Friday, August 04, 2006

Yet Another "Meme"

Our comrade in arms Brad Spangler tagged me with yet another in a long line of "meme" quizzes.
Altho, it isn't a real meme they're moderately interesting and make you think about certain things. They also serve as an insight into some of the folks you've "met" in the vasty ocean of the 'net and a way to let some folks know a bit more about yourself.

First, tho let's take a moment to discuss "memes" (or would the plural of meme also be meme? Hmmm...). A meme is a viral idea, which the small quizzes really are not, (unless the idea of quizzing people is the goal and meme). Some of the most popular meme are Christianity, Islam, "Got Milk?", "The Real Thing", Communist Revolution, "Have A Good One" and government reform. Some meme are good and some, like government reform are innately evil. A true meme is infectious, like a Barry Manilow tune, (Barry is a well know creator of commercial meme and may well be a grandmaster of the form) and spreads by virtue of its catchy message. It instills hope, in many cases, like arches. Arches were a meme whose time came and instilled the hope of a stronger building, a bridge, a doorway or a fast food restaurant. That's a true meme, not a quiz.

I have tried to get some folks on board with a "Liberty Meme", with little success. We desperately need a viral idea to spread liberty in these trying times. Something that convinces people of all stripes that now is the time for true freedom and liberty, not the faux freedom or liberty that drip so venomously from the lips of politicians and other who would use those words to propagate violence, empire and a ruling elite. So, along with Book Tag I'd like to put forth another meme...a Liberty meme. Winner gets to go down in history as the person most directly responsible for freeing humanity from the clutches of government and slave masters everywhere. As with any meme it must be catchy, easily remembered and inspirational. It mustn't be derivative, since that dilutes the idea in the long and short term. Orginality counts here, class.

Now, onto the book "meme":

(I was going to get Sunni with this one but Warren beat me to the punch!)
There you have it, folks my reading list, for the most part. Single book answers are non-binding for the obvious reasons. Now, move on and give us a Liberty Meme!

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Necessity Of Action: An Anniversary

August 1st was the 60th anniversary of an important and mostly forgotten event. The Battle of Athens. That's Tennessee, not Greece, folks. I've been very interested in the Battle of Athens for years now, primarily as an example of what a group of dedicated individuals can do when the chips are down and their freedom is at stake. The Battle of Athens has often been my prime rebuttal when discussing the rights of self defence with anti-gun people and they say something along the lines of "What could you possibly do against the government?" Well, those men in Athens had the answer.

They raided the National Guard Armories. Equipped themselves with small arms and common explosives and took on their government and they won. The corrupt political machine and its law "enforcers" were deposed and removed forever from the political scene. I would guess that Athens was a fairly nice place to live for a few years after that, it helps to make an example of corruption every now and again.

Those men had no lack of fortitude when the time came to do the necessary thing. It's a sad commentary, tho that the vast majority of Americans lack not only the fortitude, but also lack the willpower and courage to involve themselves in restoring their liberties. While violent revolt is sometimes the necessary thing, most people won't even bother themselves with even the smallest activism in the form of casting a vote or supporting someone who truly wishes to return your liberty to you. The big game, the race, the favourite show...all are much more important than liberties, it seems.

The masses are in good company, tho. Even the city government of Athens, Tennessee makes no mention of the Battle of Athens. No statues. Probably not even a plaque. My guess is that the powers that be don't wish to remind people that once upon a time people of character stood up and were counted when it counted, took up arms and overthrew their corrupt government. The men of Athens knew the necessity of action and acted accordingly. We would do well to hold the memory of these brave men and their actions close to heart because sometimes the non-violent methods fail and you have to do the necessary thing.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Tip of the hat to Kevin for reminding us all!

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Please Don't Taunt Or Enable The Insane

CNN, long a bastion for the reality impaired has decided that they should be advising the public that the Apocalypse is just around the corner. Apparently CNN is trying to regain that all important Values Voters block of television viewers that Fox News managed to take from them and they are making a point of doing an in depth report on what could be the news story of the eon. The recent actions in Israel and Lebanon have apparently driven the bugs out of the woodwork and CNN has decided that Apocalyptic lunacy is newsworthy. Who knows? Maybe they're right

Well, here's a news flash for CNN. Please stop this. It's not nice to fan the flames of insanity or to give Jerry Falwell anymore airtime than he already gets. These folks already have a "man in Washington" and that particular man has the power to help fulfill these loony prophecies. As they point out in the story, they think it's possible that George W. Bush signed the REAL ID Act in order to help their prophecies come to fruition.
And those who believe in End Time prophecy also say for more proof that we're in the last days, consider the Real ID Act. It's a post-9-11 law that calls for all Americans to have a federally issued identification card by May of 2008.

But what you may not know is that by signing the legislation, some Armageddon believers say President Bush fulfilled a biblical prophecy, taking the world a step closer to the End Times. They believe that assigning every American an identification number is a fulfillment of Revelation 13, that reads, "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save that he had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

I find it somewhat horrifying that a sitting President may have signed into law a National ID that strips people of their rights to travel, privacy and possible even to vote because of some lunatic prophecies of a far right religion. It's bad enough that this particular president is an adherent of heretical views and a firm believer in Apocalyptic "revelation". His Apocalyptic brethren thinking that it's somehow OK to infringe on peoples rights in order to fulfill their death cult prophecies should be of concern to everyone out there. This man still has 2 years remaining in office and there's a lot of damage that a religious zealot could wreak in that time. Destroying our liberties in the name of government is bad enough, doing it in the name of your god is just evil.

It's a terrible thing to infringe on our freedoms out of petty politics. It's an even worse thing when it's done in the name of someone's religion. It becomes truly terrifying when the followers of this cult start talking about nuclear weapons being used to kill 2 billion people and show no small amount of glee at the aspect of this. Anyone care to explain to me how these folks are any different than the mullahs of Iran? Oh, wait...those guys are Apocalyptic brethren, too. Their leader, like ours thinks little of death and destruction in the grander scheme of prophecy fulfillment and when we add in their latest nuclear standoff and the reaction of the West....well, it isn't pretty. Soon enough lunatics will collide and their followers will all give forth with a mighty shout that all of the sane will hear. The only difference to us will be whether it rings as "Praise Jesus!" or "Allah Akhbar!"...that'll be the only way to tell which loon is ours.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

REAL ID Nightmares: A Glimpse At Our Futures

Not only are there no Federal guidelines in place to define the National ID Cards that will be issued under the REAL ID Act we can see that the early adopters, (who are saddling taxpayers with the bills) are showing us what is truly in store. I recently wrote about the myriad troubles that are plaguing Alabama in their misguided attempt to be an early adopter of the REAL ID fiasco, (at a guess so they'll be first in line for tax dollar welfare day) and you'd think that those issues couldn't get worse. We'd be wrong, very wrong. It seems as if things have gone downhill, as they now have experienced at least one system failure and there is no reason to suspect that it will not happen again.

Lines that tend to be long on the best days meandered double-file through hallways at the Morgan County Courthouse after a computer server in Montgomery shut down at about 12:45 p.m. The faulty server, which came back online at 3, is owned and maintained by Oregon-based Digimarc Co., a state contractor, according to DPS.

Until about 2 p.m., Eddie Gaston, manager of Digimarc's Alabama operations, denied his company had a role in the shutdown.

"I know of no problem," Gaston said at about 1:15. "If there's a problem, it has nothing to with Digimarc." He said the company was doing nothing to resolve the problem because there was no problem to resolve.

Note who's in charge of the equipment that failed and their utter lack of concern over said failure. Digimarc. That's a company I've written about before, too. Digimarc is knee deep in the REAL ID cesspool along with their komraden over at the AAMVA and both are deeply involved in Alabama's present woes.

Earnhardt said the Digimarc-caused shutdown at 12:45 was the second glitch to plague license renewal applicants Friday. Before that, problems with a network that accesses national background-check databases backed up lines in Alabama and other states. The network, AAMVAnet, is maintained by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Earnhardt said Friday's AAMVAnet problems were no surprise.

Two of the biggest supporters of the REAL ID Act, and some might well say that they were the impetus behind it and the movement for a National ID Card, based upon their past statements and help from people like Howard Dean (no wonder Democrats never mention REAL ID...they've been behind it for ages!). We seemingly have no friends on this issue.

Combine Alabama's current problems with those being experienced by another early adopter, Indiana and you can see exactly what's coming down your road soon. Idiana is another state using Digimarc resources, AAMVAnet along with a new Unisys system called STARS-System Tracking and Record Support. Things are so bad in Indiana that even AAMVA has issued alerts on the matter, imagine that. Despite denials from my states BMV, (I called and talked with one of their head men today) that Digimarc and AAMVAnet are not responsible and that all the issues they are currently experiencing are hardware (doubtful) the coincidences are too great to ignore.

If this is what we are seeing now with the early adopters what will the nightmare be once REAL ID is required by law? What will your "perfect storm" be? It's still not too late for you to do something. This is an election year. Badger your candidates, get them on record, one way or another on the issue and either make them an ally or point out the fact that they are the enemy.

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Crossposted to Real ID Rebellion.