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The Senate Bill is S773 ... it failed to pass earlier this year because it would have given the President the power to "turn off the internet" in case of a "cyber emergency", but did not sufficiently define what such an emergency would be.  Never fear, communist sympathizers!  The bill is is being re-written and a new draft of it surfaced last night

If the government wants to protect our financial institutions and government networks, why give them the power to disable any network?  why not only those related to national security or the specific financial institution?

Some scenarios we, the citizens of the United States, could face if this were implemented:

- if our financial institution (or any financial institution) were under attack, our ability to access our own accounts (and therefore $$!) could be taken away for as long as the President/Government feels is necessary.  This is similar to locking & blockading banks to prevent "runs on the bank".  It's already annoying to be on vacation or at the gas pump or about to pay for a meal and suddenly the bank has put its own 'security hold' on your account ... imagine the chaos that would ensue should that happen to millions or billions of people at once? 
- the scarier scenario: our ability to access news and information.

would never happen, you think?  consider the following:

- the government has already asserted its power over controlling oil prices and thereby controlling our ability to travel by ground. 
- the government already controls, by way of an arbitrary "terrorist watch list", who can and cannot travel by air.  Perhaps a similar restriction to sea and rail travel is in the works?
- by forcing the switch from analog to digital, the government has made it incredibly difficult for "small guy" television broadcasts to exist, and has effectively shut out any citizen who was unable to afford the analog-to-digital switch requirements from receiving televised news.
- persons who subscribe to cable television, view television online, or use satellite already have their usage monitored "for programming purposes". How hard would it be for big brother to see what shows you normally watch?
- through the Patriot Act, public libraries are restricted in some materials they are able to make available.  At the time, you couldn't view a map of air currents, for example. (I'm not sure if that is still the case).  Your library records are easily obtainable by the government.
- As i reported earlier this month, the Obama Administration, manipulating and abusing what is known as "Fairness Doctrine" and having recently installed a "Diversity" Czar in the FCC is attempting to shut down network radio under the false banner of "promoting diversity" (the idea being that if there weren't syndicated programs on the handful of recently-increased available frequency bands, minorities would have more radio airtime).  As most radio-listening americans are well-aware, the REAL implications of this are that national news will be under government control and conservative talkshows, which make up the majority of syndicated shows, would be eliminated, removing 'competition' for the leftist government's dangerous policies. 
- Another bill is underway (may have already passed) that gives the president the power to declare an "emergency" that will authorize government agencies (including the newly created domestic army [1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division]) to surround, detain and isolate segments of the population and geographic locations for 'quarantine'.  This would effectively limit foot and bicycle traffic. 
- If the President or other government agencies suddenly have the ability to restrict or shut down all or parts of the internet, as is the fine-print aim of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, what methods remain to alert the citizens of rights violations, dangerous strategies of the government, or other news?   

There aren't any.

We should be paying attention to these things.  We should be watching what chavez is doing to Venezuela right now.  We should be refreshing our memory of history ... WW2 the nazis and our own illegal imprisonment of Japanese Americans. 

This urgency ... whistle-blowing ... 'paranoia' or whatever you'd want to call it is not solely against the work of the Democrats or Obama. In fact, it's not even our Presidents who are to blame completely.  These policies are written and accepted by many of our elected officials, and those who they appoint to work with them.  You can point fingers at Bush (Patriot Act) or Obama (just about everything else) all you want, but these men are just conduits or puppets or spokespersons for who or whatever is behind this movement, and singling one president or one party or one talk radio host, actress, corporation or religion out as the guilty party is simply a distraction that we can't afford. While we're pointing fingers, this snake of dnagerous constriction is slithering beneath us.  Yeah, i scream and yell about Obama a lot ... but that's because he's the figurehead of the current cloud of stupidity that is hanging over our nation.  In three years it will be someone else's fault.  It's really the same reason i defend Bush ... you can't spend eight years blaming Bush for everything and then suddenly pretend the universe is all good with Obama. We were on a downward slope, and now we're accelerating. 



Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf Hunter?

Grey Wolves have been Endangered/Protected my entire lifetime.  Today wolf tags went on sale. While in some respects this may seem a little morbid (almost like jumping at the chance to club a baby seal), I kinda wanted to own a piece of controversial history ... so i got a Wolf tag.

I was bit by a wolf once.  I was visiting a coven of vampires (seriously), and in addition to the creepiness of their keeping blood in the refrigerator and wearing little vials of each other's around their necks, they had a wolf pup. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that they had it illegally. They let it run around like a regular puppy, and it took a liking to my arm and my motorcycle jacket.  I was surprised at how razor-sharp its teeth were! They went through the leather as easy (or easier) than a sewing needle. I left that night with small cuts and a little bit of blood (and no, i didn't share) ...

There's a myth that goes around that "no wild, healthy wolf has ever killed a human being."  Unfortunately for white-folk-gone-native, their cuddly friend "The Mystical Wolf" has a long history of attacking humans.  While they don't attack us as frequently as they attack domesticated dogs, wild game or livestock, wolves have been documented attacking, killing and eating people.  Emily Travaglini-Wright was attacked by a wolf and was lucky enough to survive. The wolf that attacked her had attacked several other people previously, and was found in good health, except for a broken tooth.

Out here in the west, wolves are famous for killing livestock.  Contrary to the stories spread by urban naturalists and other broken spawn of hippie culture, not all animals only kill for food or to defend their young.  Wolves will regularly participate in "Joy Killing" - severely injuring a lamb or cow and leaving them for waste.  Graphic photos of what wolves are doing can be found online with a quick google search.

Most of the news on this subject i've found has been from the point of view of ignorant city-dwelling fantasty-prone wolf-huggers who either think that reducing the population is against the laws of nature or who are against animal "murder" regardless.  To the former, I point out something a hunter said: "These wolves were introduced from another area, so i have no problem killing something that has come to my land unnaturally". To the latter, I have to ask: Whose life is more important, the baby lamb, the domesticated dog, or the grazing cow, or the vicious, wasteful wolf who will kill and kill again? 

The handful of other articles on the subject simply attempted to show that all hunters in line for a wolf tag were gun-crazed inbreds.  These stories failed to reach that goal.

Stepping back and looking at the arguments, I see that all sides have the same thing in common: Their arguments, in swaying far to the left or far to the right are inherently flawed.  What is needed is balance.  Yes, wolves used to be there ... but now domestic animals, new houses and live stock are there.  Should we burn down those way-too-big-for-a-single-guy's-summer-home houses and restore the land back to its natural condition, or should we force the farmer who is raising sheep so the wool can be knit into some hippie-gone-mallrat winter parka to kill his sheep and give up his land?  Most wolf attacks on humans have been on humans who were hiking or camping in public forest. If these bands of wolves hadn't been killed to near extinction, do you think you would have ever had the opportunity to go out into "nature"? Would REI have risen to it's loft position among yuppies and poseurs if "the wild" really was still wild? 
On the flip side, wolves and other predators ARE an essential part of the food chain.  They thin out over-populated herds of wild game and smaller predators, which helps protect these wild animal populations from becoming infested with disease or starving to death. Still, you have to understand that one reason wild predators are attacking livestock and domestic animals is because their natural prey are lower in number or have relocated, thanks to the suburban growth of resort towns and 'isolated' luxury homes.

I seriously doubt i will kill a wolf.  The nearest pack is still a hundred miles away, and since the average pack's territory is only 77 square miles, I't would still be a pretty long walk for me to go out and shoot one.  Besides, I have no use for anything we can't eat, and I don't know of any good wolf recipes.  I bought my tag as a piece of history.  What a lot of anti-hunters don't realise is that money brought in by licenses and tags goes toward wildlife conservation, and that money funds a larger portion of wildlife conservation in most states than any number of non-profit groups and Leonardo DiCaprio-sponsored junk-mail ever could. Hunters are also one of the largest, most knowlegable and most effective wild-animal protection groups ... because they - not your fat, pot-smoking Portland cousin - are out in the wilderness and can report animal sightings.  Hunters also have more to gain in the well-being of animal populations than those who simply 'appreciate' what they see in their NG magazines or on Animal Planet ... because if the animal populations are in trouble, the hunter can't hunt. 


Government's Position:

Somewhat Neutral (The Way news Oughtta Be!):

Wolf Attacks on Humans:
http://www.amongwolves.com/ (see story on Emily Travaglini-Wright)

Wolf Attacks on Livesock and Pets:
http://www.montanacattlemen.org/Wolf_Reportings (WARNING: Graphic Photographic Evidence!)

But Wolves Are Cuddly Totem Animals (For White Man In Prius):

Pondering Politics of Presidency

With the terrible debt that our country has been in, and with the trillions of dollars that Obama has pumped into failing businesses, banks, and liberal businesses with his "stimulus" plan, i would imagine that a candidate with a shining past record of turning huge debt into profit might be just what the country wants in 2012. 

here are some of this candidates qualifications, according to a wikipedia bio:

"In 1990, [CANDIDATE] was asked to return to [FORMER EMPLOYER], which was facing financial collapse. As CEO, [CANDIDATE] managed an effort to restructure the firm's employee stock-ownership plan, real-estate deals and bank loans, while increasing fiscal transparency. Within a year, he had led [FORMER EMPLOYER] through a highly successful turnaround and returned the firm to profitability without layoffs or partner defections.

[CANDIDATE] left [FORMER EMPLOYER] in 1998 to head [AN INTERNATIONAL EVENT]'S Organizing Committee.

[CANDIDATE] served as president and CEO of the [INTERNATIONAL EVENT] held in a [WESTERN CITY]. In 1999, before [CANDIDATE] was hired, the event was running $379 million short of its revenue benchmarks. Plans were being made to scale back the [EVENT] to compensate for the fiscal crisis. The [EVENT] was also damaged by allegations of bribery involving top officials, including then [EVENT]'S President and CEO Frank J. J and [EVENT] vice president Dave J were forced to resign.

On February 11, 1999, [CANDIDATE] was hired as the new president and CEO of the [EVENT] Organizing Committee. [CANDIDATE] revamped the organization's leadership and policies, reduced budgets, and boosted fund raising. He also worked to ensure the safety of the [EVENT] following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by coordinating a $300 million security budget. Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the [EVENT] ended up clearing a profit of $100 million, not counting the $224.5 million in security costs contributed by outside sources.

[CANDIDATE] contributed $1 million to the [EVENT], and donated the $825,000 salary he earned as President and CEO to charity.

[CANDIDATE] was sworn in as the 70th governor of [EASTERN STATE] on January 2, 2003. Upon entering office, [CANDIDATE] faced a projected $3 billion deficit, but a previously enacted $1.3 billion capital gains tax increase and $500 million in unanticipated federal grants decreased the deficit to $1.2 billion. Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes, by 2006 the state had a $700 million surplus and was able to cut taxes.

[CANDIDATE] supported raising various fees by more than $300 million, including raising fees for driver's licenses, marriage licenses, and gun licenses. [CANDIDATE] increased the state gasoline tax by 2 cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional tax revenue. [CANDIDATE] also closed tax loopholes that brought in another $181 million from businesses over the next two years. The state legislature, with [CANDIDATE]'s support, also cut spending by $1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state aid to cities and towns. The cuts also included a $140 million reduction in state funding for higher education, which led state-run colleges and universities to increase tuition by 63% ..."

So, as you can see, despite a few maneuvers that probably angered some people, three times in a decade he managed to change huge deficits to profits.  to see it in numbers:

Failing business:  Financial Collapse  to  Profitability (without losing partners, while increasing fiscal transparency)
[EVENT]:  -$379,000,000 short of goal  to  $100,000,000 profit (he also added a $300,000,000 cost - a security budget - which was filled with $224,500,000 in contributions from outside sources)
State:     -$1,200,000,000 deficit  to  $700,000,000 profit

Amazingly also for an East-coast politician, there are no scandals in his background.  He's always been straightforward in his dealings and faithful to his wife (who suffers from MS).  In fact, the only two complaints that his competition were able to dredge up about him are that over the course of his political career he has "changed" his views on a couple issues (abortion and gay marriage), and that he's a devout member of an organized religion (which really shouldn't worry anyone, because his religion doesn't hover over him and direct his political decisions, and having a 'religious test' for president is in violation of the U.S. constitution.  Past presidents Kennedy and Reagan both dealt with this). 

If these minor things trouble you, consider this:  It is perfectly normal for a person, over the course of their career, to learn and re-evaluate their opinions on subject matter.  What sets this particular candidate apart from others (like flip-flopping Kerry or promise-breaker Obama) is that our new candidate is pretty starightforward with his views and hasn't employed the same bait-and-switch politics as many of our current Dems.

While i agree with his views on abortion (he is pro-life) and gay marriage (he is pro traditional marriage), i may be in disagreement with his pro-gun-control stance ... however i am not completely certain what that is. 



Lies with a Little Truth

Over the weekend i watched a 9/11 conspiracy video called "9/11 Revisited: Scientific and Ethical Questions", which was a presentation given by former BYU Professor Steven E. Jones on February 1, 2006 at Utah State Valley College (sponsored by The Center for the Study of Ethics).

As much as you'd think i love conspiracies ... well, i do ... but i don't always go along with them.  I don't believe the "grassy knoll" bit, i don't believe the "9/11 was an inside job" bit, etc.  I do, however, believe in giving an equal chunk of my ear and consideration to alternate viewpoints, so I watched the DVD with my wife and took notes.

Professor Jones was a physicist, and the first portion of his presentation was scientific and provided a lot of specific data that called into question the fall of the World Trade Center buildings, specifically that of WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane.  All other fluff aside ... just looking at the scientific evidence and numerous video of buildings that had fallen over (earthquake), those purposefully demolished, and those that burned, it is actually a far stretch to suggest they imploded, falling pretty much in place, solely as a result of the planes hitting them.  This isn't saying - nor does he say - that this indicates that the jets didn't really hit, or that the entire thing was orchestrated by our own government (that "inside job" bit).  It is simply saying the odds and the science are greatly stacked against the entire collapse being the result of the impact and subsequent fire in each of the two buildings. 

After watching video of WTC 7 - the smaller skyscraper that was not hit by a jet - falling, my first reaction was "i need to find out what was in that building, because it looks like a controlled demolition and was probably used to destroy something important that could have been discovered in the chaos and destruction of the other two towers".  This was probably due to our recent X-files marathon ... but it was really the first thing that crossed my mind.  Lo and behold ... ten minutes later he reveals that WTC 7 was a CIA/FBI and DoD building.  Makes sense, and when we consider no one died in that building and the public wasn't injured (as far as we know) in its destruction, i almost want to say "who cares, then?"  It's probably one of those "government cover-ups" that is good for the country. 

Halfway into his presentation, however, i began to see signs of strong bias.  I don't recall whether it started at the off-hand remark about "Fox News" or just before, but as Prof. Jones deviated from his area of expertise, he began relying more and more on 3rd-hand script and agenda.  He'd laid the groundwork for "something else" being involved in the destruction of the buildings, and used that to begin inserting the seeds of conspiracy.  First, FEMA was in town for a training exercise (on Bio-Terror) scheduled for 9/12.  They were stationed down the street from the WTC's.  Then there was this military budget thing going on with Rumsfeld, and this cancellation of a pentagon flight.  Someone also said that WTC2 had a 36-hour "power down" issue oveer the weekend of 9/8-9/9, and there had been numerous evacuation drills in the weeks prior. 

This is all good and great, and supports the idea that someone may have suspected the WTC buildings would be a target, and that we needed to be as prepared as possible.  The WTC buildings were, afterall, the scene of a prior terrorist bombing only a few years before.  given the intelligence that was reported shortly afterward ... the whole Mohammed Atta thing ... including the "match is about to begin" intercept, it's likely they had a rough estimate of the time of a possible attack.   It does not, however, support the idea that some sinister group of individuals in our government planned and carried out the attacks.

[another theory]  If they did suspect an attack, and for some reason suspected a bio-terror attack on the WTC, suddenly - especially in the interest of public safety - having FEMA bioterrorism "drills" scheduled got equipment into the area (without frightening the public OR alerting the terrorists), and planting intense-heat thermite explosives in the buildings ahead of time (should the buildings need to be burned to the ground with intense heat, since decontamination of two of the largest buildings in the country may have been difficult, if not impossible) ... when planes hit, instead of some sort of bio-agent, perhaps the decision was made to use the explosives to cause a controlled fall of the towers rather than allow the possibility (no matter how miniscule) of the buildings toppling over uncontrolled, causing more damage.  Maybe the smaller fires generated by the impact actually triggered the pre-existing explosives ... i mean ... there's a reason you don't store flammables near an open flame, right?

but leaping to this idea that Bush/Cheney orchestrated this attack on our nation's own soil, with our own people as the victims requires an unwavering belief that the government is completely corrupt - corrupt enough to cause great harm to itself to reach an end goal of ... what?  Still, many people are more willing to go on this kind of dark faith rather than use common sense ... so Jones continues ...

He first builds his case against rational thought and trust of the government by displaying some of the more ignorant comments by a handful of his students (unless we are to believe he only has ten students).  He selects those which represent the ideal liberal stereotype of a 'neo-conservative', and then begins seeding the presentation with trigger words ('neo-con', 'conservative', 'fox news').  Playing up his affiliation with BYU, he abuses a quote by Joseph Smith to imply some sort of docrtinal basis for his attack on elected officials. 

Jones then begins to quote alleged documents "proving" Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/others had discussed "another Pearl Harbor" ahead of time.  Making the best of circumstantial evidence, since this attack was another "Pearl Harbor" to the younder generation, Jones makes the simple and obvious jump that because that phrase (may have been) used in a prior document, when Bush calls the attacks "a new Pearl Harbor" he is is making the solid bridge between the discussion of attacks and these particular attacks being carried out, and that bridge "can only be" Bush's involvement in the attacks.

I wanted to throw my shoe at the television as this was happening, but i didn't. 

Next up, he shows quotes of what Bin Laden said immediately following the attacks on 9/11.  Specifically, Jones quotes the following:

"I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam."

Shocking! What? We were told Bin Laden admitted he did it! Actually, we were initially denied the video of bin laden because the government feared some coded messages were in it. 

Jones then rushes into the video of "bin Laden" that looks nothing like him, and tosses out a couple other denials by bin laden and then the 'admissions' on the video. 

seems like a pretty clear picture, now, doesn't it?  bin laden peacefully denied being behind the attacks, and then 'we' must have fabricated a video of him claiming to be behind it.

true to liberal propagandaic form, we were dropped a couple bytes and rushed through to other things before our thought process could identify any errors or ask any clarifying questions. 

Had he been giving a fair and unbiased speech, we would have learned that Bin Laden's very next sentence attempts to implicate Israel (Islams other enemies - Jews!), and throughout the remainder of his speech, he stops very short of rallying Islamic radicals, and instead lays blame for the attacks on other countries who "also refuse to be slaves of the USA", and pridefully exclaims that, according to his sources, "the death toll is much higher than American officials are claiming." 
Does that sound like a guy who doesn't consider the killing of "innocent women, children and other humans an appreciable act"?  No.  It sounds like a guy trying to manipulate what is going on to his advantage, deflecting the blame toward his other enemies and rivals, and using gang-psychology (there's a lot of other guys that don't like you too, and look - they are mostly countries sympathetic to my cause!) 

Jones ends the presentation attacking Bush for not jumping up, frantic, when told that "America is under attack" ...

I was disgusted at how the Center for the Study of Ethics and whoever else made the DVD played up his affiliation with BYU.  The announcer at the beginning even stated their reason for drawing so much attention to Professor Jones' affiliation:  the (assumed) credibility of Jones as a 'conservative' made his anti-Bush presentation seem more valid. 

Based on the things Jones said, I doubt he was as "conservative" as they tried to make him out to be.  Though he twice mentions his respect for Reagan, shortly after this presentation was filmed, Jones' presentation had further devolved into a more anti-Bush weighted rantfest, culminating in his push for the impeachment of both Bush and Cheney.  While I agree in the founder's concern that we have the right to free speech, I am also not in the least bit surprised that Jones was dismissed by BYU (or 'retired while under paid leave') for his inflammatory accusations against the President of the United States (at the time), for not following the normal process of 'peer review' (his papers were found to be - unsurprisingly - biased).  I don't know if it played a part in the disciplinary action, but certainly the abuse of scripture would have probably been unacceptable by his private ecclesiastical university.

BYU PROFESSOR STEVEN E. JONES: 9/11 REVISITED - Scientific and Ethical Questions, Untah State Valley College, Feb 1, 2006

Health Care Myth Tracking

I'll admit it ... i haven't been tracking the health care debate much. Why?  Because i think having an optional national plan is a good idea, regardless the restrictions. As it now exists, health insurance companies charge insane amounts of money to self-insure.  If you try to get insurance while guilty of being pregnant, being old, having diabetes, having been a smoker in the past 3 years, or any other number of conditions, good luck!  Despite paying for our pregancies out of pocket anyway (insurance companies generally don't cover 'natural birth', considering nature more risky than the surgeon's knife), insurance companies we checked out wanted nearly triple for my wife what they wanted for me & the kids combined because she was pregnant/just had a kid. (A healthy baby boy, by the way!)

That said, my number one gripe about a national plan is that, like all other government programs, all tax-paying americans will be forced to dish out more of their hard-earned money to pay for those who aren't hard-working, as well as the handful who are and just couldn't afford health insurance because they were paying too much of their income to the government in taxes or are stuck working a low-paying job under some millionaire because they can't afford to 'go into business on their own'.
Our family is one of those families.  Self-employed with four employees, we ended up owing more money in taxes than i'd made at most of my prior jobs in a year on something most americans aren't even aware of: "self-employment tax".  Self-employment tax is a way the government collects for current welfare and existing healthcare programs.  Most americans don't know about it because most americans work for someone else.  You don't really come face to face with this until you escape the slavery of working for someone else.  Your employer faces similar charges, but usually those are taxes that they get by filing as a big corporation, and there are certain other kickbacks a corporation receives.

We don't have healthcare right now.  we lost our business when tax season came, and in addition to having lost (mostly) our jobs, being in tremendous debt to the government, being in debt for our home, and having three children to take care of, we just can't afford insurance, so every illness that eeds to get checked out, every medicine, and every x-ray, blood test or check-up we have comes out of our own pocket.  Though supposedly "4 out of 5" american's don't have health care, most people probably don't realise how expensive 30 minutes at the cardiologist or 5 minutes with the family care nurse actually cost. 

The current trend with the media is to go "mythbusting" the handful of spooky stories about the healthcare program being pushed by our wannabe-socialist government.  I hadn't been aware of these myths (which was surprising, given the large number of 'radical right wing extremist' (to quote Napolitino) organizations i get emails from ... groups like the Libertarian Party, the NRA, the John Birch Society, the Republicans, and the numerous 'survivalist' blogs i subscribe to).  In fact, the ONLY place i've heard these myths is from the promoters of the healthcare program themselves, and from the news media.  This isn't to say that freaked out Springer-watching white trash and little old ladies in Ohio aren't passing a handful of emails on to their friends, but the "anti-healthcare movement' isn't anything it's made out to be.

How are these myths becoming so public, then?  Like McCarthyism and "ratting out commies", the Obama administration (specifically the White House itself) recently began soliciting rumours and chain letters that were unfavorable to the President in its "facts are stubborn things" "fishy emails" blog.  Nevermind that it is illegal for the president to create lists against the public ... the whitehouse blog specifically states:

"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov"

according to 5 U.S.C. § 552a, the President cannot collect and maintain records describing how any particular individual chooses to exercise their 1st Amendment Rights unless a specific statute  or the individual themselves authorize the collection of such data, AND it is used appropriately by law enforcement agencies.  pretty much this sounds like it means if you forward an email to some friends, and they forward it, then someone sends it to the White House, Obama can keep track of the person who sent that email to them, but cannot use any of the other names in the email headers on the chain email. I guess we've got his word that he won't look at those names ...

but wait!  just last week, numerous people were a bit freaked out that the White House sent them a spam when they'd never signed up for a mailing list.  The White House apologized, but the "act first, apologize later" strategy looks strangely familiar (campaign mudslingling strategy of the Left!), and, as we learned from the campaign, when you put the lie out there, retracting it later is incredibly ineffective. (Later news indicated the email spam - about health care reform - the White House sent out WAS a result of data collected from forwarded emails).

i'd imagine they are trying to lump healthcare myths into the category of 'threats', so the exemption: "maintained in connection with providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to section 3056 of title 18" can be used to avoid any legal issues.  Talk about loopholes!

The blog page is still there, but the email address has been taken down, and now directs senders to a special new White House propaganda page: http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck , where you can watch well-crafted video spots and see eye-catching graphics designed to officially tell you not to believe anything you hear about healthcarefrom anywhere other than the White House. 

did i mention that Hugo Chavez is systematically shutting down or taking over media outlets in his country?

It is important to keep in mind that a strategy of frontal confrontation is rarely the 'winner'.  The most effective attacks come through the back door or are surprises that sneaked in close while there was a distraction.  While the most accessible venue - the news - is waving around the "look at these crazy myths!" banner ... while the average citizen is snickering at the "over 80 death board" and the "no vision care until you're blind in one eye" stories, the more disturbing legislation is sneaking in on various bills.  

-  The healthcare bill itself has a section making it obligatory, for example, for Social Services to visit your home before, during, and after pregnancy.  Not only would this be expensive (where would all the money come from to hire the snitch squad to enter your home? Taxes!), but the horror stories of the current "guilty until proven innocent" child welfare services are too numerous to make any intelligent person think this is a good idea.  (I should probably point out a connection to the designs of the devil - for those readers of religious conviction - what danger is it for the poor to be subject to such a law? 
The children of the poor who fail the inquisitions would be taken away and placed into foster care.  Foster parents will - if the existing trends continue to infect our culture - be 'qualified' by lacking religious affiliation or promising not to 'inflict' it upon the children for which they provide care, because "progressive" athiest activists will insist the home care be as sterile and 'superstition free' as our public schools, to provide an "equal" upbringing. Your child who had a dirty diaper on the day you couldn't afford food and welfare happened to show up would be taken away and denied the opportunity to be raised with exposure to your religious perspective).

-  Another law going through right now that gives the government power to "quarantine" entire cities based on a simple declaration from the president.  (if you haven't been following all the conspiracy news, the government has already built several large, barbed-wire encircled "FEMA camps" around the country, and you can find photos of those camps and their stores of unmarked busses all over online). 

"Change" is here, and with it are the further losses of America's values and rights.  Don't believe the myths on either side without checking the facts and details first.


The motto has been on our currency since 1864, after the horrors of the U.S. Civil War awakened stronger religious sentiment in the nation's people.  It became the official motto in 1956. Our nation's founders included phrases like "Nature's God" and "Creator" (capitalization intended) in our Declaration of Independence, and there are other references in other founding documents.  Our nation is still  77% people who identify themselves as "Christian", with an overall total of 81% of people who identify themselves as belonging to some form of "organized religion".  To remove this piece of cultural history and recognition of one of the core beliefs that inspired the design of our country in the first place ... is like demanding that slavery or the holocaust or the Japanese internment be stricken from our nation's history books because discussion of such things hurts or offends some people. Our country is a country of diverse beliefs and lifestyles, and to continue to erase and erode all facets of life to make one bland identity-less & uniform nation will serve more to undermine individual values than to promote them.  All people need to be more tolerant, and tolerance begins with self: accepting difference rather than forcing it to hide.  In a democracy, the "voice of the people" is paramount - if the overwhelming majority of citizens of our country believe in some sort of divine creator, leave it.  If it offends you, ignore it - it doesn't hurt anything and it is a significant memento of where this country originated from in the first place.

A Different Perspective on Tragedy

the other day there was a terrible air disaster over the Hudson River ... a helicopter hit a small plane. i think everyone was killed.

i don't like to make light of any tragedy ... and despite the tone of many of my posts, my true aim in this blog is to open up alternate perspectives, share other sides of the stories in the news, etc.

in this particular story, the mother/wife of the italian tour passengers who perished had missed the tragedy because she was shopping instead.

the media, as is par for this kind of story, are playing up the "luck" or "fate" or "miracle" of her narrow escape from tragedy. it's just like the 9/11 stories of employees not showing up to work, schedules being changed at the last moment, etc.  it's almost as if we see some sort of magic or (i would hope not) "heroism" in the good fortune of one who "happened" to narrowly miss tragedy.

what of the other sides, though? to a husband or child who lost a wife or mother, the terror of seeing your own death coming upon you, yet being alone, must be a terrible feeling. to know these are your last moments on earth, but you cannot share them with that one most important person ... that you can't say your last goodbye or hold hands as disaster eats you up because of a shopping trip must be one of the worst things that could happen to a person.  That something as material as shopping could have robbed or short-changed you of the biggest event in your mortal life has got to force a terrible contrast upon a person ... a tremendous spectrum with "things" on the one hand and "soul" on the other. 

before we railroad the shopper ... lets look at things from her perspective:

she made a decision that robbed her of those final moments, too.  i can only imagine the poor woman, sitting alone in her hotel room, in shock, staring at the bags before her, while maybe just past them lies an open but now useless suitcase.  to the survivor, there is a tremendous guilt where no one else might have even thought to place any kind of blame. 

accidents are not the fault of survivors.

still, i think it is important that we consider these things in any tragedy.  i think it is important we consider these things in our daily lives. maybe before you go to sleep for the night, make peace with your spouse.  when they are going out into the dangerous world, don't waste what could be a final opportunity to be with them because some little thing seems bigger than your family.  no television show, phone call, shopping trip, snack, videogame, book, or naptime is worth the time we allocate it when we forfeit those things which are important. 

PETA lies again / UPDATE: Guess not ...

a little while ago, on a social-networking site, a 'friend' posted the following:

officialpeta: Bunnies drowned by gloating Petland employee:http://ow.ly/j4Oq

the fabricated (?) story says this:


This photo was taken in the back room of a Petland store in Akron, Ohio, and posted on Facebook by Elizabeth Carlisle, who can be seen grinning as she holds two dead, soaking-wet rabbits by the scruff of the neck—rabbits she just drowned while on Petland's time clock. On Carlisle's Facebook page, she confirmed a friend's guess that she had drowned these two rabbits and wrote, "[T]he manager took the pic for me. [S]he reminded me that there were people outside as [I] was swearing at them to just hurry up and die but then she was so kind as to take this picture."

These horrific deaths followed what was apparently an equally horrifying life for these rabbits. Other comments Carlisle posted made it clear that the rabbits were drowned after sustaining agonizing injuries when they were allowed to "attack and eat each other." The rabbits suffered from "deep wounds all over," "an eye missing," what Petland staff "suspected was a broken jaw," and paralysis from the waist down—injuries that would not have occurred had these animals been provided with proper care and supervision.

Undercover investigations have revealed time and time again that companies that breed and sell animals are concerned about profits, not animals' well-being. We are urging Petland to think long and hard about what this incident makes clear: The company has no business selling any animals.

To prevent future incidents like this one, please, never buy from pet stores and urge Petland at the very least to stop selling rabbits.

Posted by Liz Graffeo
here are some problems with the story:

first, as a voracious flesh-eating, fire-arm toting hunter, i can tell you:
* there just aren't many people who would kill just for fun. I hunt (for food), and i would never shoot an animal i am not going to eat or am not defending myself or my family from. I have a hard enough time squishing spiders.
* there are not many people who would kill bunnies for ANY reason, especially "pet" bunnies.
* there are not many people who would work a minimum-wage job, surrounded by stinky fecal matter from the animal kingdom, forced to clean cages and clean animals that pee all overthemselves who do not love animals.
* there are honestly very, very few people who would dye a streak of their hair an unnatural color who do not claim to be vegans, activists, pro-diversity, liberal, democrat, environmentally friendly, etc.  I know that's being 'discriminatory', but really ... count your 'alternative' friends and then subtract any of those who claim to adhere to eastern religion, belong to a grassroots organization or only eat 'organic food', and you'll see what i mean.  the girl in the picture may just as well be wearing a "Meat Is Murder!" t-shirt.
* speaking of clothing, she isn't wearing a Petland uniform.  
* PETA has a long-standing war going on with Petland.  Isn't it suspect that the arch enemy was dumb enough to paste a photo online that would give PETA more weight in their attacks?
* After searching Facebook (where the photo is alleged to have come from), and searching historical web archives of facebook, i discovered THE PROFILE AND PERSON DON'T EXIST. There are some Elizabeth Carlisles in Ohio, but one is an older woman and the other (who looks nothing like the PETA photo) has numerous liberal friends (Obama-ites, etc), which make it SERIOUSLY UNLIKELY that she's be a bunny-hating madwoman. There was also one who is a horse-lover, and
* The ONLY online information i could find about an Elizabeth Carlisle+Akron are posts by PETA themselves, including this one:
Employee Seen Grinning and Holding Drowned Animals' Bodies on Facebook

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2009

Stephanie Bell 757-622-7382

Akron, Ohio --
After being alerted to a Facebook photo and discussion thread indicating that a Petland employee named Elizabeth Carlisle deliberately drowned two rabbits on July 28 at a Petland store in Akron, PETA wrote to Petland's founder, Ed Kunzelman, and its president, Frank Difatta, calling for an end to rabbit sales at the national pet store chain. PETA is also asking Petland to conduct an internal investigation of the incident and is calling on Petland's corporate office to support the criminal prosecution of Carlisle, if warranted, as well as to immediately review and strengthen company procedures pertaining to euthanasia and the treatment of sick and injured animals.
The Facebook photo shows a grinning Carlisle -- who worked at the Petland store located at 2000 Brittain Rd., Ste. 41, in Akron -- dangling two dead, soaking-wet rabbits by the scruff of their necks. Carlisle confirms a Facebook friend's guess that she drowned the rabbits, writing, "[T]he manager took the pic for me. [S]he reminded me that there were people outside as [I] was swearing at them to just hurry up and die but then she was so kind as to take this picture."
Carlisle's other comments indicate that the rabbits had been allowed to "attack" and "eat" each other (behavior that may have been caused by crowding and poor husbandry) while in the store's "care" and that rabbits had sustained injuries, including "deep wounds all over," "an eye missing," what Petland staff "suspected was a broken jaw," and paralysis from the waist down. The case is currently under criminal investigation by law-enforcement authorities.
"Petland has no business selling any animals," says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "Its management and staff seem unable to provide rabbits with basic supervision and care and don't appear to have anything close to a decent attitude toward them. But at the very least, Petland should follow the example of other national pet store chains and immediately stop selling these small, vulnerable animals."

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

While this doesn't "prove" PETA made up the story, the statements provided by PETA also don't prove it took place. PETA has a long history of digging up the most anomalous and gruesome animal abuse stories, then inflating them to make them appear common place. In this case, it is simply one more attempt to portray Petland in a bad light, continuing PETA's attempts to shut down the chain. PETA makes sure, in both articles, to make it seem as if the injuries that (may have been) sustained by the rabbits were the result of some sort of lack of proper care/handling on the part of Petland, when they very well could have been injuries which occurred elsewhere, with the animals being 'dumped off' at Petland (as is often the case at pet stores). "Anti-" groups always like to tie the poor actions of one (a priest, an employee, a criminal with a stereotypical look) as the actions of all ... and whether or not this story turns out to be true, it is PETA's aim to bring down this store, not just the one or two employees who may have been involved.

As is already pretty obvious, PETA uses the same "media manipulation" tactics as other liberal "sources", like MoveOn.org, Democracy Now!, etc.  They present a realistic news story, but fail to provide useful sources (which would allow a reader to verify the validity of the 'discovery').  Where is the link to the facebook page?  Has Petland in Akron been contacted for comment (or declined comment?) The only links that are to be found are links back to the fabrication. A PETA blog. A PETA news release.  These are not valuable sources to substantiate the story; it is merely the liberal tactic of saturation.  They know that if they post the same misinformation in a handful of places, the average person isn't going to think "wow, here's another version of the story posted by the same people who broaght me the last one" ... instead, each time you view the misinformation, it will be further embedded in your mind, and a week or month later, most people will remember what they read/saw, but won't recall that it was suspect. 

That isn't the only tactic PETA uses, of course. Their ads are filled with sexual innuendo, and they do their best to position nude or semi-clad women at protests, on websites, and in their video ads.  They don't have to worry about offending people who may belong to a religion that frowns upon titillation and eroticism, because they know their main target are those in bondage to their own "free thinking" - those persons who feel a social or intellectual superiority to everyone else because their own vices are part of the established "alternative". 

http://www.akrongrapevine.com/ (liks to PETA.org)

I just saw the following news article on CNN.  It looks like Venezuala's America-hating Hugo Chavez just closed down unfavorable radio stations. 
I saw a quote recently that said something about how the first things oppressive regimes go after are the radio stations, because what is said on the air is more difficult to control than printed media and word of mouth.  I would suspect, then, that free broadcast radio is (in modern times) the pinnacle of free speech. 

Here"s the articleCollapse )

Great to think it wouldn't happen here! Or could it?

You may or may not know that one of the (many) disturbing policies suggested by the incoming Obama administration and the democrats was a new kind of "fairness doctrine" aimed at radio programming. 
Radio programs are often syndicated. This is how you could live in Arizona or Michigan and get "America's Top 40" or "Dr. Demento" out of California when you were a kid.  It's how you can hear NPR programming across the country on your local station, and why radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, George Noory, or Glenn Beck can be heard nationwide.  It's why you've heard of Dr. Laura or Shock-Jock Howard Stern. 
The concept isn't that unique ... Television is also syndicated.  There are giant broadcast networks that predate the Cable Channels.  Saturday Night Live would only be available to residents of New York if that weren't the case, and only people in southern California would have seen BayWatch, 90210 or One Tree Hill.
Not really a bad thing, right?  Local stations still insert their local advertisement for local businesses, local news still airs.

Over the years, people of sure political persuasion have gravitated toward one form of transmitted media or the other.  Conservatives and Republicans largely listen to radio broadcasts, and Liberals and Democrats largely follow what comes out of Hollywood or shoots out of their television.  While some might point to some old-timer or nostalgic reason, another argument may be that hard working Americans tend to not have the option of watching television while working.  Whatever the case, Conservatives generally get their news and opinion-entertainment from radio shows like Glenn Beck or Dr. Laura, and Liberals generall get their news from comedy shows like SNL or The Daily Show.  Not trying to pick on anyone, but it's pretty much the truth.

The wider availability of radio, along with the predominance of 'conservative talk' shows has long troubled the liberal illuminati.  Joe-Bob Farmer, who lives 60 miles from the nearest bottled water vendor can usually pick up a handful of radio stations when television isn't an option.  I live in an actual town, for example, and to get "local" television here, we have to subscribe to a satellite service ... but i can easily pick up four good talk radio stations and a dozen music providers. 

In order to offensively insert their agenda into the minds of Rural America, the liberal illuminati needed to take out the existing feed and make their own flow more accessible.  Increasing television coverage would be expensive, but newer digital technologies were capable of delivering signal at greater distances with less power.  Solution number one was to sell the public on the "need" for a switchover from older analog broadcast systems to the newer digital systems, and part of that solution was to mandate the switchover - leaving providers with no choice. The town where i live recently gained 9 television stations (nearly all are Public Broadcasting). "Mission accomplished". Rural America now has access to the filthy softcore porn, inappropriate language and mass-marketing that had helped undermine urban america decades before.  But PBS is safe, right?  Unfortunately, the Obama administration decided that local PBS stations would lose their funding if they aired religious programming because a small portion of the funding for Public Broadcasting comes from taxpayers (despite 81% of American adults identifying themselves as members of some organized religion - 77% being "Christian" according to the same 2001 poll), so anything that smacks of religion or religious values cannot be aired on PBS, while shows and documentaries promoting homosexuality are promoted. 

So what to do about the steady stream of syndicated right-wing programs?  The answer was found in the exploitation of "minority groups". 
Some politicians (pushed by activists) crunched some numbers and found that there's not a whole lot of minority-owned radio.  Rather than trying to determine why (it makes sense, for example, that a group that makes up 2% of the population would not have more than 2% of the radio stations, right?), they proudly announced that "the reason why" there wasn't a lot of 'minority radio' was that all the "Big Networks" (kinda like "Big Oil", "Big Auto Companies", "Big Businesses", "Big Religion" ...) took up all the radio bandwidth. 

Excuse me for saying this, but [bad word]!!  Eliminating analog television freed up a whole lot of the spectrum, and in very few places was the spectrum already over-burdened in specific localities. Not that that matters ... the whole story is pretty weak anyway.

So welcome "localism" and "fairness doctrine".  The idea that the mere existence of syndicated "network" radio prohibits minority radio from existing.  The FCC created a "diversity" group (made up of the most militant of affirmative-action and opposition groups, but which isn't diverse enough to include straight people, white people, religious people, families, etc).  Congress also voted in favor of the "Fairness Doctrine", which many suspect will be a 'back door' to seizing control of radio stations and disbanding networks which currently carry content unfavorable to the liberal agenda. 

As it now stands, and with the direction things seem to be going, pornography has more legal protection than conservative talk radio.  When you consider the administration that launched this attack is the same one that strong-armed and intimidated smaller broadcasters during the election from airing an unfavorable (but truthful) ad about Obama's anti 2nd Amendment stance, it's pretty clear to see that unless someone can get some protections legislated, the United States may be losing a vital pillar of Free Speech. 

sources (accessed 08/01/2009):

The Perils Of Global Warming Policies

One of the things that makes me happiest is finding "the rest of the story" on major issues.  After an argument with my wife (she's a bit quicker than me and aggravates me to a stupor before i can say what i want to say), i went online to find some information about GLOBAL WARMING. The topic came up because some friends in Seattle were "so there!"-ing about global warming because they just had a record high of 103° ... but where i'm at, we've had a cooler-than-usual summer, with nearly twice our yearly precipitation in just a couple months. 

I guess it's my belief that Global Warming is a misleading term ... while it may be accurate (and understated) for some, it is the opposite for others.  Perhaps the term should be "climate normalization".  Yes, species are dying off, yes, some of our industry contributes to some of this ... but the earth has a pattern of hot and cold cycles that would exist regardless man's influence.  In the new religion of global warming, man has lifted himself above God as a cause for change in the world.  I think i am uncomfortable with that.

Maybe i am wrong, though?  After all, a professor at my college forced us to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", and lectured incessantly about the validity of Gore's research.  I mean, she was a first-year english teacher who'd just begun teaching after haviung been a high school english teacher, but still, she has the title of "Doctor" ...
While watching the Gore-flick for the fourth time, i began to see some why-didn't-i-notice-that-before errors in his presentation.  For example, he claims that cars in Asia have better gas mileage than cars in the United States, but doesn't let you know that the major reasons for that are the modifications necessary for the cars to comply with our 'clean air' requirements ... pollution reducers which also reduce the power and MPG of those cars which are exported here.  Gore also measures the damage done by hurricanes in dollars, and uses the graph to suggest that hurricanes have become more powerful in recent decades (in actuality they have not, but the number of people living in hurricane areas has increased exponentially - meaning there are more dollars placed in the path of hurricanes than before). 

Imagine my excitement when i found the video POLICY PERIL online!  It details several important bits (important if you want to explore, with an open-mind, additional data about Global Warming):

- the retractions of data previously used to start the Global Warming craze
- the few areas where man's restrictions on industry have helped curb pollution
- the truths that are glossed over or manipulated to 'make a case' for global warming policies
- some dangers (like malaria, hurricanes and wildfires) that are not actually related to 'global warming', and why they are not
- some dangers (poverty, deforestation, increased carbon dioxide release) that are directly tied to Global Warming "prevention" policies 

to wrap it all up, they admit there ARE things we should do to protect the environment, and that (whether man-caused or God-caused) the earth's climate IS changing, but the ill-planned and dramatic measures being rushed through and enacted will do very little to combat the warming, but will do a lot to further damage economies, health, and the environment ... and tyhat some of the more effective measures are those most frowned upon by alarmists.

See Video: POLICY PERIL: Why Global Warming Policies Are More dangerous Than Global Warming Itself


Racial Profiling on iReport

here's the link:  http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-305655

I've actually been gathering information to write a coherant blog on the subject, given the recent "swimming pool-daycare" incident and now the "respected professor breaking into his own house" incident.  I've found, however, that waiting a few days here and there provides a much stickier story with all sorts of plot twists ... like the 911 tapes and interview with the caller that show there was no racial intent (and, given the additional context of a police officer with no prior "race problems" and other witnesses to the arrest, it looks like the only person exhibiting racial prejudice in this situation was Mr. gates himself).

anyway, stay tuned ...



just pulled this off a friend's blog:

"The Christian Right is 100% devoid of morals
Today at 3:21pm
I just came across the following from the decline to sign ref 71 people. For those of you unaware, Ref71 is an initiative to remove rights from domestic partnerships here in Washinton State:

"ALERT!!! There are reports of people on Queen Anne collecting signatures for referendum 71, but telling people the petition is pro gay rights. People are signing the petition thinking they are support LGBT people. We are following up on these reports, but in the mean time do not sign anything that says "Protect Marriage, Protect Children" at the top. Please spread the word."

Not only are these people openly seeking to remove basic rights from others, they've been paying people to collect signatures, they're willing to lie about it in order to get their way. I shouldn't be surprised, should it find its way onto a ballot its phrased in such a way that those who check "no" will actually be voting in these s*** faces' favor. F***ing reptilian scum."


I added the asterisks in myself (an all-too common task when quoting liberal-socialists). 

without confirming whether or not this is true, i am going to say the following:

1) I doubt this is happening.  Largely/Generally/Mostly the kinds of people defending marriage wouldn't resort to this kind of thing.  Kind of like the "anti-abortion activists" outside the DNC ... who actually just sat in their permit-given space and held signs and prayed.  As much as the dems tried to start a fight, these kind old people just sat there ... (i reported about that in a previous blog, complete with video footage)

2) HOWEVER i have been a victim of this whole bait-n-switch type thing in Seattle myself.  At the time, however, it was the liberal socialists doing the tricking ... they were trying to get us to sign a petition to "make it easier to vote", which in the fine print meant elections would be between the two candidates with the most votes from the primaries, regardless of party ... so you could end up having to vote for a democrat or a democrat, or a republican vs a republican.  sneaky ...

3) having formerly lived in Queen Anne, i have a difficult time believing this.  Queen Anne is all rich snobs and homeless people, nothing else. 

ok. now i am going to go looking for the source of this rumor. 

gross.  i'm having to wade through sophistric catch phrases like "love makes a marriage, not gender"
i want to say something to that.  there is a kind of love one can have for a neighbor, parent, brother, child, or puppy ... and there is a kind of love that a couple can have and be husband and wife.  anything outside this easily falls into the "lust" category.  "not needing a piece of paper to show we're committed" is the lie that people fornicating (or committing adultery, if one is already married) use.  trying to emulate - but coming off as a repulsive counterfeit - real marriage is a trick people use to cover up their unnatural lusts and make themselves feel better about going against nature.  sorry, but that's the truth. 
marriage was instituted by God ... and if you don't believe in God, then you must accept that marriage was "invented" by men who believed in God.  marriage is a religious ritual, much like baptism or communion. there is a distinct formula to marriage, and it depends HEAVILY on gender!
if you don't believe in the God who gave us marriage, or the men who believed in Him and "invented" marriage ... if you don't love that God ("If ye love me, keep my commandments") ... what business do you have wresting away that sacred thing from those to whom it rightfully belongs?  Invent your own ritual, you hateful, spiteful monsters!

ok. back to verifying the rumor ...

i found one other report here: http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/12032/referendum-71-petition-fraud
but sadly, it merely quotes the same bit as my good friend cut-n-pasted.  (This is like printing out a Nigerian money scam email as 'proof' of its validity - doesn't work). It was posted by a user who frequently posts LGBT news: http://www.pamshouseblend.com/user/Lurleen

A story on her blog also shows some of the grossness modern people are using to try to hijack family values and poop on them.  there were two men kissing on LDS church property (allegedly "a peck on the cheek", but i find that hard to buy, condsidering the peck lasted them long enough to get asked to leave by security guards, and then "cuffed and roughed up and cited for trespassing" by city police).  The article goes on about how stupid the ACLU is for upholding the "main street" of salt lake city to be church property. 

let's stop right there.

in the 1800's, "Mormons' were being raped, burned, shot, hung, and otherwise abused by people on the east coast, so they moved to the midwest.  The same thing happened there - in fact, a govorner actually issued a signed "extermination order" (genocide!) against them that was not repealed until the late 1990s.  They left the city they built there (that they'd built in malarial marshland!), and treked thousands of miles to the Great Salt lake valley, where they built one of the greatest cities of the west, and proceeded to colonize what is now the Western United States (but which was then Mexico).  Non-Mormons started showing up (once all the hard work was done), and began causing trouble, even going as far as to lie to congress and the president, claiming they were 'forming a militia'.  President Grant sent US Troops to Utah to "qwell the rebellion", and when the troops subsequently found none, they returned to the east.  (I'm sure this was at taxpayer expense?)  The federal government DID, however, cause some additional problems for the Mormons in Utah ... they wanted to add utah to the USA, but forced the Mormons to quit the practice of plural marriage (polygamy) - creating what is probably the first giant legal battle in this country against marriage and personal beliefs - and forced their leader, Brigham Young, to step down and allow a non-mormon to be govorner (and another to be the justice, etc).
flash forward to now ...
the same kind of people who wanted to rob Mormons of the right to marry multiple wives want to take marriage away from all Christians and soil it by making it available to men-men and women-women couples.  these same people are angry that the center of the city built by Mormons as property of the Mormons. 

hmmm.  in a weird way, that almost substantiates the 'fears' of the 'defense of marriage' people who said "first they'll make gay marriage legal, then they'll make it illegal to not allow gay marriage, which will put churches in jeopardy, and when the churches won't comply, they'll take away church property" (like they threatened to do if the Mormons didn't stop polygamy, by the way!) ...

anyway, i couldn't find any actual report corroborating the "reports" mentioned in this seeming email scam, so for the time being, i am going to suppose it is a propaganda trick to generate sympathy for the pro-gay marriage crowd. 


Awesome Article on Animal-Rights Terrorism

(and it's where i lifted this graphic)

the article is here: http://www.csicop.org/si/2008-03/connparker.html

The text of the article (for archival purposes) is
here.Collapse )

As mentioned previously, I've been studying race in relation to crime for the past year or so.  As could be expected, I've come across a lot of data on other aspects of racial differences in America.

This morning I stumbled upon something about Obama's cabinet, and went on a quest to find out the ethnic makeup of his "historically" diverse cabinet. 

Perhaps i should preface this with a little bit of information.  As of July 1st, 2005, the racial make-up of the United States was as follows:

TABLE NOTE: We could spend a large amount of time on debating the appropriate names for the races, but since what is "acceptable"
changes every few years, I've tried to maintain some simple titles, and apologize if you are offended by being called "white" rather than
"European-American", etc.

While we're looking at 2005, it might be interesting to note that in 2005, the incarceration rates for DRUG OFFENSES of the 3 largest populations (white, black and hispanic) were as follows:

 Black:         44.8%
 White:         28.5%
 Hispanic:     20.2%

At the time, it was believed that the decrease in blacks incarcerated for drug crimes and the increase in whites was related to the popularity of meth, and evolved production and dealing techniques for crack-cocaine. I don't know how much of this is true ... i have the quotes of the government officials that "said so", but part of me wonders if the decrease in blacks being convicted of drug crimes has something also to do with some social changes (positive role models, 'just say no' programs, etc). i concur with the theory about meth being related to the increase in white incarceration for drug crimes. Two officials suggested that "with a lot of the criminals behind bars, there aren't that many criminals left to commit crimes".  While that makes sense, its simplicity is somewhat suspect. 

Another interesting bit of information here ... when factoring in other crimes - particularly sex-crimes - whites actually made up 58.5% of overall prison populations.  While still not a politically-correct match to the overall population percentages for the entire country (which would be 80.2%), the number is of incredible importance, as it illustrates the FACT that more whites are in prison than blacks and hispanics combined. This data seems to indicate that blacks and hispanics are caught committing drug crimes, and whites committing other crimes - not that minorities are unfairly rounded up into prisons.

This does present a problem for some of the conclusions i'd reached through other data ... i believe that crime is a result of individual decisions influenced by upbringing, and not a result of genetic predisposition or government conspiracy, and to identify certain races of being more or less guilty of crimes involving addiction and substance abuse dangerously points a finger in the direction of genetic predisposition, but when one considers this data does not differentiate between producer, supplier or consumer, there really isn't enough data to draw such a conclusion. 

With the focus at this point on crime, we should examine an under-reported example of hate crime, and its relationship to "Post-Race' America.

You might recall the video i posted a few months back, of Black-Panthers posted outside a Philidelphia voting place brandishing a night-stick and wearing panther uniforms, intimidating white voters.  One of the panthers was quoted as saying "you better not come outside, because a black man is going to win this race, no matter what".  This was similar to a lot of the 'race war' threats in southern states around the election, where whites were told to "go home before dark". In case you missed the footage of the panthers blocking the booth, here it is again, with additional Fox News footage during the arrest:

Government lawyers under the Bush administration pursued the case, and even had an affidavit from a prominent civil rights activist (Bartle Bull) who witnessed the confrontations, describing them as "the most blatant form of voter intimidation i'd ever seen ... In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll ... In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location."  Bull also testified he heard one of the men tell a white poll watcher, "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker." 

When the government switched hands, new Attorney General, Obama's Eric Holder, refused to enter the affidavit into the case, and two of the three men were dismissed with no penalty, while the third got an order that prohibits him from bringing a weapon to a polling place. (i.e. most people can't bring weapons to polling places anyway, and this guy is still going to be allowed to vote). 

It wouldn't seem like a bias if all incidents were treated fairly, regardless of race.  Unfortunately, that has not been the case.  Even while the obama administration, under the direction of Holder has ordered law enforcement officials to "back off" of counter-terrorism investigations into activities of radical black muslim converts, the same administration is stepping up surveilance of individuals (mostly white) who "stock up on ammunition, are anti-abortion, are returning disgruntled war vets, or who don't agree with the policies of the administration".  In essence, if you're black and want to brandish a weapon at a polling place, it's ok to do it once ... and if you're angry and join a radical muslim group, it's ok as long as you're black ... but if you dare be white and stock up on ammunition, or try to exercise your 1st amendment rights and speak out against abortion or any of the corrupt policies of the Obama administration, you could immediatley - without trial - lose your right to vote, to fly, to own a weapon, and possibly your right to walk as a free person in this country. 

maybe i'm jumping the gun.  lets go back to statistics.

We already saw that america is 80.2% white, 14.4% hispanic, and 12.8% black.  We saw that criminal incarceration rates do not follow these same ratios, though in a country where 80% of the inhabitants are white, over half of prison inmates are also white. 

In a country where 80% of the citizens are white, the majority elected a (half)black man as president.  That is certainly a step in the right direction, as far as 'colorblindness' and equality is concerned.  After all, he is the only one of 43 U.S. presidents who have been non-white. That means, with Obama, 2.3% of the U.S. presidents have been representative of a minority. If, by number, the list of presidents were to reflect today's racial makeup of America, 5 1/2 U.S. Presidents would have been black by now. The presidency has, thus far, not been a "politically correct" representation of all races of people in America.  In this way, yes, regardless of actual merit, Obama's election victory was indeed a historical election, and is certainly a step in the direction America needs to take.

We have to stop and consider, however, whether or not the value is in the color of his skin, or in the lack of bias in America over the color of his skin.  Unfortunatley, he represents our first "affirmative-action' elected president.  Obama was not elected by virtue of his abilities, certainly not by virtue of some grand congressional record ... but by virtue of his skin color, at least if we are to accept the indications from our children's enthusiuasm.  Children across America gleefully told their parents, "I hope Obama wins!" At dinnertables spanning the country, the response to the parents' curious "why?" was the same: "because he's black!"

So is this really "Post Race America"?  Does reverse discrimination mean that we've moved beyond making decisions based on skin color?  Absolutely not!  In fact, i would venture to say that Obama's success may usher in a revival of segregation and racism, of promotions and admission based on the color of a person's skin, their gender, or their sexual choices.  When we look at his cabinet, we see that "pro-diversity" (meaning "choosing based on skin color, gender and sexual preference to create the illusion of integration") gives us an uneven "mix" of race and background.  Of 22 officials selected by Obama to fill positions at "cabinet-level", only 9 represent white males (40.9%).  When looking at the wider scope of the Obama administration, the number is significantly higher - of 366 of the President's decision makers, 52% are white (though when you remove those who are merely hold-overs from the outgoing Bush administration, the number is closer to 49%). 

I guess what i'm getting at ... is that we (the American people, of all races, creeds, genders, blah blah blah) need to quit fooling ourselves.  There ARE differences between who we physiologically are (male, female, race, etc), there ARE differences in who we choose to be, and "birds of a feather flock together" - and there is nothing wrong with that.  In fact, if anything, there is something deeply wrong with forcing "integration" when it just isn't there.  (Hold on there!  I'm not advocating segregation, i don't believe in racial superiority or any of that!)  i just mean we shouldn't be spending money and using time to bus white kids on one side of town to the 'black' side of town, and vice-versa, because forcing people to "accept" being dragged across town from their home and family in the name of "political correctness", "diversity", "integration", or whatever the catch phrase is, is really just weird.  YES, people need the opportunity to associate with others unlike themselves, and YES, education is essential to create familiarity, destroy fear and promote understanding, but forcing it is different than promoting an environment that will allow natural curiousity to drive inner change.  Sesame Street did more for racial equality than all the affirmative action programs combined ... because it presented and didn't force. Same thing with "The Cosby Show" ... we weren't constantly reminded that the characters weren't white, and that there was this gigantic social difference or whatever ... to all the generations after those who saw these shows as "groundbreaking", they were just shows, and the people in them were just people ... and we were watching for the plot and the content, and not for the social commentary that may or may not be there. 

The most racist people i've ever known have been those who studied "race studies" in college, or who work for activist groups ... and i've known a pretty diverse lot of people in my time!  The common thread among these ... is their constructed, intellectualized, plotted and scheduled version of "natural" versus true nature.  They conjure up and point out the differences no one really cared about before.  While it is important to take the good from a diverse number of life experiences, these people wanted to push diverse ideas down our throats, and when you choke, it's harder to appreciate what you're being fed. 

In order for discrimination to end, we must stop discriminating. 

Re-Post: Franken Victory Not Funny

I've got a lot going on this morning, but i wanted to archive (cut & paste) the following commentary, because i feel it points out some incredibly important issues and potential issues in our current balance of governmental power:

Franken Victory Is Not Funny
Commentary on CNN By John Feehery

 (CNN) -- The metric system is the kind of thing that you can expect from the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority Democrats now have in the United States Senate.

After the Watergate scandal in 1974, Democrats trounced Republicans in the mid-term elections, getting 61 seats in the Senate and 291 in the House.

In the Senate, they adjusted the rules to make it harder for Republicans to filibuster (reducing the magic number from 67 to 60 to invoke cloture, which ends debate). In the House, they passed all kinds of reforms to take power away from senior members and give it to junior members. And Congress mandated that the American people embrace the metric system.

The metric system idea never really caught on, and although the pain of Watergate afflicted Republicans for another two elections, they eventually pulled themselves out of their deep hole, with some good ideas and a charismatic leader, who promised to restore America to greatness.

Democrats have once again reached the magic number of 60, as Norm Coleman finally threw in the towel against the one-time joke writer for Saturday Night Live, Al Franken.

Republicans have little reason to laugh, though, as they look at their diminished ranks and wonder how they have put themselves in such a weakened position. It was only four-and-a-half years ago that the GOP was on the top of the world, and some of their more smug strategists were confidently predicting a permanent Republican majority.

This is a good time for such self-reflection. Republicans lost three top-notch senators in the last election -- Norm Coleman, Gordon Smith and John Sununu -- who lost not because they were bad senators, or because they had scandals, or because they had lost touch with constituents. All three lost because they were Republicans.

In other words, the brand killed them. And if you look at the latest polls, the GOP brand hasn't gotten any better in the last six months. In fact, according to Gallup, even 38 percent of Republicans have a negative view of the Republican Party.

But let's not throw in the towel yet, my Republican friends.

Just as in the mid-1970s, when Democratic overreach led to a Republican resurgence, the house that Franken has built will inevitably collapse on its own leftward-self.

A new Gallup poll shows that the American people are starting to catch on that Democrats are pushing the country to a place that it doesn't want to go. The poll "finds a statistically significant increase since last year in the percentage of Americans who describe the Democratic Party's views as being "too liberal," from 39 percent to 46 percent. This is the largest percentage saying so since November 1994, after the party's losses in that year's midterm elections."

It is no surprise that Americans would have that impression of Democrats in the White House and in Congress.

When they passed a so-called stimulus bill that Republicans branded as pork-filled, they lost their credibility on fiscal responsibility.

When the president assumed control over General Motors, dictated terms to Chrysler, and then refused to allow some banks to pay back their TARP loans, independent voters grew nervous about the government's stepped-up intervention in the private sector.

And last week, when Democrats passed a climate change bill that Republicans insist will sharply raise energy prices for middle-class families, moderate Democrats started to jump ship. In fact, 44 Democrats defied intense pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and voted no.

Democrats are now making plans to intervene in the health care marketplace, with some liberals insisting on a government-run "public option" health insurer. In any event, many won't be satisfied until the government basically sets prices for health insurance and prescription drugs.

The arrival of the man from Minnesota will make the move leftward even for Democrats. He will not only be one more vote for the left, but one more loud voice for liberal policies. Because of his celebrity status, he will attract media attention, and because of his philosophy, he will use that attention to move Democrats further left.

When Franken first started in politics, he did so as the liberal answer to Rush Limbaugh. Imagine if Rush were the 60th vote for Republicans, with George Bush as president. Now, think how Franken will act as the 60th vote for President Obama.

Yes, Democrats will move left by more than a few kilometers, but they will do so at their own peril.

Another poll showed that while 40 percent of Americans identify themselves as conservative, only 21 percent think of themselves as liberal. The American people voted for change. They didn't vote for a liberal orthodoxy that promises more government, higher taxes, slower growth, more pork and a liberal social agenda.

In 1975, the newly dominant Democratic Congress sent President Gerald Ford a bill that declared that America was going to be metric, which he signed. When Jimmy Carter became president two years later, he signed a law that told Americans that they couldn't drive faster than 55 mph.

These measures made perfect sense to the liberal sensibilities of the time. But they didn't make sense to the American people, and are symbols of a philosophy that was out of touch with the people in the 1970s and is still out of touch with the lives of most Americans today.

Most Americans still don't use the metric system, and they certainly don't drive no more than 55 miles an hour. And while they may still like Barack Obama and still laugh at jokes written by Al Franken, they will eventually grow weary of the newly dominant liberals who now run Washington.

Original commentary can be found at http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/01/feehery.franken/index.html

This would be (at least) the second time Fawcett's son has received special privileges & been escorted from jail to visit his mother.

While i shouldn't be so cold hearted ... he is, after all, grieving the death of his mother ... this is an example where fame and fortune in the land of sin has bought a criminal special privileges.
If one guilty man gets special treatment, they all should.

I don't think this treatment had anything to do with race (he is white), but try telling that to minorities (including the poor!) who don't get to get out of jail with a special escort to see their wife, sister, mother or child's funeral or wedding. I think this is a case of a star-struck law-enforcement department who (in the first case) wanted to see Farrah, and (now) who want to attend her funeral.

CNN reported the following about O'Neal:

"O'Neal was arrested in September when deputies found methamphetamine during a probation search at the Malibu, California, home of his father, actor Ryan O'Neal. The younger O'Neal was on probation for a 2008 felony drug conviction involving heroin and meth.

Monday's court order will allow Redmond O'Neal out of jail for up to three hours for the funeral. A sheriff's deputy is to accompany him at all times, according to the order, issued in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

O'Neal, 24, will be allowed to wear civilian clothes for the funeral.

He is undergoing what the sheriff's department has called an "intense drug rehabilitation program" in the L.A. County jail."

So he wasn't in prison for murder, but he also wasn't simply in jail for public intoxication (do they even have that in California?)

I was about to apologize for jumping to conclusions when i read the "intense drug rehab" quote, but that could simply be jailhouse humor ...

But if the rehab program (paid for by California state tax dollars - dollars, which in turn were paid for by federal tax dollars when our government had to bail their state out) was so "intense" that the "patient" had to be locked up in order for it to be effective, then isn't this 3 hour vacation going to render the program less effective, in turn costing the taxpayers additional money that could have been spent on getting communists jobs in our educational system, buying big-screen TVs for homeless shelters, giving foodstamps to girlfriends of drug dealers, or closing down car manufacturers who can't make cars that do 85MPG on fuel made from moldy organic lunchmeat?

I know personally of persons incarcerated in other left-coast states who didn't get this kind of opportunity.  An ex-con who "served his time" and was released from prison ... but the 'release' process took an extra month, so he missed his sister-in law's final days as cancer took her.  A stupid kid who was drunk driving, was sent to rehab, got released, then a paperwork error caused him to get brought back in (to a different county) for several months, making him miss his probation officer, which caused a warrant to be issued for his arrest ... when the paperwork error was corrected (someone else of the same name), he was still 'guilty' of not checking in during that time (in which he was in jail in a neighboring county), so he went immediately to THAT jail ... and on and on.

neither of these guys had the money or famous parents that O'Neal has, however, so they certainly deserved what they got, right?



The headline was edited for space, what i really meant to say (to give you the context) is:
"I Would Hope That A Wise White Man With The Richness of His Experiences Would, More Often Than Not, Reach a Better Conclusion"

no, not talking about myself. not really talking about any actual existing caucasian. the comment gave you a weird feeling in your gut, though ... either the shrink of embarrasment (if you are white or male, or both) or the peptic rise of anger (if you are "other").  It kind of rubs you weird.  What does the statement mean? Does it mean that we should have assumed a white male to be wise and rarely make mistakes? Is it a subtle poke ... reminding us that White men are "superior"?

Unless you live on a remote island with no modern communication, you probably know this is a direct reference to Judge Sonia Sotomayor's repeated comments (at least 7 different occasions, all well documented) about a "Wise :Latina".  The most famous of these quotes being
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion."
Look familiar?

In New Haven, CT, twenty firefighters (19 caucasian, 1 hispanic) were denied promotions because city officials were worried their numbers (quotas?) would suggest they were discriminating against other minorities. This is, perhaps, similar to Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case in which a white applicant (Allan Bakke) was denied admission to a medical school twice even though there were minority applicants admitted to the school with significantly lower scores than his. The medical school had used a quota system, and the Supreme Court ruled against the school, in favor of Bakke.  (Perhaps they, too, were worried about "going under the knife" at the hands of a doctor who only made it through med school by virtue of his skin color?)
The New Haven firefighters case, however, is significant because one of the judges who supported this racially prejudiced practice (a term which fits perfectly in this example) was Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Switch the roles of the victims.  Lets say 19 blacks and 1 white are working at a technology company, and they are denied promotions because "everyone knows that" persons of asian or indian descent are much more detail-oriented and technology minded than whites or blacks, so they're waiting for some asians or indians to come up for promotion. The victims (the 20) go to court, and a white male judge - the same one we quoted above talking about the "wise white man" - judges in favor of the technology company, because in his "wisdom" he knows that asians and indians are better suited for the job, and these policies need to remain in place because it's better for everyone if blacks and whites aren't building our technology.

You're really wanting to argue now.  "how on earth can you equate --"

i'll show you.

the idea that certain minorities are still discriminated against (as bad as they were 30 years ago, when many of these policies began to gain popularity) is a racially-based theory. 
this theory rests on some sub-theories:

- that the minorities discriminated against are always the same specific minorities
- that the discrimination is universal (nationwide, occupation-wide, etc)
- that all persons from completely different backgrounds and experiences have equal ability
- the ONLY way to provide equal opportunity is to handicap the (perceived) majority so the (traditional) minority can "catch up". 

obviously, there are some serious consequences to these assumptions. the biggest of these consequences is that such thinking PERPETUATES RACISM.

all "successful" (meaning, it doesn't go away as readily) racial discrimination employs as "justification" for 'the better good" element, as well as anecdotal "evidence" to support the bigotry and solidify the prejudice. The justification element for "affirmative action" programs is what i just outlined above - it is the belief that discrimination still exists, that all people are equally capable regardless experience and background, and that lowering the bar and creating quotas will "level the playing field", and create equality.

the story about the technology company does the same thing: we use some pre-existing racial stereotypes (blacks and whites are not as good with technology as asians and indians), we justify our position by saying "it's better for everyone", and we use a bunch of anecdotal evidence to support the stereotypes (blacks and whites scoring lower on test scores, the "usual" jobs employed by the lower class of each - without regard to the possibility that that itself may come from a longstanding discrimination against those 'majorities'!). 

someone once said (and this has been attributed to Justice Alito and Justice Roberts, in a few versions - i most recently heard it from Idaho Justice Winmill at a symposium):
"the only way to end discrimination is to stop discriminating".

affirmative action programs - particularly those with quotas, are the modern version of Plessey vs Ferguson - creating what often pretends to be a 'seperate but equal' admission process in schools/jobs, which can ultimately result in confirmation of JusticeWarren's famous quote in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that seperate is "inherently unequal".

both affirmative action and "good racism" ("blacks are better athletes", "asian students study harder", "native americans are more wise") are examples of racism or discrimination, and continue the divisions between race, gender, religion and culture.  when society lowers the bar to accomodate natural differences or to spare 'hard feelings' (as is the case in most attacks on religious displays), SOCIETY becomes the loser - losing all the diversity, culture, identity, challenges and experience which make us (nationally) a great people. 

We need to move past our socialist attempts at equalization, and do two things:
- don't make ANY judgements - good or bad - based on race (judge on merit only!)
- don't try to hide those things which really are unique and which contribute to society's well-being (religious displays, cultural festivals, clothing in schools, differences in language).

yes, there will be some details that have to be worked out on an individual level, but that is not the government's place.  we hire the government to preserve and protect our freedoms, not to sand and whittle them away so we all have the same uniformity and lack of identiy.  Government should fight hate crimes, not legislate some manufactured version of "equality".  While Sotomayor was right about the 'richness' of a person's background being essential, she is seriously wrong to display so much bias and bitterness, inflated pride and division if she is to wear the title of "Justice".  Justice is blind, not vengeful ...

We also have to stop trying to demand government micromanage life. 



The recent "Kings Dominion UFO" video is pretty cool. saw it on CNN & found the actual footage on Youtube, uninterrupted:

The CNN story said that the theme park (Kings Dominion) said it was a smoke ring from some Volcano ride ... but that some people were mentioning the similarities between it and a 1957 photo from an army base:

I excitedly went online and googled "ring of smoke or UFO", and found a blog that someone did on these smoke-ring UFOs.  It was quite interesting, and I was becoming more and more excited about the footage until i saw the "unmentioned" final photos in the 1957 sequence:

See the pictures they DON"T Show you!Collapse )


Big City Playground Games

I'm so glad we moved from there:

12 Year Old Girl Beats Boy Over The Head With A Backpack Full Of Rocks

SEATTLE - A 12-year-old girl is facing possible assault charges after she allegedly hit a 12-year-old boy with a backpack filled with rocks.
According to police, the two kids got into an argument at the Southwest Community Center playground in West Seattle .
"They went about their ways, they parted company." said Jeff Kappel of the Seattle Police Department. "She apparently loaded up her backpack full of rocks and came back and essentially ambushed this boy."
The girl is said to have struck the boy in the back of the head at least twice.
"He never saw it coming. (She) struck him in the back of the head with this backpack apparently full of rocks," said Kappel.
Staff members at the center found the boy and called 911. The boy was said to be unconscious after the attack. A nurse from nearby Denny Middle School, where the boy is said to be a student, and paramedics treated the boy at the scene. He regained consciousness and was then taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Police interviewed the young girl, as well as witnesses.
"(She) was turned over to her mother," said Kappel. "We did out a police report and will forward that to the prosecutor with a request for a review for charges of assault."

Even though we're living hundreds of miles away now, i'm seriously considering pushing for home school.  We'd looked at it originally ... before we had kids ... and finally (maybe out of laziness?) decided to go with public schools.
I've been reconsidering for awhile now, however.  The college i attend has a high number of home-schooled kids, and they're all intelligent, driven, and innocent kids ... by "innocent" i mean they aren't tainted with all the other garbage "normal' children are subjected to (drugs, alcohol, violence, homosexuality, strange philosophies, etc). 
I'd LOVE for my children to make it out of their teens withough being made filthy and bitter by the world. 


What you should know about me:

I think I introduced myself a little in my first posting, but it’s probably good from time to time to reintroduce myself.

If you’ve read through my posts, you’re probably wondering several things.  One of those curiosities may be why I “only” talk about things I’m frustrated with.  If I do so, I must certainly be a miserable person, right?
Let me assure you, I am an average person, living a normal life. Most of my life is joyful and there are numerous exciting bits of information I wish I could share with you, but the purpose of this blog prohibits that.

I began this blog as a way to “vent” that one small facet of me that is interested in society, more specifically the media and how the media has become a tremendous vehicle for opinion-swaying and dissemination of half-truths.  I began this blog to grumble and complain the way most of us do in our cliques, at family dinners, at the gas station, and at the local café.  Where the “average’ person wants to grumble and complain about the president, the price of gas, how gays should be allowed to married, or that “this is America – speak English” … I don’t have a need for that kind of relationship in my ‘real’ life.  Yes, I have opinions, but I don’t need those to be reciprocated.  I’d much rather have friends I can go hunting with or meet up with at the park so our kids can play together. I don’t need the kind of ugliness of a shared ‘hate’. 

This blog is one-sided because such a stance – one of anonymity and isolation – gives me the freedom to change my mind and not have the burden of losing friends or changing my life’s dynamic as a result.  It gives me the freedom to speak my mind without offending a close friend or two because I am in opposition to something they feel dearly about.  In my real life, I am friends with people who live on welfare, people who love the government – no matter who it is –and those who despise it by the same criteria. My friends are single mothers and couples who ‘shacked up’ and had children outside of marriage. Some are homosexuals, some are foreigners, some own businesses, some work for people. Some consider themselves “liberal”, some “conservative.  Democrat, Republican, libertarian, green, educated, “mentally-handicapped”, old, young, fat, skinny, white, black, native, colonist, farmer, millionaire … my real life is filled with a variety of friends. 
Perhaps, then, it is understandable why I use a screen name.  Going off about people having children outside of marriage being a ‘problem’ in society is going to offend several dear friends … but it IS how I feel.  I don’t judge my friends, but yeah, I do judge the actions.  Though my personal friends who are on welfare do so sparingly and without desire to ‘live off the government’, a posting about those people who I also know who ARE being lazy and fruitless members of society could easily hurt my other friends.

Another reason for the anonymity is the personal protection of myself and my family.  Previously we’d been under heavy harassment from a person who was offended by some of the things I posted.  We began receiving emails, phone calls to relatives, letters in the mail, and other troublesome goings-on.  This year, our physical property was attacked twice in the same week.  While I legally carry a concealed weapon, and know that generally we are “safe”, I’d rather not deal with the harassment because it affects the peace of my family even when not a direct physical threat.  

This blog isn’t the whole of my existence, nor is it truly representative of a very large portion of my daily life.  While I do read the news daily, I sometimes have to force myself to write.  I’ve got better things to do, and interests that far outweigh the temporal  glory or outlet or ‘duty’ or whatever it could be called … of being a ‘watchdog’ or ‘voice’ on these things.

Most of my “work” as inforodeo is in the form of comments on “local news” blogs around the country.  I doubt many people go as far as to read this blog (though I know, despite lack of comments, I have a handful of readers, including some who are frequent).  Much of the time my ‘comments’ on these stories are comments on the lack of information provided and the number of people who, uninformed with the whole story, have rushed to make judgment. 

I think that is my main driving force.  It surprises me … sadly … that so many people are armed with catch-phrases and soundbytes: 

  • “if people quit eating meat, ranchers wouldn’t be destroying the environment”
  • “pitbulls are safe, it’s the owners you need to watch out for”
  • “this is america – speak English!”
  • “guns how loopholes”, 
  • “conservative ignoramus
  •  “keep sex offenders away from our schools”
  •  “we want to marry out of love”
  • “it’s the fault of BIG BUSINESS!”
  •  “organized religion can’t even follow its own storybook”
  • “we don’t need a piece of paper telling us we’re committed to each other” 

… and these soundbytes form the basis of their ignorant and prideful responses to carefully slanted news.

The biggest problem with this is that it keeps the ignorance going.  A recent story I responded to was about a sex offender who was being forced to move from his apartment because it was too close to a grade school.
Absent from the story were a few very important points:

- Sex offenders who are ‘released into society’ are low risk and considered ‘unlikely to reoffend’ or ‘not likely to reoffend’.
- What this guy was convicted of.  If he was 45 and molested a 5 year old, then yeah … keep him away from grade schools. If he was a gang-member and sodomized an initiate, or had a 17 year old girlfriend when he was 18, or ‘played doctor’ when he was 10, or abused an elderly woman in a retirement home, then it really doesn’t freaking matter if he is near a grade school, right? The common sense of potential perpetrator & victim relationship is thrown out the window when phrases like “sex offender” or “hate crime” or “big business” or “gun show” are tossed around instead of the actual circumstances.
- How close is ‘too close’ to the school?
Recently there was another story that I wrote about.  A guy tried to withdraw his own money from a bank, was denied, and mumbled some weird stuff that the teller took to mean was a threat against the president of the United States.  Maybe it was … maybe he was really capable … but when he was caught and arrested several days later, he was in Las Vegas … hundreds of miles the wrong direction from his supposed trek to the white house. 
Local news – in the area of his arrest – barely mentioned anything about guns (if at all), but the news back east, where he was originally from, was filled with “Owned eight registered guns!”
Those stories chose to pick up on the sensational aspect of ‘gun ownership’, and ignore the details that:

- He had to pass a background check – including one for mental illness – in order to “register” (buy legally) his guns in the first place. If this was in Utah, it was an incredibly extensive background check.
- A real criminal usually does not have registered guns, at least not registered to himself!
- Las Vegas is WEST of the Utah city he allegedly made the threat in, meaning after several days he had not progressed very far to his “goal”, and had, in fact, headed the opposite direction.

I suspect the reason the gun “angle” wasn’t mentioned in the west is that people in the west are well-aware of the gun laws, and to have mentioned ‘registered guns’ in a western story would have decreased the sensationalist “bad guy” angle. 

I’m reading a book right now called “The 5000 Year Leap” (Skousen) that is basically an easy-to read course on the origins of the United States Constitution.  The introductions to the book indicate it is the author (and reviewer’s) suggestion that if more Americans – including politicians – were aware of the real intents, history, and wording of the constitution and other philosophies that built our nation, we’d have less social problems, less interference with individual’s pursuit of happiness, etc.

Understanding the imperfection and shortcomings in the media is just as important.


I just read another article where some parents are upset about some materials available in a public library to their children. 
I also read an article about carrie prejean (Miss california) being "stripped of her crown" as part of the fall out from some comments she made supporting traditional marriage.


I don't understand why it is "an outrage" that a "Christmas" Tree could be on display in a state capitol, or that "intelligent design" be taught alongside "evolution", or why kids in kindergarten get suspended for pointing their fingers at each other and saying "bang!" ...

while on the other hand, public schools are forcing our children to learn about grotesque sexual deviance and told that fornication is ok, public libraries are making sexually-charged materials available to minors, and underage pop stars appear nude in popular magazines. 

i don't know how many times i am going to need to quote scripture to get this point across, but remember GOOD WILL BE HAD FOR EVIL AND EVIL FOR GOOD?

it's "Evil" to "mix church and state" by displaying a 'religious" icon on public property ...
it's "Evil" to tell your children not to tamper with the powers of procreation ...
it's "Evil" to ask that dirty books be kept where kids can't get to them ...
it's "Evil" for boys to play like boys ...

it's "Good" to teach false doctrine as "science" ...
it's "Good" to use public money to promote immoral behavior ...
it's "Good" to live together before getting married ...
it's "Good" to use violence to get your point across ...

these are the last days ... foretold in scripture ... whether you believe "that sort of thing" or not.

I wonder ....

I saw this story the other day, after the claim was made that he threatened the president (of the U.S.) after the bank refused to let him withdraw his money.  They just caught him:

Man arrested, accused of threatening to kill Obama

(CNN) -- A man accused of making threatening statements about killing President Obama has been arrested in Nevada, the Secret Service said Saturday.
Daniel James Murray was arrested Friday night in the parking lot of the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, said Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley.
Murray recently withdrew $85,000 from a bank in St. George, Utah, in two separate visits and told a teller, "We are on a mission to kill the president of the United States," according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Utah.
According to the complaint, Murray opened an account at Zions First National Bank on May 19 with an $85,000 check.
"With all this mess going on under President Obama with banks and the economy, I'm sure if citizens happen to lose their money, they will rise up and we could see killing and deaths," he said, according to the complaint.
On May 27, he returned to the bank and tried to withdraw $12,000, but lacked proper identification.
"Not to be disrespectful, but if I don't get this money, someone is going to die," Murray said, according to the complaint.
A bank manager was summoned and Murray was allowed to withdraw the money without proper identification.
Murray would not accept a check and demanded bills no larger than $50, the complaint says.
"We are 94 million miles from the sun, and are in-between the sun and moon, and the eagle that flies between them and it's a giant step for mankind. ... I have traveled thousands of miles to be here and know things that are going to happen. ... the banking system will fail and people will die. ... there will be chaos in the world," Murray said, according to the complaint.
He then made his threat against the president, the complaint says.
The next day, Murray returned to the bank, withdrew the rest of his money and closed the account, a bank teller told authorities.

source: http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/06/obama.threat.arrest/index.html

ok.  here's where i start to play "devil's advocate':

1- did he really say those things, or was the teller just mad at how the customer treated her, and made up some weird story to make herself feel good? And maybe a fellow employee suggested she 'report it to police', so she did, because admitting she made up what he said would be too embarrassing?
2 - you'd have to be crazy to say things like that.  even momentarily crazy ... like a person would be when they go to the bank to withdraw all of THEIR money, and the bank won't let them have it.  I'd imagine such a person would get angry at the federal government (since banks are essentially controlled by the federal government), and possibly assume they were trying to fend him off ... that he was starting a 'run on the bank'. (Though any sensible person - who has access to their own money - would know the bank porobably just didn't have that much cash on hand). 
3 - i'd suspect, however, someone who has $85k in the bank couldn't be THAT crazy, right? 
4 - if he was really out to get the president, wouldn't he have headed east, rather than west?  I mean ... they caught him in Nevada ... at a casino (wouldn't it be funny if he was withdrawing all his money to go gamble? wait - yeah, i know ... THAT is too far fetched!) ... and Nevada is West of Utah, not East. 

I suppose it's best that people who say weird things like that do get 'checked out'.  After all, what if he really was going to do something criminal? 
BUT ... because his (alleged) rant was against the president, the government IS going to seize all of his money, he's going to lose his right to own a gun, maybe be locked up in a federal prison, and lose his right to have a fair trial.  if he is innocent ... or if he was just a dork and said some weird crap ... that's a lot of rights to lose as a result. 


anyway, i hope justice is served.  i hope the punishment is equal to the crime. 

additional sources:




 "Fascism is achieved through the merger of corporate and government powers." -- Benito Mussolini

This isn't going to be a very original post.  I really have little to say ... because it's all too glaringly obvious.  No insight needed to understand this one ...

Usually this quote is used to promote the conspiracy theory that "The government is run by Big Business".  They want you to live in fear that "big oil" companies and mcdonalds are lurking in the shadows, whispering orders to the army, the IRS, the police, or whomever. 

The truth is actually more benign in some ways, and more frightening in others.

We are protected by numerous laws from most intereference with our laws by "big companies".  A company cannot, for example, donate any money to a campaign or political party.  When you see politicians (like Hillary Clinton in 2007) having to give back money that was "donated illegally", it's usually related to some company trying to sneak money to a politician through a third party, and then they got caught. When you hear political ads warning that "so-n-so got most of his campaign donations from 'big oil'", it's usually a flat-out lie, or it's based on the thin fiber of truth that an employee or cousin of someone somehow tied to the company (a janitor, the 2nd cousin of the receptionist, etc) having contributed money.  There is even a maximum amount that any person may donate. 

This isn't to say there aren't ties between businesses and politics.  Obama himself was tied to Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae long ago, and appeared at banquets they put on in his honor because of some low-level political wrangling he'd done for them in Chicago. His current administration is made up largely of people who were in his "line of business", working with low-income housing and minorities - though it would be an assumption to say he worked personally with all of them. In the early 1900's, infamously corrupt Tammany Hall was a den of democratic politicians "in bed with" business owners.  On the lighter side (sort of), the government officials are (mostly) elected by "the people", and when "the people" demand cleaner air, safer working conditions, equality between genders/ages/races in employment, more accessible healthcare, etc ... the government is the tool in which those changes are enacted - on businesses - and to be just, those businesses should be permitted some measure of presence in the debate to decide their own fate. When we elect any politician, we also have to remember that no matter how environmentally-friendly, 'down to earth' or 'progressive' the man, a lot of money was spent bringing his face to your television. Obama, for example, was elected on a magical pedestal that cost $195 Million for the television spots alone. His chief rival, John McCain spent $11 million. Obama had a lot of additional help from "non-profit" organizations who "independently" (on paper, anyway) promoted him and his party. MoveOn.org, DemocracyNow!, and others, supported by the Annenberg Foundation and Global opportunist millionaire George Soros. Politics will always have some sort of tie with businesses. 

As ugly as some of that sounded, that was the harmless part.

The Real ties between government and business that we need to be aware of are the numerous Government-Corporations.  Some were created by the federal government to serve some sort of purpose that benefitted the government, a sort of "shell entity". Some are "private" companies that the government has purchased shares in.  Others, were "purchased" by the government when they went bankrupt.  Some even started off as a government project, went independent, failed, and the government took over again.  Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are of that variety.

It is actually difficult to track down a comprehensive list of these organizations and their ties with the government.  Off the top of my head i would suggest NASA is one.  The Airlines are too, sort of.  Railroads. Power Companies.
A search online yielded the following list:

Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation dba "Amtrak")
Consolidated Rail Corporation
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Export-Import Bank of the United States
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation
Holdings of American International Group
Legal Services Corporation
United States Government Sponsored Enterprise
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Tennessee Valley Authority

Farm Credit System
Federal Home Loan Banks
Sallie Mae
Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac
American International Group (AIG)
General Motors
United States Postal Service
North Dakota Mill and Elevator

I want to be honest about this list:  I don't believe it includes everything, and I don't know the history or depth of connection between what is on the list and the government.  I haven't checked my "facts" yet, and this will be an area of further study, hopefully producing a well-documented and detailed list at some future date.

These companies seem pretty harmless.  What danger is posed by North Dakota Mill and Elevator, for example?  Or those loveable cuddly names, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?

While it is true that some have more weight in their potential effect on the nation than others, the primary danger is that a close mix of government and business cannot be fruitful for either. 
In order for a business to truly be successful, it needs to be able to stand on its own, and produce for the demand.  If the business is a failure ... mismanaged or unfruitful ... it needs to crumble so better businesses can rise in its place and fulfill the need better.

Often our country experiences devastating wildfires.  Wildfires, a "natural disaster", have existed since trees and lightning.  Some trees actually thrive on the fires - the heat being required to open their cones and ripen their seeds. 
These fires also serve a purpose: they remove the failed and diseased trees, and open the forest for new vegetation.  With too much of a forest canopy in this kind of climate, the trees which occur here naturally cannot get the sunlight they need to grow.  With all of the new growth being sickly, the entire forest would soon die. 
Darwinists might cause this "natural selection" ... "survival of the fittest". 
As we have infringed upon the wildreness, building expensive homes deep in the forest, we have enacted laws and created agencies to protect our homes from this natural menace.  Men die, money is spent, and crews are flown across the nation to fight these fires ...
In stopping the fires, we are preventing nature from 'cleaning house'.  We're creating more disease in the forests, with more dead underbrush.  We're preventing certain trees from reproducing. 
Our well-intentioned laws, designed to protect a few wealthy individuals who want to live in luxury in "rough" surroundings, are actually increasing the danger by preventing the natural balance from happening.  Every now and then, a small fire erupts, exploding into a gigantic monster of devastation. 

Businesses are like those trees, and failure is like the fire.  When government steps in to "help" the sick and failed businesses, the stronger businesses have little room to grow.  When enough of these dried and withered businesses are propped up by the government, all it takes is a small spark to send the whole "forest" into flames, and the few strong who had managed to survive on their own are not enough to hold the structure on their own.  With each new wildfire, fewer and fewer of the strong "trees" will be left standing.

Government aiding broken businesses is a bad deal for the country.  But that is not in the least bit the worst of it.

When the government owns a business ... say ... a power company ... competition quickly vanishes.  I don't for a moment suspect secret agents sneaking around making threats and having the competitors "disappear" ... the competition disappears on its own.  This harms capitalism, which might seem like a great thing (if you're poor and jealous), but is actually quite bad.  Without capitalism, we wouldn't have as many choices in the goods and products that we can currently choose from.  Organic foods would not be available unless the government decided they actually made a difference (and likely would not). You also probably wouldn't have a job. Without capitalism, liberals wouldn't have access to pornography and 'adult items', their favorite brand of cigarettes, bars, nightclubs, Che shirts, Save Tibet bumper stickers, Beastie Boys and Bob Marley albums, cable television (including non-profit channels), and our cars would all be pretty much the same and likely be gas-guzzling black-smokers, at least until someone in the government was pressed to change the laws. 
Capitalism creates jobs, and even more, creates choices. Choices create competition. Capitalism is a merit-based system ... as much as you want to complain about "the rich getting richer" ... in a capitalist system you have the opportunity to quit working for 'the man' and go into business for yourself.

When governments own companies, they run business like they run politics.  The products become worse ... being mass-produced, not "environmentally sound" (until enough people in government push for changes that EVERYONE can agree on), and the workers making them become more miserable.  

When governments run companies, scientific progress is hindered.  Political choices determine what science to funnel money into or not.  This usually means billions of dollars spent on ways to kill people, not on cures for cancer, alzheimers, or new energy sources with a better 'carbon footprint'.  Remember how angry you were that Bush stopped stem-cell research? It is incredibly foolish to build a government that gives this kind of power to the president (or to congress, etc) ... because there will never be a president or ruling party that will satisfy everyone's needs ... and that naturally means that no single political dogma will remain in power forever.  You saw Obama's "first hundred days" ... he spent them exclusively un-doing things his predecessor had implemented, pointing fingers as he went. It's not much of a stretch to imagine some post-Obama president could undo what Obama has done.

You cannot give government too much power without risking your future. When you enact laws giving the government more power, you do not in any way prevent the power from being abused at some point in the future ... but you do make it incredibly difficult to remove that power when 'the bad guy' is abusing it. 

We may not know the exact outcome ... the consequences of government control of the banks, the mortgage companies, the auto companies, the energy companies, the farming companies, the broadcast companies, and so forth ... but we can be certain that, eventually, those consequences will be evident, and at that point it will be too late. 


A girl in Boise today was busted for road rage.  She got cut off by someone in a small car, so she chased them, throwing coins and ranch dressing at them.  The victims called 911 for help, and were told to pull into a nearby parking lot for police assistance. She follwed them there ... and by the time the cops showed uup, she'd rammed her truck into their car enough to make the bumper fall off & caused other damage.

Just for fun, i looked her up on MySpace.  Here's what her profile has to say:


im livin! i love music like 4byin love to party like gettin dirty love camping like grits love coffee hate food:D like reptiles love snakes like piercings love tattoos..(especially on my men) im respectfull not a kiss ass. im real, not a bitch. i dont get mad i get pissy. i dont care to argue or to debate, its a waste of time. im conservative not shy (well kinda shy) :) im a hard core recycler and a hard core litter nazi n:)(we dont live in a giant trash can!! im totally down for spur of the moment random stuff (it makes life funner) im positive maybe a lil to much sometimes, i love sleeping i hate alarm clocks. i love to love not to f***. i follow no rules but the rule of live your life the way you wanna. im not a big fan of dudes... i am a big fan of men. im not a big fan of girls... i am a huge fan of women. I get spirts of rebellion but for the most part im a good girl ;)

I'll admit i'm an evil jerk for looking up the profile. 

What would make her snap like that?  From what her profile says, she seems like a pretty average 18 year old ... into a calculated (but foggy) range of music ... rap, metal, janis joplin.  She tries to sound really bada**, but just comes off cutesy when doing so.  Her mug-shot shows she's been crying quite a bit.  Likely this WAS the first time she's 'road raged', but wow, what a start!

I had my own moments of road rage today.  I was late for a test at school, and it seemed like the guy in the 'fast lane' was trying to go under the speed limit to match the slow old woman in front of me ... so i couldn't get into the other lane and drive the right speed.  It took me about 3 miles to finally break free of him, losing valuable minutes in the process.  I took my usual back-road, and at the "right turn doesn't have to stop" sign, the woman in the fancy new-model black jeep or hummer (from Washington Country, License No. 20105) just sat there. She finally turned the corner and began driving "fine" until she spotted me in her rear-view mirror.  She began slowing down more and more, snickering (i could see her in the mirror), until she was down to 15 MPH.  FIFTEEN MILES PER HOUR. Eventually (a mile and a half later) she turned the other way, and I was free to drive the posted limit (35) the rest of the way to the school.

People don't understand some stuff about driving.  You never know when you're going to cut off a girl like Tiffany Wallace and get beaned by some change and some ranch dressing containers.  You don't always realize that, while more difficult to prosecute, intentionally driving slow to harass the drivers behind you is also aggressive driving, and can also lead to accidents.  We get idiots who can't be bothered to wait for the car in front of them to turn left, so they swerve around on the left ... it's happened thrice now in front of our home.  What if you hit me and killed my daughter?

Another danger that even i didn't fully realize until i became "that guy" is that the person you piss off may be carrying a loaded firearm.  Most of the ones that do (myself included) don't have a violent temper and are trained to only use the fire arm as a last resort for self-defense ... but what if the one you anger isn't level-headed or legal?  You could die because you're driving irresponsibly or "having some fun' with that annoying teenager hugging your bumper.

I haven't always been as good a driver as i am now.  (My wife would say "what are you talking about? You're TERRIBLE!") Living on both coasts and navigating ridiculous metropolitan traffic has made me a quick-thinker, my tracking and peripheral awareness is better, and i took a "defensive driving" course awhile back too. I no longer drive when i am exhausted, I no longer trust that "the other guy" is paying attention to her driving, and i've made several adjustments to the way i do things when i'm behind the wheel.  For the safety of the public, i also phone the police when i see dangerous drivers (drunken, swerving, aggressive).  For my own stress-relief, i sometimes write down the license plate number and vehicle description, and if i'm a passenger, i'll snap a photo ... just in case i feel grouchy when i'm blogging and want the world to know what kind of monster you were. Yeah, i'm a jerk.

I'd love to know more about this ranch-flingin' wallace girl, though.  What on earth went wrong with her morning?


A Milwaukie news story reveals another instance in which persons are so determined to overthrow religion that they would put their entire community into physical discomfort to do so:

Judge Declines Immediate Elmbrook Ruling
By Diane Pathieu

BROOKFIELD - It's a fight over whether public schools can use a church auditorium to have graduation ceremonies.

Many parents like having the Elmbrook School District graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church because the large auditorium has padded seats and is air conditioned. "It’s just an excellent facility for hosting something like this," said mom Karen Reichert.

But some disagree and say a public school should not use a church facility to have a graduation event. "This is a clear violation of the Constitution, a clear violation of the separation of church and state," said Alex Luchenitser, litigation counsel for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"These students and family members are being forced to graduate in the sanctuary of a church underneath a huge cross that dominates the sanctuary. They're sitting in pews with bibles and hymnal books right in front of them."

"They are being forced to graduate in a religious environment, and that is an egregious Constitutional violation."

However, some schools have used the church for years.

Brookfield Central High School chose Elmbrook Church as its graduation site in 2000, and Brookfield East first decided to use it in 2002.

School officials say they chose the church because other spaces are too small or too expensive for the large event.

"(The schools') gymnasiums were small and couldn't accommodate all the people coming to the graduations," explained Elmbrook School District Superintendent Matt Gibson.

"They were hot. They were stuffy. They were not air conditioned. Parking was an issue, and frankly, it's less expensive for the district to rent a venue than to stage it within the school, with the custodial overtime, the take down, the set-up, etc."

Right now, school officials say they don't have a back up plan if the ceremonies have to move from the church.

The first graduation ceremonies take place at Elmbrook Church next weekend.

U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert Jr. heard arguments Friday on the Elmbrook School District's plans.  He declined to immediately rule but promised to issue a decision before graduation practice next Thursday. If the decision comes that late and the district loses, it would give school officials a day or two to find a new site.

I just don't understand what kind of mentality could drive someone to demand their school district pay more taxpayer money for a cramped space with no parking, no air conditioning, and uncomfortable seats.  Do the primary persons causing the lawsuit own a large venue that lost out on the contract? 

My initial reaction was that "well, the church ought to donate its space for free" ... but that wouldn't change anything, and even an altruistic non-profit religious organization has to pay for the power to run all those air-conditioners and the janitors to clean the auditorium after the grubby citizens soil it, right?

Maybe the root of the problem isn't an infringement with their interpretation of "church and state", but the glaringly obvious fact that these anti-religious people are INTOLERANT OF OTHER'S BELIEFS.  Think about it ... for all the claims of "intolerance" made against the faithful, who most publicly attacks the diversity or religious beliefs and practices?  I don't know of any screaming throngs of hetrosexual Christians or Jews or Muslims who march outside gay clubs, chanting against them and displaying their heterosexuality.  I don't know of any Sikhs or Buddhists who sue to have religious icons of other faiths removed.

The truth ... the hidden reality ... is that persons either raised in a faith or "converted" to a faith are actually more tolerant of any religious beliefs than those who left or never belonged to one in the first place.  This is largely because persons of faith know the legitimacy of their spiritual beliefs and the changes wrought upon their lives by it.  They know how perverted one must be to rob another of that satisfaction and joy. 
The anti's, however, know no such joy, and in their skirting of religious devotion have contorted the whole thing into perceived dens of hatred and judgement ... when the only judgement they really receive is the searing of their own conscience. 

I am a "devout" member of my church ... a Christian faith ... and my particular religion is a daily thing, or an hourly thing ... not one which worships one day a week for two hours and then goes back to the non-religious life.  i say that ... not to "one up' my religious neighbors of other faiths, but to suggest that, of the plethora of religious sects out there, mine is probably representative of one who would more likely notice symbols and items that are not part of my belief, and therefore, buy the "standard' imposed by those combatting the faithful, i should be more offended than other church-goers. 
In my church, we don't 'worship" the cross, we worship Christ. We are reverent about his crucifixion, but focus more on the gifts of repentance and eternal life he gave us as a result of his teachings and his atonement for our sins.  Ouyr churches do not prominently display a cross.  Would i be offended while attending a college graduation in a mega-church with a giant cross looming overhead?  Not in the least bit. 
To take it a step further ... would i be offended to attend such a function in a synagogue or monastery?  (Not implying such would be open to this sort of activity, but if they were ...)?  Not in the least bit.  In fact, i would be just as "offended" (or not so) participating in the ceremony in a smelly gymnasium decorated with nothing.  In all honesty, i welcome opportunities to "see hiow the other half lives' when i attend functions (funerals, concerts, speeches, friends' religious mileposts) in other religious places.  It enriches my knowledge of the customs and beliefs of my neighbors, and my national family ... my community.

The idea of living in ignorance of my neighbors, or of being intolerant of their beliefs is terrifying.  I can't comprehend telling them their sacrifice is not good enough when they donate time or space or money or sound systems or robes or a parking lot ...
This kind of hatred and censorship and division and elitism and bigotry that is spread by these sick and shallow individuals is why communities are no longer "close-knit".  That leads to our states and our nation not being "one nation".  Citizenship is dead in these people ... how DARE they blaspheme against God and soil our constitution with their vain claims!

source: http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/46455222.html

I have some friends who are avid Pitbull/Big Dog fans, and i posted a link to the following story yesterday to 'start a conversation": 

Basically, in a nice, clean, middle-class neighborhood, a six-year-old girl went over to her next-door neighbor's house to help her bring in groceries.  As the six-year old burst into the house, the neighbor's pitbull lunged and bit onto her face, and began biting down hard. The owner came into the house and saw the dog, and she (the dog) looked up, knowing she was in trouble. The owner was eventually able to get the dog to let go, and the girl was rushed to the hospital.  Fortunately, aside from a tooth that was ripped out and the fact that her eyelid and nose were torn off, after some surgery she should be ok. 
On the outside, that is ... i can't imagine how frightened she will be for the rest of her life of opening doors or seeing dogs. 
The owner quickly had the dog "euthanized", and is now giving away her puppies and another young pitbull.

I really can't say i know what to think about this.  The news has me "pretty certain" that all pitbulls are unpredictable killers, and that anyone who has a pitbull (or other handful of dogs) in proximity of children should be burned at the stakes, along with those who breed them.  I know when i see a loose pitbull running through the neighborhood, i always keep my kids indoors. 

But I also have to think ... isn't this a lot like gun bans?  The media keeps us "pretty certain" that all guns - especially a handful of them - are dangerous menaces to society, and that people who own, assemble, or repair them should be burned at the stake for promoting such obvious killers among the innocent.

So I looked at the conversation. Some of the comments were:

"Well, we don't know for sure what the owner did or didn't do. We also don't know if the story happened exactly has it happened. I still am not convinced that certain breeds are more dangerous than others."

dogs don't just attack and kill for no reason. i don't care if they are pits or poodles. it's common sense, anyone who grew up with animals has a pretty good idea what any individual dog is capable of."

"i am ashamed of you! making claims without research.... some dogs ARE more dangerous than others..and i will give it too you that pits are strong dogs, and can do more damage, but their bite rate is LESS than most dogs, and they score higher on the AKC temperament tests than most "family" dogs. statistically they are NOT as dangerous as the golden retriever, it's just that gang bangers and ignorant people irresponsible people don't tend to say "hey lets get a black lab!"

It's interesting to see people who are anti-gun use strikingly similar "pro-" arguments in defense of their big dogs. In just these three quotes, we see:
1) "the media is out to get us by not accurately portraying the full story",
2) "singling out specific ___ is stupid, because they are all equally safe/dangerous",
3) "accidents happen because people are careless", and
4) "the criminals are the problem, not the _____."

I decided to respond:

"Maybe pitbull (and other "large dogs who could hurt people") owners should have some kind of licensing to prove they know what they're doing, like you do! (I'm kinda serious about this, because i do know you're good at re-training them).

Maybe we should keep criminals from owning big dogs, and prevent them from being sold at shelters and street corners without adequate background checks? And make laws to hold dog breeders and dog owners accountable anytime one of their dogs hurts or kills a child?

Maybe if those laws are too restrictive, we could just hike up the price of dog food, and create a government agency to bust people who are making their own dog food - or using table scraps - "illegally"?

Oh! And keep a list of dog owners on file with the federal government, and make that list public so neighbors who worry about dangerous dogs in their neighborhoods could "be in the know" for their own safety!

And we could ban certain dogs ... dogs with wrinkles ... dogs with pointy, upright ears ... because those are the dogs that look the scariest."

My wife and i discussed it later, and I brought up the point i'd made about "some dogs being more tepermental", and how most people bring up the whole "poodles are more likely to viciously attack" bit. She stopped me, shocked , and said "yeah, but poodles don't go for your face and clamp down with muscular jaws and refuse to let go!" 


So I added:

"Lots of dogs ARE more snippy ... like a poodle, for instance ... but a poodle lacks the jaws and bulk to take you down and rip your face off.

and true, we don't know if the owner was secretly beating her dogs and training them to maul little girls who were helping bring in the groceries ...
and NO, i don't support banning the dogs


if you're gonna have kids around, you HAVE to be prepared for the possibility of something going wrong. That's why i have gun-locks on my guns, that's why knives, rope, scissors and poisons are stored away on high shelves in our house. that's why we don't leave matches or lighters out. that's why our wall outlets are covered with safety plugs.

if i read the story right, the dog owner did not have children.

if i didn't have children, would it be ok for me to leave loaded guns around the house, unlocked? or out on my porch?"


I guess I'm happy the dog-angle exists. i've been trying for years to help them understand why I'm so "anti-anti-gun", and trying to liken gun bans to organic vegetable bans just wasn't working ...

There are obviously a lot of similarities between guns and giant dogs.  As one friend pointed out, people like big dogs because it's a power thing.  "Gang-bangers" aren't going to strut down the street with a Pomeranian, for example. 
For some owners, trying to distance themselves from the "power trip" thing, the draw to the animals is their design ... their muscle, the shape of their head, etc.  An admiration of how they are put together, and awe of what they could do, and an appreciation of how well they behave when the proper safety and care is taken of them.
The rarely-mentioned but consistent truth underneath all of this is that these dogs/guns make their owners feel safe.
The dog doesn't have to attack, nor the gun fire a shot to ward off potential attackers or thieves.

In this lies one of the fallacies of statistics, and the strength of the media.  The accidents are reported. The deaths are reported.  The successes, however, are not. 
It's not really the media's fault, either.  Joe Bob who pulled out his shotgun to chase kids off his property probably doesn't want the school board over where he is a teacher to hear about him chasing kids with a gun.  Jenny Sue who wasn't even home when the intruder opened the back door and saw a growling mess of teeth and drool staring him in the eye probably isn't even aware she was a 'victim'. 

Looking at the two, I can see both have potential for accidents, and both have the potential for security.

Guns, however, don't protect you when you're gone ...
and dogs are never completely predicatable.


Doctrines of Devils: PET NATION

i like animals.  i have pets. in fact, my 20-lb cat is sitting on my lap right now. he and our other pets are lovingly "spoiled rotten".

today's news highlights something ridiculous and backward in our society:


normally i'd be sitting there, right along side you, teary-eyed about a dog trying to lick a paper shredder, but i'm unfortunately aware that pets - animals - have been given higher priority than humans. 

Think about it:

in 2003 or so, there was a animal shelter calender auction in Seattle which raised millions of dollars.  That entire year, the cities homeless shelters raised less than a fraction of that amount to care for displaced people

people have quit having children because of 'the commitment" or whatever, and have instead begun framing photos of their chihuahuas and cats and naming them "people-names" like "bert" or "caitlin".

if some jerk goes out and shoots a bag of unwanted puppies, he can go to jail.  people might become more vocal about "spaying and neutering your pets" to prevent unwanted animals.

if, however, a 20 year old girl has had four abortions, she is not a criminal - she is empowered.

so it seems strange to some to put animals above people, and to others it seems strange to not do so. why the difference?

i think it has to do with an understanding (or misunderstanding) of God and our purpose on the earth. 

God made all creatures, and we'd be rude and unthankful to destroy things God has created for us (GEN. 9:3)... but God never intended us to elevate his other creations - or any of his creations above him or ourselves.  Creatures were made for the use of man ... to help us with hard labor, to make us happy, to supply us with clothing/shelter, milk (HEB.5:12), and to eat. (DEUT. 12:15)
He doesn't want us to run around devouring all the animals ... in fact, he urges us to eat meat sparingly ... but he does NOT tell us not to eat meat.  in fact, in the Bible, He, through the Apostle Paul, even declares that in the last days (now), the doctrines of devils would have people refusing to marry and refusing to eat meat (1 TIM. 4:1-4):

  1 [...] in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,
     giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
  2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience
     seared with a hot iron;
  3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from
     meats, which God hath created to be received with
     thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
  4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be 
     refused, if it be received with thanksgiving ...

Most people in our time also either don't know, or have sadly forgotten that the first commandment God gave man, in the garden of eden while speaking to Adam and Eve was to "multiply and replenish the earth".  They conveniently overlook the commandment to "not kill, nor do anything like unto it." 

gotta write more later ...
Disclaimer: I am describing the following argument I had with my wife over something recently in the news NOT because I agree with the "bad guys" in the news story, and NOT because I have any ill feelings against my wife. I haven't even read the news story, and am basing this entry solely on my wife's interpretation of the story, and my response.  My wife, a good woman with a firey disposition, tends to lean a little toward the common on a lot of subjects, and the following is quite useful in exposing some of the logic that society has fallen into which NEEDS TO BE RE-EVALUATED:

Recently in Spanaway (WA), a mother came forward to express outrage that her daughter piper was the target of a cruel internet cartoon some friends had made of her. The cartoon was titled something like "thirteen ways to kill piper" or something like that.  The mother had contacted the school & they wouldn't do anything about it, so she contacted the police and filed a report, as well as sent a certified letter to the police. When she contacted the police to see what the status of the case was, the detective said he was "familiar with the case, but haven't seen the video".  The girls eventually apologized to Piper, but the mother (i'm assuming this mean's Piper's mom?) said "they are sorry they got caught, not sorry for harrassing her."

My wife is furious that the Spanaway school board wouldn't do something about this.

My understanding of 'these things' is that there really isn't anything the school board could do or should do unless the cartoon was created/uploaded with school computers.  The school is merely a meeting place for the victim and victimizers, and may not even be the only meeting place for them. Do they attend church together? Sue the church! Do they eat at the same McDonalds? Sue McDonalds! Do they use the same ISP or social networking applications?  I think you can see the fallacy in attacking the vehicle. School doesn't hurt kids, kids hurt kids.  Church doesn't hurt people, people hurt people.  Myspace doesn't hurt people, people hurt people. YouTube doesn't hurt people, people hurt people ... 

It may be appropriate to be angry at the Spanaway police for "not doing anything" because their job is to serve and protect, but we don't know that they're NOT doing anything! We've only heard from the angry mother that they aren't doing anything ... and her description, in her anger, is very likely to be less-than-accurate.  Another possibility is that the "internet harrassment laws' or "bully laws' aren't very clear, or aren't very developed yet, and maybe the police don't want the public to have to pay a lot of money toward fighting a losing battle.  I wouldn't personally agree with them if this is the point, because that's one of the reasons "civil rights" laws take so long to make a change, but it is a common human decision made when faced with choosing between a lot of effort for "nothing" and no effort.

Yesterday the parents of a neighbor girl came over and showed us a note written by a child that said, "(their daughter's name) i hate you! you're a b---!".  They were wondering if our son had left it.  Fortunately he hadn't ... he doesn't write well enough to spell things without help, it wasn't his handwriting, and he doesn't know (as far as we are aware) that word.  In the light of this subject, however, I am left wondering: based on the logic used in the Spanaway case, shouldn't the neighbor go after the school?   

Why do people choose to attack "organizations", then?  Why would the mother be angry at the school? Why would my wife be angry at the school?

Terrible Traits of Society

There are two terrible traits of modern society which set up the trend.  The first is "Lack of personal Accountability", or "Blame".  It is likely the parents of the "bad girls" don't want to accept responsibility for their children's behavior, and really, depending on their age, probably shouldn't (at least not full responsibility).  The girls most likely made those choices on their own.  The mother of the victim, Piper, may not want to admit that she hadn't been paying attention to her daughter enough to know she was being bullied.  Everyone wants to point a finger, and its easiest to point a finger at a group or organization rather than individuals, because the guilt of ripping someone apart is lessened when they are a stereotype or a big building or foreign country.  Thats whay genocides happen. thats why civilians of nations enthusiastically support war. That's why you hate "big oil" and "starbucks", "china" and "microsoft". On a larger scale - but still the same thing - it's why you hate "organized religion", but not specifically "Mormons" or "catholics" or "Jews".
The persecuted and the guilty use the same anonominity to push for acceptance.  It's easier to sell "diversity" than it is to sell "homosexuality', "illegal immigrants", or "feminism".  Not saying that is all 'diversity' means, but using individual terms would be a harder sell for some people than the PC blanket term.

The second terrible trait of society is greed.  While Piper and her mother are likely NOT greedy, the lawyers offering their services have learned to navigate our greedy society, and they know the right targets.  They know that most people can accept hatred when it is directed at a faceless group ("the school board"), but that some persons are a little more under a conscience when individual faces (the girls and their mothers) are the opposition.  They know that a school district will probably have more access to money than a handful of unruly girls and their parents.  Regardless of how innocent Piper's mother may be, most lawyers are probably urging her to attack the 'easy" targets instead of the actual criminals.  It's possible, too, that well-intentioned friends and family urged her anger to be directed at the school.  Society has been using this corrupt path long enough that it is almost second nature to immediately blame the big corporation, public department or private organization for the crime ... for "allowing it to breed", for "letting it go unchecked", and to "teach it a lesson so this won't happen again." 

Habitual corruption lessens our sense of right and wrong, and bypasses the analytical brain.  Catch phrases and sound bytes are the tools by which the mind is further dulled and the soul is brought into submission ...
If you step back, you'll see this everywhere.  "Guns cause crime!", "Gay Marriage Is About Love", "Organized Religion is for People Who Can't Think For Themselves!" ... ideas which sound great on the surface, but which hide some important realities (Gun control increases crime, legally protecting gay marriage endangers or diminishes real marriage and the right of the churches to prohibit actions contrary to their beliefs, and most adherants of religious practices do think for themselves, which is why they are so devout in the first place).  The immediate urge to blame the group, to speak out against the corporation, or to decry the institution is every bit the reflexive ignorance of these examples.

So what should we do about bullying? 

It is unfortunate that in modern times we're faced with school shootings and youth suicides which seem to be the result of bullying.  While studies have been done in an attempt to find the causes of these behaviors, the hysteria surrounding them is evident to all.  Six-year old children are being suspended from school for pointing fingers at each other and reciting "bang, bang - you're dead!".  Common fights between children are resulting in lawsuits.  Parents are jumping in at the defense of their children and assaulting other children themselves.

I believe that most of the punishments dealt to these children are too harsh.  It is, after all, a natural aspect of the male gender to play 'battle' and 'hunting' games, just as it is for the female gender to care for 'baby' dolls and groom themselves.  No amount of man-made, uninspired socially "correct" gender-blending is going to change that.  Unfortunately, in prohibiting boys from being boys, and demanding that girls become boys, violence and intimidation within young girls is going to escalate, as is violence in older men who were prohibited their safe outlet for gun-play, but who now have access to those items. 

Bullying is never right, but it has existed for quite some time!  In the past, those picked on were urged to fight back or ignore.  Now, "fighting back" is discouraged - even criminalized - and children and adults are encouraged to "speak out" or "raise awareness". 

The only remaining answer, i suppose, is to require permanent suspension from the school at which the offense occured, and to break up groups of bullies.  The state should not have to pay for the transportation to the new school, nor should the school district, as it is and has been the parent's responsibility - not the community's - to educate their children in proper social etiquette and civic living.  If the incidents don't occur at school, there should be specific laws that fine the parents (if under working-age) or the children (if of working-age) and require community service for the offenses.  Again, it is the parents' responsibility to teach their children to behave, or to restrict their internet access if they do not.  

Parents who assault or harrass children should be jailed or fined for abuse, or for any other legal determination afforded when the victim is also an adult - as well as heavier penalties determined by the victim's age.

I guess the point i am trying to make is that laws and legal action should always determined by the course of action that will best correct the behavior.  Fining a school because a handful of children's parents didn't raise their children right is not going to benefit society ... it's going to take money from an institution that needs it, and let the actual cause of the problem (the parents) and the problem itself (the girls) get away with their behavior. 

Liberal Socialists Blowing Up Starbucks

I've been ridiculed before for ranting in history class against "those radical riotous hippies who throw bricks through the windows at starbucks".  The teacher's aid seemed to think i was over-reacting to the "appropriate demonstrations" I was going off about idiots in Seattle who threw bricks through the Starbucks window (honestly, it might have been Nike or Gap or something) during the WTO riots that happened while i was living there. 
Those riots ... and the news media's ridiculously biased/ignorant coverage really turned me against all "liberal" causes.  Watching the news and seeing the aged reporter waving a "peace sign" and screaming into the microphone that a"these are peaceful demonstrations" as someone behind her hurled a brick at a policeman was really funny.  The joke got even better when she tearfully screamed, as police responded with shileds and teargas, "this was an unprovoked attack! this was an unprovoked attack!" 
The more i witnessed these liberal demonstrations ... against Bush, against the war, against "big corporations", "oil companies", "republicans" and everything else formerly American and wholesome, the more i realised the mindset and action are far removed from the boycotts and strikes of the past.  These things weren't "a revolution" for anything good ... no race, age or gender being championed ... and they certainly were lacking the element of PEACE, not to mention "common sense", "truth", and a plethoras of other good things. 
Modern protests are an exercise in violence, hate, vandalism, riot, and all the "anti's" that go along with it.

Burning down SUVs or houses, for example, to "save the earth".  How does all the air-pollution, chemicals being washed into the soil, and forcing the manufacturer to re-build (thereby doubling the 'environmental impact' of production alone!) REALLY help the environment?

This morning, before dawn (according to CNN), Starbucks in "several cities" were bombed. 
I'm left wondering "WHY?"

What is so offensive to some that some clever person created a business that was successful? 
Why does everyone hate Bill Gates, for example?  Yeah, he has way "too much" money - but the judgement against the quantity is based in our tiny minds' opinion.  If money doesn't really matter, why worry about who has the most of it?  Why are people mad that he, taking advantage of the privilege he was born into, increased his talents (to quote the bible)?
Our society is successful, from time to time, because we allow innovators to innovate.  we allow accountants to account. we allow workers to work, and we allow managers to manage.  While it is also true we allow the poor to be poor and the rich to be rich ... you have to balance that with the related truth that our society also allows the rich to become poor and the poor to become rich.

So why bomb Starbucks? 

If it happened in several cities, it was probably a group of some sort and not a person (unless the cities were all nearby).  It's likely this group is so deeply ingrained in the propaganda of the Liberal/Socialist/Democrats that they actually believed Starbucks was "the bad guy".  They couldn't see that the company became big through legit means ... through hard work ... or that the average employee of starbucks is some college kid working part-time.  Yeah - that will help society - make all the college kids lose their jobs! brilliant!

Myopic politics.  idiots.

As usual, "comments are closed" on a CNN blog-story regarding the recent passage of a bill permitting LEGAL PERMIT HOLDERS to carry concealed weapons in state parks.

CNN's story is as follows:


Should concealed and loaded guns be allowed in national parks?

FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:

It looks like gun rights advocates are about to score a win with a Democrat in the White House. The House and Senate have now both approved bills that would allow concealed and loaded guns into national parks and wildlife refuges — unless a state law doesn’t allow them.

The measure has been attached to the credit card bill, which is a top priority for President Obama, and could become law this week. The bill passed with the help of moderate Democrats, many of them from the South and Midwest. One of the bill’s supporters, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, says the move isn’t a “gotcha amendment,” but a real step to protect the Second Amendment.

Gun rights groups say the bill will give gun owners the same rights on national park land that they have everywhere else; but they say they don’t want to declare victory until it becomes law.

Meanwhile groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and the Association of National Park Rangers say the bill would increase the risk of poaching and vandalism of park treasures, as well as threats to visitors and staff.

Some Democrats are disappointed in what they see as the success of the gun lobby under a Democratic president and Congress. But aides admit that many Democrats feel pressure to back gun legislation or face political heat from the National Rifle Association. Can you tell there’s a mid-term election around the corner?

Here’s my question to you: Should concealed and loaded guns be allowed in national parks?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kathy writes:
What the hell is the matter with people’s heads that this is even at issue? Why would a concealed weapon be needed anywhere, much less in a park? Where my kids may be hiking? Common sense… not so common anymore, is it?

Tom from Dubuque, Iowa writes:
Why, is al Qaeda recruiting grizzly bears? Just what the park rangers need – people with concealed guns running around our parks.

Tori writes:
I don’t believe allowing concealed weapons on federal property would increase the risk of criminal activity. People predisposed to do those acts don’t care if it’s legal to carry a concealed weapon. The people who carry concealed weapons legally are less likely to act illegally.

Clay writes:
Absolutely not. If these people who carry guns are so afraid to go into our national parks without firearms then they should just stay at home. Our parks are supposed to be places of refuge for both humans and animals. And what will be the NRA’s excuse when the first person is killed in a national park by a stray bullet fired by some drunk idiot with a firearm? That’s the cost of maintaining our freedom? Give me a break.

Melissa writes:
Hell, yes. People who are legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon should be able to have their gun with them at all times except where they are prohibited… The lawmakers in Washington need to punish the people that break the law, not those of us who play by the rules.

Tina writes:
No. Our animals are on the endangered list now. Just wait till some Johnny shoot-first, ask-questions-later arrives in the woods armed to the hilt and comes across a bear. The bear will be dead. Only the park ranger should be armed.

Will writes:
Concealed and loaded amendments shouldn’t be allowed in completely unrelated bills.


My Response would have been:


You have to keep in mind that people who hold concealed weapons permits ARE NOT CRIMINALS - if they were, they wouldn't have the permits in the first place. Furthermore, in almost all states that allow concealed-carry, you have to have some kind of firearms training, and that training not only covers proper use of your weapon for your own safety, but proper use for the safety of others.  For example (and this is pretty common-sense anyway), you don't shoot at something without knowing what is behind it and what that 'something' is. 

Currently concealed-permit holders in their own states (and states with reciprocity laws) can have their gun with them at the grocery store, in the city park, in their car, at work, etc ... and you'd never know it because as people trained in the proper use of a firearm don't walk around brandishing it to look "cool".

It makes no sense for someone licensed to carry in the state of Montana, for example, to have to pull off the road, disassemble their gun and lock it in a box in the trunk before driving through yellowstone.  If they can have their gun on their person in the local mall, why restrict them from having it with them in a wilderness area? 

People have to quit falling for that twisted logic that says that making restrictive laws will stop crime.  The only people who follow laws are the innocent "law-abiding citizens" - criminals (and terrorists!) could care less. Go to the DOJ's website and look at the statistics - states and cities with more restrictive gun laws and "gun bans" experience an increase in violent crime per capita when law-abiding folks are no longer permitted to carry, while states and cities which promote citizen ownership of firearms have a vastly lower incidence of violent crime per capita. Gun control = more crime, NOT less.


Now that THAT is out of the way, i am again AMAZED at the rampant ignorance of my fellow americans!  The other day i got blasted when i said i thought the law stating that anyone - innocent or guilty - who is on the terrorist watch list (which includes veterans of the iraq war, people who oppose abortion, people unhappy with the government and people who own guns and buy ammo) shouldn't be allowed to have a gun.  HUH?  What if the bill was "anyone who has ever been busted smoking pot, protesting without a permit or drinking underage is no longer allowed to have any government handouts"? there would CERTAINLY be an outrage then!

Anyway ...

true to form ... did you see how under-represented people were ("who made it on the air") who AGREED that law-abiding americans should be allowed to concealed-carry in parks?  Look at the comments tacked onto the opinionated "report":

- Kathy thinks it's obvious that people should be running around in the forest where her kids are hiking, waving their six-shooters in the air, firing at anything that moves.  (I translated her ignorance into a more-easily digestable thought).
- Tom in Dubuque said something about Al Qaeda and grizzly bears (not sure what he's getting at), and then the equally mysterious comment that it's "just what our park rangers need" - a bunch of crazed cowboys waving their pistols in the air, shooting everything that moves (see a trend here?)
- Tori, a more realistic person, says that people who went through all the criminal background checks, training, and paperwork to comply with ridiculously intrusive state and federal laws are probably not the kind who would do something illegal. 
- Clay said he believes people who carry concealed weapons do so as security-blankets because they are terrified of the dark, and then proceeds to implicate the NRA in this passage (ignoring all the democrat and republican senators who are not owned by the NRA and who were voted in as the best representatives of their states), and then again mumbles something about drunken cowboys waving their six-shooters in the air, shooting at stars, but with the tragic consequence of a cuddly teddy bear or innocent back-packing, bright-eyed Rockwellian boy scout being shot in the head. hmmm ...
- Melissa, another intelligent and logic-based commentor, emphatically says that it's a great idea to allow law-abiding, cautious, responsible, cool-tempered and trained citizens to carry their firearm ANYWHERE they go, and that lawmakers should focus on punishing criminals rather than law-abiding, upstanding, hard-working citizens.
- Tina let go of the tree she was hugging for a moment to steady herself against the big-bad gun-waving rednecks who want to shoot endangered rattlesnakes, endangered coyotes, endangered cougars, endangered grizzlies, and endangered murderers who hang out in state and national parks, like Ted Bundy and Joesph E Duncan III; and endangered violent marijuana farmers.  Tina, with passion and compassion, and probably greasy dreadlocked hair and some burts bees on her hands knows all concealed weapons permit holders are "shoot-first, ask questions later" kinds of people, and the tragic result of anyone but a park ranger bringing a gun into a park is the death of a cute, cuddly bear, like the one that dragged away and killed 11 year old Samuel Ives as he screamed for help.   
- Will was only concerned with this bill being added to another bill that was unrelated.  He seems to uphold the double standard that allows other unrelated bills (like pay increases for senators) to be tacked on, but when it comes to something involving firearms, heck no! And you know what, "Will"?  The relationship between the bills works both ways - those who own firearms and want the gun portion of the bill to pass may not have liked the credit card bill (and i know you're saying "what's not to like about it? but trust me - people who haven't been living on debt aren't as keen about it as those who have been), but are less likely to complain because they need the gun part to pass.

So there you go. 7 people were permitted to comment on the air, and only two of those permitted were in agreement with the law. Does that mean the majority of americans think this law is a bad idea? NO! It could mean that the comments were filtered (when the supreme court overturned the washington d.c. thing a couple years ago, i was at a park and a news crew came up to us and asked for our opinions. when we all agreed, they turned off their cameras and walked away, saying "that's what everyone else is saying too.") - after all, the "right thing to do" in sensationalist, almost-tabloid news is to always disagree with the government. complain about how they're not doing their jobs right, etc.
It could also be that at that time on a thursday morning, the only people listening to cafferty, or with the freedom to comment, were super rich liberals sitting at home in their lounge chair, or liberals living off welfare.  Notice the two pro-gun comments were from women. why?  maybe their husbands were at work and they were at home with the kids.  Not saying women shouldn't ever have jobs, but conservatives tend to be more traditional - including the gender role part. Conservatives tend to hold jobs, even if they are low-paying jobs.

Law Enforcement generally supports "concealed carry" laws, and for numerous good reasons.  In order to get a concealed carry permit, you can't have a criminal record.  You have to behave!  You have to pay $$$ that go into state funds for law enforcement. usually the Sheriff can say who may or may not receive a permit.  You have to provide your fingerprints, which makes tracing you to a crime (assuming you ever 'turned bad') more easy for LE than it might be to trace a criminal who is an illegal alien or who has never been caught. You have to (in most cases) have some sort of training, and that training makes you a safer shooter than some punk wannabe gang member who lifted his uncles .22
LE cannot always respons promptly. the little boy who died died while his parents were trying to phone a park ranger in the middle of the night, deep in a wilderness area. What if dad had a gun? 

People who oppose this law are IGNORANT.  They've bought into the (inaccurate) anti-gun hysteria, and foolishly believe that all national parks are paved-camping, pay-parking family getaways from 10 am til 5pm.  They see 'concealed carry" as equating to "crazed shoot-in-the-air-while drunk" behavior that is only true IN HOLLYWOOD FILMS (which, as stated before, come from a state so filled with gun restrictions that few residents - especially in liberal 'pay for a bodygaurd' hollywood - know anything about firearms outside of the fictional violence they feverishly devour).  They don't realize that at any given moment "out in public", there's probably a loaded firearm within 200 feet of them.  Why don't they realize this?  because law abiding citizens with a 'concealed carry' permit CONCEAL them.  Unfortunately, so do criminals ...

As also stated above, the only thing these anti-gun laws have done in the past is prohibit the trained, licensed & lawful citizens from carrying their firearms in these parks.  The drug-dealing, juvenile delinquents, rapists, wildlife poachers and child murderers have been bringing theirs in all along, and will continue to do so, law or no law.  Criminals get most of their gun-training from the movies.  Would you rather have a licensed, trained firearms permit holder on the other side of the bush, or some 17 year old kid in baggy pants and a bandana who is just coming off a weekend long meth binge?


Cafferty File: Should guns Be Allowed in national parks? http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2009/05/21/should-concealed-and-loaded-guns-be-allowed-in-national-parks/#addcomment
Park Ranger shoots, Kills Wife & Stepchildren: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/13/AR2009021300840.html
Park Rangers May Shoot Female Bison: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1151016.html
Park Rangers Kill Gray Wolf: http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/05/yellowstone-national-park-rangers-kill-habituated-wolf
Park Rangers Under Fire After Bear Kills Boy at Campsite: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/287427/park_officials_under_fire_after_bear.html
Wikipedia: Ted Bundy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy
Wikipedia: Joseph E. Duncan III: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasta_Groene

Survey Shows Republicans are Happier than Democrats....... Why do you think this is true?
LINK: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090516/sc_livescience/happinessisbeingoldmaleandrepublican

Studies HAVE shown that people with some sort of religious beliefs do tend to be happier. Studies have also shown that people who are married tend to be happier and live longer.

Republicans are generally considered "conservative", and Democrats "liberal". The lifestyle differences between the two (con vs lib) can account for much of what studies have pointed to as causes of "happiness": "traditional values", such as marriage, having children (anyone with kids will understand this point), eschewing drugs and other "dangerous" (and thereby stressful) subculture activity, and of course, religious beliefs. Conservatives tend to move slower and more steadily toward their goals, exercising a balance between caution and accomplishment ... something which causes them to be perceived as "unchanging traditionalists' or "too slow", even when their goals are more likely to yield solid results that withstand time.

Those who adopt more liberal views tend to be dissatisfied about something (either real or perceived), impatient, reckless in attaining their goals, unlikely to adopt 'traditional values", merely "living together" instead of committing to marriage, having pets instead of children, and seeking pleasure or financial wealth above satisfying he requirements of traditional values.

Liberalism embraces a doctrine of "self" and immediacy ... and as much as "self" and "individuality" have become center focus in recent years for "personal happiness', the reality is that service and selflessness produce more joy and happiness. Liberalism is also full of hatred and opposition - it is evidenced in the violent and destructive rallies, vulgar language, defiant attitudes and the numerous "anti's" in their cannon.

Though not all liberal ideals are "bad", much of them are based on complex lies, and as each lie reveals its shortcomings, new ones have to be fabricated to keep the machine running. It's a political doctrine of holes and patching - the liberal knows no rest. The complexities in the liberal doctrine appeal to those who wish to feel intellectually superior ... and that particular kind of personality thrives on complaint and patronizing judgment. Pleasure for a mind diseased by this kind of liberalism comes from attempting to point out the weaknesses of others.

With such intense, consistent focus on all the things wrong in the world, how could one ever be happy?

A bill designed to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists is drawing fire from gun rights advocates who say it could infringe upon regular citizens' constitutional right to bear arms.
The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009 would authorize Attorney General Eric Holder to deny the sale or transfer of firearms to known or suspected terrorists -- a list that could extend beyond groups such as radical Islamists and other groups connected to international terror organizations.
Critics say the names of suspected terrorists could be drawn from existing government watch lists that cover such broad categories as animal rights extremists, Christian identity extremists, black separatists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists and anti-technology extremists.
"It doesn't say anything about trials and due process," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. "This is one of the most outrageous pieces of legislation to come along in some time. It's basically saying, 'I suspect you, so your rights are toast.'"
Terrorist watch lists came under fire last month after a Department of Homeland Security report warned that right wing extremist groups may be expanding their membership in the midst of current economic upheaval. While the report stated that such groups were not believed to be planning any terrorist attacks, it went on to state they might do so in the name of issues like abortion, immigration and gun control.
The report sparked outrage from conservative groups and politicians, including Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, who called it "political profiling."
A similar DHS report on left wing terrorist groups, such as Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, was released in January.
The proposed gun control bill, which was introduced by Rep. Peter King, R-NY, last week and has bipartisan support, is currently before the House Judiciary Committee.
A spokesman from King's office said his decision to propose the bill had nothing to do with either DHS report. This is at least the second time the congressman has pushed a bill designed to restrict gun sales to suspected terrorists.
But, while nobody wants domestic terrorists to have easy access to guns -- King called the bill a "no-brainer" in a statement released by his office Tuesday -- some critics say it could be treading a thin line constitutionally.
Taking away an individual's constitutional right without giving him the opportunity to stand trial would likely open the federal government to legal challenges, said Robert Cottrol, a law professor at George Washington University.
"There is a Second Amendment right to hold and bear arms," he said. "That right is not absolute, for instance with convicted criminals. But there would have to be an individualized determination, as in a trial, to prove someone is guilty of something before they are deprived of such a right."
Under the proposed law, those denied access to firearms would have the right to challenge the government's ruling in federal court.
"Common-sense laws that protect us from terrorism must be put in place," King said in his statement. "Our role in Congress is to create laws that protect the American people, not to uphold those that give terrorists the right to bear arms."
The National Rifle Association, the nation's largest pro-gun lobby, said it was still reviewing King's bill, but a spokesman said the organization had opposed similar efforts "in the past due to the serious inaccuracies within the terror lists that affect the rights of law abiding citizens."
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks, the U.S. government has undertaken a number of domestic security programs in the name of national security. But those programs have at times invited criticisms that the government was intruding on citizens' rights.
"You have to exercise very strong judgment through the courts," said Herb London, president of the Hudson Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank. "The big question is, can the U.S. protect itself and maintain the its civil liberties?"
Some conservative bloggers see a clear connection between the DHS reports and the gun control bill, fearing that citizens' Second Amendment rights could be infringed upon due to their political leanings. But otherwise, the bill has raised little protest.
The American Legion, the largest veterans group in the country, harshly criticized DHS officials last month after they reported that veterans would be likely recruits for right wing groups looking for "combat skills and experience."
But when contacted Tuesday, a Legion spokesman said the group had no intention of fighting King's gun control bill.
"I don't see anything in the bill we'd be concerned about. It all seems pretty logical," the spokesman said.
Since the outset of the 2008 campaign, President Obama has stated that he will push for greater gun control measures. And while it doesn't appear the president will be taking on the controversial Clinton-era ban on assault weapons anytime soon (the ban expired in 2004) gun rights advocates are concerned, Pratt said.
"This is a very dangerous time. The president has a voting record in the Illinois Senate of voting for gun bans," he said. "Hopefully, he's not going to have the votes."
Last year the Supreme Court upheld an individual's right to bear arms when it struck down a decades-old ban on firearms in Washington, D.C. The decision was the Court's first Second Amendment ruling in over 70 years, Cottrol said.
"We had this vacuum where the lower courts discussed it, but the Supreme Court remained silent," he said. "The jurisprudence on (gun control) is very much in its infancy."




Think about it:

- what kinds of firearms do terrorists usually use?  bombs.
- what kinds of weapons did the 9/11 terrorists use?  box-cutters (utility knives)
- is our airport security going to prevent guns from getting on planes? (yes)
- is someone bent on killing innocent americans going to bother going through "legal channels" to obtain a firearm in the first place? probably not.
- have gun bans EVER reduced crime? absolutely not - but studies show INCREASES of crime in areas where strict bans are in place.
- what kinds of people were recently listed by the OA as "potential terrorists"?  returned Iraq war vets, citizens stocking up on ammo, people who oppose abortion, people who are unhappy with the government (i.e. you blog, you can't own a gun - just watch!)

When i heard rumors of this bill a couple months ago, i thought about it for awhile & then thought "no way - it would never happen" ... but WHOA!

In the same way that innocent Americans are routinely added to the government's "No Fly" list, innocent Americans would be stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights for exercising their 1st Amendment rights.


Confabulatory Hyperamnesia "Discovered"

I am up at an unusual hour this morning, and just found the following article in an online science magazine, which i think is quite interesting:


An Amnesic Patient With An Extraordinary Distorted Memory

ScienceDaily (May 14, 2009) — If somebody asks you “Do you remember what you did on March 13, 1985?” you are very likely to answer “I don’t know”, even if your memory is excellent. In a study conducted by Dalla Barba and Decaix from the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale and the Department of Neurology of the Hôpital Saint Antoine in Paris and published by Elsevier in the May 2009 issue of Cortex researchers found that a patient with severe amnesia reported detailed false memories in answering this type of question.

People with normal memories are unable to answer this type of question because it is beyond their memory capacity. This is the first reported case of a pathological condition that the authors of the article named ‘Confabulatory Hyperamnesia’.

Patient LM, described in this study, is a 68-year-old man, who, following more than 30 years of heavy drinking, developed Korsakoff’s syndrome, a condition characterized by severe amnesia and confabulation, the unintentional production of false memories by amnesic patients who are unaware of their memory deficits. Patients who confabulate produce more or less plausible false memories answering questions like “What did you do yesterday?” or “How did you spend your last vacation?”, but, just like people with normal memory, they answer “I don’t know” to questions like “Do you remember what you did on March 13, 1985”. What makes LM different from other confabulators is his unusual tendency to consistently provide a confabulatory answer to this type of questions. He would say, for example, that on March 13, 1985 he spent the day at the Senart Forest (a place where he used to go often with his family) or that he could remember that on the first day of summer in 1979 he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

LM’s confabulatory hyperamnesia could not be traced back to any specific pattern of brain damage and the MRI brain scan was unremarkable. The authors conclude that LM shows an expanded consciousness of his past, a consciousness which has surpassed the limits of time and details.

source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513091522.htm


Amazing, isn't it? 

I can't help but wonder, however, how does one (or a team, as the case may be) go about studying such a thing?  How does one isolate the situation, create a control group, check the false memories?  Perhaps he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt on the first day of Summer, 1979.  I was :)

Aside from the curious "research", I wonder what the implications of this disorder might be?  Does it cast doubt upon the numerous people who claim to have been abused 30 years ago by their priest or uncle or boy scout leader? Perhaps a few of these highly-paid victims suffer from Confabulatory Hyperamnesia? Or politicians, perhaps - like Hillary Clinton's tale of a close escape while her helicopter was under fire in Bosnia.  Maybe she didn't "mis-speak" - maybe she suffers from confabulatory hyperamnesia.

I like the "Expanded consciousness of his past, a consciousness which has surpassed the limits of time and details" bit ...
quite scientific.

Everyone is looking for cheaper energy with less of an "environmental impact".  While in the past decades Nuclear Power has been the epitome of "dirty energy" because of its terrifying dangers, modern nuclear power facilities - if we're to believe those building and promoting them - are much safer, noiseless, and completely clean. 

Why, then, are they always trying to build them in some hidden rural valley, snatching up valuable food-producing farmland in the process?

I listened to a story on NPR today about a small town (Hamet?) where a nuclear company is considering building a plant.  As usual (and for obvious reasons) it needs to be near a water source.  As usual (for less obvious reasons), they are trying to talk farmers into giving up their acres for the plant.  The energy company and government will probably pay the farmers a lot of money to vacate, and may force them out if government officials determine the power plant needs to be there. 

There are a lot of things about this particular plant that don't make sense, but which are not related to the point i wish to make. (One of them is "in our area we already produce a surplus of energy - so much that we sell it to neighboring states. why do they want to build another plant here?)

America's farmlands are disappearing.   They are being replaced by ski resports, overgrown houses perched atop hills in wildfire zones, strip malls, and subdivisions.  While i'm sure americans need all of these things too, our lack of farms, partly caused by real-estate issues and partly caused by myopic laws that want to direct more money into "urban centers", is, has, and will continue to be the collapse of America's ability to self-sustain.  We have no control over thye laws of the countries that currently supply us with our apples, grapes, beef, wheat, and other foods.  If we continue to assume we can always buy from another country, and continue to waste our own resources, what is going to happen if our supply gets cut of due to war or political disagreement?  What if one of these countries, enjoying the same kind of wealth as we were, begin to sell of their farmland to build malls and subdivisions?   

The Facts

Here are some considerations to make sense of what i am about to say:

* Urban areas are the largest consumer of energy. 
* Urban dwellers are the biggest proponents of building new energy sources out in the country.
* Rural people generally don't want ANY kind of factories or large-scale projects in their areas because ALL kinds of factories produce some sort of waste, and that waste ruins the land, can ruin crops or render them undesirable on the market, and limit space in which to produce the natural goods that come from farming. Rural people generally don't like "corporate farms" either.
* Rural land is usually rented for small technological "needs", like cell towers and wind farms.  There is little impact on farming, because the largest windmill or largest cell tower usually takes up less than half an acre, and they are usually built on the less-usable terrain. 
* America NEEDS farms, America does NOT need fast food, malls, super-sized houses, mega-plex movie theatres, or call centers - at least not as badly.
* Most successful politicians - democrat, republican and green alike- are from urban areas or reside their most of their time. It makes sense - political venues are in cities, and it's easier to tract your policies in a metropolitan area because you have a wider audience in a smaller area. Unfortunately, this puts even the most "down to earth" politicians vastly out of touch with rural america.
 * While maps (like the one to the left) seem to show vast areas of little or no population, much of these areas are highly mountainous or otherwise geologically unusable for agriculture, most of our national parks, wildlife reserves and "indian" reservations are in these areas, and no such map can accurately portray the tremendous boom in home construction and suburban growth in the past few years.  Most of these maps are based on censuses and other data that is more than two years old. 
* Energy companies and proponents of the proposed nuclear facilities always point to "technological advances in safety" when presenting the idea to under-advertised rural town meetings.  Urbanites also point to the same alleged safety in these plants, while dismissing similar claims by the oil companies (in regard to "environmental impact") as false.  Either "safe" and "clean" methods of either technology exist or they do not - but the double standard should be dismissed.
* Most air pollution comes from urban areas, from factories, from inefficient coal-buring plants, and from personal vehicles.
* Most cities have pulic transportation of some kind, many of which can or do run on electrical power. Monorails, streetcars, and bus systems are NOT available in rural areas, and few smaller agricultural industries have the ability to conform to "clean air standards" enacted to reduce the emmissions of the metropolitan areas.
* All major cities are built on some body of water - a river, a lake, the coast.
* Nearly all major cities have an existing railroad line.
* Many European countries, particularly France, have transitioned to nuclear power, despite the high population density in those countries (and therefore proximity to the nuclear plants).

The Proposal

What I am proposing is that all future american nuclear power facilities are built in major cities, rather than in rural communities. Most urban areas have sections of town where older factories have failed. These decrepit factories are usually along a rairoad.  Tear them down!  Build the nuclear power plants in their place. The cities use the bulk of the power output by the energy companies, so it makes sense to create the energy in the proximity of the cities rather than stringing thousands of miles of metal wire (which is also toxic to the environment and requires a lot of transportation to maintain!).  Building these plants in the areas that are already set up for their needs will save the energy companies, and government (therefore taxpayers) a lot of money, it will preserve our agricultural resources, and it would (if the companies and environmentalists are to be believed) increase air quality as local (cheap?) power is used to provide more access to public transportation and "clean" hybrid and fully electric cars. 

The only opposition that could come from such a suggestion is that "nuclear power isn't safe", to which we must refer back to the double-standard argument:  Either technology has advanced to the point where it is now a safe form of energy, or it hasn't.  If it has, there should be no threat to urban america, and if it has not, why do you want to poison the people and materials that provide you food?

It makes sense to give the risks or benefits to the people who want the nuclear power plants, and to remove those risks or benefits from the people who don't.  It makes economic sense to reduce costs by building where the needs are already in place, and where less cost will be involved in transporting the power from one place to another.  It makes sense to the self-sustainability of our nation to protect our agricultural resources - both the area of land and the quality of that land - to infringe on those areas as little as possible, permitting our nations renewable natural resource producers to provide for the rest of us.


Yesterday there was a tragic accidental shooting in a small town near here.  A 14 year old girl was visiting the apartment where a 12 year old boy lived, and she found a gun in a closet.  As she checked to see if the gun was unloaded, it fired, striking the boy in the head and killing him. 

Our news out in this part of the country is pretty moderate, and respectful of the circumstances.  There is always still an element of humanly compassion, and our reporters are cautious in their balance between sensitively portraying a news story and portraying the story so it would be interesting.

The blog of a local reporter is no exception, and she posted the story, and then asked for comments addressing the following:

*Should this young girl face charges?
*If not, who should be held responsible? The owner of the gun?
*What can be done to educate our kids about gun safety?
*How do you feel about the free gun locks? Would you use one?

The majority of those who responded seemed concerned for the girl.  This was, after all, an accident, and she will replay those terrible moments in her mind throughout the rest of her life. 
A handful of respondents wanted to place blame on the parents, who "left a loaded gun where children could find it."  While this seems to be an accurate assessment, we won't ever know if the girl actually loaded it herself, or if the gun wasn't chambered until she played with it.  We can assume, however, that the parents had never experienced any danger with their son in regard to the firearm.  he doesn't seem to have midhandled it previously ... so how could they forsee the danger? 

If you attempt to work your way back into the story a little further, we know the boy and the girl had known each other for a long time, and that theitr families were friends. It would be reasonable too, then, to assume she'd never previously mishandled the gun. 

I attempted to respond, but (as usual?) my comments were too long for the allotted space, so I've reprinted them here:

Response to http://blogs.ktvb.com/maggie/2009/05/accidental-shooting-should-gir.html

As a gun owner with children myself, I have to look at this situation the same way as i look at our own:

1 - Kids are curious about things. Guns are no exception. If they're curious, they're going to get into it - that's a given.

2 - I own guns for personal (extends to my family) protection.  If an intruder is threatening my family (and the police can't be everywhere at once), how likely am i to scare away an intruder who sees a gun lock hanging from my weapon?

Do i want to risk my kids playing with a gun and hurting themselves or others? No. 
Do i want to risk my family being harmed by an intruder because i can't access my weapon?  No.

A firearms instructor i spoke to recently said the best way to make your kids safe around guns is to expose them to guns until their curiosity is satiated. Our boy goes to the range with us, he now helps clean the guns, and he helps clean up leftover brass.  The guns are not that mysterious and exciting to him now, and he no longer jumps at the opportunity to go shooting.

We also don't allow other children *in* our home. We don't want our own kids to be out of sight or in situations where something bad could happen to them, so they aren't allowed to go into a friend's house, and we extend the same courtesy to our children's friends' parents.

Is education and the attempt to keep other kids away enough?  No.  All our guns are stored and transported unloaded. All of my firearms - but one - are locked in cases/with trigger locks, and kept in a locked room. The one which is not is my primary self-defense weapon, a semi-automatic handgun. Having a clip allows me to store the ammunition and weapon separately, but with easy access for me (who knows where each of the two pieces is hidden) to load the gun quickly, if needed.

Part of the reason for accidental shootings is unfamiliarity and fascination with weapons. This is a result of our "anti gun but pro violent games/movies" society.  Kids grow up assuming they "know" about guns, and when they come across one that wasn't stored safely, accidents can happen.

I am sad for the family of the boy and for this girl.  Accidents should not be prosecuted.  She is going to live with the horror of this moment for the rest of her life.  The owner of the gun is going to likewise.  Neither intended to commit a crime, and it serves no purpose to charge either with one (other than politics or revenge). If there was a lesson to be learned, it unfortunately has been learned as thoroughly as it ever could be.

I heard the other day, that until 1969, most public high schools taught gun safety, and there were sporting events and shooting clubs.  I know when I was in Junior High here in Idaho, the schools offered Hunters education courses, which also taught safety. Boy Scouts was another place where we learned firearms safety.

I think the best way to prevent these accidents is to educate children on the realities of firearms.  They kick. They make loud noises. Things are destroyed or die. They have to be taken care of. There are a lot of rules involved.  Perhaps the biggest reality is that nearly everything they show on TV or in Film (and CERTAINLY video games) is dangerous, false, and irresponsible. That probably comes from the screenwriters living in two of the most restrictive anti-firearms states in the country: New York and California.

Do we want their ignorance to teach our children?


The High Cost of Being Poor

Just saw this article which made me ill ...

Charging rent to homeless
Jason Carroll - National Correspondent, CNN's American Morning: May 11, 2009
source: http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2009/05/11/charging-rent-to-homeless/#comment-13584

Princess Seyborn and her daughter live in a New York City public shelter where they are now being asked to pay rent.

Imagine you’re a single mother. You’re living in a homeless shelter making barely enough at your job as a day care worker to feed your daughter and pay the bills. Now what would you do if that shelter suddenly told you in order to stay you had to pay rent? This is the reality for Princess Seyborn and hundreds of other working homeless families in New York City.

The city is starting to charge working homeless families like Seyborn to stay in the city’s publicly run shelters. Seyborn now has to pay $345 dollars a month in rent. “I tried to explain it on my best behalf,” Seyborn said. “I don’t have it and all I’m getting is pens and paper in my face saying sign here and sign here, and I refuse to sign.”

The policy is based on a 1997 state law, which requires shelter residents with jobs to use a portion of their earnings to pay rent. The amount varies according to family size and which shelter is being used.

So why is the city implementing the law now? One reason could have to do with the results of a 2007 state audit. The city was required to pay back $2.4 million in housing aid that should have been supplemented by working homeless families.

The city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, defended the policy saying, “Everybody else is doing it, and we’re told we have to do it, so we’re going to do it.”

But some city officials say the mayor should be looking for ways to reverse the policy not enforce it. Homeless advocates warn the policy could actually prolong a person’s stay at a shelter. Arnold Cohen, President and CEO of Partnership for the Homeless, said city officials don’t understand the income many of these people make goes to childcare. Cohen said, “So, when they have child care they are able to look for a job, able to look for housing, but we’re essentially taking that money away from them.”

The city says the policy is designed to prevent the working homeless from becoming dependent on public assistance and to move families back into their own homes.

So what can the working homeless do if faced with the prospect of being kicked out under the policy? Princess Seyborn is filing an appeal with the state. But critics of the policy worry unless it is reversed, many working homeless will end up back on the streets.



After digging through the sensationalist slant this story has, i think the idea of charging long-term homeless “a percentage of their income” to continue to stay in the shelter makes sense.

In order for welfare programs to truly work, they have to provide some sort of “nudge” within their supporting framework to help people “get back on their feet” … otherwise, by merely providing for some of the needs of the people, it creates a situation where the victims/clients are forced to rely on that need (almost addictively), and that increases the number of people hanging on the system – which is good for people “in the business” of providing for the poor, but bad for the poor themselves.

i’m sorry that she has to pay $345 a month – a PERCENTAGE – of her income – to take up the space needed by others worse of than she. Their percentage is likely 30% or less than the total income (if keeping in line with most other welfare programs, being based on the idea that the rest of the income needs to go to other necessities of life) … if that is so, she makes about $1150 a month. (Not a lot, but it’s $1000 more a month than i make, and i have 2 kids with another on the way!)

The cost of living is much higher in urban areas than in the rural areas. Where i live, $345 a month would rent her (or be payments on) a nice 3 bedroom house. Apartments are around $300 a month – and they are every bit as nice (or better) than those we had in urban areas that went for $1200+ a month!

Why don’t the poor move away from the city, to some where less expensive, where there is also work available? Is it that we don’t have shopping malls and as many fast-food restaurants? Is it that there are more “manual labor” jobs out here than easy office jobs? Is it because cellphone service is spotty or that you can’t find a $4 coffee no matter how hard you look?

Is it maybe that we don’t have as many “free rides” available in rural America, or that out here “entitlement” is a dirty word?


After reading the story again, i'm left wondering why the government does not pay for childcare instead. After all, wasn't it the infamous talking Clinton who quoted "It takes a village to raise a child"? 

I also want to know (still) why Obama wants to pump more money into 'failing urban centers" instead of sending it somewhere where it will be used more efficiently ... maybe to the farmers and blue-collar working americans who produce the products that keep our country running!  If the money spent keeping people addicted to welfare was spent on helping farmers produce more food, we wouldn't be as dependent on other countries! 

Too many of the policies which promote liberal, leftist ideals HURT the backbone of america.  Carbon emmisions?  Clean Air bills?  Sure!  Force city folk to take a "light rail" or bus to work, or bike to work, or telecommute ...
but in the areas best suited for farming - wide open areas with unpolluted water sources - people NEED to be able to drive a beat-up gas guzzler to get from point A to point B! The idea that the old farmer who has been driving his grandpa's 1953 pickup needs to either retrofit or buy a brand new hybrid SUV to get into town for more seed and pipe is ridiculous, and would only work in a wealthy "hobby farm" area like new England. 
Many of these cities don;'t have "public transportation" - and for good reason!  A town of 3,000 just doesn't have the money to pay for a bus that would have to drive twice as far to pick up customers, and being 30 miles from nowhere forces a NEED to have one's own transport. 

As i said in my response to the blog ... rural america WORKS and urban america CONSUMES.  while it makes sense from a "make more voters happy!" standpoint to continue to drop $20 bills from the air over poor neighborhoods, in the long term (but within the decade), government spending to make the laziest or greediest part of the population happy is going to do no good ... because our real infrastructure - the farmers and the factory workers - is going to suffer right out of business. 

If you clicked on the link to that blog, i want you to look at a few things, as examples of uneccesary consumption:

- nice, modern hairstyle on the homeless woman
- new clothes
- fancy balloons ($6 each!?)
- mother and daughter have matching shoes
- mommy has stylish form-fitting pants
- the office of the homeless advocate looks like a fancy hotel

if you live in the city, you probably saw something different.  This difference in perspective is due to a difference in culture, and i think this difference in culture might be the key, so please follow me:

when i walk down the street each day, or drive to the shopping center (Wal-Mart), i see this:


seriously - no kidding!  as portrayed in the three pictures, there are a lot of Mennonites around here (Mennonites are the folks the more radical Amish broke off from) - i see them mostly at Home Depot, buying tools or paint, and at yardsales, and they're pretty much thrifty, hard-working and modest people.  There are a lot of middle class and "not quite middle class" families with SUVs - needed to haul their 6 kids up the muddy, rutted road to the house at the far end of the farm (honestly, the people in this picture are a little more "wealthy" than the norm), and then we've got farmers.  This particular image is actually from some organic farming site, but i found it fitting, because the clothing people wear (other than the matching hats, indicating these people are more "corporate")is pretty much like these three ('cept the woman's shirt should be untucked, and REAL farmers' wives usually have shorter hair that requires less maintenence). 

My point here ... is that the following "essentials" of life for an urban American are "luxuries" for a rural American, and thereby really uneccesary when it comes down to being "homeless" or "in need of welfare". (i.e. if you are THAT bad off, you could get rid of your "need" of these things):

cable or satellite television (radio if free, and easiser to work to)
soda pop
potato chips
thai food
any kind of fast food
sports drinks
energy drinks
fashionable clothing (you really just need something that fits and doesn't rip very easily)
fasionable eyeglasses
internet access
a shiny newer-model (last 10 years or so) car
name-brand shoes (like clothes, you need something comfortable and durable)
toys that use batteries
toys that are made in the image of a movie character
going out to movies
ice cream
air conditioning
a television
credit cards (you really shouldn't have ANY debt-causing devices!)
a nice haircut
an iPod
a GPS unit
more than one room in your house per person (you could be like people were for century, and have 2 or more per room, with all the kids in one!)

i think you get the idea.

i've lived in metro areas on both coasts, and i can say the same about rural areas.  when you take emphasis off of "keeping up with the joneses" - and by this, i mean:  when you quit going to Hot Topic to out steam-punk/goth/skank your friends, when you ignore Aeropostale, GAP, Old Navy, D&G, Target, or Gucci your friends ... when you don't waste money trying to out-green them, out-parent them, out-holistic healing-them, out Sci Fi CON them, or out Season-Tickets them, you'll find you have a ton more financial resources. 

For thousands of years people survived without Air conditioning, a morning $4 latte, a pack of cigarettes, Star Trek, a fashionable pair of giant sunglasses or an iPhone.  To think that God would give you less of a chance getting a job and supporting yourself or your family because you didn't have that caffiene in the morning or that iPhone for potential employers to reach you on is ridiculous.  If society has made these items absolutely necessary, then we ought to rebel, and live without them.

That brings me to a hint of a new topic:  Why is it that when riotous liberals go on a rampage, they always attack Wal-Mart (which provides items within the financial range of the poor of the community), religion (which generally has the most effective welfare and social well-being programs), and government (which is just doing what the people hired it to do) ... instead of attacking addiction-mongers and luxury peddlers like Apple, VH1, the people who make the "Free Tibet" bumper stickers, the big-ticket electronics stores, Volkswagon, the alcohol companies, the liberal politicians who fly their private jets to and fro, urging everyone else to ride bicycles, etc? 

just wondering.

Darn That Sarah Palin! Wait - Texas?

Oh wait - she isn't the Gov. of Texas? Oops ...


Rape Victims Forced To Pay For Evidence
By Stephen Dean

POSTED: Thursday, May 7, 2009
UPDATED: 8:25 am CDT May 8, 2009
Victims of sexual assault are getting bills, rejection letters and pushy calls from bill collectors while a state crime victims' fund sits full of cash, Local 2 Investigates reported Thursday.

"I'm the victim, and yet here I am. I'm asked to pay this bill and my credit's going to get hurt," said a single mom from Houston.

She received bills marked, "delinquent," after she visited a hospital where police told her to have evidence gathered. Officers assured her she would not pay a dime for that rape kit to be handled.

"That was unreal," she said. "I never thought I'd be out anything for what I went through."

She was 44 years old when she was attacked in her own bed. She said she awoke to find a burly 15-year-old friend of her son assaulting her. He was found delinquent, meaning he was convicted, in juvenile court, thanks in part to the evidence gathered with the rape kit.

"It is set up legislatively so that the criminal justice system pays for whatever evidence collection occurs," said Kelly Young, with the Houston Area Women's Center, a rape crisis facility.

Police departments are reimbursed for up to $700 by the Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Fund, but many departments cover the bills if they exceed that.

Read MoreCollapse )

Source: http://www.click2houston.com/news/19400415/detail.html#-


To this, I am forced to quote from a post I made in September of last year:

"the REAL story behind victims being charged for rape kits is this:  Senator Biden (Dem) drafted a bill taking funding responsibility for sexual assault issues away from the federal government, and placing the burden on individual states. The law was signed into law by President Bill Clinton (Dem). "

"Previously, if a person was a victim of a sexual assault, the rape kits, prosecution, etc were paid for by the United States federal government (i.e., the cost paid for by a small amount of taxes collected from the citizens of the United States as a whole).  Through a plan launched by a democratic senator (one running for VP now!), the United states said "hey, we're not going to pay for victims of sexual assault anymore, someone else has to do it, and that should be the state."  A democratic president, one famed for his own sexual assaults, signed the bill into law.  At that point, it was the individual state's responsibility to cover the costs." (LINK: http://inforodeo.livejournal.com/11308.html )

"Pay for Your Own Rape Kit" is just one of several strange things floating around out there that can be shown to be a direct cause of one of Biden's many ill-planned laws. 

You elected him Vice-President. </p>
A few years back, a friend who was in the Marines was telling me how he and others were refusing to take the mandated Anthrax Vaccine because they'd heard it caused Gulf War Syndrome.  Having spent my late-nights for several years listening to late night talk radio, i immediately agreed.

More recently, i married a woman who was into "natural birth".  The concept of midwifery was not that shocking ... my last serious relationship prior to meeting my wife was with a new age holistic healer-woman, so i was used to some of the rhetoric of "modern medical technology vs. natural health". 

Essentially, the underlying belief in both is that nature has had it figured out for thousands of years, and medicine initially started in the right direction, but with each new technological discovery, began to deviate further and further from nature, and created its own entity that is now more damaging and "addictive", or 'needed' than it should be. 

It's kind of the same argument between "evolution and creation", or "government and anarchy", except when stacked upon each other, you will find most people pick and choose at what time to follow this underlying "people tend to mess things up' principle.

For the past few years now, i've heard that vaccinations in children may cause autism.  To be honest, it scared me, so when my wife brought it up, we decided not to vaccinate our children. 
Then news broke that Polio was back, and thriving among Quakers or Amish .... some "frozen in time" religious group in Minnesota.  They didn't agree with vaccinations, and as a result their kids were dying from a disease that vaccinations had otherwise erradicated. Worse, by becoming willing breeding grounds for the disease, they could possibly spread it to others who were not protected.

At this point, i had to consider my political philosophy:  That our freedoms extend only as far as to not interfere with the freedoms of others. 

Do i have the right to refuse medical attention? Sure.  Do i have the right to make other people sick?  No, because that "right" would take away others' right to be healthy. 

We had to get our son caught up on vaccinations so he could enter public school.  We chose to do so.

Recently, another reputable scientific organization released their conclusions from their own study on the possible vaccine-autism link. They, like other real scientific groups before them, have determined that vaccinations do not cause autism in children. 

Shortly after that, i was reading a publication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and it suggested (as part of an "emergency preparedness" program for individual families) getting vaccinated to protect against disease.  If you think about the concept, it makes sense ... if you're vaccinated against Hepatitis, you're not going to have to find a doctor to treat you if you become a flood refugee.  In most cases, if you're vaccinated against a certain illness, you are less likely to assist in the spread of that disease to others, too. 

As significant as it was "logically", it was significant to me in another way too:  If an official Church publication - in a Church that is overseen by a living prophet of God - suggests vaccinations in the same way it suggests storing a supply or water or food, then it could, perhaps, be "approved by God" that we use modern medical techniques to boost the health and prevent disease in our families.  It may not mean that a vaccination is "right" for everyone, it may not mean that there isn't a connection between vaccinations and autism ... but it does mean that i should follow that advice and make sure our vaccinations are up to date. 

Within a week of reading this, we took out 18 month-old, naturally-birthed, never-been-to-a-doctor daughter to the doctor to get six of her required shots ... most of which she should have had long before.  As a parent, it is painful to see your innocent child go through pain they "didn't deserve".  She cried and looked up at us with a questioning anguish.  She moaned"ouch ... ouch ... ouch" for hours afterward. 

A day later, she was fine, and there haven't been any strange differences in her personality and behavior. 

[I should remind you ... the things i say are my personal opinion at the time i say them, and not officical positions of my church or any other affiliations i have]

A week or two ago, I had a class in histpory on the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.  Millions died during that pandemic.
Two days later, the news began reporting of a new flu epidemic coming from Mexico that had some of the same dangerous traits of the 1918 flu.  This new "Swine Flu" also attacked the healthiest of society, by triggering a damaging reaction in healthy immune systems.

Unlike the 1918 flu, however, the 2009 flu has some mysterious traits, which are fueling a lot of conspiracy theorists:
- most flu's originate in asia, where there is close proximity between people and animals, and then work their way eastward, hitting north america later.  this one originated in mexico and worked its way northward.
- the flu is a combination of human, swine and bird flus.  how did the three blend naturally in nature?
- most of those who have died - the majority - have been in mexico, while those elsewhere have survived.
- the governments, WHO, and the media have seemingly "blown it out of proportion", according to some, "because a smaller percentage of people with this flu have died than those with regular flu". 

Today i saw this online, and it is what prompted me to write:

I do not doubt at all that pharmacutical companies seek to influence doctors.  I've known people whose job it was to go into clinics and hospitals and take doctors out to lunch, give them fancy clipboards, pencils, and other materials stamped with the company's name or the latest drug the company is trying to push.  Anyone who has visited a doctor's office in the last twenty years has noticed the lab coats with drug names embroidered on them, or how all the medical posters in the waiting and examination rooms were "generously" provided by Company X, and remind you of Brand X.  And then there are the free samples ...

I am, however - regardless of the "evidence" - not convinced that "the government" or "the illuminati" or "aliens" engineered the Swine Flu, AIDS, or other super-diseases to try to wipe out certain ethnicities or social groups. 

In the video above, he mentions some legal stuff that gives the government the power to fine people $250,000 for refusing a quarantine.  As much as "quarantine" is a good hollywood fear element, if you think about it, the idea of having people stay put until they get better (or the other alternative) , rather than going out into the public and spreading their germs around, makes great sense!  In biblical times they did this with Leperosy. 

As far as the current "pandemic", i've heard the officials talking about how they are more concerned with controlling this now, before it has a chance to mutate and come back stronger, like the 1918 flu was.  In that context, the "over-reaction" makes sense. 
At least THREE Items in the news today which underscore the bizarre inversion of the "War on Terror" that the Obama Administration has brought:

The first excited me. After Last week's announcement that Iraq War Vets, gun owners, people against big government and people who oppose abortion were now being watched by the Department of Homeland Security, the news that violent vegan "animal rights" activist DANIEL ANDREAS SAN DIEGO had been added to the FBI's terrorist list was a small beam of light coming from an otherwise cloudy government. San Diego had been convicted of bombing two facilities in California because he thought they were connected with animal-testing labs.

While his addition to the list is a step in the right direction, I still have to wonder why Bill Ayers, one of Obama's close friends, was able to escape prosecution. Ayers, who co-founded 1960's "activist" group Weather Underground, had bombed several buildings during his campaign of terror and destruction, and has publicly declared he would "do it again", and "expresses no regret".

Obama seems to have kept up his close association with (and lack of condemnation of) terrorists and anti-american figures.  Obama has recently been photographed with Venezualen militant socialist "President" Hugo Chavez, smiling and joking as if the two were old friends.  This may not be surprising to those who were aware of Obama campaign workers sporting Che Guevara shirts, flags and posters during the election (Chavez is a supporter of Guevara and his murderous movement). While Obama - who spent late nights chatting at the dinner tables of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi, but dismissed accusations that the three were "friends" - may simply have again been misunderstood (like when he didn't place his hand over his heart during the U.S. National Anthem, or when he said there were 57 states, or when he said he was Muslim), the "freudian slips" and "misunderstandings" are piling up and pointing in a direction that worries a lot of Americans.  A few days ago, another terrorist-turned-president, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared from a podium at the anti-Israel United Nations that Israel was a "cruel and repressive racist regime", but the OA State Department spokesman simply said later, "that type of rhetoric is not helpful and doesn't help facilitate a constructive dialogue."
Obama has been equally unresponsive to anti-American speeches at which he has been a spectator.  He said nothing and did not react much to the hour-long anit-American speech by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, simply looking at his watch when it was over.  Perhaps Obama wasn't as concerned that an American citizen might be watching him, allowing him the luxury of not having to feign a nervous smile, like he did when the preacher at his inauguration started spitting out anti-white racist remarks.

Columnist Gloria Borger wrote a good article on Obama's enthusiasm for violent dictators and apathy toward hateful rhetoric directed at Americans in her article "A LITTLE OUTRAGE, PLEASE, MR. PRESIDENT".

In the past couple of weeks, then, we've seen the OA go after war vets, gun owners, people who oppose the sickening practice of abortion, and persons with the historical understanding and legal knowledge to question the federal government's intrusion into the personal lives of citizens.  The govorner of Texas was ridiculed for suggesting his state seced from the union over this last point. 
We've also seen the king of the OA himself looking bored while another world leader delivers a tirade against our nation, and shaking hands and joking with another terrorist-turned president who idolizes a communist mass-murderer and is trying to talk other nations into helping "crush democracy" - a form of government that IS America.  Oh - and the OA issued a press release that said, quite firmly, that when the Iranian terrorist-president made up a bunch of anti-Jewish stuff in a speech where he was trying to gain support in attacking Israel, he "needs to be careful about how he words things or other people won't want to discuss this further."

So what next? 


yep. exactly. In a nation where:
- Angry, Paranoid Liberals throw bricks through corporate coffeehouse windows, set trash cans on fire, hurl rocks at policemen and spray paint on private property
- anti-war demonstrators illegally march on a major highway, stopping morning rush-hour traffic
- anti-war protestors vandalize a military base in an attempt to stop shipment of protective equipment to our soldiers
- Obama supporters riot and vandalize private property and physically attack police outside the RNC
- Obama supporters riot, trespass and vandalise at the DNC
- Gay Marriage advocates violently and rudely trespass and protest on private church grounds
- flood victims shoot at rescue helicopters
... they are let off, or never pursued in the first place, but a guy who stages a funny, non-political, peaceful and silly "flash mob", where people suddenly pull out pillows and whack each other (gently, and they weren't allowed to whack anyone holding a camera or not holding a pillow) got arrested for "disorderly conduct". 

I know that law enforcement has much better things to do, like reading our blogs to see if we oppose abortion, have just returned from duty in Iraq, are stockpiling ammunition or don't like how high the taxes are ... so why go through all the trouble to arrest this guy?  I know Christo and jean-Claude at least get permits before they do giant works of art, but most liberal-socialist-democrat protests go on without the necessary permits, and they are rarely hauled in. 

In this dark and frightful time in our nation, we NEED upbeat things to keep our spirits up. In the 1920's it was "pole sitting" and "longest kisses".  In the 2000's it's flash mobs and silly dancing!  YouTube and other sites are full of the videos of these often elaborate and always unexpected public performances.  There's the Belgium railway station where hundreds of people start dancing to a choreographed song from "the sound of music", and the "wherethehellismatt" dancer, and the numerous stunts by imrov everywhere

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST ON FBI'S "MOST WANTED TERRORISTS" LIST: http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/04/21/fbi.domestic.terror.suspect/index.html
BORGER: A LITTLE OUTRAGE. PLEASE, MR/ OBAMA: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/21/borger.obama/index.html
FEATHERY FRACAS LANDS MAN IN COURT: http://www.wptz.com/cnn-news/19239940/detail.html

and ...
I did my best to stay out of the whole Taxes/Tea party/Socialism argument, but i'm grouchy about some stuff ... 

Here are my views on taxes:

1. Taxes are a necessary part of a democracy.  The other alternative would be for the government to own our banks and car manufacturers and ... wait ...
2. Most people, even being aware of the necessity of taxes, don't like them.  All year long they eat of the fruit of tax-funded government projects, and then when tax season comes, they're suddenly anti-government. That's a ridiculous way to look at things.
3. Not defending the tax system, though! There are a lot of problems with how it all works, and i'm going to address some of those below.

A little first-hand story here:

I grew up poor. Not "Middle class", though if you couldn't peer into our checkbooks you would never have known ... but poor.  We ate rice for weeks at a time. we ate frozen generic-brand pizza once a month to celebrate dad's paycheck.  We couldn't afford Ramen. I grew up refusing to put a quarter in the arcade games at the entrance to every grocerystore, never went to movies, and didn't eat fast food ... because money spent on those things was gone quickly. I still bought things with the quarters i earned from mowing the lawn on our half-acre, but they were more permanent things, like pens or paper or books. We were poor.

A lot of other poor families had their kids get "free hot lunch" at the school. it was part of some sort of government program ... kind of like food stamps.  We didn't want people to know how poor we were, so we didn't do the free lunches.  My mom scraped together the $2.00 a week or whatever hot lunches normally cost, and we ate. most of the time.

When i grew up and went out into the working world, i was like every other spoiled rotten american. i started eating at McD's one my way home from work. i bought movies (VHS, later DVDs), owned a color TV, hung out with my friuends, etc.  I wasn't rich, but i wasn't poor anymore.  By the time i was 25, i grossed more a year than my dad - even then.  Where i was living, however - and likely how i was living - didn't stretch those dollars very far.  I paid over $1000 a month for my *cheap* apartment, i had the cheapest cable TV package, i had no savings account, a small 401k, and usually a negative balance in my checking account.  I lived on "payday loans", taking out one to pay another. 

Payday loans aren't the monsters they're made out to be.  A lot of people like to say "and the interest on those loans - gosh!" ... but really, the "interest" rates are just a technicality of the process. they way it works is you're borrowing some money from someone because your an idot and living beyond your means, and you agree that you will pay that money back, plus $25 or so (it used to be $15 per $100) for the convenience of their service.  Not a bad deal, they're not doing anything illegal, etc.  The way they "get ya" is really based on your own personal lack of self-control, addiction to spending and bad money management.  They thrive on this like casinos thrive on lazy people who want to get rich with little effort, or like tobacco and liquor companies thrive off of addicts.  Blaming the payday loan places is like blaming the opportunity instead of the fool.

I had a lot of friends who were poor too, and who were in the same cycle. some of them realised they could get government aid ... "welfare' and "social security".  a lot of these people had more "toys' than me - big screen tvs, game systems, cellphones (mine was cheap because of a deal i got through work).  most of them drove nice cars. few of them worked ... instead, they sat around in their apartments, smoking weed, getting drunk, and playing video games.  On the weekends (and a lot of week nights), they'd hit the bars. I cut a lot of the social life out of my life, and never took government aid. i also worked full time.

Eventually i got out from under my weekly debts, and at some point i was completely debt free (if you consider 'renting' being debt free).  I had no car payments, I owned two cars, no student loans, etc.  I also didn't have a lot of spending money, but i had a lot of peace.

After my wife and i married, we moved from the "big city" to a small rural town in a different state.  Houses in the new location were seriously around 30%-40% the price of the same kinds of houses in the other state, and most of the rest of the 'cost of living" was better too.  There was less crime, and seemingly less poverty.   

After being here awhile, i realised that there is MORE poverty, because government programs (like a lot of the new ones Obama is coming out with) are geared toward "urban areas" and "minorities", which really doesn't mean anything special or fair.  It's just another way of the government throwing money to the people that are more readily accessible - those living in the same big cities as the politicians.  The scheme doesn't represent an accurate picture of America - but the politicians never figure that out, because they don't really go to the small towns.  Politicians already have their minds made up ... they "know" that people in small towns "cling to their guns and religion", and that "the people of Boise, Idaho think mass transit and the internet are only in the imagination". I also learned that another (perhaps bigger) reason rural poverty is not as obvious is that there is a vastly different ethic among rural people than in the herds of city dwellers. There is a work ethic and a pride ethic and a make-do-with-what-you-have ethic. City "poor" are so busy keeping up with their neighbor's new iPhone/Blackberry/iMac/bling/clothing that they have no money left for food, while rural poor put their money into fixing up their eisenhower-era pickup and buying seeds to plant gardens for food that they have no money left for the luxuries like iPhones, Blackberries, etc.

We built a business in the area, and were able to employ four people.  We paid our business bills, our personal bills, paid my wife's disabled parents $900 a month for childcare (they didn't qualify for government benefits because they "owned' a trailer house somewhere in Washington state. the trailer was actually lived in by an illegal immigrant woman who couldn't qualify for credit, and the inlaws thought they would be nice and let her live there and have her pay them and then they would pay the bank.  unfortunately - and predictably - the woman rarely made payments, so this thing the government considered their "property" or "source of income' was actually a huge burden of debt that they coukldn't get out of). 
We also tried to contribute to the community as much as possible.  we hired people who were just out of rehab to mow our lawn, a homeless woman to wash our laundry, kids trying to save up money for college were hired to mow our lawn, and we donated money, time and items left and right.  We spent our "leftover" money on little things ... i collected some old books & stuff on ebay, my wife bought clothing. Nothing big ... we didn't go buy new, expensive cars, or giant entertainment items or boats or beach houses ... we couldn't afford those things. 

Our lives were like they were before, except this time we could help people in need, and buy a couple extra presents for the kids at christmas time.

Things dramatically changed for us, however, about three weeks ago.  We had hired a guy to build a wall for us (to divide the living room from the dining room), and some friends were helping us paint.  Our accountant was doing our taxes (a local business, paying her $80 an hour to do something we could have done ourselves, but we were trying to support our community!).  our main client, a large corporation, had started sending us less work because the economuy was forcing them to cut some of their outside workers to keep those in the office busy, but we thought things would be fine.

We met with the accountant, and learned some of the most terrible, most stressful news of our lives:  we owed nearly $45,000 in taxes.  There's been some misunderstandings between me, my wife, our payroll/business tax people  and numerous consultants, and as much as it would be nice to point a single finger, there were a lot of things at work to generate the problem.

had this tax thing happened while we still had steady work, it would have been painful, but manageable ... but we were in the process of layiong off our employees, closing the office, moving the remaining trickle of work back into our home, and my wiofe - who is the primary worker while i am in school - is pregnant with our third child and due in a month. 

The high amount of our taxes is due to the nice little formula that enables the government to "courageously" tax the rich a higher percentage of their earning than the poor.  Because of the way our business was set up, a lot of our "profit" actually went right back into keeping the business running ... everything from power and telecommunicatioons bills (together over $600 a month), the office lease, paying off business loans, and all the costs in providing for employees - the thousands of dollars monthly it took to pay for their unemployment taxes, health insurance packages, their accrued vacation time, sick time, not to mention the cost of paying them for the time spent sitting in front of their computer waiting for more work to come in.  Our over-regulating government, opportunistic plaintiffs and other social ugliness also causes small businesses to maintain liability insurance and other expensive paperwork in order to operate "within the law".  Finally, added to all of this, the government actually taxes ADDITIONAL  taxes on people who are "self-employed", and on "businesses". 

So much for the American Dream!  We built what we thought was a sound business, created four new jobs in the community, paid for some of the poor and sick so the government wouldn't have to, created several small temporary jobs for other needy people in the community, and definitely were not living "rich", despite what the paperwork might have pretended to reveal.  How were we rewarded?  by being taxed at a higher PERCENTAGE than people who sit on their butts all day playing video games and smoking weed. 

I don't understand it ... as a higher-producing member of society, having me pay the same percentage of my gross as those below me would still generate MORE money for the government ... after all, 10% of 140,000 is way more than 10% of 14,000.   To assume that i have "enough" money so i can afford to give more to the promotion of laziness and non-productivity of the most worthless of our nation's citizens (as well as those few who have a legitimate need for aid).   Why reward those members of society who are already TAKING money from the rest of us (student loans, welfare, social security, etc) by giving them a tax break?  or, conversely, why punish those who are CONTRIBUTING to society by forcing them to pay higher taxes? 

Did i participate in the "tea party" protests?  No.  Do i agree with them?  
What's NOT to agree with the largest-scale NONVIOLENT protest of recent years? There were no stinky hippies hurling bricks, angry dykes spraypainting church walls, hooded creeps pushing over police cars, setting fire to trashcans, starting fights and then whining that their rights were violated.  That alone should be enough .... but to my personal further shock and amazement, THERE WERE PEOPLE FROM BOTH MAJOR PARTIES INVOLVED.  When was the last time that happened? 
From the news coverage i saw, it looked like the protests covered a variety of things, but one of the bigger points was the population's anger at our elected officials spending billions of our money on things that 'we the people' - if given the chance to vote - would NOT spend the money on.  do you know anyone who wouyld have handed money over to the car companies, the banks, and freaking polar bear exhibits in iowa, had there actually been a vote?

Those who opposed the tea parties are too blinded by their undying devotion to Obama.  These obies don't realise that no one is blaming just Obama for these issues .... Bush granted the first "little" portion of the bailouts. 
These protests were not about political parties, they were about political accountability, about the American people wanting a little "change" in their pockets too. 

Don't talk to me about how "only 1% of the popluation controls 95% of the money".  I'm not that 1%, but these tax laws still punished me out of business.  Obama's plan would have hurt me even more.   

The Dangereous OA

Several news items in the past few days:

OA Homland Security Commander, Janet Napolotino has decided that the war on terror should be primarily fought against the following:

- most people who buy a lot of ammunition
- returned "disgruntled" vets ("because Timothy McVeigh was a disgruntled vet")
- people who oppose abortion
- people who don't like "Big Government"
- people unhappy with the economy
- people unhappy with taxes

these targets are pretty vague, and the DHS is on the look out for anyone fitting this description.  This policy sets up the OA's "anyone on the DHS watch list shouldn't be allowed to have a gun" plan.  interesting.

also interesting is that there was no mention of the numerous "left-wing" terrorist groups with a proven record of crime:  the ELF, Obama's friend's "The Weathermen", etc.

On the 15th, thousands and thousands of people turned out for the "Tea Party" protests.  In towns as small as Boise, Idaho, the numbers were in the thousands (Boise had over 2,500 protesters).  Some reports indicated some East Coast towns with as many as 20,000.  This/these event(s) are interesting because:

- they were non-violent, non-destructive, and within the law (in stark contrast to the Liberal Socialist Democrats' usual "protests")
- they happened across the country
- they involved U.S. citizens from both major parties
- they indicated a united desire for eklected officials to stop raising taxes and spending the people's money without the people's approval.
- most major news outlets ignored the priotests, and the few who aired them greatly underestimated the numbers (in one notable clip, the camera scans the bottom of a seemingly endless sea of protestors, and the commentator announces "only about two thousand people showed up"), or picked-and-chose the most "redneck" or unknowledgable people to interview, attempting to slant the protests as staged by ignorant and unreasonable people.  THEY FAILED.

in (possibly - still having trouble believing this) GOOD news, today has brought the following two stories that (if true0 i am kind of excited about:

- Obama announced a national high-speed train service.  It's actually not as good of news as it sounds ... it's really just some high-speed public transport for a handful (like 5?) major metropolitan areas, so it is unlikely most of america will get any use out of them ... but having better mass transit in major cities will reduce traffic, which will in turn reduce (a little bit) air pollution, etc.  Having lived in a major city that had a similar public transportation system, i can say that it is not a perfect solution - it will still be too expensive for many people, inconvenient to get to boarding places, subject to frequent break-downs (which will stop entire cities if that is the main form of transport), make populations more vulnerable to disease epidemics, create more vulnerable terror targets AND be terrible options for large-scale evactuations (like tsunamis, volcanos, missiles, etc) ... but hey! traffic will be better and the environment will be a little better off (except where the train is racing through - look out, gray wolves!)

- Obama said he is "backing down' from reinstating the "assault weapons ban".  This is a WISE choice because it serves no purpose for the public good (no crime has ever been proven to decrease as a result), and it allows our citizens to defend themselves from criminals with effective weapons.
the thing is ... i don't believe this headline.  it's ... too easy.  maybe the answer lies in a plan to destroy the firearm-related economy ... not putting the ban into effect will destroy the high value of the weapons and ruins their collectability.  maybe the thing we're not hearing is "Obama is not going to go after the ban, but that won't stop the rest of the OA".

anyway, if true, cool.  if not, it's just another broken promise to add to the broken promise tracker,.

I was out of town this past weekend, and was shocked when i turned on the news Saturday night to see two headlines:


North Korea Successfully Launches Missile - claims it was a satellite, China and Russia agree it was, but the rest of the world can't seem to find this successful satellite.  The missile was launched in the direction of the Western United States.


Obama Vows To Reduce US Nuclear Arms


There were actually a few other disturbing headlines ("Hillary Clinton Announces 90% of the Guns in Mexico Came From The US, and Vows to Disarm American Citizens", and "Venezuelan President Chavez Urges Nations to Eliminate Capitalism and Spread Socialism"), but I’ll save those for later.


Until I knew exactly what was going on, i thought there was a nuclear warhead headed straight for me from North Korea (ally to Russia, China, Iran, etc).  Reading, during that time of fear, that Obama wants the US to get rid of its nuclear weapons - our defense against North Korea, China and Russia - was surreal. 


But it really happened. 


To me, the idea of calling out to the world to get rid of their nuclear arms with countries like north Korea out there is as unbelievable as the idea that calling out to the people of the United States to get rid of their firearms is going to make everyone safe.  It won’t, and here’s why:  The only people who follow the laws – these requirements, these pleas – are those from whom no threat existed in the first place: those who abide by the law.  As a nation, we can get rid of our nuclear arms, and we can request and threaten that others do the same.  As individuals, we can get rid of our arms and request that others do the same.  Rogue individuals, though (we call them ‘criminals”) pounce on these opportunities immediately, however, because their victims are defenseless. Rogue nations operate the same way.


I remarked on it to a friend, who sent me to a You Tube video made by an Ice-Cream guy, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's Ice cream.


The video shows Cohen talking about some statistics and dropping BBs on the screen. It's kind of cool, actually.  It’s also inaccurate and misleading.


Cohen makes the following claims:


·         In his demonstration, 1 BB   = 15 "Hiroshima-sized" bombs

·         In his demonstration, 6 BBs  = "enough nuclear weapons to blow up all of Russia"

·         10,000 BBs to represent 150,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs.


Cohen then tosses the BBs onto a plate of glass as he gives some official-sounding statistics.  What he said sounded pretty realistic, but as is the case with most liberal infomercials, it was lacking in solid sources, so I figured I would look up the actual data he mentioned, gather it together, and analyze it, looking for similarities and contradictions.  After all, what good is knowledge if it is not based on fact?


I learned the following about History and Geography:


·         Russia is 6,592,800 sq mi (or 17,075,400 square kilometers)

·         The explosion of the Hiroshima bomb (“Little Boy”) destroyed about 1 to 4.4 sq miles (1.6 to 11.4 sq km). 1 mile of destruction, 4.4 miles of fires. It had between 13 and 18 kilotons (kt) of destructive power.


I then looked up stats on nuclear proliferation which are publicly available:


·         In 2007, the US had 5,335* warheads: 3,575 (strategic) + 500 (non-strategic) + 1,260 (inactive, and in various phases of disassembly). [*correction: Cohen talks about those being 'maintained', which = 4075]. Of those:

·         450 - 500 non strategic (in US): W62 & W87 range from 170 kt to 300 kt, possibly up to 475 kt (e.g. each is equal to around 11 to 20, possibly 32 Hiroshima Bombs)

·         336 submarine missiles, some with W88 warheads, which can deliver up to 475 kt

·         400 Gravity Bombs (no public data for destructive capability, but likely would not exceed the maximum of missiles, which at the moment seems to be 475 kt)

·         Total of 1186 "accounted for" (to US public) weapons, out of less than 4075.

·         IF all 4075 were 475kt, destructive power would be 1,935,625 kt, total, or the equivalent of 129,042 "Hiroshima sized bombs".

·         IF all 4075 were considered the average destructive ability (more likely average is 235 kt for all but *some* of the 336 submarine missiles), total destructive power would be 957,625 kt total, or 63,842 "Hiroshima sized bombs"


Easy arguments can be made, based on mere semantics, against Cohen’s claims.  For example:


·         To “blow up all of Russia”, it would take 1,497,842 “Hiroshima-sized bombs”, and that is only if you count the areas that catch fire in addition to the areas actually destroyed.  Cohen has given us a number (150,000) that is only 10% of what it would really take, (and, as you will see below, 10% is quite generous when you see how few we actually have).


·         Russia is not our only nuclear threat.  We also have to worry about China, North Korea, Cuba, and the numerous other countries with the capability to “blow us up”. If we already don’t have enough for Russia, how could we possibly hope to defensively survive attacks Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba and the other nations who don’t “play by the rules”?


·         The “Hiroshima bomb” (“Little Boy”) is a bad example, mathematically, because it was one of the least efficient, most “dirty” bombs we ever dropped, and we actually missed the target.  Cohen uses “Hiroshima” because it is an ugly and terrible reminder of the dangers of nuclear weapons.  He reminds us of our guilt, and of the terror this weapon caused … while conveniently failing to remind us that more countries in the world are pointing their bigger, dirtier “bombs” at us right now, and we are likely to suffer the terrible fates suffered by the Japanese during this dark moment in world history.   


·         Cohen fails to explain what he means by “Hiroshima-sized bombs”.  Grammatically, this could mean “bombs the size of Hiroshima” or “Bombs of the same physical measurements as that which was dropped on Hiroshima”, but we suspect he intended to base his standard on the destructive capability (measured in “kilotons”) of “Little Boy”. To attempt to use either of the former interpretations yields mathematical results even further away from reality.


By diligent (and quick, thanks to the internet) research and easy calculations we can determine the following, which is actually far more important in the analysis of Cohen’s claims than bickering over how many bombs it would take to erase Russia:


·         Independent watchdog groups have determined the U.S. military had a little over 5,000 nuclear “bombs” (bombs + missiles) in 2007, over 1,000 of which were inactive and being dismantled.  That means that by now (2009), there are less than 5,000 total, and likely less than 4075 total actively “being maintained”.

·         The peak destructive ability of most warheads is 300 kt, but there’s a range in the majority of 170 to 300.  This gives us an average of the majority being 235 kt.  A few may be capable of 475 kt.

·         If all 4075 were somehow capable of reaching that peak number (475 kt), then the United States would have 1,935,625 kt of nuclear destructive power, which is equal to 129,042 “Hiroshima sized bombs”.  (Cohen made the claim that we had 150,000 times the power of a “Hiroshima sized bomb”, which would be about 2,250,000 kt of destructive power.

·         If the 4075 were calculated at a more realistic number (the average kt of the majority of the weapons), the total destructive capability of the U.S. nuclear arsenal would be 957,625 kt total, or only 63,842 “Hiroshima-sized bombs”.

·         With the unrealistic number (using the maximum claimed ability of some warheads for the representative ability of all warheads), Cohen’s suggestion of 150,000 “Hiroshima-sized bombs” inflates the highest possible number, 129,042, by more than 116%.

·         With the more realistic number of the U.S.’s capacity for destruction being equal to 63,842 Hiroshima-sized bombs, Cohen’s 150,000 estimate is inflated to 235% the real number.


At the end of his dramatic display, Cohen makes the claim that 17 Billion dollars a year are spent maintaining these weapons, and that that much money could fix all of our public schools and “head start” programs.


Cohen is either ignorant of the following, or doesn’t want the truth to distract from his ideological propaganda:


·         He suggests that $17 Billion dollars a year would be sufficient to “fix” all public schools and head start programs.  In 2008, the state of Hawaii determined they alone needed $412 million to fix their public schools, not including private schools or “head start” programs.  In 2006 California was seeking $10.4 Billion to fix their public schools.  These two numbers alone (both likely to be even larger in 2009) would leave only $7.2 billion for the other 48 states and D.C.


·         He wants us to focus on how much the government is “wasting” protecting us from the nuclear threat from other countries, and not on the amounts of money the government is wasting elsewhere, like the multi-trillion government buyouts President Obama added to the handful of equally distressing bailouts that occurred in the last months of the Bush administration.


·         Much of this money is spent on the guarding of these defense tools from terrorists, and in maintaining their safety to the American people. 


I don’t like living under the threat of nuclear war any more than any other reasonable person.  It would be great if all nations destroyed and banned all nuclear weapons, followed by chemical weapons, biological warfare, imperfect socialism, communism, tyranny, disease, discrimination, starvation, and any number of the other ills and concerns of most societies.  If it was realistic to believe that banning things, or setting the example in not using things was an effective way to fix problems in the world, I would also be at the front of the pack banning firearms.


Unfortunately, however, as long as there is selfish evil and power-hungry people in the world, crime will exist – both on the small scale of individuals and on the larger scale of nations – and those who are not sold on the opinions and designs of well-meaning nations and people will continue to be opportunistic in preying upon those without the ability to defend themselves.  If, as a nation, “we put down our weapons”, other nations will pounce upon us, taking advantage of our backs being turned.  Our national freedoms will be lost from the outside as quickly as Obama has been taking our individual freedoms from the inside.


I really liked Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.  I’m not announcing a boycott or anything (if I understand correctly, Cohen is no longer active with the company, except as an occasional advisor), but taking nuclear proliferation lessons from an ice-cream maker seriously is as ridiculous as getting your news from a comedy show.



Mr. Cohen’s Cute Demonstration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bJsGJhpZd8

1999 U.S. Nuclear Stats http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/summary.htm

2003 U.S. Nuclear Stats http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/61/date

2007 U.S. Nuclear Stats http://thebulletin.metapress.com/content/pr53n270241156n6/fulltext.pdf

Info about the W88 Warheads: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W88

Types of Deployment devices: http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_06/Belgium_Germany_Tactical

2008 Hawaiian School Costs: http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/05/29/news/story02.html

2006 Californian School Costs: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/01/BAGA9LG6B31.DTL



I went to the bank today to deposit my most recent paycheck. 

While standing in line, i overheard the bank manager working with a couple who were trying to get their social security checks.  Nothing that much out of the ordinary - i'd seen other people collecting welfare before.

As i was filling out my deposit slip, a guy came in and cheerfully addressed the teller by name.  As he passed me by and walked up to the counter, he told her he had just got his unemployment check.
He looked like he probably worked at the local lumber mill, and i know they'd laid off quite a few people recently.

As i walked to the counter to deposit my check, an elderly woman pulled up to the drive-thru window, and i heard the teller say "well, it's overdrawn."
The elderly woman asked, "by how much?"
The teller, beginning to speak in a concerned, hushed voice said, "by over eight-hundred dollars."
The elderly woman slumped in the seat of her blue pickup. 

It's april fools day, and across the Atlantic there are riots in England during an "economic summit".  Obama is supposed to be speaking with Chinese leaders to figure out what to do about our debt to China.  China owns a lot of U.S. Treasury bonds.  Like a commenter said the other day, "We're in a trillion-dollar 'national debt'. Who are we indebted to? China."

I hoped this was all a joke, but it is not.

Why Fargo, North Dakota Is Important

It should be enough that a huge disaster is slowly inching its way into the lives of thousands of Fargoans, but the pending super-flood is important to those keeping tabs on our Constitutional Liberties, too.

This disaster will be the first disaster to occur under Obama, and since his election, numerous "FEMA Camps" have been sprouting up around the country, mostly along the Mexican border. Many lie on railroad routes, and in a few instances, railroads have been constructed to connect to the mysterious camps. 

Our National Guard - the people who normally respond to disasters - are being assimilated into the regular federally-controlled military, and DHS and FEMA have been granted quite a few spooky powers.  More incidents have been popping up around the country in which the federal military have been working as policemen - something supposedly guarded against in the constitution and the Posse Comitatus Act.  United States marines were "helping" with traffic stops in California a few months back, and armed military presence was witnessed around our country ion new year's Eve, as well as during the Obama Inaguration.  During Obama's big party, in fact, military used cellular-service signal jamming equipment to prevent ordinary citizens from making or receiving cellphone calls as his motorcade passed - a technology that is outlawed in this country, even for our own Law Enforcement. (The technology is used to prevent terrorists from triggering bombs with their cellphone signals). 

Meanwhile, Obama's administration is now fully assembled, and the majority of them are infamous anti-gun politicians. They've announced their plans to ban certain types of guns (most types, as a matter of fact), and have been feeding the media propaganda about how our "high tech guns" - legal to law-abiding citizens in the United States - are "over-arming" Mexican drug lords, giving them an unfair advantage over the Mexican police.

Of course, most people either aren't aware, or justify these actions.  Today, a commenter on CNN put it well:

"Many Americans are so emotionally invested in the Obama presidency that they consider it too historic to fail.
They won't tolerate any criticism of the president or his administration, finding it easier to simply attack critics.
And whatever goes wrong that they can't defend or deflect, they just blame on George W. Bush."
Ruben Navarette Jr, CNN Commentary: "Obama Is Flunking Economics"

During Katrina, the law-abiding citizens of New Orleans were forcibly disarmed.  Their weapons were stored away in a mouldering warehouse, and when they were finally released back to some of their owners, as a result of a lawsuit filed by (the NRA?), these weapons - antique, modern, expensive, heirloom, etc - were rusted, moldy and damaged beyond repair. The owners were not compensated.
Those who managed to hold onto their guns - now illegally - were able to defend themselves against looters, rapists and rioting criminals. 

In Idaho, however, a bill recently went to the state house, seeking to prevent the unlawful seizure of citizens private weapons during "martial law", to prevent what happened in Katrina. The bill has (thankfully) passed so far, with those opposing it belonging to the same pro-government domination party as Obama.

Fargo is significant because we may have the opportunity to see what kind of liberties the government will grant itself during a natural disaster, now that a few more things are in place.  Though i certainly hope i will be wrong, i am going to watch to see.  It will also be different because the population of the upper midwest is made up of people who are vastly different than the populations of California and Louisiana, so there may be no need for military presence, as there may be no rioting and looting.

Posse Comitatus Act                                   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act
CNN Commentary On Obama                   http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/27/navarrette.obama.economics/index.html
News Story About Katrina Confiscations    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318478,00.html
Katrina Self-Defense                                  http://www.bobtuley.com/gun_seizures.htm

"My Liberal Friends Were Right"

Saw this post on Sodahead.com, loved it, had to post it (original link below):

My Liberal Friends Were Right

My Liberal Friends Were Right

I have to admit it. My liberal friends were right.

They told me if I voted for McCain, the nation's Hope would deteriorate, and sure enough there has been a 20 point drop in the Consumer Confidence Index since the election, reaching a lower point than any time during the Bush administration.

They told me if I voted for McCain, the US would become more deeply embroiled in the Middle East, and sure enough tens of thousands of additional troops are scheduled to be deployed into Afghanistan.

They told me if I voted for McCain, that the economy would get worse and sure enough unemployment is approaching 8.8% and the new stimulus packages implemented recently have sent the stock market lower than at any time since the 1980's.

They told me if I voted for McCain, we would see more "crooks" in high ranking positions in Federal government and sure enough, several recent cabinet nominees and Senate appointments revealed resumes of bribery and tax fraud.

Well, I ignored my Democrat friends in November and voted for McCain, and they were right.... all of their predictions have come true.



More Lies About "Racial Inequality"

According to CNN, a new "Report Sees 'Sobering Statistics' On Racial Inequality"

This new report notes that "social and economic gaps still exist between blacks and whites in America".  This essentially means that, when taken as a whole, whites hang out on one side of the room and blacks hang out on the other, and whites make more money.  It does NOT reveal any new data that indicates rampant racism in our culture, it does NOT indicate that all whites are rich, that all blacks are poor, or that one or the other group makes more or less that of the other at the same job. 

Why, then, is this news? 

Different races - different cultures - frequently congregate together. "Birds of a Feather Flock Together", as we've all heard.  It is not any more abnormal for whites to hang out together at the mall than it is for asians to go to dim sum or blacks to play basketball. Yeah, stereotypes (i'm white and i wouldn't be caught dead in a mall, but i love dim sum), but i'm making a point here.  It is commonly accepted that different groups of people hang out with each other.  Though it is more common (due to an imbalanced drive for "political correctness") for these groups to "reach out" to one another (as if one were on higher ground than the other?), underneath all that PC talk and 'social awareness' and 'diversity', most people generally feel a little awkward.  If that weren't so, there wouldn't be groundbreaking movies like "white men can't jump" or recording artists like eminem or alicia keys. There is a gimmick, still alive and well, with stereotype contradiction.  It even got one guy elected president ...

The truth of the matter is ... ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL. There really aren't any special 'one race only' talents out there.  Indians don't own the market on tech support, japanese don't own the market on robots and pop culture, chinese don't own the market on martial arts and dry cleaning, whites don't own the market on white-collar work and plumbing, and blacks don't own the market on rap and athletics.  There is no particular ethnic genetic trait that predisposes any one race toward art, intelligence, rhythm, melody, cooking, literature, running or swimming.  Likewise, there is no particular genetic trait that predisposes any one race to being prejudiced, to hating, to criminal activity, or to thinking they are superior.  These good and bad traits exist in ALL people, regardless of race or gender. 

I frequently argued with my wife about race when we were first married.  I'm of the "people should be judged on their merits" camp, and she was of the "special help must be rendered because there is a huge divide" camp. 
As a result, i spent a lot of time studying various statistics from an unbiased stance: i copiled a spreadsheet that included, state by state, crime statistics (robbery, rape, murder, number of convicts), economic statistics, political voting statistics, poverty statistics (how many people were on welfare, how much money the average family received), 'hot issue' statistics (gun control laws, abortions, education success/failure rates), religion (% of population in specific faiths), and virtually any new statistics that were released with state-by-state numbers.  Being in a spreadsheet, i was able to sort by any part of the data, and see correlations between various fields.

Some of the numbers opened up my eyes to interesting things (states with the highest crime had the strictest gun-control laws, while states with the lowest crime had the least restrictive gun control laws), some of the statistics simply reinforced "common knowledge" (a slightly higher number of blacks and hispanics in prison over whites, very few asians). 

I then began compiling "race' violence and harrassment articles in the national news.  I found a few surprising things in those:
- in most crimes where blacks attacked whites, the crime is not listed as a racially-motivated 'hate' crime.
- in most crimes where blacks perpetuate violence against whites, it is difficult to initially identify "race" (smaller midwestern/rocky mountain communities are more likely to still say "black" or "white" than big cities, which seem to be trying to play down the color-to-crime ratio).
- an incredibly high percentage of vandalism and arson related "hate crimes" turned out to be falsely reported & staged crimes, where the "victim" or a close relative of the victim had staged the scene in an attempt to implicate "hate groups".  After 9/11, this became the m.o. of middle-eastern shop owners. 
- there were actually about 3:1 more crimes that fit the criteria of 'hate crimes' by blacks or hispanics against whites than by whites against others. A neighborhood of blacks might beat a white man senseless, while a white college kid might hang a noose on a tree in a race-hate sign in retaliation. 
- whites were most usually the worse off in such encounters, with whites killed or raped, while blacks were generally the victims of 'symbolic' hate crimes (or the "burning crosses, spraypainted signs and yelling epithets" variety)
- in homicides,nearly all young black men were killed by other young black men

I didn't want to believe that  more criminals are black because of some kind of "genetic" thing, and it certainly wasn't some kind of conspiracy, so i decided to look at other statistics, and then do a little bit of field work. 

From my own experience (firsthand witness):

- police pull over black guys in cars that are violating traffic laws (usually speeding, peeling out and running red lights and stopsigns)
- police pull over white guys in cars that are violating traffic laws (usually speeding, peeling out, and drunk driving)
- police pull over hispanic guys who are violating traffic laws (no seatbelts, open liquor, missing tail lights)
- in the city, most people on welfare are black
- in the rural areas, most people on welfare are white
- most blacks and middle eastern folks live in the city
- rural areas are mostly white, japanese and hispanic
- most corporate customer-service jobs where i worked (in Seattle) were predominantly black, with black supervisors (mostly women)
- whites worked in most corporate jobs (banks, dot-coms, law offices), far below the multi-millionaire corporate officers.
- most difficult-to-maintain (requiring 'hard work') businesses were owned by 1st and 2nd generation asians and middle-easterners. these would be taxis, convenience stores, delis, restaurants, laundries and hotels - places that have constant business and pay low wages. These were "small business owners".
- most non-working blacks grew up in single parent households where they were taught to not trust authority figures, especially white ones (police, teachers, businessmen)
- most non-working whites grew up in single-parent households where they were taught not to trust authority figures (police, teachers, politicians), or minorities
- most poor urban people - regardless of race - ate out at restaurants, fast food, bars and convenience stores more than other people. 
- most poor urban people - regardless of race - blamed everyone else for everything else. everyone had a "reason" for not trying.
- most poor urban people - regardless of race - thought they were owed something, and were sure to ask everyone for a handout - a cigarette, a couple dollars.
- most wealthy people - regardless of race - were frugal. if they had to buy an expensive item, they worked hard to research it first, making sure they got the 'best one for the money'. they didn't settle for "ok".
- most wealthy people - regardless of race - took ownership of their life and decisions. the closest to blame i heard was "it just wasn't meant to be".
- most wealthy people - regardless of race - helped others out whenever they could. those that did so stayed wealthy longer than those who didn't.

i could go on and on ...

but i arrived at a conclusion:

Race does not cause poverty.  Race does not cause dysfunctional families.  Race does not cause crime. 
Dysfunctional culture can cause poverty, broken homes and criminal behavior.  When you raise your children to expect handouts and to place blame, to not respect authority, and to put comfort first, they will grow up to be criminals, their marriages will fail, they will blame others for their failures, and they will become 'the poor and the needy' by their own choice.
When a parent raises a child to not trust the police, that kid grows up, hangs out with other kids who don't trust the police, and they dress a certain way.  The police do have to "profile" in a way - they see someone dressed like a gangmember, they're going to watch them.  They see someone acting suspicious, they;'re gonna watch them.  they see someone breaking a law - whether it be underage drinking, shoplifting, moving violations, trespassing - and they'll ticket or arrest them.  The wise kid would learn from the mistake, and not break the law again.  The kid brought up in a home where they were taught to blame, to make excuses and to disrespect authority will see his brush with the law as justification of their mindset, and will break more laws down the road, eventually landing in prison.
It doesn't matter if you're white or black ... "alien" or not ... if you don't respect authority, don't accept accountability for your actions, and don't try to be a better human being, you will fail.

the "racial divide" is caused by people who spread fertilizer on the weeds.  By keeping up an "awareness" of "racism" that is not the racism of the 1960's and earlier, they are continuing to feed the corrupt culture that makes these people poor and uneducated and incarcerated.  By providing handouts to people who aren't good citizens - the lazy, the promiscuous, the unmarried, the law-breakers, the blamers, the unproductive citizens in our society, we're burdening those who do contribute, and making them bitter ... while still helping the scourge of society mutiply and overrun. 

there are whites just as guilty as blacks, and there are asians just as guilty as hispanics ... but the focus of the media and the focus of the politicians is always going to be "urban areas', because "urban areas" are an easy window into the population.  impoverished whites tend to stay outside the cities, in the smaller towns and outlying communities.  I assure you, having seen the lifestyles on both coasts, in metropilitan areas as well as those in rural areas, the substance of criminal failure is the same in urban blacks as it is in rural whites.

There is no racial inequality in stupidity.


Washington State Wants To Let Felons Vote

Ok. Now that i have youyr attention, it's not "that" dramatic, but it's still just as liberally-foolish.


Bill Would Help Voting Restoration For Felons

Posted: 2:09 pm PDT March 21, 2009Updated: 8:25 am PDT March 22, 2009
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- For tens of thousands of convicted felons in Washington state, only one thing stands between them and the ballot box: debt.
The Associated Press reported that under current law, felons can't vote until they have served their sentences, including the completion of any parole or probation, and paid all restitution and other court fees.
A measure to remove that payment requirement -- opponents say it's akin to a modern-day "poll tax" -- has passed the House and awaits action in the Senate.
If it becomes law, felons could simply re-register to vote once they're no longer in state custody, including any parole or probation.
"The basic unfairness is that our system is currently based on someone paying off their legal obligations," said Rep. Jeannie Darneille, a Tacoma Democrat who sponsored the measure. "If you have money, you can get your rights restored, and if you don't have money, you won't."
Washington's neighbor, Oregon, automatically restores voting rights to felons once they're released from prison. Nearly 40 other states and the District of Columbia also have less onerous restrictions on restoring voting rights to felons.
But others argue Washington state is obligated to make sure felons complete all of their sentence, including all monetary obligations.


After you've served your sentence, it makes sense that you should be allowed to vote.  I would imagine it makes the same sense that all your other rights should be restored, too, since you're no longer a "bad guy".  Like your right to own guns. Right?  Telling an ex-felon they can vote but not have all their rights back is kind of saying two things, right?  Like: "We can trust you to choose our next President, but not to own a firearm." 

I don't want former felons who'd been covicted of a violent crime to have guns.  I don't want any "white-collar" felon choosing our president and other elected officials.  Politicians - particularly democrats, from whom much support is gleaned from the formerly guilty - want more votes.  Crooked politicians want crooked peers to vote them into office.

Now for the part that doesn't make any sense:

Saying the financial obligation that was part of their sentence isn't fair is ... stupid. It's part of their sentence! When they committed their crime, the financial consequence was one of the consequences of their stupidity, selfishness or evil. If you kill a person, you expect to be put to death or put in prison for life.  If you break into someone's house, rape a jogger in a park, hold up a convenience store or drive drunk, you know society is going to expect you to pay. You know you're going to be indebtecd with your time and your money and your reputation to pay restitution for your crime.

If a previously convicted felon can't afford his or her financial portion of the sentence, then they should get a job.  If that doesn't work, they can go back to jail, which is what happens when the financial portion of their prior sentencing is not met.

A person who intentionally committed a crime needs to fulfill their complete sentencing before they are granted the privileges given to good citizens.


Obama Makes Fun Of Special Olympics

This really is bigger news than some would want you to think.  What a bigoted, insensitive jerk! 

Obama compares his bowling score to the Special Olympics

Between this, the AIG Bonuses and a few other things in his first few days of office, Obama may very well go down in history as "the Apology President".

Hmmm.  I guess that's Change?
First of all, this shouldn't be shocking.  The only people who are shocked by this are the people who somehow got it in their heads that a democratic administration was less corrupt than a republican one.  Those of us who are more historically-minded know that the democratic party has a long history of slimy, under-the-table dealings far predating Clinton-Lewinsky. They were the party that was pro-slavery! They were the party in charge of New York's corrupt Tammany Hall at the turn of last century, not to mention the predecessor to government handouts: FDR's "New Deal".  They were the party that keeps producing scandal-clad Kennedys, and yes, the party that put Clintons into office. 

Now that we've got the reminders (at least the highlights of those reminders) out of the way, let's go back to the subject at hand: Bailouts.

These corporate welfare checks were a bad idea to begin with.  Businesses who fail because their leaders are bad at business need a hand-out just as much as a homeless person who is an alcoholic needs one. Yes, some businesses/individuals fall into "hard times", and true, a handful of those "hard times' were at someone else's hand.  Blame is easier placed, however, in individual's situations than it is with the bad times for corporations, because aside from widespread cataclysmic disaster and gross consumer misinterest, corporations are set up with better foundations and already have numerous helps from government.

Corporate welfare checks were also a stupid idea because government should not interfere with private businesses. While this is often a "party sifter", those who believe the federal government's role should be minimal are more closely following the written intentions of the architects of this country.  The federal government of the United States was never intended to control every inch and minute of our lives, it was merely supposed to help us play better together.

Idiocracy aside, how could we not know this was coming?  We (or at least the Liberals out there) believe all big corporations are evil and prone to do this sort of thing, so ... "duhhh?"  I suppose those who want to have an excuse are really going to have to eat crow on this one.  Led astray by Obama, your miraculous leader?  Hmmm.  No compassion here.  I'm also not going to let you off as easy trying to blame Christopher Dodd, either.  He's also a golden boy of the democratic party.

As much as this probably shouldn't seem that big of a thing (politicians, after all, routinely make weird mistakes), it's interesting that Obama is so fiercely touring the country apologizing and expressing outrage at the CEO's that took the bailout money as bonuses and fled the companies.  I hope you've thought about this a little. Why is Obama so quick to do a song and dance?  It's not like he's distracting you from something, right? 

Actually, yes, he is.  The "Bonus Loophole" written into the bill by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) that allowed these CEOs (and others, just wait and see!) to use the federal money intended for rescuing their businesses for their own greedy little selves should have been caught by someone. You could probably forgive any other Junior Senator-turned-president for making this kind of mistake, but Obama has a few huge strikes against him: 

1. Obama has to prove he's a "good leader" and that we can have "Hope" in him and that he will enact (implied "Good") "Change", so any mistake is a really bad thing for him.
2. Obama said a lot of bad things about George W. Bush, and now he has to prove he's not as "stupid".
3. Obama has been defending his idiotic "bailouts" for a month now, so it looks (is) really bad for him if those bailouts turn out to be the giant waste of money and hand-out to the rich that billions of Americans accused it of being.
4. Obama was (is) a lawyer, and even considered himself so good that he taught law, so it's terribly embarrassing that he didn't see this particular bit of "language" that built the bonus-loophole into the stimulus bill. 

Even as i type this, Obama is using his "strategy" of blame and distraction ... the same one that got him elected.  He is claiming that the "Bonuses are a symptom of a larger problem".  What that particular problem is according to him, i'm not sure, but i do know this: if the "bonuses" are indeed a symptom of a larger problem, that larger problem is the greedy taking handouts from the government, and i'm certain obama isn't going to let the blame be placed at his feet.

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