisted the clear constitutional language to suit themselves and their own ideas. We cannot quietly submit to what the Supreme Court says. We must protest when conscience and reason tell us that the Court is in the wrong.

I demand the termination of these unreasonable searches and I urge you to demand the same. Boycott air travel, or else dream up some better manner of protest than I can think of. But don’t sit still for this. It’s not right, and you know it’s not right. It’s not lawful, and you know it’s not lawful. It’s mass insanity, and you know it’s mass insanity.

Michael S. Rozeff

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. reprinted by permission

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Descent?

In the Fall of 1936 the influential weekly magazine Literary Digest conducted a straw poll of the presidential election for that year. The results published in that periodical prognosticated that the Republican candidate Alf Landon would handily defeat Franklin Roosevelt. It must have been a telephone poll as those who could still have afforded telephone service may well have intended to vote for Mr. Landon while those citizens who could no longer pay for  the luxury (such as my own family) had seen their service disconnected. Suffice it to say that the error of such a prediction (Landon carried 2 states while the remaining 46 voted overwhelmingly for FDR) resulted in the demise of the Literary Digest.

Today, most polling suggests that the current minority Republicans are expected to post moderate gains which will "probably" enable them wield a majority in the lower house of Congress. We shall see.

Since 1980 this humble blogster has made at least two dozen transcontinental road trips across these United States between his native California and the East coast aboard motorcycles, automobiles, small trucks as well as "hippie" (VW) vans. Other than the societal decay experienced in the "progressively" ruled Mexifornia beginning in the early 1980's the remainder of the nation commonly known as "flyover country" by the ruling elite had remained relatively unaffected until late 2008.

Your correspondent has just completed the second day of his most recent road trip and the noticeable though admittedly anecdotal national deterioration occurring since just last Spring is truly astonishing.


Our first days journey found us seeking lodging at an inn we had previously patronized. The establishment had begun to evidence a degree of seediness and a homeless male adult was observed seated near the rear of the facility on an abandoned car seat when the wife walked our dog at 8:00PM. Morning revealed him still seated in the same location shivering in the chill of pre sunrise. Mrs Leonidas retrieved two "complementary" breakfast rolls provided by the inn and presented them to the appreciative  "derelict" causing this humble writer to be reminded of  what had originally attracted him to this marvelous woman many years ago.

Since the onset of today's ongoing financial/economic crisis there has been a substantial deterioration in the observable lifestyle circumstances of ordinary Americans. In point of fact, many of the small communities along the back roads of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico resemble the scenes in Mad Max.  Not only are there noticeable changes in the nations infrastructure, but the anger expressed in overheard conversations  in pubs, cafes and other public places far surpasses what has been witnessed by this writer during his threescore and 14 years.

In sum, I would have to conclude that the anger and frustration of ordinary citizens across this formerly great, free and prosperous nation is palpable beyond the comprehension of the "mainstream" elite and ruling class. It is I believe possible that events of the upcoming November plebiscite will surpass the worst nightmares of Mssrs Obama and Reid as well as Ms Pelosi. The saddest part however will be played out when the new crop of rulers fails to produce the desired results. The ensuing events will be decidedly unpretty.



More anon.


ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Saturday, September 25, 2010

King Canute, Call Your Treasurer!

Recently, a bill introduced in the lower chamber of the US Congress died a quiet death in the House Committee on Financial Services. The Bill (HR 1207) boasted 315 co-sponsors and would have ordered an audit of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. Had the bill become law, the heretofore secret operations of the central bank would stand revealed as the most colossal financial/economic scam in recorded history. The "rationale" offered up as a justification for scotching the audit proposed by HR 1207 was: "the need to isolate political considerations from the determination of monetary policy." I will pause here to allow the laughter of my esteemed readers to subside.

Since implementation of the Federal Reserve Act in December of 1913 the United States dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power. In other words, items (utilizing adjusted/comparable costs of production) selling today for $1.00 were regularly traded at 3 cents in 1913. Considered from another perspective, a good quality man's suit could be purchased in 1913 for one troy ounce of gold valued at $20.00. A comparable quality suit would sell today for approximately $1,297.00 which just happens to be the value of 1 troy ounce of the yellow metal.

The preamble to the Federal Reserve Act reads as follows:
"An Act To provide for the establishment of Federal reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes."

The author of HR 1207, Dr. Ron Paul (R Texas 14) intends to introduce legislation in the 112th Congress during 2011 requiring an audit of the gold allegedly  owned by the US government and secured in depositories at Ft. Knox, Kentucky and the New York Federal Reserve vault at 33 Liberty street New York, NY. It is anticipated that the opposition to such legislation will consist of the self same opponents as those who killed HR 1207. An important argument of our rulers will however be undercut, and that is the separation of politics and monetary policy to wit: the gold is either in the depositories and owned by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve or it is not.

Such an audit will in the opinion of this writer reveal that either a) the gold seized/stolen from the American people in 1933 is still secured where the government assures us that it is, or b) it has been sold, leased or transferred to the London gold depository.

The desperation of our elite rulers to control the monetary policies engendered by their insistence on the acceptance of fiat paper currency whose printing presses they control is beginning to be revealed to the nation's booboisie. When such knowledge becomes widespread the game will be up and the result will not be pleasant to behold.

There are valid reasons why precious metals have evolved as media of exchange lo these many millennia. The chief reason being the inability of political elites to "print gold" not withstanding the "clipping" of coins by Roman emperors and the issuance of "Federal Reserve Notes" by our current elite.

The tide of history is rising and cannot be stemmed by the current elite in Washington and New York.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Open Letter!

In keeping with the theme generated by the esteemed Curmudgeon Emeritus here, this humble blogster will add his own contribution to the refrain entitled "why didn't I write that?".

The following is an open letter to general David Petraeus published by Chuck Prime here. To one and all: Please steal this and repost it!
OPEN LETTER TO GEN. PETRAEUS (Please re-post to anti-jihad sites)

“Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”
– Gen. David Petraeus
General, I ask you this: what in hell is your “mission” if We The People jeopardize it by exercising our First Amendment rights in our own homeland? Is your “mission” to defend our rights against foreign enemies, or to defend foreign enemies against our rights?
You made your choice, and you justified by claiming that you and those under your command have been taken hostage by our 7th Century terrorist enemy, and that the ransom demand you deliver to us is that we submit to your captor’s restrictions on our natural and constitutional rights – or they’ll kill you.
I remind you and your captors that we do not negotiate with terrorists.
And I remind you that you are the most revered general in the present day, commanding in the most powerful military in all of history, during the most justifiable war in the last seventy years. So please either remember your priorities and slaughter your captors, or resign in disgrace so that we may replace you with a warrior. And if you resign, you should do so right along with President Obama, Gen. Caldwell, Pentagon Spokesman Lapan, Sec. of State Clinton, Atty. Gen. Holder, NATO Sec. Rasmussen and all others in all branches of government and in all alliances who echoed your request, whether they did so mindlessly or with surrender aforethought.
To have our own military leaders beg us to refrain from exercising our Constitutional rights on our own soil is completely un-American. And to have you make that request of us in the name of cowardice is a shocking and unthinkable perversion I still don’t have the words for.
But I do have the plan for it. We The People will force the issue right here and now. We don’t want harm to come to our military, but if peacefully exercising our rightful freedom on our own property here in our own homeland endangers you, then we will endanger you!
We will burn the Koran for freedom and post the videos for all the world to see. We can be overt or covert, named or anonymous, sparse or numerous – but ultimately we will be unstoppable, and eventually we will be effective.
We will do this because you have no fucking right to sell our freedom down the river for the sake of our enemy’s sensitivity. We will do it because you more than have the power to defend yourselves against that enemy if only you would use it. We will do it because facing danger to defend our rightful freedom is why we pay you, train you, equip you, promote you, appoint you, deploy you, and – formerly! – revere you.
You work for us, General, not for our enemy. Therefore we will regain control over you and over this war from the command center of our own backyards. We will force you to end any of your appeasement and nation-building which would restrict our Constitutional rights. We will force you to defend yourselves and us, and to do the job you were appointed to do: destroy the enemy in defense of our freedom.
Our military has the power. We hired you to use it. Now we’ll make sure you do.
When Americans can burn our own copies of the Koran on our own soil without credible threats from jihadists or appeasement of those threats from our President and our Generals, then we will gladly stop burning them.
We are a free people, and although we clearly live in occupied territory psychologically, we do not yet live in occupied territory legally or physically. We will do as we please, and we will continue to expect all branches of our government to secure our right to do it.
I remind you that securing our rights is the only legitimate reason that governments are instituted among men in the first place, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
And not everybody among the governed consents to surrendering our rights to terrorists.
Freedom for all,

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beyond the Sidewalks

Considering the plethora of recent literature on the subject of "prepping" for survival as the socioeconomic meltdown inexorably approaches, it may be beneficial to hear the experiences of one who has "been there, done that".

We lived with various "sustainable" combinations of wind, hydro, solar and diesel generated power for 20 years both aboard our sail boat and our off-grid ranch. With both wind and hydro there are substantial costs (in addition to the initial capital investment) associated with bearing, brush/slipring and armature replacement not to mention impeller deterioriation. In considering all of these various forms of alternative energy the cost per kilowatt hour needs to be factored in.

We found that the average cost of grid supplied energy ranged between 12 and 15 cents per kilowatt hour as opposed to an estimated 40 cents plus per kilowatt hour for solar and hydro power when equipment replacement costs are factored in.  The special ambient conditions necessary for availing one's self of hydro and wind energy do not obtain for the vast majority of shore side locations.

So called fossil fueled sources of energy generation obviously make economic and logistic sense only for limited and emergent situations due to their need to be fed.

True stand alone applications where no grid source of power is available will require a means for the storage/regulation of the energy for utilization during windless and sunless periods. For heating purposes a mass consisting of water or other heat storage material such as metal or stone can suffice. For electrical energy storage, current technology forces us into the utilization of batteries and they are not cheap. This old sailor-cum-homesteader found the use of deep cycle lead acid 6 volt "golf cart" batteries to make economic sense. True, recent advances in battery technology have improved their efficiency to a limited extent but the initial capital investment remains high. Additionally, lead acid batteries do not thrive on neglect such as repeated extreme deep discharging or electrolyte starvation.

An example of this problem reared its head with one of our native American neighbors living on Yurok tribal land in Humboldt county, California. The tribe received a federal "grant" of substantial funds to erect stand alone photovoltaic power systems at individual single family Indian residences in the Klamath river valley.  The equipment, consisting of a 2 kilowatt solar array on fixed mounts, an appropriate charge controller, 1200 amp hour sealed gel battery bank and a 4500 watt 24 volt to 120 volt inverter with necessary wiring harnesses and separate housing shed were erected near his mobil home in an area SHADED during part of the day. The equipment alone cost in excess of $27,000.00. It was installed by "progressive" student "volunteers" from Humboldt State University who upon completion of the project advised our neighbor (whose only source of power previously had consisted of a succession of 600 watt gasoline generators obtained at Costco) that he could begin using his home "just as if he lived in town on the grid".

Needless to relate, our neighbor and his family proceeded to purchase appliances such as irons, toasters, heaters and television sets. Within a week he was knocking on our door requesting help with his non working electrical system.  The hippies volunteers were unavailable to assist him.  So much for the "turnkey" taxpayer government supplied "sustainable" systems provided to "disadvantaged" minorities.

A major consideration in view of the approaching societal disintegration as regards emergency or backup energy systems is security. "Law" (yes, those are scorn quotation marks) enforcement, should it continue to function, will inevitably have its hands full maintaining "order" in a population reduced to desperation and energy systems are especially vulnerable to theft and vandalism not to mention a confiscatory government itself. I have written elsewhere of our own experiences but will leave it to you dear reader to acquaint yourselves with various post apocalyptic scenarios ranging from Mad Max to mere Hobbesian squalor.

Monday, August 09, 2010

A New Litigiuous Industry?

I don't know how many of you dear readers are aware of the tempest that has recently exploded concerning the issue of "intellectual property" as it applies to the internet and specifically the "blogosphere". In any event, thus far over 91 lawsuits have been filed in the federal district court of Nevada. These suits generally claim "theft" of copyrighted material by mostly small mom and pop web sites and blogs. The suits have been filed by a firm called RightHaven  and the defendants for the most part have not received prior to the filings any cease and desist orders or demands to remove the objectionable material.

Thus far the bulk of the allegedly stolen material has been copied, excerpted from or linked to publications in the daily Las Vegas (Nevada) Review Journal whose publisher is Mr. Sherman Frederick. His decision to assign copy rights to his newspaper's material to RightHaven in order that they, rather than his newspaper, pursue litigation is explained in a column/blog posting dated 28 May 2010. I will neither quote nor paraphrase Mr. Frederick here and indeed link to his screed with considerable trepidation.  If you, dear reader choose to follow the link I would advise you to read it carefully and pay special attention to the comments before drawing your own conclusions.  There are even those who connect (tenuously) the RightHaven staff to White House officials.  You decide.

Mr. Frederick, in his analogy to an auto displayed and "stolen" from his front yard seems to engage in what could be termed in the opinion of this humble blogster "tortured" logic.  He also links to a National Public Radio interview on the prior "scooping" of the McChrystal piece in Rolling Stone magazine  but does not allude to any instance in which his publication suffered any such outrage.

It would appear that the Review-Journal is a business enterprise. That is, they display paid advertising which is incidentally viewed by web surfers following links to their site. If bloggers and other web sites fail to attribute material lifted from the R-J they should by all means be placed on notice to cease and desist and sued if they fail to do so. However, it seems counter productive to prosecute in the federal courts those who avail themselves in good faith of the doctrine of "fair use"  with attribution and links. Unless of course such a strategy is your business model.     

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Quick Fix

According to our imperial federal ruling masters and their dog washers in the media the recent financial/economic "crisis" has ended and the "economy is in recovery". The government bureaucrats even trot out supporting data and statistics expecting boobus Americanus to buy into the fiction.  The most recent example is the official bureau of labor statistics citing a reduction in the "unemployment" rate from 9.7% to 9.5% while the economy underwent a net job loss of 20,000+. This simply does not pass the smell test. Another fiction is the "growth" measured by gross domestic product (GDP) which is simply a measure of the total cost of all goods and services produced by the nation. This would and DOES include the salaries earned by recently hired government regulatory aparatchiks who contribute nothing of value to the economy and are paid with funds extorted at gunpoint from taxpayers.

This humble blogster has a suggestion for boosting the statistics and jolting the economy into massive recovery. (Irony Alert): Assign every resident in the US to take in the laundry of their next door neighbor for the minimum wage of $7.75 per hour.  Not only would this proposal eliminate the unemployment problem, but consider the enormous uptick in the GDP statistics (Irony Alert Off).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How did we get Here?

Below is a guest posting by Scott Lazarowitz that appeared originally at ReasonAndJest.com. A few additional concepts should be born in mind while reading and digesting the essay.
"It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment."..."Where all children go to school, and all schools are controlled by the government, the authorities can close the minds of the young to everything contrary to official orthodoxy.” Bertrand Russell "Impact of Science on Society" 1952
Obama the Socialist Fascist Communist, by Scott Lazarowitz
July 15, 2010
Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com.  Link to this article at LewRockwell.com

A recent poll showed that 55% of Americans believe that Barack Obama is a “socialist,” and many Americans believe that the nation is on the “road to socialism.”
The road to socialism? Where have these people been for the last 75 years? America has been a socialist – as well as fascist – nation for many decades, especially since FDR’s New Deal. Socialism primarily is public ownership of wealth, property and the means of production. So, of course Obama is a socialist. He has expressed that.
For some reason, many people mistakenly believe that Social Security, an important outcome of the New Deal, is a program in which some of Americans’ earnings are taken and put into some kind of “savings account,” to be available to them when they retire. In actuality, Social Security is a real-time redistribution of wealth scheme administered by the State, in which income is taken from producers and redistributed to non-producers, mainly retired persons and the elderly. LBJ’s Medicare program is an extension of this.
Further examples to show that Obama is a socialist include his vote as a U.S. Senator in favor of the Wall Street Bailout, often mistakenly seen as an example of “capitalism,” but which was actually an example of socialism: redistribution of wealth from the middle-class workers and producers to the already rich Wall Street bankers and financial executives.
Obama also clearly supports the ongoing military socialism through the wars he has been continuing and strengthening abroad: redistribution of wealth from American workers and producers to defense contractors, consultants and lobbyists, oil executives and Wall Street bankers, which really has been a main objective for American wars throughout the last century. As the late USMC Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler would say, “War is a Racket.”
And as the late economist Murray Rothbard put it, regarding World War I:
Woodrow Wilson’s decision to enter the war may have been the single most fateful action of the 20th century, causing untold and unending misery and destruction. But Morgan profits were expanded and assured.
Things have not changed in 100 years.
Obama’s stated intention has been for redistribution of wealth as a means to help the poor, the underprivileged and so on. But his unstated intention is the same as all politicians of his ilk: to reach into as much private wealth as possible as a means towards expanding State power and control.
Many people also mistakenly believe that Obama’s medical takeover is “socialized medicine,” but we already have socialized medicine in Medicare as mentioned, and other similar programs. ObamaCare is actually a fascist program.
Fascism is another major aspect of FDR’s New Deal, which gave us an untold number of regulations, mandates and enmeshments between business and government. Fascism primarily is State control over privately owned property, wealth and industry. All government mandates and regulation of private economies are examples of fascism. ObamaCare consists of one mandate and regulation after another of private doctor-patient relationships, patient/doctor-insurance company relationships, and a laundry list of medical related industries.
In addition to ObamaCare fascism and Obama’s strengthening of his own executive dictatorial powers as president, some other examples of Obama’s fascism include his new financial regulations, and the environmental regulations that he used as a means of interfering with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s duty to protect the people of Louisiana from the oil spill that threatens their livelihoods.
While allowing doctors’ practices, HMOs, and insurance companies to continue to be privately owned, the federal government will nevertheless dictate to them how their contracts and associations will be run. However, given a variety of factors, this dictatorial control over the medical industry will most likely lead these still privately owned interests into bankruptcy, much like what the federal government has done to the financial and mortgage lending industries, and the federal government will most probably take upon ownership, as well as control, of much of these industries.
That is where Obama’s communism comes in. The “road to socialism”? No, already there. Fascism? Already there. But are we on the road to communism? You betchya!
Communism is, by and large, complete State ownership and control of all industry, wealth and property, and the means of production. So far, we have seen this from Obama in his leading the charge of confiscation of much of the automobile industry, as well as the federal government’s ownership of much of the mortgage and finance industries. And eventually, most likely, the entire medical industry.
Whether Obama is intentionally implementing a communist America by way of long-planned “stealth,” as some people have suggested he is doing, or whether he has a communist agenda by way of his long-time partnership with admitted terrorist bomber and “small-c communist” Bill Ayers, or whether Obama follows the teachings of “radical community organizer” (or “communizer”) Saul Alinsky, is actually not as important as Obama’s actual actions as president.
So far, we have noted that Barack Obama is:
  • A Socialist. He supports public ownership of the means of production, redistribution of wealth from some segments of society to others.
  • A Fascist. He supports State control over private industries and the means of production, and just about every aspect of citizens’ daily lives.
  • A Communist. He supports State ownership as well as control of industry and the means of production.
But what isn’t Obama?
  • A Capitalist.
Barack Obama is not a capitalist because he opposes voluntary exchange, private property rights, voluntary contracts, associations and markets free of State intrusions, and under the Rule of Law. The true capitalist, voluntary exchange-private property system that coexists with individual liberty is exactly what the American Founders believed in, for which they fought a Revolution to have and preserve for their posterity. This capitalist system is the only system that exists under the Rule of Law that protects all individuals in such a society from the theft and trespass of others including agents of the State.
In contrast, socialism, fascism and communism all institutionalize the violation of the Rule of Law as they institutionalize the violation of all individuals’ inherent rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property.
In those totalitarian systems, the individual is a sacrificial animal for the collective, and a serf for the State.
Alas, America has not actually experienced true capitalism, at least not since the U.S. Constitution was written and ratified, and especially not since the presidency of hardcore banking and monetary fascist and warmonger-business protectionist Abraham Lincoln.
The choice for America is whether to continue on the road to communism, or to turn back, dismantle all of it, and restore our freedom and prosperity.