Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Painfully Obvious Truth

When the US contracts with a company to produce US Passports and that same company produces internal passports/National ID's for the Chinese Secret Police then it becomes painfully obvious what we are headed for, doesn't it? And it tells us what type of technology the Powers That Be will likely be using for their passports, as well as the National ID cards that they are forcing the states to issue. Tried and tested in two police states. China and Israel.

On Track Innovations, incorporated in Israel, was apparently handed participation by the courts. They are currently involved in manufacturing a National ID for the Chinese, (a Communist police state, in case anyone forgot). OTI will also be using the same technologies on US citizens, as a GSA contractor. They are already prepared for their role in the REAL ID inspired National ID, as their website makes abundently clear. Your RFID passport, and we can assume Drivers Licenses, down the road, will be a "One Stop Shop" for your government. And make no mistakes, it is an RFID driven device, no matter how silent they remain on the subject, (at the request of the GSA). You will be tracked. How comforting, huh?

I can only wonder how the same politicians who tanked the Dubai deal would respond to an Israeli incorporated company handling something as "critical" as US Passports? Considering that they passed the REAL ID Act, my guess is that they won't be concerned in the least.

OTI has already had a couple of years working with their Chinese clients in the development of their National ID technologies and it is a certainty that they will take that experience and turn it on the US when the time comes to implement their portions of the REAL ID Act. It should certainly make things easier if you decide to travel to the PRC, as they will be using the same technology. I'm sure it won't take the Chinese too long to extend the courtesy of using their system to make travel in China "easier" for American tourists and visitors. Your information will be perfectly safe in their hands.

Given that the government is already going to share your drivers license information with Mexico, Canada and whomever else they wish to share it with, it doesn't take a great stretch of imagination to see where the sharing of passport information with the Chinese and others will be long in coming. I'm quite sure that OTI will be more than willing to sell them the necessary equipment, given their pride in being a GSA contract holder. This is globalism at its best...or worst, if you take my point of view.

The silence on this one will be deafening. Count on it.

via: Police State USA

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Friday, March 10, 2006

First They Came For The Reporters....

And you know how the rest of that goes.

The Powers That Be are having a high old time with their National Security Letters, their newly revised USA PATRIOT Act-(can anyone tell me what the hell selling cold medicine has to do with terrorism?)-and an over inflated sense of self worth. While the major news outlets have remained silent about receiving National Security Letters from the FBI, Doug Thompson at Capitol Hill Blue isn't afraid to tell folks that he's got one. And why did he get one? Well, that would be because he, and other reporters have actually reported news and said things that the current administration didn't like. It's not like they're vindictive or anything, right?

If you're a visitor to Doug's site you can expect to be added to the government watch list as a subversive. I would guess this goes double if you're a blogger.
"The letter demanded traffic data, payment records and other information about the web site along with information on me, the publisher."
Personally, I hope Doug destroys all that stuff before they get their hands on it. It's way past time that people told these thugs where to get off.
To quote Yakov...."What a country!"....except this is really no laughing matter.

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Why Don't They Like Me, Anymore?

That must be the whine of the day from the Oval Orifice. It certainly appears as if the Bush Kool Aid Effect, (or perhaps it's a Jobs-like Reality Distortion Field) is wearing off for a large portion of the public. With "approval" numbers plunging to new low, we must wonder what will happen now that the Great Leader's popularity is starting to resemble Nixon's at his lowest? When even your staunchest allies begin to turn their backs on you it would seem that you needed to step back and do some serious life reassessment. When people start reporting that events are spinning out of control, your numbers are in the crapper and your popularity is on a par with Gary Glitter in a day care centre, Mr. President you need to take a reality check and realise that thinks are more than a bit FUBAR. In a election year this is not what anyone running for office wants to see in their parties Chosen One. Of course, being no friend of this administration I'm not disappointed to see numbers like opinion of the man and issues polled is much lower.

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Ready For The Oil War?

I certainly hope so, because it will likely be coming soon enough. Nigeria, a major source of oil for the US is disintegrating and no-one seems to really notice. A report from an American blogger on the scene sheds some light as to what is going on there and it doesn't look good. As I mentioned before, the US already has plans for military intervention in Nigeria and as things worsen it will become more likely that we'll find ourselves embroiled in a conflict to protect oil interests. it's certain we have no interest in fostering "democracy" in Africa. Or anywhere else, really.

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And This Is Our Idea Of Democracy?

As someone who has lived in Egypt I can state that despite the presence of "elections" they are not a "Democracy" in any way. While the Bush Administration may think that Egypt is "ripe for democratic reform" that would mean there was actually a "democracy" in place. There isn't and someone needs to explain that to the Bush people. As Hosni Mubarak prepares to pass the reigns of power to his son it becomes obvious that there will be no pro-freedom or liberty reform in Egypt anytime soon. Of course we'll do whatever we can keep them elected leadership in power.
"Freedom's on the march, Hosni"...or hadn't you heard?

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(Thanks to Blogger for going offline...again....)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Doing Everything But The Obvious

Despite the obvious consequences of starting a conflict of any scale with Iran the Beltway Boys are continuing to rattle their sabers over Iran's nuclear program and Iran, obviously enough is rattling back. The continued rush to conflict by the Bush Administration and others in the West is truly amazing considering that Iran is years away from building nuclear weaponry, if indeed they are pursuing nuclear weaponry-something yet to be proven.

The powers that be, including Iran's rulers seem eager to rush into any form of conflict without regard for the people who will be affected. Iran, in pushback mode has threatened "harm and pain" to the U.S., (and one assume to others who join with the U.S. in any face off). Can they pull it off? Yep. Does anyone want to see the price of oil go to $5 a gallon? Or more? Iran is in a position to do that, simply by imposing their own "sanctions" and refusing to sell oil to countries allied against them. They also have a geographical advantage where the Persian Gulf if concerned, if they choose to block shipments of oil from leaving the Gulf region. Our Navy has not had to face Exocets in the Gulf....yet. Iran has a number of options available to them should they really get their backs up.

It's time for all the parties concerned to step back, take a breath and find a sane solution before this escalates to a point of no return. It's a sad day when Russia is the leader in diplomacy, as they attempt to diffuse the situation via trade, rather than belligerence. It's a certainty that the people of Iran are not looking for a conflict or a nuclear weapon, even if their leaders are. It's certain that the people of the US aren't looking for another conflict, even if Mr. Bush, Israel and his supporters are.
The facts of the matter are that our guys and gals in uniform have more than enough on the plates they've been given and the last thing they need is one more politics inspired danger to make their lives more difficult.

While the US does need to hurry up on some things, (like getting our fiscal house in order before it's too late), this is NOT a time when we need to hurry anything. The UN is unlikely to do anything substantive and the same is likely true of the EU, but that is no reason for the US to once again act in a unilateral manner and bring further instability to the Middle East and economic ruin to multiple countries. We have the time, so we'd better use it wisely...this should not be yet another political scheme to gain poll numbers. The stakes are too high.

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Raiders Of The Lost Funds

Well, it's beginning to look as if some people in D.C. are starting to notice that the government is broke and that they've maxed out their credit cards. Shoot, they've even started to shift money around to pay for their out of control spending. I'd say that most of us here in the Libertarian blogosphere have been much more attentive to this particular issue than anyone. Certainly we have said more about it than Republicans and their buddies the Democrats. And now they are starting to notice??

What's truly irritating is that no-one out there is taking this seriously, except us. The crack heads in Congress and the Spender-In-Chief must be made to realize that when you max out your credit cards you don't freaking go to the credit card company and ask for a higher limit, so you can spend even more. That is fiscal suicide in any rational world. And raiding pension funds? Excuse me? That lands people in the private sector in court and, if there was any justice in this world, in jail. The Beltway Boys and Girls already did this with Social Security, as we have seen. Now they are robbing their own workers to fund their out of control spending.

Even worse is that the man in charge of the Treasury is the one calling for an increased debt limit and doing all the shuffling of funds.

Who will bail out the government? Oh, wait...that would be us, and our children and grandchildren.
The spending MUST stop. No ifs, no ands and no buts about it. If these people won't stop it and they cannot be stopped at the ballot box, we are going to have very few options left. The gravy train has to be derailed. While the debt clock is ticking the cretins in Congress are doing nothing other than using this issue as a politics talking point to enhance their election chances. Combine this disaster with the fact that next years budget will be even bigger and we are screwed, folks.

The time has come to stop spending and start shutting down the government. When things go bad in the real world you don't keep spending, you turn off the lights, do without, sell off assets and make good on your debts. Or you declare bankruptcy. And, if you're fire all the bastards that got you to this point. So what's it gonna be? More of the same? Ballots and pink slips? Bankruptcy and financial ruin? Or cartridge boxes? You'd best make up your minds fast...the clock is ticking, folks.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Steve Kubby Released ?

There are reports appearing that Steve Kubby has been released from the Placer County jail due to overcrowding. Regardless of the circumstances, I must say that I am indeed happy that Mr. Kubby has been released. Perhaps now he can receive competent medical care and food and not be a victim to politics Placer County.
From Marijuana News via Hammer of Truth.

I just spoke with a very happy Steve Kubby, who was released from Placer County jail this afternoon, where he had been held since January 27th, following his expulsion from Canada on January 26th.

Last Friday, Superior Court Judge John Cosgrove, who presided over Kubby’s initial railroading in 2001, rejected a request for a hearing to modify the 120-day jail sentence originally imposed by Cosgrove. Under California’s Prop 36, passed by the voters in people first time in 2000, people convicted of non-violent drug possession charges are not supposed to be locked up.

Hopefully, Steve Kubby will remain free even after his next day in court. For the moment we can rest easy knowing that he is among friends and will be with his family now. That's the important thing.

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Libertarian Monkey Wrenching At It's Best

While I don't know if these are Libertarian folks, but they certainly are Freedom Outlaws! There is no better way to point up the absurdity of arbitrary traffic laws than doing what these guys and gals did. If traffic laws aren't about raising revenue then someone needs to explain it to everyone on the roads. Perhaps Libertarians could take a page from this particular playbook.

The link for this came from Claire Wolfe's TCF Forum.

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Disarming The Opposition

"If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves."
Sounds like a something we'd hear, and have heard from the Bush administration and their allies in recent years. And I am quite sure there are large numbers of people out there who agree with that sentiment 100% as they support a looming American Global Hegemony. Unfortunately, while they might think that quote came from the mouth of Bush or one of his minions it actually came from the mouth of Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, known to the world at large as Joseph Stalin, the man who initiated the Soviet Hegemony. Sovereignty meant nothing to him and it seemingly means very little to the current Washington, D.C. administration, as we are seeing with the current situation with Iran.

While a nuclear armed Iran is not a pleasant thought, setting the precident for pre-emptive disarmament in this case is not logical or conducive to good relations in the region. Having already burned up any post-9/11 good will we may have had in the world, the tough talk from America's diplomats and "leaders" is rapidly putting us in the role of global "bad guy", not the shining beacon of Liberty we were meant to be. Diplomacy, which should be given a serious chance, is becoming a lost art in our nations capitol.

The current rhetoric out of D.C and other western capitols is heading us straight for a showdown that the current leader of Iran may well relish. He, like his American counterpart believes strongly in an Apocalyptic vision for his religion. Combine this with the ability and apparent willingness, to cut off part of the worlds oil supply and we face an global economic crisis of staggering proportions. The next Middle East conflict escalation may well be a war for oil, if the West refuses to mind their own business or make Iran a better offer than Russia.

We have even gone so far as to reward "good" nuclear bomb club member Indian and not reward our "ally" Pakistan, both of whom possess a willingness to use nukes if it comes down to it, as we saw a couple of years ago. All the big boy rhetoric being used in D.C. is failing to accomplish anything other than get the Iranian backs up, including those who are sympathetic to the US and against their current head of state. It seems almost inevitable that our government will, if and when diplomacy fails, use our military to strike at Iran. I hope they aren't surprised when the Iranian military pours across the Iraqi border in retalition and strikes at our boys and girls on the ground there. Cause and effect are universal basics and I doubt that our troops are going to have an easy time killing wave after wave of child attackers. The facts are that we have years to come up with sane solutions for this matter and we do not have to rush to finish it before the 2008 Presidential Elections. Wrecking the world in one fashion or another, for politics and polling points is the absolute definition of insanity. It's time they took a more libertarian stance on this issue.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Another Blog Tag Victim...Alas....

I've been tagged -twice-by the same person! The perils of having more than one blog, I guess! On the upside, though that’s proof positive that someone's reading them!

Four Jobs I've Had
1. Dish Washer
2. Chef
3. Overseas Government Contractor
4. Computer and Technology Sales and Support

Four Movies I can watch over and over
1. The Princess Bride
2. Serenity
3. Buckaroo Banzai
4. To Kill A Mockingbird

Four Places I've lived
1. Cairo, (That's Egypt, not the Peoples Repbublik of Illinois)
2. Beijing
3. Tel-Aviv
4. Pretoria, South Africa and a dozen more.

Four TV shows I love
1. Battlestar Galactica (the new series)
2: Firefly
3. Red Dwarf
4. Kitchen Confidential (cancelled) and Anthony Bourdain-No Reservations

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven't seen (much of)
1. 24
2. House
3. The Shield
4. CSI

Four places I've vacationed
1. Gulfport, MS
2. Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
3. Mahogany Flats, Death Valley, CA
4. New Orleans

Four of my favorite dishes
1. Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast
2. Barbecue
3. Sushi
4. New England Clam Chowder (made with Quahogs)

Four sites I visit daily
1. Liberty Filter
2. Kn@ppster
3. Sunni and The Conspirators
4. Kole Hard Facts

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. Cairo
2. Hong Kong
3. Lake Cumberland, KY
4. The Smokey Mountains

Four new bloggers I'm tagging:
1. Mike Kole at Kole Hard Facts
2. Captain Corruption
3. The Barq'sMan
4. Honestly, I can't think of anyone who hasn't already been tagged.....

Why answer this thing? Seems like fun and it affords me the opportunity to give an insight into who I am, without a long and probably boring biography...except for the getting shot at parts...