May 29, 2009

I've been sounding this trumpet for three decades

Karl Denninger, who regards Federal Reserve Bank haters like Ron Paul as slightly insane, points out clearly that the current economic crisis is a completely manufactured crisis designed to benefit a small number of people. Remember, every time someone loses money, someone else makes money. All the value lost in the stock market, the real estate market, and your personal 401k over the past six months is now lining the pockets of a small number of people who already have more money than they could ever spend. The Saudi Royal Family, the Ruling Council of the Chinese Communist Party, and old-money families around the world have all profited from your loss.

Are you really going to let them get away with it?

May 21, 2009

And so it begins...

Obama proposes "preventive detention" of terror suspects

They said Mr. Obama told them he was thinking about “the long game” — how to establish a legal system that would endure for future presidents. He raised the issue of preventive detention himself, but made clear that he had not made a decision on it. Several senior White House officials did not respond to requests for comment on the outsiders’ accounts.

This is what makes expansion of AmeriCorps as well as the idea that they would need "arrest powers" so atrocious. There are numerous bills before the Senate and House that would grant the AG broad powers for defining both "dangerous weapons" and "potential terrorist". If even one of those bills passes, and if "preventive detention" becomes both legal and binding, then the United States Constitution is no longer valid in today's world. They will have destroyed the Constitution without ever bothering to debate writing a new one.

The President of the United States has now declared war on the People of the United States. The next step will be getting this idea made into law. If it does, no one will be safe from arbitrary arrest and confinement. No one at all.

For an excellent review of how we got here, please read "Here We Go!" over at Oath Keepers.

And California has begun confiscating weapons from "criminals and other people who should not have them."

You can be sure the world has gone to hell when the conspiracy nuts are the only people who know what's really going on!

May 20, 2009

Thomas Paine Writes an Open Letter to Pres. Obama

This is the America I was raised to believe in! This is the America I am willing to go to war to restore. If professional, self-centered politicians in Washington D.C. and elsewhere don't get the message soon, they may find themselves the objects of a witch hunt the likes of which history has never known.

Something is coming down the pike

I sit here monitoring the pulse of the world and I feel it beginning to race. The Bilderberg group just broke up their annual meeting in Greece, Bank of America just released basement-quality stocks at $10 a share, an anonymous comment has appeared on several blogs I frequently read that says, "remember Reichstag", and last but not least, David Axelrod (one of Pres. Obama's advisors) has this to say, "If there is a consensus, we'll run with it."

Maybe I'm overreacting or maybe there's another 9/11 on the horizon. Something is blowing on the wind and it reeks of corruption and greed.

May 19, 2009

Firearms related deaths in perspective

According to CDC's WISQARS database in 2006 there were:

"suicide" firearms related deaths or injuries: 16,883
"unintentional" firearms related deaths or injuries: 642
"legal intervention" firearms related deaths or injuries: 360
"intention unknown" firearms related deaths or injuries: 220
"all intents" firearms related deaths or injuries: 30,896
"all intents" and "all deaths and adverse effects": 181,586

From a total population of: 298,754,819

So, just using readily available data from the CDC website, I suppose you might argue that "unintentional" beats out "legal intervention" almost 2:1. However, in both cases we're still only looking at roughly a thousand deaths in a population of almost 299 million people. Over half the total firearms related deaths and injuries were suicides, which means that even without the Second Amendment, those people definitely would have found some way to exit this life. Personally, I believe suicide should be regarded as a civil right (and yes, I have had loved ones commit suicide).

So if people who oppose firearms really want to help, perhaps instead of attacking firearms ownership more of them should study counseling and get involved in suicide prevention? Or better yet, maybe they should become a defensive driving instructors! In 2006 there were 43,664 "unintentional" "motor vehicle, traffic" related deaths and injuries.

Ah, yes, the authorities are so trustworthy!

National Peace Officers are Drunken and Unruly
"Visit Your Parent's at Work" Day Includes Getting Stunned
Social Services Places Known Child Molester in a Home with Young Children

I see dozens of similar news stories every single day. Law enforcement officers are a population group and like any population group, they are a body of individuals each with a different worldview, a different value system, and a different degree of narcissistic self-importance. I don't trust the government to take care of me because the government is composed of imperfect people. Since we can never perfect the human animal, there will never be a perfect government. People who place their full trust in a protective and paternalistic central government and depend on it to watch their backs, provide welfare for their poorer neighbors, and patrol their neighborhood on the lookout for criminals, have failed to realize that the people charged with protecting them are no different than any people anywhere.

This is also the flaw in the assumptions of the elites who feel they alone are intelligent enough, educated enough, and wise enough to make decisions for the rest of us about what we should wear, where we should live, what kind of cars we should drive, and how much water our toilet should use when it flushes. No one is selfless enough to make purely objective judgements about what is best for another person. This is why we must let individuals make their own decisions and suffer the consequences of those decisions. Criminals should never have the freedom to assume their intended victim is defenseless and politicians should never have the freedom to assume they can spend their life living off their constituents.

We need real change and we need it now! We need term limits in Congress, we need the Patriot Act repealed, we need every government agency reduced to a single representative in the state capitals, we need teachers to make more money than politicians, and we need to eliminate the entire Federal Criminal code. Let the states create their own criminal codes and let the Federal government focus on keeping peace between the states and negotiating with foreign governments to keep them from stealing our livelihood.

We need a Federal government that never consumes more than one-tenth of one percent of the national GNP. We can start by withdrawing from the United Nations and then declaring every bond held by anyone not an American citizen to be null and void. And yes, for a decade there will be pure chaos in the world. Afterwards, however, we will each and every one of us be stronger, safer, and more independent of outside influences.

What can you individually do? First, pay off all your debt. If you have to, go bankrupt and let your creditors fight over the scraps. Go to work for yourself. How? That depends on what skills you have. If you have no skills then take a minimum wage job somewhere and start over. Spend your days working and your nights attending free classes at the local community college. Get some knowledge, get some skills, get a better paying job. Save your money. Put the first 10% of everything you earn into a savings account and then don't touch it, ever, for any reason. Treat it as non-existent. When it grows large enough, put yourself in business using the skills you picked up at community college and have been using ever since. From your business put the first 10% into a special account designated, "future operations", and then leave it alone!

Stop buying cheaply made Chinese goods. Do without until you have enough cash to buy what you need and when you do buy, make sure you buy the best quality available. Buy things that will last your entire life instead of things that will be useless when next year's fashion catalogs come out.

Stop watching television. Spend your evenings in community college until you get enough qualifications for a better job. Once you get a better job, spend your evenings reading real books by real scholars, and make sure you read both sides of every debate. Instead of ignoring the world, learn how it works and how you can influence it. Pay attention to what your representatives at the state and federal level are doing. Attend city council meetings and learn the council members names and faces. Write down your opinions and send them to your representatives. Get involved and stay involved.

In short, stop letting the world dictate to you. Learn what's real and what's not, then base your opinions on what's real. Donald Trump's toupee is not important. Donald Trump's influence in Congress, on the other hand, is a clear and present danger to your individual freedom. Paris Hilton's latest fashion purchase is not important. Paris Hilton's reliance on child labor in South American factories to produce her brand name clothes and accessories, on the other hand, is a real danger to how those children will view America ten years from now.

May 17, 2009

H.R. 1146, American Sovereignty Restoration Act

H.R. 1146, American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2009

Finally, a proposed resolution I can support! This is the third beneficial initiative by Ron Paul that I have seen this year. I wish more emphasis had been placed on these kind of initiatives during his campaign in 2008. If they had, he would not have come across as such a nutcase.

May 14, 2009

A hard week for seven year-olds

7 year-old shot in Texas
7 year-old shot in North Carolina
7 year-old shot in Florida

In Texas, a family in two SUVs stopped outside a rural home at 9 p.m. in the evening to allow their children to step off the road and relieve themselves. Unfortunately, they stopped in front of a home owned by a couple armed and willing to kill in order to defend their personal property rights. A lot of facts are still unknown, but one child is dead, another child and two adults are wounded. The couple who did the shooting is now in jail facing charges of Aggravated Assault, but those charges might be raised to Capital Murder.

In North Carolina shooting broke out for still undefined reasons near a shopping area. A woman and her son down the street from where the shooting broke out were wounded by bullets that missed their intended target (whatever that might have been) and struck their home instead.

In Florida, a young boy originally said to be seven but now said to be ten was wounded when he and another child were playing with a gun. At first it was believed to be a drive-by shooting, but witnesses later reported the boys were playing with a gun. The article does not say where the children got the gun.

It is very unusual for so many articles involving children killed or wounded by firarms to hit the news services in such a short time. Other sources are pointing to a renewed call for reinstatement of the now-defunct "Assault Weapons Ban" to counter what some are calling "rising paramilitary activity by right-wing extremists." No doubt the sudden burst of dead and wounded children will add fuel to their fire. As if that were not enough, there is a new proposal to prohibit anyone on the FBI's "no-fly" list from owning or buying firearms. Try to keep in mind, not only does the FBI have trouble managing this list, the Department of Justice readily acknowledges it is filled with errors; also apparently some people in the DoJ think anyone who opposes the current administration is a terrorist.

I am deeply saddened by the children killed and wounded in the past week's violence. There is no excuse for shooting on someone who stops in front of your house but does not offer any threatening move. There is no excuse for not being aware of where your bullets will wind up if they miss your target. There is no excuse for leaving guns someplace where untrained people, especially children, can gain easy access to them. By the same token, it is impossible to create laws that would have effectively prevented any of these tragedies. Criminals, by definition, ignore the law.

So why does anyone feel that either banning semi-automatic rifles just because they look scary or preventing honest citizens who accidentally wind up on a random list at FBI headquarters from buying weapons is going to make America any safer? They don't, not really. They do know two things: many people who live in cities would be impressed if they pass these laws and anyone who would oppose their near total control on political power would be unable to offer real resistence if they were unarmed.

If you're reading this and you work in a small-town diner, own a mystic gift shop in a major shopping mall, or work programming games out in silicone valley somewhere, you're not going to understand why anything linked above is important. Except the children, of course. Almost anyone with a conscience will read about those children and feel some amount of grief. However, outside of the children, the chances are as long as you have a steady job and a reasonably content family you really don't care what Congress does or does not do, as long as it doesn't hurt your company, of course.

Unfortunately, we are all connected. Every action has a consequence and many of the consequences don't become clear until years after the action is taken. There are too many parallels between the current political and economic situation in the United States and the imposition of dictatorships or tyrannies down through history.

On the plus side, next year we will have the opportunity to recreate Congress. On the down side, there are far too many people in America who simply don't care, and won't care. At least, not until it is too late to save any of us.

May 08, 2009

Gun Rights Under Fire

(Three videos today, please be patient while the page loads.)

There are many people out there who feel gun owners are being paranoid. These same people might or might not have a personal opinion on Second Amendment Advocacy, and some of them have never even read the Second Amendment. A few of them believe the Second Amendment can never be repealed and a few of them simply don't care one way or another. Most of the people who feel gun owners are being paranoid fall into the group Jeff Snyder likes to refer to as, "Plastic People".

Plastic people are solely concerned with their own little corner of the world. They are willing to tolerate anything and everything the government does because they assume the government is filled with experts solely concerned with their welfare. Personally, I am always suspicious of anyone who claims to know what I need better than I do. Once in awhile they are right. More often, however, it has been my experience that anyone who professed to be solely concerned with my welfare was in fact, concerned only with their own. My welfare was only of concern to them to the extent that I did not conform to their preconceived notion of what I should be, what I could be, or what I was expected to be.

I am not interested in fulfilling someone else's plan for my life. For me, the struggle to fulfill my own needs and the daily battle to fulfill my own simple dreams is more than enough for one life. I don't have time or energy to worry about what someone else hopes I will become.

I am not without empathy. Reading of Columbine and Virginia Tech filled my chest with pain and brought tears to my eyes. These were horrible tragedies and both of them represented failures on so many levels by so many people that it boggles the mind. Sadly, it would be completely impossible to write a law that could have effectively prevented either tragedy (let alone both!) without also endangering even more lives in the future. The only realistic way to have limited the damage done would have been to arm the students in both schools ahead of time and train them until they mastered the personal firearm of their choice. If a dozen armed and trained students had stood up to oppose either the Harris/Klebold team or Sueng-Hui Cho the killing would have been brought to a sudden, dramatic close.

I don't have any complicated laws to propose that would bring utopia and end the killing. Whenever I read of someone shooting another person the only thought that ever comes to mind is, "why wasn't the victim armed and prepared to defend their own life? Why was there no one in the immediate vicinity who could have returned fire when the killer pulled out their gun and opened fire?"

Every so often there is a story about someone who fights back, shooting a robber, a burglar, a rapist, or some other criminal. However, the media far prefers stories about young people shot down in the prime of life while going about their daily business. Recently, for example, a priest in Chicago has begun flying an American flag upside down in an effort to raise awareness to the almost daily occurrence of shootings with school age victims happening in Chicago's poorer neighborhoods.

Again, I watch the news unfolding about the deaths in Chicago and I cannot help but ask, "why is there no one armed and ready to come to the aid of Chicago's children?"

Seriously! That is how I feel. There is no way Chicago could ever afford to pay enough police to have someone available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year on every street corner in the neighborhoods where these shootings are taking place. It simply is not practical. The only realistic solution is to arm everyone in the neighborhood and train them in firearms safety and proficiency. Another good tool would be to teach conflict resolution starting in elementary school and continuing it every single year.

Take two days a year to teach firearms and two days a year to teach conflict resolution. Teaching one without the other would be patently useless. No one, no matter how well taught, will use good conflict resolution skills every single time they have a problem with the people around them. No one, no matter how well taught, can be expected to responsibly handle firearms without also learning the difference between assertive conflict resolution and aggressive responses to a perceived threat.

In order for conflict resolution to have any real-world importance to the students they have to fully understand why an aggressive response is inappropriate. Once they understand how aggression escalates conflict rather than reducing it, they will be more open to learning non-aggressive alternatives. Even then, they need to know intimately that in those cases where no matter what they do the situation helplessly spirals out of control, they have the means and the skill necessary to take action if they are directly threatened.

Arm and train everyone. It will not bring utopia, but it will insure that if someone does pull a gun intent on doing harm there will be plenty of people around them with a ready response.

May 04, 2009

Drinking a mai-tai while watching the world end

I am so paraniod of swine flu I jumped on a plane without donning a surgical mask and flew here: Hilton Grand Waikikian. Naturally, the vast majority of passengers on my packed-to-capacity Japan Airlines Super Jumbo were Japanese people, almost every last one safely secured behind a brightly colored surgical mask of the kind readily available at any and every drug store.

Whenever possible I made sure to let loose a nice chest deep, hacking cough with lots of phlegm, just for the fun of watching their eyes pop open in panic. I suppose, after all these years, there is a bit of the sadist in me, but as long as the only thrill it ever knows is mercilessly taunting those who panic at a global pandemic with the massive confirmed death toll of 22, I guess I can live with it.

Speaking of death tolls. I find it hilarious that after crying out they had over 150 deaths and begging the world for assistance, Mexico has suddenly gone quiet and is whispering from time to time, "the actual death toll might be lower, like, maybe 20 or so?"

And in the background, I learn that Ron Paul has been busy again. It seems that one of President Bush's contributions to the "quiet revolution" was the creation of the "New Freedom Commision on Mental Health". Well, good old Ron Paul wants to prevent any screening process created on the basis of the commission's recommendations from prescribing drugs to children without bothering to inform the parents. I think Ron Paul has a good idea, but he doesn't take it far enough. Rather, he should be putting out an initiative that will prevent anyone from ever ordering the creation of a mandatory mental health screening process by any political body at any level of government. We have seen so many insane Hegelian bills put forth this year (as I have pointed out here, here, and here) I suppose it is not surprising that somebody is standing up to the big boys. My kudos to Ron Paul. It seems I underestimated the man and he really was the best Presidential candidate for 2008.

Along those same lines, a couple days ago Nancy Pelosi decided she and all her friends were above the law and should not be subject to investigation and interrogation by the nation's mulitple law enforcement agencies.

There is a cancer in modern America. It is killing us as surely as renal cancer killed my mother a few years ago. It is something I call the "culture of self-indulgence" and it is indemic to the Baby Boom generation, especially those born in the years 1946-1948. This generation grew up surrounded by conditions their grandparents would only have associated with superrich industrialists and royalty. Shattered by the horror of World War II, an entire generation of parents sought to bury their own pain by catering to every whim and whimsy their children desired. Sometimes they even went so far as to anticipate their kid's dreams by buying them the biggest, brightest, shiniest new gizmo available long before the child ever thought to ask for it. Conditioned by childhood to believe the world would always cater to their whims and anticipate their needs, this is the generation that gave back to us the Summer of Love, LSD, AIDS, and the iPod.

These spoiled, elitist children who believe as sure as the sun rises that they are more gifted, better educated, and more intelligent than the rest of us, is bound and determined to tell us what to wear, how to live, and what to say in public. They are paranoid of guns, freedom, and poverty, mostly because their only direct experience with any of these has been through their television screen (or, in even more contemporary times, their computer screen).

No, I did not make a mistake. They are paranoid of freedom. Keep in mind that their entire life is a life of complete and total dependency. Growing up they were dependent on their parents, in college they were dependent on their friends, and throughout their career they have been dependent on their workplaces. With relatively few exceptions (such as Steve Jobs), everything they have ever done has been aimed at pleasing whoever and whatever was taking care of their personal needs so that they could spend their free time getting high and getting laid. The only real priorities in their lives, and the only real initiative they ever show, is finding the next good feeling. After all, with their personal needs taken care of, what else is there for them to do?

As a comparative aside, let us consider for a moment Beethoven and Mozart. They were also spoiled and dependent. Born of European aristocracy, they were both raised to believe themselves superior to the common man. Despite this, they found the time to create symphonies so extraordinary that modern live performances still leave audiences silent in awe.

The Baby Boomers? They gave us the Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. Oh, and also Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Sid Vicious. With such shining role models is it really any surprise that most leaders of our day and age are corrupt, selfish, and narcissistic? After all, they grew up with everything handed to them on silver platters and most their heroes died from either drug overdoses or suicide. Those few who were not killed by lifestyle died in plane crashes or at the hands of crazed fans who were also Baby Boomers.

In short, the main disease plagueing our nation is not swine flu. No, the real disease is a culture of self-indulgence permeating the ranks of bankers, business leaders, academics, lawyers and politicians. Swine flu, for the moment, is nothing to fear. Our elitist, self-indulgent political leadership on the other hand, is leading us merrily down the road to Armageddon. Even worse, it might be too late to change course.