Thursday, December 20, 2007

Seizing Sovereignty

I had planned to write something up on the coming enslavement of multiple generations of Americans by our government. Fortunately, something much better presented itself to me this morning. Good news for Freedom and bad news for the government. A spark has been lit by the Lakota Nation, that could well result in a firestorm or a new dawn, if things play out in a peaceful manner.

WASHINGTON — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,'' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.

A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the U.S., some of them more than 150 years old.

The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free - provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mr Means said.

The implications are monumental. Think of the corporatist drones who are scurrying about even now, worried that the lucrative contracts given to them by the feral federal government will now have to be renegotiated with the rightful owners. Oil and mining interests will be the least of it. Water rights will need to be addressed , as will land leases given out by the feds.

The political complexities are labyrinthine, to say the least. Best of all is the implication that many will be welcomed by the new Lakota Nation, as long as they renounce their U.S. citizenship. Organizations such as Free State Wyoming and New Hampshire should begin contacting the new nation now. Individuals might well wish to contact Lakota Nation Embassies and Consulates when they are finally set up.

It would certainly behoove members of the "freedom movement" to query the Lakota Nation as to what form of nation they will be setting up. Will it be significantly freer than the U.S.? Will non-Indians be welcomed as equals or will they be accorded 2nd class citizenship? I really cannot wait to see how this plays out. Will the feds react with violence, as has often been the case? Or will sanity and sovereignty prevail? Will we see the beginnings of a second Secessionist War? Or the birth of a new country within a country? Will the new country embrace libertarian principles or something more statist? And who will side with the Lakota, should the worst come to pass? There are so many questions to be answered here.

I cannot help but feel a sense of hope and dread where the Lakota are concerned in their endeavor to seek freedom from those who have kept them as virtual POW's for so long. I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I wish them the best of luck as this unfolds and cannot help but wonder what the reactions will be when they begin expelling a foreign power from their lands. Hoka Hey!

UPDATE: The Lakota Freedom Delegation website is back up, after being down. It has an in depth look at the issue, from the Lakota perspective, as well as a copy of their press release, which does a lot better job of explaining things than the mass media.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

New Push On Against Root Beer And Sodas

First they came for the smokers and I screamed my head off, even tho I wasn't a smoker. Then they came for the trans fats and I screamed my head off again, even tho I avoid trans fats. Now they're coming for Root Beer and Sodas and I'll scream my head off again, for all the good it'll do.

It seems that the nannies over at the Centre for "Science" in the Public Interest and some of their fellow traveller busybodies are looking to attack bubbly beverages now. They are even going so far as to propose "modest" taxes on effervescent wonders to be used to fund themselves.

Consumer groups on five continents are promoting a new “Dump Soda” campaign to educate people about the links between soft-drink marketing and rising childhood obesity. “Multinational giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are flooding the world with beverages that are nothing more than ‘liquid candy,’” said Bruce Silverglade, legal director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is coordinating the campaign with the International Association of Consumer Food Organizations. “As a result, consumers, including children, in all corners of the globe are increasingly developing obesity, ‘adult onset’ diabetes, and other health problems.”
Their demands include asking governments to require soft-drink producers to stop advertising sugar-laden beverages to children under 16 and to impose a modest tax on soft drinks to fund nutrition and fitness programs. The campaign also promotes the marketing of lower-sugar products, selling existing products in smaller portions, and stopping sales of sweetened beverages in all public and private schools, from elementary to high school.

It's all for the children again. Sheesh. Of course they failed in their "science" part, again. The vast majority of drinks on the market do not contain sugar. That's obvious from only a cursory glance at a label in most countries, especially the US. Most are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. If they would actually champion sugar as the primary sweetener, rather than nanny banning and taxation, they might actually get my attention in a positive manner. Instead they have, once again, aroused my ire with their latest anti-everything good campaign.

Environmentalists and nannystatists seem to go hand in hand, these days. Wishing to impose their tofu and water lifestyles on everyone else. All for their own god, of course. Well, guess what folks? I am the final arbiter of what goes into my body and that of my children. Not you. Not your "scientists" and certainly not the politicians you will manage to sway with your "oh so caring" rhetoric. You people will be in for a fight on this one. Here's my line in the sand.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Whedon Is Back (Eventually)

Looks like Joss Whedon, of Firefly and Buffy fame is going to be gracing us with another foray into the TV world. His new series, named Dollhouse will likely begin writing and production after the looming writers strike is over. What's it going to be about?

Echo (Eliza Dushku) [is] a young woman who is literally everybody's fantasy. She is one of a group of men and women who can be imprinted with personality packages, including memories, skills, language—even muscle memory—for different assignments. The assignments can be romantic, adventurous, outlandish, uplifting, sexual and/or very illegal. When not imprinted with a personality package, Echo and the others are basically mind-wiped, living like children in a futuristic dorm/lab dubbed the Dollhouse, with no memory of their assignments—or of much else. The show revolves around the childlike Echo's burgeoning self-awareness, and her desire to know who she was before, a desire that begins to seep into her various imprinted personalities and puts her in danger both in the field and in the closely monitored confines of the Dollhouse.
It sounds as if Whedon may well craft another winner here! It is set for a 7 episode run, rather than a single show pilot. It may not be a return to Firefly, but it certainly sounds like an intriguing plotline and concept. Can't wait to see what happens with it. Given Joss' previous pro-freedom messages this one looks like it could be an eye catcher.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Perfect Storm

What happens when a city of 3 million people runs out of the worlds most precious commodity? We are poised to find out in the next few months as Atlanta, Georgia stands on the edge of an ever shrinking water supply. Within 3 months their main source of water, Lake Lanier may well be tapped out and the drought they are currently experiencing will become a full blown catastrophe, as the taps run dry.

Government, in the form of the Corps of Engineers isn't making things any better, either. They have released billions of gallons of water by "accident", (read "incompetence") that would have supplied Atlanta for almost a month and a half. The have also been releasing water to help "endangered" mussels downstream. While releasing enough water to insure power plant operations seems logical I cannot help but wonder what's going to happen to that plant once the water is gone.

What we have here is a perfect storm situation. Running out of water with no hopes of reservoir renewal in the near future. The normal dry season coming on during the drought. And 3 million people, businesses and industry waiting to see what happens.

What will these people do, if the water runs out? You can't truck in the kind of water that would be necessary even for basic survival to a city that large. Could we see a new diaspora, featuring the water starved denizens of Atlanta? Where would they go? What impact would the rest of the country be looking at should this occur? It's certain that, should it occur it will not be pretty and the current regime in DC, as well as the state of Georgia will be incapable of handling such a monumental disaster.

I, for one will be keeping an eye on this one. If things play out to the worst case it will be interesting to see what occurs, to say the least. Will the government continue to make the situation worse? Or will they come to their senses and place the lives of humans above that of some bivalve? Will the bureaucracy manage to destroy a city and its people? Or will these poor folks manage to pull out of their slide? Inquiring minds DO want to know.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Richard Paey Freed!

Richard Paey, an unjustly imprisoned pain patient, who is one of a long line of victims in the War On Drugs, has finally been granted a full pardon by Florida's Governor.
Richard Paey, a victim in the war on drugs, was granted a full, immediate and unexpected pardon by Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet Thursday morning, allowing him to get out of prison and be reunited with his family later in the day.

Paey, 49, has spent the last 3 ½ years in prison after he was convicted on drug trafficking charges in a 1997 arrest for filling out fake prescriptions and possessing about 700 Percocet narcotic painkillers. He was to be imprisoned for 25 years.

Sometimes justice does occur, it's just extremely infrequent these days. I wish Mr. Paey the best as he embarks on a life free on incarceration. Hopefully, the powers that be will decide to leave him alone as he attempts to pursue the rest of his life. There are still many more remaining to be freed.

Via The Agitator.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

The Not So Hidden Cost Of War

From the Daily Mail comes the story of a new book, "Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After The First World War" by Virginia Nicholson. The book tells the story of what happened to 2 million British women following the deaths of so many of Britain's male population in the "War to End All Wars".

One hazy morning in 1917 the senior mistress of Bournemouth High School For Girls stood up in front of the assembled sixth form and announced to her hushed audience: "I have come to tell you a terrible fact.

"Only one out of ten of you girls can ever hope to marry. This is not a guess of mine. It is a statistical fact.

"Nearly all the men who might have married you have been killed. You will have to make your way in the world as best you can.

"The war has made more openings for women than there were before. But there will still be a lot of prejudice. You will have to fight. You will have to struggle."

Loneliness and despair stalked a large segment of the female members of the Lost Generation. That is the sad legacy of war. Any war. Unintended consequences are rife when politicians take the decision to wage war. Sometimes the price is too high.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

The NRA Conundrum

The NRA has been on my mind a good deal lately and for good reason. It seems that everywhere I look I see someone being inconvenienced or thrown to the wolves by the NRA, when they should be being courted by the NRA. Recent commentary by a well known poster over at The Boondocks, brought the NRA to mind, once again. Mama Liberty, a staunch advocate of open carry and the arming of women, was lamenting the necessity of having to acquire an NRA membership and training in order to teach women the basics of firearm safety and shooting.
I agree that the training is extremely important and that much of it just wouldn't happen without the NRA, but I'm not happy about being a part of an organization that is so clearly working against our basic right to self defense in the long run.
I know just how she feels. I've avoided the NRA for decades because of an early realisation that they would, and had, happily leapt right into bed with the government. I never had the feeling that they would protect their members in an way from a gun grabbing government. That's a feeling that has never gone away for me. Their reputation has never increased in my eyes and, in fact it has sunk farther and farther as the years have gone by.

The NRA has taken the wrong side on a number of issues, they've cooperated with the government to impose new regulations and oppose repeal of anti-2nd Amendment laws and regulations. They have been more than willing to compromise away our rights and have done so, time and again. I have a problem with that.

Lately we've even seen that one of their board members, Joaquin Jackson, has espoused gun control measures that would affect the many people who own scary looking AK's or AR's. Of course he lied, he waffled, after there was a hue and cry over his back stabbing remarks. It's just a never ending story with these guys.

And that brings me to my conundrum. I have a couple of shooting ranges in my area. One is quite literally around the corner from my home. Both have one requirement that I either cannot fulfill. They require their members to guessed it....NRA memberships, to join. So, as it stands, I have to travel about 25-30 minutes to the west side of Indianapolis and pay a $10 range fee every time I wish to go shooting. I'd love to be able to drive 2 minutes and shoot a stones throw from my home and do so more often, but I choose to do otherwise. I sure wish these clubs would accept memberships in Gun Owners of America or the JPFO, instead. It sure would make things easier to be a member of an organisation that refuses to compromise our rights away.

The continuing fascination with the NRA is beyond me. It's like those people who keep voting for Republicans hoping for smaller government and never getting it. It's delusional. So, what's a guy to do? *sigh*

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We're Number One!

Outstanding! The US is number one, (in the whole wide world), for firearms ownership, according to a report from the "United Nations".
The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.

U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.
Americans must do better than this, tho. Having a handgun is OK, but that's just what you use until you can get to your rifle or shotgun. We currently buy more than half of the small arms produced in the world, and we should be buying lots more, too. Especially the ones which look so mean and nasty that they keep the Chuckie Schumers and Hillary Clinton's of the world awake at night! We can do a lot better than 90 guns per 100 people. It should be a lot higher than that! At least 2-300 per 100!

This is seriously good news and politicians should take notice of these statistics every time it crosses their little Marxist minds to pass another of their gun control measures. For all our firearms we have a much lower crime rate than, oh, say...Great Britain? Facts speak much louder than anti-gun rhetoric.

So, the next time a gun show rolls through town, or a National "Buy A Gun Day" (April 15th) comes due get yourself out and buy a new one. This country needs to be number one at something and firearms ownership is a good thing to be number one at!

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Goodbye, Aaron.

Aaron Russo, a tireless warrior in the battle for freedom and liberty has died. Many of us knew Mr. Russo through his works and his activism. I was never privileged to have met him in person and I am sorry that I didn't. While I didn't agree with some of his views, I certainly agreed with his overall premise. Government is too big, too corrupt and commanding and we are paying the price for that in our liberty.

In a movement that has all too few people who garner national and international attention for the cause, Aaron stood out as few others do. Speaking with great passion and insight to the cause of liberty he stood as a figure of strength, even as his body was ravaged by illness. Mr. Russo has left us, but his legacy remains in his works, such as From Freedom To Fascism and Mad As Hell.

We'll miss you, Aaron and we are lessened by your loss.

Other sites mentioning Mr. Russo's passing.
Homeland Stupidity
Bill St. Claire

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Monday, August 20, 2007

They Steal Babies, Don't They?

As if placing people under constant surveillance via CCTV wasn't enough of an outrage we have this latest story out of England. It seems that the British have taken to stealing babies from their parents before they're even born, so they can place them in state sponsored foster care and then have them adopted by others, (a common practice it seems) . And, to make matters even more interesting they're targeting people who haven't even done anything.

She recorded a social worker telling her and her husband Martin, 41, that even though there was "no immediate risk to your child from yourselves", the council would seek a court order to place the child in foster care.

Mother and baby would be allowed "two or three days" in hospital together, but should not leave the premises until social workers came to remove the infant. In a desperate attempt to keep their baby, the couple have published the recorded conversation on the internet.

The bureaucrats in their social services admit there is nothing wrong and yet, they still wish to steal this couples child from them. The bureaucrats,tho aren't overly concerned with their own outrageous behaviour. Nope. They are much more concerned with the fact that Mrs. Brookes secretly tapes their conversation and posted it on YouTube.

What can you expect, tho? This is what happens when you allow yourselves to be disarmed and are subjects and not free men. This is what happens when bureaucracies are allowed to do as they wish without fear of dire consequences and retribution. Some reading this will salve their consciouses with the oft repeated mantra that it won't or cannot happen here, but fail to realise that we are only one step away from just this sort of event at any given moment. Social workers in American often seize children for all the wrong reasons and have done so for decades.

The British are now reaping the fruits of their decades long labour. They have built up and allowed the current system to become their master and now it even endangers their unborn children, turning them into a commodity to be taken from the breeding stock and placed with "suitable" families. The petty bureaucrats are even paid bonuses for meeting certain quotas of adoptions.

I, for one have no hope that the people of Britain will do the necessary and right thing. They, like their American cousins are enamoured of the state and will allow it to continue its cancerous growth. Even if it costs them their children. What a sad and frightening state of affairs. A state of affairs which will likely come to our shores all too soon. Hopefully the minions of the state will be met with the appropriate response when that time comes.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Buy American

I know, it's used as a trite nationalistic phrase 999 times out of 1000, but it looks like it may be your best bet if you'd like to avoid contaminated, and possibly even poisonous food and goods. Not only is the government unable (or more likely incapable) of inspecting shipments, they are a major consumer of them in their prisons and jails. The fish you eat in your home or when you go out may well be contaminated with drugs, chemicals or even heavy metals. The same goes for shrimp, a majority of which are now farm raised Chinese imports in this country. Even vitamins and herbal supplements are at risk of contamination from Chinese products and components.

Many state governments are taking the initiative and imposing import bans on their own, after testing fish and finding unacceptable levels of contamination. While it may seem to be a case of protectionism, I can't say I find fault with states who take the decision to do the job that the inept federal government either cannot or will not do.

As a recent story shows us, China isn't exactly a nation overly concerned with environmental cleanliness and wholesomeness of their food exports. The bad part is that we may not even know what foods we buy contain Chinese produce, either in whole or in part, (as we found in the last year when pets started dying from a Chinese food component).

While the American food supply may have the occasional case of contamination from E. Coli, Listeria or even botulism, we do have a much better record and industry standards than the Chinese do. Our food industry moves as fast as they can to remove tainted products (yes, they don't want to be sued into oblivion or fined out of business).

Those who produce our foods are held to higher standards by associations, industry and themselves. Yes, our farmers may be overly subsidised, but they are still proud of what they produce. Our catfish industry is among the worlds most sustainable and healthiest and, overall our seafood is better and safer than that of any other country.

If we really wish to avoid a health crisis, brought on by tainted and unwholesome imported foods, then we are going to have to embrace a bit of nationalism. We're going to have to avoid Chinese food imports like the plague, especially where our children are concerned. Don't be afraid to ask where food, and its components come from, at restaurants and in stores. Read labels before you buy. Do your research on the web if you don't know where a food comes from or it is not listed and, when in not buy.

As with any matter of self defence, you are your first line of defence. Eat safe.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Coming Soon To A Bus Stop Near You

From the people who brought you pat downs and feel ups at the airport comes a new travesty. The TSA has decided that bus stops in the Mid-West and across the nation should be graced with their groping and rights violating presence. Indianapolis looks like a good place to start, too.
(Indianapolis) -- Transportation Security Agents are stepping-up their visibility in Indianapolis. They have begun security screening for bus riders. TSA officers were stationed at the IndyGo bus stop at Capitol and Market Thursday morning checking passengers as they boarded the buses. Officials say the added security was not a reaction to any threats. The airport-style security checks actually started Wednesday at Ohio and Meridian. It appears no one was denied access to the buses although several knives were found discarded at the bus stop.
The sad thing is that altogether too many people submitted to this and some even went so far as to throw away pocket knives before they were searched. I cannot help but wonder what the TSA reaction would have been had I been a passenger on that bus and they'd found my trusty .45 ACP strapped on? What kind of alarm bells would have been set off for someone like me who was exercising their lawful right to carry a concealed weapon?

Thank goodness I'm never going to find out. I drive my own vehicle wherever I wish and do not contribute to the mass transit delusion. I can only imagine that these checkpoints will spread over time and everyone will become complacent about the ever encroaching security state being foisted upon us by governmental entities such as TSA and Homeland Security. CCTV cameras on every corner and random ID checkpoints will become the norm and very few voices will be raised against it. The police state is growing and the people behind this know that if they can get Americans in the heartland to go along with it, then it will be a done deal.

Given the number of issues currently besetting the people in Indiana, (like out of control property taxes, new taxes, rampant crime, etc) it is no wonder that the TSA chose now to start their little program. Like most governmental cancers we can expect to see this one spread.

So, get ready folks. Here it comes and very, very few will raise a stink about. Certainly not Republicans or Democrats, this is their idea of a wet dream. Perhaps the Indiana Libertarians will speak out, if anyone cares to listen. My guess is that this will grow into a full fledged, permanent event that will spread throughout the state. Checkpoints will likely be next, and considering that Indiana just did away with seat belt checkpoints the cops are champing at the bit for something new to do. This seems tailor made for people who like to stop other people going about their business. I am reminded more and more of my years in South Africa during the Apartheid era. I never thought I'd see the day come when I could make that sad comparison while living in the States.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Protect And What?

Repeat after me. "They are not your friends". Repeat it as often as necessary until it sinks in. This poor lady found out the hard way that rendering assistance to members of the Thin Blue Line gang gets you nothing but trouble, when she complied with their requests for assistance at the scene of an accident.

Add this incident to the long and growing list of "Cops Gone Wild" and you have a very clear picture of what's going on. When you could easily put up an "Incident of the day" list, then the cries that these are isolated events no longer tends to hold water. Sure, there are "good cops" out there. Unfortunately, that number is affected by the same bug that drives the ones who commit these travesties of false arrest, assault and murder. They are aided and abetted in this by a prosecutorial, judicial and oversight system that enables and protects them from justice. When facing charges, (like child molestation) that would result in years of imprisonment for the average person they get off with token punishment.

It has become increasingly plain that there is no recourse to the law where these people are concerned. The cover ups and false internal investigations allow this type of behaviour to continue. Our only recourse is to with hold consent and assistance. Unlike the lady in the above story, do not assist these people in any way shape or form. Let them get themselves out of any situations which they create. Render nothing unto these Praetorian wannabes.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

No Nukes For You

Seems the US Government has reached a breakthrough point in providing nuclear technology and fuels for India. Too bad they won't get out of the way of American companies who wish to build the desperately needed nuclear plants in this country. Government interference, from numerous agencies and judiciaries have been constant road blocks to nuclear energy in this country. Yet one more reason why there's no such thing as "good government". The time is long past when the government and courts should be getting out of the way of progress.

More people have died in cars with Ted Kennedy than have died in U.S. nuclear power plants.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Write A Blog, Lose Your Possessions

Via our comrade in arms Brad Spangler comes notice of a new Executive ruling from the office of the Emperor. This one is so vaguely worded that even anti-war blogging could result in seizure of your assets. Isn't it amazing that our country has come to this in so short a time?

...any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;


Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets
instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.


The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.


Undermining efforts...that's the kicker, isn't it? Anti-Iraq war blogging could easily be construed to be an effort to undermine this Administrations efforts. Speaking out in any fashion against the inept puppet government in Baghdad could get you a visit by any one of a variety of government agencies. And, the best part, there's no judicial oversight, no warrants, no trials. You just lose your assets via government seizure. Of course they'd never use this against Americans. Would they? Oh, wait....

For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, ....
My disgust with the current regime continues to grow.
You may now go back to your regularly scheduled programme.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

No Fear

Many people in Indiana are upset today, just as they were upset yesterday and in the days preceding. You see, taxes of all sorts have gone up in this state. Property taxes are the main culprit, tho. Some homeowners and businesses have seen as much as a 150% increase in their taxes. The odds are pretty good that there will be a number of seizures, due to failure to pay and other people shall have to sell their homes, just so they can live elsewhere without the state bankrupting them. This is especially true for the elderly on fixed incomes.

There are numerous people calling upon politicians to "do something". Unfortunately, the politicians already "did" something. They spent lots of money and raised taxes. Then they recessed, went out for a few drinks and had a good laugh. It was just business as usual and, regardless of the letters to the editors, the calls, the outrage and protests it will remain business as usual tomorrow. The bureaucrats and politicians do not care what we think. All they care about is funding their cancerous growth.

All the protests in the world will do no good. Why? Because the politicians and their lackeys have no fear. They don't fear the people of Indiana and they don't fear being turned out of office. They know that they'll be replaced by someone who holds government in high esteem and who will continue to see to its growth and "well being". The legislators do not fear losing their part time jobs and the petty bureaucrats who actually run the day to day operations are immune from job loss, (unless they anger their masters). Like most cancers, they are firmly entrenched and unlikely to be treated as cancers should be treated. By excision.

They. Just. Don't. Care. There is no incentive for them to change their ways and cease bankrupting the people of this state. And I do not blame them. My ancestors fought a war against the greatest military power in the world and beat it. All for a paltry 2-3% tax increase. Yet, we routinely accept 30-50% taxation as a matter of course and are meekly subservient to those who impose it upon us. No-one in this state, or the country is willing to instill the necessary fear into the hearts of the politicians and their bureaucrats, so that they will leave us alone. Taxes continue to rise, and shall do so for years to come, while government continues to grow.

I truly feel for the people who are going to lose their homes and businesses. My property taxes went up, too. It is likely that they will go up again next year. Why? Because they have no fear of repercussions for their continued spending and taxing. They, unlike taxpayers are fearless. They sit in their offices and laugh at the very people whom they "serve", protected by their armed guards and the certain knowledge that they are firmly in control and shall remain so for the foreseeable future. They, unlike the homeowners facing these property tax bills have no fear. Some tables need to be turned. Others need to be kicked over.
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." - Claire Wolfe
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Somewhere in the mists of bureaucratic time, someone took the decision that new laws which politicians wished to impose upon the public would take effect in the early days of July. These newly imposed laws, which the vast majority of people did not ask, nor wish for take effect a few days before many liberty minded individuals celebrate Independence Day in the US. In this same time period most governmental entities begin their new fiscal year, as well. They begin spending their ill gotten gains and enforcing all the newly passed laws, many of which will add further funds to their coffers. Ironic isn't it?

At a time when we should be celebrating the signing of one of the worlds most radical documents and the statement it once made to this country's former ruler we are busy wondering about all the new laws, rules and regulations which have been imposed upon us by our new rulers. What must we do now? How shall this affect us and our daily lives? Is it a just law? Shall I obey it or need I show courage in the face of tyranny and engage in disobedience to the state?

Many of the laws passed across this nation are ludicrous examples of nanny-state interference in our lives. More have been passed to interfere with our freedom of choice and interrupt the free market. And, a few have been passed to enrich lobbyists, lawyers and corrupt politicians. No state, commonwealth or republic in this country is exempt, including my own.

On this Independence Day people in Indiana will need to remember a few things. Instead of reflecting on the merits of Mr. Jefferson's fine document and the spirit embodied therein, they shall need to remember that the state has mandated that everyone, in all vehicles shall be buckled up. Failure to do so shall invoke the wrath of the law enforcers. Small business owners will have to remember that all of their unskilled labourers are now entitled to a pay raise to make their salaries meet the federal minimum wage laws. Smokers will now have to pay more per pack for their habit in order to fund the Indiana socialised medicine scheme. The Holocaust must be taught in all government school American History classes, (instead of world history, where it belongs). Oh, and lest we forget, all murderers and manslaughterer's must now register as sex criminals. Add in the plethora of other laws concerning other subjects, such as education, and we are inundated with a mind numbing variety of laws that virtually guarantee that we shall all be considered criminals. Ignorance of the law should be an excuse, given the sheer number of them that career politicians choose to impose upon us.

Despite all of this, I shall endeavour to maintain my spirits. I'll shoot off fireworks, regulations be damned. I'll fire up my grill and add a large amount of carbon to the planet's atmosphere. My family will eat fat laden foods and reflect upon the true meaning of the Independence Day and our ancestors who signed that vaunted document at the risk of "life, fortunes and sacred honour". Something no politicians have in any quantity today.

Happy Independence Day, my friends.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hey, It's Good To Be Back Home, Again.

Well, the family and I made it back from our yearly sojourn to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, once again. The weather there was beautiful and I got to see my eldest catch his first 5 fish. He was fit to bust over that event, (and the fact that he managed to catch 1 more fish than I did). The weather back in Indiana...well...not so good, apparently. My garden is a wreck due to the heat and a lack of water. My tomatoes are still wilted, but I have hopes that they will recover and my lettuce and radishes are about to bolt. Ah, well.....what's a gardener to do?

On this trip I did manage to see a part of the Police State Virginia that was away from the Interstate by traveling a smaller state highway route. I must say that it was filled with many more police than one usually sees while on the Interstate. All of whom were trolling for speeders to fill their small town coffers. What a sad way to raise money. Of course I did have an edge over many other motorists. I completely ignored forgot about their silly "No radar detectors allowed" regulations and received sufficient warnings as to their presence.

I did get to see one poor individual, on our way back who was obviously guilty of bicycling while black in one small town in Virginia. Three cop cars and numerous cops all to handle one spreadeagled and cuffed guy. Who knows? He may even have been guilty of a "crime". One thing that did strike me this time was the number of prisons and jails that I saw along our route. At least half a dozens prisons and at least as many county jails and juvenile jails. I'd much rather have seen historical markers and roadside diners and I cannot help but wonder what foreign visitors to our shores must think when they see the preponderance of imprisoning facilities in our country, all with big signs proudly advertising what and where they are.It's rather a sad state of affairs that we likely have more prisons than museums in this country.

So now it's back to fixing what went wrong with my garden during my absence and preparing for the next phase of planting and harvesting. I'll long for peaceful rainy days and pull out the hoses when the clouds fail to form. I'll put away my saltwater fishing gear and break out the freshwater stuff and see what the kiddo can catch at home. Summer's here and we'll enjoy the freedom while we can.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Federal Tentacles

Well, today is the day that new "security" rules are being imposed at the Indiana State Capitol. They have added metal detectors, x-ray machines and now forbid those of us who legally carry weapons from entering our government complex. Legislators and judges are exempt from this rule, tho. Apparently those who steal massive amounts of money via taxation, legislation and imposed punitive fines are more trustworthy than the people who have paid for their license, gone through the background check and carry their weapons on a daily basis.

Why is this? The simplest explanation is the most likely. They do not trust us and never have and this is just the latest example of their disdain for the people of this state. The banning of legally carried arms at the Statehouse should have been a non-issue for anyone, given that there has NEVER been an incident that would lead anyone to believe that there was a need for such a ban. So where did this new rule come from? Not from the legislature, as we have constantly heard since they first announced it. Not from the Governors office, where armed civilians have met with the "leader" of this state, in the past. No, it came from the bureaucracy, in the form of the Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council. Who's ever geard of these nitwits and why are they infringing on our rights?

One truism in finding out the root cause of most things is to "follow the money". He who has the money makes the rules and in this case the money for this taking of rights comes from your unfriendly neighbourhood Department of Homeland Security. Yep. The federal government has decided that the Indiana Statehouse should be gifted with money to be earmarked for "safety".

Since 1888 Indiana's capitol has been an open house for the people of the state. That will no longer be the case, now that the safety patrol has arrived. Despite the fact that there has never been any kind of serious security incident, it is now expedient for the powers that be to seal off once opened doors and to disarm the good people of this state who would visit the people whom they elected to run things. How sad that some nameless and faceless committee is allowed to do this.

Even sadder is that the likely motivator behind this is the Federal government and their Department of Homeland Security. They gave the money for this project, which likely would not have been undertaken otherwise and set the parameters under which the money could be used. Like most government drones that are given money someone in the bureaucracy suddenly felt motivated to "do something". That something was to disarm the peaceful, law abiding people who would visit their Statehouse. Disgusting.

They, the people running things at the Statehouse, don't trust us. They never have and likely never shall. Just remember, folks. Distrust is a two way street and we now know how you and your DHS masters feel about us. Don't blame us when we act accordingly.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Placing Faith

I didn't watch the Presidential candidates debates, nor do I plan to watch them in the future. I have seen snippets of them, tho. It's virtually impossible to avoid them these days when you visit a libertarian site or blog. Someone is sure to have a link, an embedded video or the like, touting the victories of the the "libertarian" Republican candidate Ron Paul and his opponents.

It's practically a love fest on the part of many folks. Sure, he's less distasteful than Adolf Rudy Giuliani, Tom Tancredo or Floppy McRomney and he says things that many libertarians agree with. In the end, tho I cannot help but think that he wants to rule from the White House throne just as much as the others. Perhaps he would be a more benevolent ruler, (if he had more than a snowflakes chance in Hell of being elected), than the other candidates from the right or left sides of the aisle, but he wishes to be a ruler nonetheless.

I cannot help but envision the Paul Presidency, should it somehow be allowed to occur. It would be one of impotency, for the most part. Congress and the Courts would block everything coming from his executive branch. He would undoubtedly block most things coming from the Congress, but would likely find that he faced a united, bipartisan front from both sides of the Boot On Your Neck Party. His vetoes would be overturned on a regular basis by the powers that be, setting records that would keep the folks at Guinness busy for years. There would certainly be no return to a Constitutional form of government, (no matter what his vociferous followers think), that will never be allowed to transpire.

For the faithful out there Dr. Paul is a candle in the gathering darkness and they are flocking to his light in the hope that something will come of their efforts. Struggling against the darkness is natural, but futile in this case. If it instills some modicum of hope in them, for the short time he is allowed to call himself a Republican candidate, then I wish them the best in their endeavours. While hope is said to spring eternal in the human breast it is also said that we should put not our faith in rulers, regardless of how benevolent they may seem.

It's past time that we began to create our own lights in the gathering darkness. Therein lies our best and brightest hope.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gone And Soon To Be Forgotten

While I'm not doing a happy dance, I am certainly not saddened by the news that Jerry Falwell has at last parted this mortal coil. For too many years we had to continuously hear the vitriol issue forth from this theocratic totalitarians mouth. Here we have...had...a person who would have gleefully watched as gay and lesbian Americans were marched off to camps. Non-Judeo Christian faiths would have followed closely in their footsteps, no doubt. He would have liked nothing more than to see this country turned into an American theocracy, with hand picked Christian politicians at the helm. A world in which we would be told what to watch, read, listen to and believe by "true believers" would have been his preferred world.

The sad and frightening part is that he wielded more than enough influence to walk the halls of power in Washington, DC and influenced a great many people in the Boot On Your Neck Party, regardless of which side of the aisle they stood on. We will likely still be feeling the effects of this man's political meddling for many, many years to come. Falwell, his Republicrat allies and his followers have shaped the modern form of the right side of the BOYN Party, much to the detriment of those who truly love liberty and freedom. Falwell, his movement and his followers are largely responsible for the current political landscape being inflicted upon us.

Now that the head of the serpent has been removed we shall have to see where we go. Will we see a demise of the religious rightist movement, at last? A move away from theocracy and Christian fundamentalist inspired politics? We can only hope. Politics is a nasty business, at best. Mixing it in with Millenarianism makes it vastly more dangerous and distasteful.

Nehemiah Scudder has left the room and we are all a little better off for it.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

The Government Moves Fast

When it wishes to, that is. It looks as if Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Knight is going to be discharged again. In what appears to be a retaliatory move for speaking out about being gay and being recalled to service in the US Navy the US Navy has announced that they are now going to "fire" him for being gay.
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Navy has informed Petty Officer Second Class Jason Knight that it intends to fire him under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law just weeks prior to completing his one-year commitment. Knight, an openly gay sailor, was recalled to active duty in June 2006 and recently completed a tour of duty in Kuwait, where he was open about his sexual orientation with his command and fellow sailors. Knight told his story last weekend in the newspaper Stars & Stripes and was notified yesterday that he will be receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy based, in part, on his recent media interviews. Knight was scheduled to end his commitment on May 28, 2007, but will face early dismissal because he chose to go public about his experience.
This is a sad commentary on the US military and their stance towards gay and lesbian Americans, but shows without doubt the ability of the military to move quickly when they're being shown up. If FEMA had been able to respond even a fraction as quickly as the Pentagon did in this case, the the government response to the devastation of the Gulf Coast would be a distant memory by now.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Don't Ask, Do Tell?

Well, it looks like the powers that be in the Pentagon are so desperate for warm bodies that they are recalling people to duty whom they have previously discharged for being gay.

On his wedding night in July 2004, then-Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Knight finally accepted a truth he had fought against for years: he was gay.

Almost immediately, he moved to get his marriage annulled. He apologized to the woman he’d married. And when it came time to explain his changing circumstances to the Navy, he left nothing out. Under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, he was quickly discharged from the service.

But now — whether through a clerical oversight or what some claim is an unwritten change in policy to keep more gay servicemembers in the ranks at a time of war — Jason Knight is back on active duty.

How bad must things be in the military that this is occurring? Under normal circumstances I would applaud the decision the allow any gay member of the services to be allowed to serve, (if they wished), but given the current state of affairs in the military this should be cause for concern. Obviously things have deteriorated to the point where the Pentagon is blatantly violating their own regulations in order to meet manpower needs. There can be little doubt that this, combined with other recent events such as lowering standards for admission into the services is a strong indicator that things are much worse than we might have thought. Things are likely to become much worse.

Mr. Knight likes being in the Navy and hopes he can stay beyond his 365 day recall, but the spectre of a return to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" discharges hangs like the Sword of Damocles over his head. As a now openly gay member of the military he serves at the pleasure of those above him. While we may hope that this does signal a change to a more enlightened and liberty oriented policy, the reality is likely a symbol of the continuing degradation of the US military in Iraq. Hopefully, Mr. Knight will see his dream come true and he will be the first of many openly gay soldiers and sailors who will get to serve out their terms. My most fervent wish is that they get to do so in a new peacetime force, far from the fields of war.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Tragic Opportunity

As I write this there are over thirty innocent people dead in Blacksburg, Virginia and at least 20 others are wounded. All by the hand of what will likely turn out to be a fellow student who went on a killing spree. A tragedy by any standards and one which elicits no small amount of sympathy from me. I feel for the families of those slain and wounded, I cannot imagine the grief they are undergoing at this moment.

A greater tragedy will soon enough begin to occur, as a direct offshoot of this event. As in the past there will be calls, no doubt already beginning in the mass media of television, for the further disarming of the American people by the powers that be. The sponsors of HR 1022, the renewal and expansion of the Assault Weapons Ban, will likely be using this tragedy to further their bills progress, despite reports that the murderer in this case used one or more handguns. Aided and abetted by the Brady people and others we will hear the opportunistic clarion calls from the victim disarmament lobbyists for further depredations of our rights to keep and bear arms.

These people are no doubt already at their keyboards drafting messages, posting numerous anti-2nd Amendment messages and rubbing their hands in glee over this tragedy. They see this event, as they always do as a tragic opportunity to advance their cause. Like the anti-liberty vultures they are, they are already circling the horrible events of this day in anticipation of gathering a pound of flesh to feed their sick cause. All the while they will ignore the fact that Virginia Tech proudly embraced their message and gladly practiced victim disarmament.

I can only hope that some good will come of this tragedy and Virginia Tech will repudiate their insane policy and allow their staff and students their right to keep and bear arms. If they had already done that todays events might well have unfolded in an altogether different, and less painful manner. Now all we can do is offer our condolences to the families of the slain and watch as the vultures gather to feed.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

It's Not Apathy

We've got nothing to fear...but fear itself?
Not pain, not failure, not fatal tragedy?
Not the faulty units in this mad machinery?
Not the broken contacts in emotional chemistry?

With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun
In the glory game on the power train
Thy kingdom's will be done

And the things that we fear are a weapon to be held against us...
-Neal Peart "The Weapon"

Political pundits often decry the perceived apathy of the American public when it comes to involvement in the political process. They wonder why people stay away from the polls, drown themselves in reality TV and talent shows, rather than engage themselves in changing the growing tyranny of government run amok. Why is it that so many people prefer to finish their day off being lulled to sleep by the droning of entertainment TV, rather than involving themselves in the process of downsizing the state? Even the large numbers of people who make the effort to go out and vote in the elections only do that one thing. That's barely an effort at all in any meaningful sense. So, why the apathy? Is it true, as some would contend, that the masses are “sheeple”, mindlessly going where they are told and doing as they are commanded? I cannot think that's correct for the great majority of people.

It's something much worse than mindless, unintelligent apathy. It's fear. Not the crippling, mind numbing visceral fear of eminent danger. It's the grinding, low frequency fear engendered by nothing more than the ever looming potential for destruction at the hands of another. The fear of being noticed by the powers that be and their representatives. The representatives who, even at the lowest levels, hold the power of life and death in their hands and over the heads of everyone. When even a petty bureaucrat in a tax department or a secretary in a government office can destroy a lifetimes accomplishment with the stroke of a pen there is reason to fear. Even simple tasks, such as a trip to the grocery store have the potential to end in death or imprisonment at the hands of a state minion. Over time these fears cannot help but become ingrained into the very fibre of a persons being and make them long to become invisible.

This, I think is the reason for the perceived lack of activism and caring. The need to become small and unnoticed by the powers that be. The constant small fears foster an old instinct that drives people to turn away and hunker down, hoping the danger will pass us by or take another, instead. Gathering around the television has become the modern equivalent of gathering around the fire in the darkness of the cave. The government has created a country where ruling by low level fear is the paradigm. Whether it's the police, the IRS, DHS, Child Services, the mayor, Al Quaida or whomever they all have one thing in common. They create fear in people and that cannot be good for anyone in the long run. It's no wonder so many people seek refuge in pharmaceuticals and entertainment.

It's no wonder that the masses cannot be reached past the myriad fears which they have to live with in their day to day existence. On some level they know that carrying the torch in the darkness gives you some degree of light, but it also lets the enemy in the darkness know where you are. Better to let someone else do it than be devoured by the beast.

Those who would promote a freer world are going to have to find a way to surmount the deeply ingrained fears that dominate so many of their neighbours if they wish to motivate the masses to action. It will be no easy task, either, so folks had best be prepared for the long haul and great disappointments. With the ever present fear so many already have it will come as no surprise that any message concerning freedom will elicit even more fear in many of the people who hear it. Those involved with the political aspects of the freedom movement are fond of mentioning it, often saying that messages should be moderated in order to avoid scaring people. Well, folks are already afraid so what's a little more fear if you might break a few of them free of the shackles of the ever present, grinding fear that already keeps them immobile?

Regardless, it's time we all left the confines of the campfire and the cave and somehow manage to walk without fear. Maybe we'll manage to bring a few others along for the journey.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
-Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
Frank Herbert "Dune"

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tim O' Reilly Can Go And...

...jump in the lake. Mr. O'Reilly, would like nothing more than to impose Amish-like censorship on the "blogosphere" and the freedom to speak ones mind, all in the name of civility. If Mr. O'Reilly thinks the blogosphere is wild and woolly now he should stretch his imagination out to a time when his collectivist nonsense is in force. If he thinks trolls and griefers are bad now just wait till the sheep his followers adopt this code. They'll never have a moments peace. The blogosphere will end up resembling a Baghdad market on bomber day rather than the delightfully anarchic entity we all enjoy now.

Do gooders seldom pay attention to the law of unintended consequences. Mr. O'Reilly needs to step back and take another look at things. We live in an adult world not a nursery school.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How Far Is Too Far?

What's the line in the sand where government interference is concerned? Onerous taxation? Regulation of your business? Well, how about interfering in the naming of your child? Is that government run amok? It is to me.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Metallica may be a cool name for a heavy metal band, but a Swedish couple is struggling to convince officials it is also suitable for a baby girl.

Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with Swedish authorities, which rejected their application to name their six-month-old child after the legendary rock band.


Although little Metallica has already been baptized, the Swedish National Tax Board refused to register the name, saying it was associated with both the rock group and the word "metal."

Tomaro said the official handling the case also called the name "ugly."

A taxing authority telling you what you cannot name your child. It's a short step from there to telling you what you can name your children. Coming soon to a bureaucrats office near you, too given the way this country is headed.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

The ERA Is Back

With very little fanfare the ERA has has, once again been brought back up for consideration, albeit renamed the "Womens Equality Amendment", and I find that I am in favour of it, oddly enough. Certainly not because of the added power it places in the hands of the Congress, or the funds which will undoubtedly be misappropriated for its enforcement. No. I find myself in favour of it because it may just solve the same sex marriage issue once and for all.
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Of course the usual suspects are no doubt already gearing up to fight it, again and I'm sure that any number of talk radio pundits will weigh in on the matter, probably against it.

While I have little faith that the government can or will uphold any amendment (unless it suits some statist goal of theirs) I think this may well be a step in the right direction to solving an issue that is becoming increasingly ugly. Here in Indiana we are currently facing an anti-gay amendment that has been solidly embraced and promoted by the Christian Right as a moral necessity. Despite opposition from major corporations, universities, numerous civil libertarians, just plain folks and rational politicians, (including one of my favourite Libertarians) the amendment is slowly going forward and is likely to become a matter for the mobs to vote on.

An ERA amendment could settle this matter once and for all if passed and we could move on to worrying about bigger things than how our neighbours choose to live. I can't wait to see how this plays out again!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Worsening Corn Scam

I doubt there are a lot of readers out there who aren't familiar with the Big Government corn scam. The subsidies for corn and corn derived products like HFCS and corn based ethanol aren't news to us, but have you seen the worsening situation that is arising with the incestuous corn industry? The layers of subsidisation are growing deeper and deeper and the corn mega corps are growing wealthier than ever from sucking at the government teat. Meanwhile people in Mexico are literally having the bread taken from their mouths to fill the tax funded corporate ethanol tanks in the US.

We all know about the regular corn subsidies; frequently renewed by politicians looking for the ADM vote. That same subsidised corn is subsidised yet again when the ethanol industry gets hold of it and turns it into, that is. Then it gets heavily taxed at the pump and...well, you get the picture. We get taxed again and again. Government and big business benefit greatly and we see no real benefit. In fact, ethanol is costing us a great deal of money and is going to hit us in the pocket sooner, rather than later.

Corn which would normally find its way into the food supply chain, (as a food or as animal feed) is going to instead be diverted to the ethanol industry. This will lead to shortages in livestock feed and drive up the prices of meat. There may even be shortages of human consumable corn and grain, as farmers shift over to corn which is more suitable for ethanol production and away from table corn.

Look for the impact to spread, too, as more farmers gravitate away from traditional crops such as wheat, cotton and soybeans to get their piece of the ethanol pie. And, lest anyone thought that we would be the only people impacted by this ethanol monster we have only to look south, again. Mexico's presidente' has been forced to impose price caps on tortilla prices. The ethanol industry has managed to create inflation and government interference in the market in one fell swoop.

Ethanol is not even close to being a cure all for our petroleum woes, in fact it may be much worse for us and the economy, in the long run. It's expensive to make, to use and costs more energy to produce than it "saves" and it doesn't even perform as well as fossil fuels (so you have to buy more). Shoot, there isn't even enough land under the plow to meet the government mandated goals. The current ethanol freight train is running roughshod over other, possibly superior technologies, using tax dollars as its fuel and, if those subsidies were removed the ethanol beast would undoubtedly come to a screeching, screaming halt. It cannot survive in a free market.

Perhaps someone should have explained to Mr. Bush and his government that placing all of your eggs in a single basket is a bad idea. A potentially costly one for everyone involved. That would be us, in case you were wondering. The ethanol beast is loose and we're all going to get gored by it.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Something Good From Bulgaria

Very few good things can come from Europe these days, given their total lack of innovation and their nanny state mentality. My other half and I were looking at the finalists of the Eurovision music "competition" over on YouTube and we were appalled at the complete lack of talent on display. The majority of these "winners" make the American Idol people look like established superstars. Europe should also be reminded that disco died a long time ago and the rest of the world moved on to better things.

Fortunately, not all was lost as we did discover one act from the frontiers of the new Europe that impressed us. The Bulgarian duo of Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov performed a powerhouse song called "Voda" (Water). "Water" is a percussion driven Techno-ish song that is carried by Todorova's unique, strong and well trained vocal talent. Out of everyone we listened to these are the people who deserve to win the contest. If you're a fan of drums (Kirsten?) then you're gonna love this tune, Todorova is one of the finest percussionists I have seen in a long time. The song is available for listening as an MP3 via the website and the video is worth a look or two. Give it a listen! Give it a look! It's one of the few good thing coming out of Europe these days!

Hopefully they'll manage a US tour one of these days. I'd pay to see them!

(On a side note there was the Turkish winner who had a hip hop offering called "Cakkidi" that was really interesting. Especially so since I don't really care for hip hop! Middle Eastern Hip Hop...who'da thunk it? It's kind of catchy.)
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Friday, March 09, 2007

Idaho Opts Out Of REAL ID

Idaho's legislature has passed House Joint Memorial 3 and rejected participation in the REAL ID Act, according to the ACLU and the Idaho legislatures bill status site. The battle wasn't a very hard fought one, either. Kudos to the politicians in Idaho who have decided that a national ID card is a bad idea on many different fronts.

On a vote of 19 to 14, the State Senate today approved House Joint Memorial 3. The State House of Representatives had approved the bill unanimously on February 20. While the bill does not require the signature of Idaho Governor Butch Otter, he has also been a vocal critic of the Real ID Act.

The bill states in part that Idaho, "shall enact no legislation nor authorize an appropriation to implement the provisions of the Real ID Act in Idaho, unless such appropriation is used exclusively for the purpose of undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the costs of implementing the Real ID Act or to mount a constitutional challenge to the act by the state Attorney General."

In other REAL ID related news the Arizona Republic is reporting that Arizona's State Senate is set to approve Senate Bill 1152 which says, in plain and easily understandable English that Arizona will not be participating in the REAL ID Act.

“Section 1. Title 28, chapter 2, article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 28-336, to read:

28-33628-336. REAL ID act; implementation prohibited

This state shall not participate in the implementation of the REAL ID act of 2005. The department shall not implement the REAL ID act of 2005 and shall report to the governor and the legislature any attempt by agencies or agents of the United States DEPARTMENT of homeland security to secure the implementation of the REAL ID act of 2005 through the operations of that department.”
Sadly, no penalties are mentioned for government entities who attempt to "secure implementation of the REAL ID Act" other than reporting them to the legislature or the government. I think a lengthy prison sentence would be appropriate, perhaps busting rocks out in the desert would be a fitting penalty.

Other states are also poised to join Maine, Arizona and Idaho in striking out against the REAL ID Act.
...Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. Bills rejecting Real ID have also been introduced in Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and West Virginia, with more expected in the coming weeks.
Sadly, the state of Indiana, of which I am a resident, lacks the fortitude to tell the Federal government that they will not bow down. The Indiana legislature has had to concern themselves with pay raises, anti-gay marriage amendments, lottery privatisation and HPV vaccinations for school aged girls. Keeping the people of Indiana free of a national ID card and increasing their privacy is the farthest thing from their minds. At least there will be some states which refuse and manage to carry the ball. Indiana will (hopefully) ride their coat tails to a REAL ID free country.

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